The high levels of education and experience held by our teaching staff allow DPNS to offer an exceptional preschool experience. All of our Directors have teaching credentials, and all have completed extensive coursework in early childhood education. Additionally, our affiliation with Davis Joint Unified School District (DPNS Directors are DJUSD employees) and staff requirements we meet as a state-licensed preschool contribute to the strength of our program. Remarkably, and as a testament to our school, every one of our Directors attended DPNS as a participating parent with their own child(ren)–for some, this was 20-30 years ago!
Laura Burke | Director, 2-day & 3-day Sessions
It was at DPNS that Laura first discovered the joy and satisfaction of working in a preschool classroom. Laura initially studied and trained to teach secondary students–earning both a BA and a Teaching Credential from UCD–and spent nine happy years teaching junior high school students. The younger two of her three children attended DPNS as preschoolers, and it was Laura’s participation as a DPNS parent for six years that exposed her to the many benefits of a preschool program that emphasizes both developmentally-appropriate curriculum and family involvement. While a parent at DPNS, Laura served on the DPNS Executive Board as a Registrar and Secretary. The experience at DPNS inspired Laura to complete requisite ECE couses, and then to pursue an MA in Child Development. In 2008, Laura joined the staff of DPNS as the Assistant Director of the 5-Day Program and spent 4 years working along side Director Becky Montgomery. In 2012, Laura was named Director at the Danbury site. She is thrilled to be teaching with Assistant Directors Tina Lyon and Kathleen Reddick in the 2-Day and 3-Day Programs, and looks forward to working, playing, and collaborating with the participating families.
Kathy Douglas | Director, Pre-Kindergarten Session
Kathy discovered DPNS while studying child development at UCD. Returning to Davis years later, she knew exactly which nursery school she wanted her children to attend. As luck would have it, when her younger son entered the 5-day program, DPNS was looking for a director, and Kathy began her career with us that year, in 1989. She went on to develop our Playgroup Program in 1993 and designed the play-based pre-kindergarten program in 2004. This program was developed specifically for children who are in their last year of preschool prior to kindergarten. She loves teaching both ends of the preschool continuum. Prior to working at DPNS, Kathy was Director of UC Riverside’s Children’s Center. She has also worked as a lecturer and research associate at UCD and a parent educator for UC Cooperative Extension. Her two boys are both adults and now at university.
Christina Hietbrink | Assistant Director, 5-day Session & Extended Day Program, Head Teacher
In 2001, Christina began volunteering in her son’s preschool class. With encouragement from her son’s teachers, she went back to study Child Development. Throughout her career, Christina has worked in various aspects of education from informal to formal. Her daughter began playgroup at DPNS in 2008, which was the same year she began assistant teaching for the Extended Day Program. In 2011, Christina took the position as Head Teacher of the DPNS Extended Day Program. In 2012, DPNS named Christina the Assistant Director of the 5-Day Session. Christina is delighted to expand her involvement with DPNS, by working with families and teachers in the preschool while still heading the Extended Day program.
Our Extended Day Program is an limited program offered to children from all sessions, age 3 or more. Parent participation is not required for this program. It is currently offered Fridays at 8th Street from 11:45-4:30.
Tina Lyon | Assistant Director, 3-day Session
Tina attended college in Colorado and then in California. She has been married to her husband Tom for over 30 years and they have six adult children and three wonderful grandchildren. When her youngest was three, Tina had the opportunity to work at the same preschool and school her children were attending in Chico. She taught at this preschool for ten years. She began working with Jackie in our 3 Day Morning session in 2002. She loves working with children and seeing the excitement on their faces when they are at school having fun with their friends. She enjoys growing and learning with both children and their parents.
Becky Montgomery | Director, 5-day Session and Friday Playgroups
Becky’s connection to DPNS started in 1992, when her daughter attended the afternoon session. She enjoyed being a working parent so much that when her daughter graduated to kindergarten, Becky stayed on as an Assistant for the Extended Day Program. She later returned as a working parent in 2002 with her younger son. She has been unable to leave since! She began as the Assistant Director for the 5 Day Morning program in 2004. She has directed this program since early 2008. Becky received her BA in Sociology from the University of San Francisco. She also has completed extensive coursework in early childhood education and has an Adult Education teaching credential, specializing in parent education. Prior to her life here in Davis, she was Director of an inner-city after-school program for the Booker T. Community Service Center, located in San Francisco.
Kathleen Reddick | Assistant Director, 2-day Session
Kathleen is very pleased to be the assistant director for the 2-day program and looks forward to working with each child and their parents at DPNS. Kathleen grew up in Davis and attended Birch Lane Elementary, Holmes Junior High, and Davis High School. She and her husband Steve have two children.
Sandy Rendig | Director, Monday Playgroups
Sandy has been associated with DPNS for more than 30 years, first as a parent participant, then as an Assistant Director, and finally as a Director since 1985. She has spent most of her DPNS career teaching in our preschool sessions, and now is working her magic with the toddlers. She attended U.C. Davis, where she majored in English Literature with a minor in psychology and art. Sandy also received her teacher’s credential from UCD. Prior to teaching at DPNS, she taught kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade. She and her husband (a DPNS alumnus) have two adult children, a son and a daughter.