Our Teachers

King Street is more than a job for our teachers. It’s an opportunity for them to share their passion for life while they inspire, engage, and awaken the wonder inside each child.

Lisa Kiehn

I first came to King Street as a parent in 2010 when I enrolled my then 2 ½-year-old. I fell in love withthe school’s vision, philosophy, and respect for children, officially becoming a King Street teacher inthe fall of 2011. My oldest is now in elementary school and continuing to use and extend the skills helearned in preschool – creative thinking, confidence, problem-solving, working with others who havesimilar or different ideas, and a love of learning. His younger sister is now a King Street kid and I’mgrateful that she is getting the same strong foundation.

Growing up I always felt that I wanted to work with children in some respect as an adult. Aftergraduating from the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, I taught aplay-based emergent curriculum at an independent preschool for two years. Collaborating with ateam of teachers, I provided developmentally appropriate and engaging experiences inspired byMaria Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Vivian Gussin Paley, and Bev Bos, among others. I then returned toschool to earn a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University and obtain a Washington State TeachingCertificate.

I subsequently spent four years teaching at The Valley School, an independent elementary school(Pre-K - 5) with a whole child approach to learning. There I taught two years of pre- k and two years ofkindergarten before the birth of my first child.

Teaching is my true passion and I can think of no better place to teach, or superior learningenvironment for my own children, than here at King Street.

Believing that all children deserve respect, and informed by a firm understanding of childdevelopment, my approach to discipline focuses on negotiation, active listening, and teachingempathy and problem-solving strategies. I am very organized, creative, and fun. I am able to moveeffortlessly between the role of playmate and authority figure, providing firm and loving boundarieswhen needed. Most of all, I truly love working with children and using my knowledge and backgroundto provide a positive learning experience for every child, every day.

Jana Robbins

King Street Cooperative for me is really a journey of three paths: the path of my two boys as students in this school, the path of myself as a Parent-Teacher (and now Teacher), and the path of my family as a part of this community.

Our family came to King Street in the fall of 2009, and we were fairly new to the neighborhood. Both of my boys spent their preschool years here. Initially my youngest came along to school as my “plus-one,” and it wasn’t long before he clearly wanted to be enrolled too. I was the primary “Parent-Teacher” fulfilling the co-op working shifts for our family from 2009-2013. Over these four years at King Street much growth occurred. My children grew in their social skills, creativity, confidence, security, communication, self-control, and empathy. They also learned how to become their own problem solvers. I grew immensely as a parent at home and in the classroom in the understanding of child development, practical skills for working with young children, and learning alternative positive discipline approaches. My family grew into a neighborhood community in which we could take care of each other, share in our parenting challenges and achievements, and take our volunteerism and advocacy training beyond the doors of King Street to the larger community. These relationships and skills endure beyond the time at this special preschool.

As my children have grown and moved on from King Street, I am honored and excited to remain as a Teacher who can continue to learn and share the values and lessons of this unique school and community. I never cease to be amazed by what we learn and how we all grow by this time we spend playing and running a school together. As a preschool teacher, I feel passionate about the value of play-based, child-centered learning. The job of the preschool age is to play. It is through play that preschoolers get to explore, question, and analyze their world. They also learn to navigate relationships with a variety of children and adults. As a teacher, I believe my role is to create an interesting and fun learning environment that inspires, supports, and extends the ideas that children bring to the table.

My teaching and administrative duties at the co-op are additionally supported by my previous and emerging experience. I have a B.A. in Secondary Education and many years of experience as an Administrator for international student and foster care programs. Also, I worked as Co-Chair and Treasurer of the King Street Board of Directors for three years. I am currently pursuing Early Childhood Education courses to supplement and support my work with preschoolers and families.

I look forward to getting to know your family!

Amrita Huja

In 2010, when my 2-year-old daughter was ready for preschool, I came to King Street needing and finding a community to support my parenting practice. I felt a strong connection with King Street's child-centered and play-based philosophy. Here children are encouraged to express and explore their personal connections and understanding with our world.

From 2011-13 I served as a co-chair and parent coordinator on the school board, deepening my understanding of how a co-op works. Stepping in to substitute teach awakened my passions for teaching and fostering community. I have been a teacher at King street since 2013.

My background in fine art and commercial photography have informed my understanding of the importance of self expression through art. This is a central value I bring to my work as an educator. I currently am exploring my work as a teaching artist through workshops and have been offering messy art summer camps since 2012.

As a teacher, being in tune with children's questions and interests constantly reinforces my respect of children as innate learners. With this respect and my flexibility and spontaneity, I work to support our emergent curriculum. I believe meaningful education starts with natural curiosity and personal connection. As teachers we are laying the groundwork for learners to question, observe, share ideas, and solve problems.

My mixed Indian background and childhood in Hawaii has also informed my perspectives on community and culture. We must find our commonalities and celebrate our differences in striving toward self-awareness and social justice. My work as a photographer for ColorsNW magazine for seven years widened my understanding of bias and the importance of our anti-bias work in early education. As we continue this journey as a country and individuals, I embrace this work with children.

I believe family is our first teachers and King Street is here to support growth and learning in the whole family.