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Our Team

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Alison Giachetti

Alison Giachetti

alisongiachetti@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

My name is Alison Giachetti. I received my BA in History from the University of Arizona in 2004, and in 2014 my MEd in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. My experience covers nearly a decade of working with children ages birth through kindergarten. My passion includes creating and implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum, differentiating instruction to meet the needs of a diverse community of learners, and nurturing a warm and meaningful classroom environment that invites investigation and stimulating learning. In my current position as a Lead Teacher in the infant/toddler looping program, I love collaborating with the staff, families, and children at the Children’s Center and being a part of this special community. When not in the classroom, my interests include spending time with my family, cooking, antiquing, completing DIY projects, horseback riding, and taking advantage of the rivers, lakes, and mountains in and around Boise!


Ashley Verrinder

Ashley Verrinder

Assistant Support Teacher

My name is Ashley Verrinder, and I have worked at the Center since 2015. Having an Associates of Science in Early Childhood Education, I also have an A.A. in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, and a Minor in American Sign Language. I enjoy meeting new children and teaching in different classrooms. At Bogus Basin, I am a snowboard instructor, and I also compete in car stereo competitions. I love to travel and especially enjoy the Oregon coast.


Cearston Silva

Cearston Silva

cearstonsilva@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

My name is Cearston Silva. I graduated from Boise State University in 2016 with a degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. To further my education, I plan on attending Law School in the Fall of 2018. My experience with children started almost since birth as I am the fourth generation involved in a family-owned child care center in Eastern Idaho. In my current position as a Lead Teacher in the Looping Program at the Children’s Center, I have been with these children since they were in an infant room. I love what kids bring to the table. They bring laughter and imagination that inspires me every day. My goal, as a teacher, is to inspire children just as much as they inspire me, and believe me that is a full time job!


Chelsi Chavez

Chelsi Chavez

chelsichavez@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

My name is Chelsi Chavez. I graduated from Boise State University in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and will be returning to earn my Master’s degree in Social Work in the near future. Starting as a student employee and becoming an Assistant Teacher during the almost 6 years I have been at The Children’s Center has been an amazing experience that has allowed me to have countless opportunities that I will always be so appreciative of! I recently finished my first complete loop with a great group of children and families, and will be forever grateful for all the memories that we shared together. Not only did we have the best days in the classroom, but I also learned so much about child development through this looping experience. I am so excited to return to the toddler classroom and can’t wait for the amazing experiences that we will all share! A little about me-I was born and raised in the small town of Weiser, Idaho, and have two sisters, Hailey and Skylar. Hailey also works at the Center; she is an assistant teacher in a toddler classroom and attends Boise State. Skylar graduated from high school Spring 2017 and became a Bronco in the fall, Some of my hobbies include: spending time with my family, camping, traveling (only to the sunny places), boating, watching movies, and hiking.


Christine Zacharias

christinezacharias@boisestate.edu

Assistant Director and Looping Supervisor

I have a BAS and Masters of Education in Early Childhood studies from Boise State. My studies also had an emphasis on special needs/gifted and talented Children. Having been in the field of early childhood as a Lead teacher and/or Administrator for 41 years, I have worked at the Children’s Center for 20 years. My teaching philosophy aligns with the Children’s Center in that every child is unique. I am passionate about giving a respectful, responsive approach to building and fostering relationships with children, families and staff. Within my role, I see the respect for each child’s individualized pattern and timing of growth, as well as individual personality, learning style, interests, culture, and family background are central to the fabric of daily interactions and the direction the curriculum follows. My passion and commitment is to make a difference in the quality of care for young children.


Hailey Chavez

Hailey Chavez

haileychavez@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

My name is Hailey Chavez. I have been attending Boise State University since the Fall of 2015 as undeclared major, as I am still trying to find the perfect fit for me. Having heard so many wonderful things about The Children’s Center from my older sister, Chelsi, who works at the Center, I decided to apply and was hired in September 2015. In my current position as Assistant Teacher, I have a passion for working with young children and getting the opportunity to watch them grow. I love getting to know each and every person at the Center, especially the children, and feel so blessed to be a part of a classroom where more adventures await these special little people! Being an Idaho native (born and raised in Weiser, Idaho), my siblings and I are unique in that all three of us girls have or are attending Boise State University; older sister, Chelsi, graduated in 2016, and younger sister, Skylar, started the Fall 2017.


Isabelle Nygaard

Isabelle Nygaard

isabellenygaard@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

I’m Isabelle Nygaard. I graduated college with two bachelor degrees, Art Education grades K-12 and Studio Art with a minor in Psychology, from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. Currently the Lead Teacher in one of our preschool classrooms, it has been a blast being a part of the Boise State Children’s Center for almost three years. I have experienced real fulfillment in watching children grow, play and learn throughout my time here. It has been a real pleasure to be a part of each and every one of their days for this exciting time in their development. Thank you families for sharing your children with us! I am a transplant from the Midwest; Wisconsin is still where most of my family resides. Having grown up and attending college on opposite sides of the beautiful Mississippi River Valley, I decided to start a new adventure after graduation and moved to Idaho sight unseen in 2014. In my free time, I love to play hostess to my friends and family, travel as often as I can, create and enjoy art. I am addicted to live music and plays, and exploring the wild Northwest.


Jahziel Maldonado

Jahziel Maldonado

jahzielmaldonado@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Jahziel Maldonado. I studied child education in Puerto Rico before I moved here in January 2016, and am currently finishing my AAS in Early Childhood Education at College of Western Idaho; I will transfer to Boise State to continue my education in the future. My experience includes working with young children for seven years. My current position at The Children’s Center as an Assistant Teacher has been a wonderful experience, and I have learned quite a lot since working here. It is a privilege to work with children, to be able to create significant learning experiences in their lives, as well as to get to know them better each day. For them to develop abilities that will help them be better sons/daughters, friends, and citizens is my passion! In my free time, I enjoy being able to go out, to travel and explore new places, as well as spending quality time with my family and friends.


Jessica Garcia

Jessica Garcia

jessicagarcia632@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

My name is Jessica Garcia. I am a graduate from the University of Idaho with a degree in Child Development as well as Nutrition. My experience since high school has been gained by working with young children and includes five years while in Moscow. I was able to assist in a kindergarten classroom for two years and then worked at the University of Idaho Children’s Center for the remaining three years with infants to children six years of age. Currently I am working on getting my Masters in Teaching in Early Intervention while being a Lead Teacher here at The Children’s Center. Working with young children is an absolute passion of mine, and I feel it is important to take the time to learn and teach children as the individuals that they are. I work hard to provide a strong and comfortable environment for their growth and development, in addition to building secure and positive relationships. One of my favorite parts about working with children is seeing their faces light up when they are successful at completing a task they have been working very hard on. I enjoy getting to know the children and families here at the Boise State University Children’s Center and growing with the children in my classroom. When I am not in the classroom, I love traveling and exploring new places with my husband, Jose; reading; spending time with family and friends; and finding new adventures and activities to enjoy locally.


Johanna McGuire

johannamcguire@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

My name is Johanna McGuire. I earned my Associate’s degree in Child Development while working from 1992 to 1997 as a Lead Teacher for Head Start. Since being at the Boise State University Children’s Center starting 1997, I have had the opportunity to work with various age groups and enjoy them all. To see children learn and grow in their own individual unique ways is rewarding. I especially enjoy children, now as teenagers and or young adults, who come back for a visit and share their happy memories of their time at our Center. This continues to be a rewarding career. Although I was born in the state of Washington, I grew up in the beautiful state of Oregon. Married for 40 years, I have a daughter and a son, both successful in their careers. I have 2 grandaughters and 1 grandson and am loving the whole experience as a grandmother.


Katee Ward

Katee Ward

kateeward@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher


Kayla Blaisdell

Kayla Blaisdell

kaylablaisdell@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Kayla Blaisdell. I graduated May 2017 with a BA in Human Development, specializing in Early Childhood Education from Washington State University. While at WSU, I worked at the WSU Children’s Center for 3 years and did a semester practicum in an inclusive Head Start classroom. I now enjoy being at another university’s children center as an Assistant Teacher and gaining more experiences in the classroom. Working with young children has been a passion of mine since I was younger, and the many jobs and volunteer experiences I have had exposed me to the fun and rewarding parts of teaching. My reward in teaching young children is seeing them show pride in each milestone they achieve and being able to observe them attaining their goals. Now, at Boise State, I’m grateful to be continuing my journey working with these wonderful children and learning more about early childhood education. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family exploring the outdoors and traveling. I have traveled to many states and even studied in Ecuador.


Keri Stanton

Keri Stanton

kerimathias@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

I’m Keri Stanton and have the privilege of being a Lead Teacher at The Children’s Center. Prior to coming to the Center, my experience includes 6 years in Montessori education where, as Lead Teacher in the Pre-Montessori program, I learned to love helping children develop through play and exploration. I have been with The Children’s Center for 4½ years. Here at the Center, I am so grateful to have the pleasure of working with your precious children. Collaborating with the vital group of educators at the Center who know how important Early Education is to the children in our care makes me excited. Thank you for letting me spend time with your little ones every week. Idaho has been my home for 28 years. I love kayaking, bicycling, boating in McCall, any just time spent in Nature, as well as attending the Idaho Shakespeare Festival with my daughter, Brooke.


Kim Parker

Kim Parker

kimparker1@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

My name is Kim Parker. Having graduated from Boise State University in 2015 with a B.A degree in Multidisciplinary Studies and an English minor, I am currently working toward my Masters in Teaching with an emphasis in Early Childhood Intervention. Having been in childcare for 10+ years, I love working with the preschool ages! It is my belief that all children can achieve success in life when given encouragement and support. I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to work with your children. My hobbies consist of cooking, rockhounding, and camping. My weekends are often spent hiking and exploring new outdoor places with my boyfriend. We have four pets (a dog, tarantula, ball python and a baby mouse).


Kristy Mathews

Kristy Mathews

kristymathews@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

My name is Kristy Mathews. Having a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, I plan on starting my Masters in the near future. I love working with children, and knew, growing up, that teaching was my passion. My education started with plans on teaching Elementary school, but as soon as I learned that I could actually teach at an infant/toddler level, my major changed. I am so excited to come to work every day and see what these amazing children have to teach me. My family includes my husband, a mechanical drafter/writer and our three year old daughter, Makaiah. We moved to Meridian right after we were married and love it here. In my spare time, I enjoy taking long drives and getting out to see nature, scrapbooking, doing cross-stitch, reading, decorating cakes, and watching good movies.


Lisa Wirtanen Allred

lisaallred@boisestate.edu

Director


Maggie Liebergesell

magdalenliebergesell@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

Maggie Liebergesell

My name is Maggie Liebergesell, and I am an Assistant Teacher at The Children’s Center. My education includes a B.S. degree in Biology/Forestry from Utah State University (1998), a M.A. in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University (1996), as well as an Ed.S. in Administration Leadership from University of Idaho (2004). My love of nature led me to pursue my first career in Forestry. I have lived all over the Northwest and Intermountain West cruising timber (kind of like shopping for trees). Wanting to share that love of living things led me to teaching junior high and high school. I retired from the Boise School District and thought my teaching days were done. But I fooled myself and came to the Boise State University Children’s Center and have absolutely loved it. There is nothing more fun than to watch little ones play, problem solve and learn new things. When I am not at The Children’s Center, I am home with my family; my daughter who will graduate in the Spring 2018 and my 3 fur kids who hang out with me on the couch. I love to read all kinds of books, walk, garden, and do crafts.


Mariah Redmond-Wheeler

Mariah Redmond-Wheeler

Support Assistant Teacher

Hi, I am Mariah Redmond-Wheeler. My education includes 19 units in Early Childhood Education and I look forward to going back to school to continue my education. I have spent most of my life in a preschool setting, spending 3 years as Lead Teacher from a preschool in California, and have been at the Children’s Center for eight months as a Support Assistant Teacher. . My family and I are still fairly new to Idaho; we moved here in August of 2016. My husband and I have been married for 5 years but have known each other since high school. I have two children, my daughter, Violet, is 15 and my son, Landon, is 14. We spend most of our time between dance and baseball. As a family we enjoy movies and games and I love to knit and sew in my free time.


Megan Jones

Megan Jones

meganjones2@boisestate.edu


Meralis Saenz

Meralis Saenz

meralissaenzsanchez@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

I’m Meralis Saenz and am originally from the Enchanted Island of Puerto Rico. I discovered my passion of working with young children while finishing my degree in Respiratory Therapy as I had an opportunity to work with children with Down Syndrome. While my family was stationed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, I went back to school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and received an Associate’s Degree of Applied Sciences with a major in Early Childhood Education. Currently, I am also attending Boise State University and working on Minors in Family Studies and Spanish with a business focus. I have being working at the Children’s Center for a little over five years and enjoy my position as an Assistant Teacher. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be part of the lives of so many amazing families! I am the mother of two young men, ages 22 and 17, the wife of an Army Veteran, and the “grandmother” of two dogs.


Paige Aitchison

Paige Aitchison

paigeaitchison@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher


Rhianon Floyd

Rhianon Floyd

rhianonfloyd@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

My name is Rhianon Floyd. I have attended Boise State University from Fall 2011 to Spring 2013, and it’s my plan to go back to school and get my degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in French. It’s my belief that exposing a child to a diversity of languages in their early years helps build stronger cognitive connections. I have been working with young children for almost eleven years, including working over three years at the YMCA’s Children’s Village, where I was a lead teacher for the two year olds. Having recently joined the Children’s Center Team as an Assistant Teacher, I am excited to be a part of the family here. I look forward to learning and growing with your child! In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, going for hikes and visiting new parks with my family, as well as watching scary movies. My daughter, Sonja, also attends to the Children’s Center, so I am a parent at the Center too.


Samantha Powers

Sam Powers

samanthapowers@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Samantha “Sam” Powers, and recently started working at Boise State University Children’s Center as an Assistant Teacher. I am currently attending Boise State in pursuit of a degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. My experience includes the past 10 years working with children in many areas: as a nanny, community support worker and volunteering in orphanages abroad. I am excited to support your children as they grow and develop. Although born and raised in Idaho, I have spent the majority of my adult life living in various cities across the U.S., eventually deciding to settle back in Boise with my one-year-old son, Theodore.


Sarah Fazel

Sarah Fazel

sarahfazel@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

My name is Sarah Fazel, and I have been a Lead Teacher here with the Boise State University Children’s Center family since the fall of 2016. My education includes a B.A. in Elementary Education from Eastern University (St. David’s, PA), and I am currently working towards my Masters degree in Early Childhood and Special Education and Early Intervention here at Boise State. I have been working in the Early Childhood Education field for the past 18 years in various capacities; as a creative movement instructor, infant-kindergarten lead teacher, a residential foster care house parent, and as a family child care provider. A passion of mine is working with Toddlers as their development span is such an exciting time of growth and discovery. My educational philosophies are highly influenced by the The Montessori Method and Reggio Emilia approaches. As part of our classroom community, our goal is to provide your child an environment in which they can thrive and discover that they are capable! We hope to offer your family an open, honest and supportive space in which to learn and grow together. I am an avid kayaker, hiker, yoga and pilates enthusiast and most importantly; wife to Brandon and Mommy to Claire (10) and Gordon (3).


Steffanie Smith

Steffanie Smith

steffaniesmith@boisestate.edu

Assistant Teacher

Hi my name is Steffanie Smith. I graduated from the College of Southern Idaho in 2015 with an A.A. degree in Early Childhood Education with training in Special Education. It is my plan to return to school in the near future to get my Bachelor’s degree. I started teaching, however, even before I received my AA. Teaching has always been my passion. I remember, as a little girl, setting up my stuffed animals in a pretend classroom and teaching them. Watching children learn and grow, especially when the light bulb finally turns on and their pure joy and excitement takes over, is rewarding. I love raising my beautiful three-year-old daughter, Kinsley; she is my pride and joy. We live in Middleton and love the quieter laid-back country community. Some of my hobbies include: enjoying the great outdoors, crafting, spending time with my family, swing dancing, and teaching my daughter fun and new things.


Sylvia Caroselli

Sylvia Caroselli

sylviacaroselli@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

I’m Sylvia Caroselli and I’m a Lead Teacher here at The Children’s Center. My education includes an A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) from The College of Western Idaho. I am currently working towards a B.A. in ECE at Eastern Oregon University. Although new to The Children’s Center, I have been working in the Early Childhood field since 2004. Children learn and develop on their own timetable and should be allowed time to fully master their current skills before moving on to others. I see my role as a facilitator, not director, in children’s development. The opportunity to work side by side with you to support your child’s development is an undertaking I am happy to assist with. In my spare time, I have three active young children that keep me busy. We love all the family-friendly activities that Boise has to offer. Spending time in our yard, riding bikes on the greenbelt or visiting the Library are some of our favorite weekend activities.


Sylvia Horning

Sylvia Horning

sylviahorning@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Sylvia Horning. I have an Associate’s degree in child development from the College of Southern Idaho. My work in the field of Early Childhood Education has spanned over 17 years, with the last year and a half here at the Boise State University Children’s Center as a Lead Teacher. I love guiding young children as they learn and explore. It’s rewarding to be working at the Children’s Center and being a part of the Looping Program. My husband and I have been married for 16 years and have three children—ages 13, 9, and 3. I enjoy reading and spending time with my family while exploring the Boise area.


Tanna Boschma

Tanna Boschma

tannacoates@boisestate.edu

Lead Teacher

Hi I’m Tanna Boschma. I graduated from the College of Western Idaho with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and hope, one day, to pursue a degree at Boise State University. Children are such a joy to work with, and I believe we can learn as much from them as they can from us! Having grown up in Twin Falls, Idaho, my husband and I live in Nampa. I love Idaho for the outdoors and the people.