I like that there is a balance of academics, play and character building.

    Preschool Parent
    Park Highlands campus


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Kirkland Staff

Administrative Staff

Tomlinson Lauren Staff

Lauren Tomlinson

Lauren has been working with children for over ten years, nine of which have been with Cedar Crest Academy. She began as a nanny for two families, one with eleven-month-old triplets and another family with a six-year-old. Being a nanny lead Lauren to discover her love for children. She continued to work with children by tutoring an eight and a thirteen-year-old for two years. She also volunteered with youth groups through her church and other organizations. Lauren began her teaching career with preschoolers while pursuing her degree.
Lauren started with Cedar Crest in 2008 at the Park Highland Campus. After a few years she was asked to split her time between Kirkland Campus and Park Highland working in both the office and helping out around the schools. Lauren was transferred to the Redmond Campus when it opened in 2011, in 2013 she moved to Bellewood to help establish the new campus and now, has finally settled at the Kirkland Campus.
Although Lauren started out in Early Childhood Education, she found her passion in Business when she moved up into Administration. She has earned her Associates from Bellevue College in Business Administration and is currently attending Eastern Washington University, earning her Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.  She hopes to get her Masters within the next few years.


Flores Amanda Staff

Amanda Flores
Office Manager

Amanda graduated in 2015 from Clackamas Community College with an Associates in Accounting and an Associates in Business Management. She joined Cedar Crest at the end of the 2015-16 school year as our Office Manager. Having worked as a classified substitute and helping run an after school program at a middle school, she decided that she wanted to go back to school and get her teaching degree. She is excited to be in a program at University of Washington to obtain her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. With her background in business and the love of teaching, the office manager position is the perfect fit for her!

Preprimary Staff

Nicola Beard
Young Preschool Lead Teacher

Nicola graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in May with her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Her experience working with young children began in 2014, when she volunteered in a therapeutic classroom for vulnerable and at-risk children. Since then, Nicola has worked in early learning centers teaching and caring for toddler and preschool aged children. She has also had experience assisting teachers in public school classrooms, and student taught in a Kindergarten classroom for four months. Nicola recently moved back to the Seattle area after living in New Hampshire for the past three years. She is thrilled to be a part of the Cedar Crest Academy family, and looks forward to her first year of teaching!

Janelle Ramirez
Young Preschool Lead Teacher

Janelle graduated from Central Washington University in 2015 with her BA in Psychology. She has been a tutor for children in Middle and Elementary school and she has been a private nanny for several families. Upon graduating she moved to Wenatchee, WA where she worked one-on-one with Autistic children for a year and a half. She made the decision of moving to the Seattle area this summer. She is very excited to work her first year here at Cedar Crest Academy. One of her joys is being able to help children grow and learn new things every day.

Heather McClain
Preschool Lead Teacher

Ms. Heather joined the Cedar Crest staff in 2008, following the opening of the Kirkland campus and it quickly became clear that she had found her calling. Over the years, she has attended many classes and workshops which have furthered her education in the field of Early Childhood. Heather believes that teaching is a lifelong process which includes learning about new philosophies & teaching strategies, learning from the parents, community and colleagues, and most importantly from the children. Children have taught her to open her mind and heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world. Because of this, Heather feels that she will never forget how to smile with the new, cherish the old, and laugh with every child she’s lucky enough to call one of her students.

In 2011, Heather had the opportunity to co-create our preschool curriculum, Cedar Crest Press. She continues in her role as the Lead Curriculum Supervisor for Preschool, providing a consistent curriculum across all campuses, as well as training new preschool teachers by providing them with the tools they’ll need to successfully implement the curriculum.

Anna Dartnall
Preschool Lead Teacher

Ms. Anna has been involved in early-childhood education since 2002. She started out teaching and directing the children’s program at her local church. During her time as a children’s program director, she also worked with special needs high school students and began volunteering at Seattle Children’s Hospital for eight years where she had the privilege to invest her time, love, and bring comfort to many kids of all ages and walks of life. In between these responsibilities, she also worked closely with kids in their homes as a nanny and tutor for many families. She has worked as a pre-primary teacher for the last five years, and this will be her fourth academic year with Cedar Crest Academy. She is excited to have the opportunity to invest in your child’s education and early development this school year!

Ashwini Gupte
Preschool Assistant Teacher

Ashwini graduated with a Masters in Zoology and Masters in Business Management from Mumbai University (in India). After relocating to Seattle, she volunteered and then worked as an assistant in a Montessori School for 3 years where she had an opportunity to work with children of all ages ranging from 2 to 6 year olds. Ashwini is really excited to begin her second year at CCA
She believes learning should be fun and interactive for children. 
Also each child is unique not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.

Joshua Carpenter
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Joshua graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College Seattle in 2010 with an Associate of Theology Degree. It was there he studied the Bible and was responsible for the development of a specialized practical Christian ministry curriculum that organized student’s efforts to serve in both their local churches and community. He is currently working as the youth pastor for Calvary Chapel Monroe where he mentors middle school & high school students. Aside from youth pastoring he also teaches at Calvary Chapel Bible College Seattle as an instructor of Christian Apologetics. He is currently in his fourth year of teaching Pre-Kindergarten at Cedar Crest Academy.

Since 2014 Joshua has enjoyed gleaning a great amount of wisdom and experience in early childhood development and education through Cedar Crest Academy. Joshua has since been able to come into his own as an early learning instructor and has stepped into a lead teaching position for Pre-Kindergarten. He continues to foster an environment of love, learning, and personal growth for all his students.

Judy Sangder
Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Judy is excited to be continuing with the team at Cedar Crest Academy as has been working in childcare since 1990. She started as a cook’s assistant and quickly decided to pursue teaching as a career. She graduated from Renton Technical College where she received her Certificate in Early Childhood Development. She has had the opportunity to work with children of all ages from 2 years to 10 years old. She was the supervisor for the school age before and after care program, the pre-kindergarten class and taught kindergarten for 3 years in private school.  This October Judy received her CDA (Child Development Associate Credential).
Judy believes that learning should be fun and that children thrive in an environment of love, acceptance and laughter. She infuses her circle times with music and games. Her favorite subjects to teach are art, science and math.

Ms. Taira
Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Taira has over 12 years of experience teaching children of various ages and backgrounds. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education, an Associate’s Degree in Childhood Development, as well as an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate. She has a passion for nature education and inquiry based learning.  She believes her role as an educator is to engage children in the learning process and develop lifelong learners.

Alex Hwong
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Alex grew up in Beijing, China. Having gone to an international school, he knows the importance of accepting different cultures and respecting them. Alex received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Seattle University. He realized his passion for teaching when he began teaching his younger cousins and friends and loves to see when the light bulb clicks in their heads. This is Alex’s 4 year at Cedar Crest. This will be his third in Pre-K. Alex also has experience tutoring higher level math (up to 8th grade) and working at a Montessori school with young students.

Elementary Staff

Tracey Carpenter
Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Carpenter is very excited to be a part of Cedar Crest Academy this year.  She earned her BA in Business Administration from Western Washington University and a Masters in Teaching from City University. She has been teaching for over 12 years in public and private school settings.  She has taught a range of students from Kindergarten to twelfth grade.  Tracey loves teaching and enjoys observing students make new discoveries and connections while learning new concepts and ideas. She considers herself a life-long learner by continuously taking classes to benefit her students in their learning. 

Joe Schenk
Kindergarten Assistant Teacher 

Mr. Schenk grew up in New Jersey, attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where he received a BA in English, then went on to complete most of the credits towards a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. He moved to Washington in 2010 and lives in Renton. This is his third year with Cedar Crest Academy.


Dave Sauter
P.E Teacher

Dave graduated from the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, and obtained his teaching license from the State of North Dakota. He’s worked with several school districts, one being Medina school district in North Dakota. He developed a new K-12 physical education program while he was there. He’s taught from elementary through High School students. Dave is the P.E specialist for all 4 of Cedar Crest’s campuses and is excited to be a part of a school that gives their students the opportunity to be involved in high quality physical education classes. His ultimate goal is to help all kids stay active and healthy for the rest of their lives.

Heather Carpenter
Executive Director

Heather brings close to twenty years of experience in private school elementary education, where she has served as a teacher, principal, mentor, trainer, and regional director.  Heather joined Cedar Crest Academy in 2013 as the Director of Curriculum Development.  As Director of Curriculum Development, Heather helped restructure Cedar Crest Academy’s elementary program to make certain Cedar Crest Academy’s students are achieving academic excellence through an individualized, academically rigorous program and are able to compete on an international level.      

As Cedar Crest Academy’s Executive Director, in addition to overseeing the elementary program, Heather will visit all campuses on a weekly basis, ensuring consistency and quality in curriculum implementation and that all preprimary programs are adhering to Cedar Crest Academy’s standard of excellence.  Heather will continue to hone in on Cedar Crest Academy’s Core Values and Mission, ensuring Cedar Crest Academy exceeds standards, individualizes programs, develops and embraces the whole child, and challenges students to believe in themselves and their limitless potential.      

Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Curriculum from the University of Victoria.  She adores spending time with her family and being active with her two children.  Skiing, cooking, and reading are just a few of her pastimes.