Meet the Staff

Pictured: Cara Kovac, Debby Smick, Donna Cook Misner, and  Brook Steussy-Edfeldt

Bonnie Steussy, Founder, Director Emeritus

BA in Education, University of Puget Sound 1965; Certificate d’Etudes, Sorbonne, Paris, France, 1970; MAT Foreign Language Education, University of South Carolina, 1973; Certificate in Leadership Training/Adlerian Parent Education, University of Miami Medical school, 1974; TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Certification, Seattle University, 2011. Bonnie founded The Children’s Garden in 1977.

Deborah Smick, Lead Teacher

BA in English and Creative Writing, Stanford University 1975; Teaching credential and Masters level coursework in Human Development, Pacific Oaks College 1982; Orff certification 1996; TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Certification, Seattle University, 2011. Debby has taught at The Children’s Garden since 1983.

Brook Steussy-Edfeldt, Teacher

BA in a self-designed major combining cultural studies, communication and the expressive arts from Western Washington University, 2005; MA in Human Development with a specialization in leadership in education, Pacific Oaks College, 2009. Brook graduated from the Children’s Garden as a student in 1986 and returned to teach here in the fall of 2010.

Cara Kovac, Teacher

BA in Psychology, University of California, Irvine 1990.  Montessori Teaching Certificate from MEIPN Washington.  Cara has been teaching in Issaquah since 2006.

Donna Cook Misner, Operations Manager, Teacher

BA in Psychology, Education, MA in Education with a specialization in Special Education for gifted and challenged children, York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1984. Donna has been teaching at The Children’s Garden and working in the office since 2004.

Julie Spangler, Parent Education Specialist

Julie offers parent education courses through the year. She is a WA Licensed Certified Counselor and mother of four (all Children’s Garden graduates). Julie has been with The Children’s Garden since 1997.

Kathi Lightstone-Matanovic, Storyteller

Kathi trained as an actress at Los Angeles City College and is a well known Northwest storyteller and recording artist. Kathi has taught and shared her craft at The Children’s Garden since 2001.