Vanessa Collett — Director
As a mother with kids in college, high school and preschool I understand the importance of those brought into your children’s lives and am honored to be one of those people. A co-op preschool provides a very special opportunity for the child, parent, and educator to work together in a community. It is a gift in my life to work alongside families to give our children a healthy foundation for the people they will become and the bright futures ahead of them.
I earned my B.S. degree in Human and Family Development and spent time working in both public and Montessori schools, as well as working with teen moms. These varying and rewarding experiences have brought me full circle to this amazing little school where I continue to find joy, adventure, and purpose every day
Dayna Casillas — Teacher
I am a recent graduate from California Polytechnic State University’s Child Development department. I have always had a love for children, but this love flourished when I was introduced to the University’s Preschool Learning Lab. At the Lab School I saw firsthand how providing a warm, nurturing, and play-based environment allows children to demonstrate their strengths and capabilities. Providing an environment that reflects children’s natural interests is the first step to fostering authentic growth and development. I also saw how crucial children’s early experiences are in providing a stable foundation for the rest of their lives. When I learned NHBCNS held the same core values, I knew I wanted to join the community. I am so excited to be a part of the team this year. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, going to the beach, and visiting with family and friends.
Danielle Vuksich — Teacher
Growing up in a small knit community really makes you understand the saying, “it takes a village”. I’ve always valued the importance of community and being as immersed in it as possible. Finding a home at NHBCNS has made that stand true in more ways than one. I discovered my passion for child growth early on in my education. As my studies through Orange Coast College’s Early Childhood Program continued, I was quickly inspired by the fact that children learn through their play and creativity. I am a firm believer in children immersing themselves in their environment and discovering the world all around them through an experience that is led completely by their own interests and goals. NHB offers a place for children to learn through play and their environment in all of the best ways possible. It is driven by the saying “it takes a village”, and people who put their love for the children’s benefit before all else, and being a part of this community is something that I truly cherish.
In my free time I enjoy being in and around the water, discovering places I have never been before, watching new TV shows, and drinking iced coffee.
Keri Boyd — Teacher
Growing up in Huntington Beach, I always felt a strong connection to my community. As a child, Huntington Beach was my home, and as an adult, it is the place that grounds me. Joining NHBCNS has only broadened and enhanced my sense of community as I get to know each and every family. NHBCNS has given purpose to my passion since I became involved with the school in January of 2015 and witnessed the power of play first hand. I graduated with my BA in Human Development with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California. This past fall I returned to Pacific Oaks to further my education and earn my Masters Degree in Human Development with a dual specialization in Leadership and Social Change.
Experiencing the power of community has led me to become an advocate for social justice. I believe that through respecting each other to our fullest capacity, we are brought together to form a more cohesive community and society. My biggest aspiration is to leave a positive imprint in the world through my work with young children, as Early Childhood Education proves to be part of the foundation for a better world we all hope to create. Literature is one of my true passions, as it had an everlasting impact on my own development. In hopes that the children might be inspired in the way that I was, I always search for opportunities to bring literature into the classroom. My current favorite books are Island in the Stream by Earnest Hemingway and Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.