Preschool Faculty

Baymonte Christian Preschool is run by a highly qualified professional team who are committed to Jesus Christ and to children. They meet all of the State of California requirements for education and experience. They are committed to helping every child reach his/her God-given potential in a caring, loving environment. The child to teacher ratio is determined by the age and personality of each classroom. Ratios never exceed state requirements; every staff member in the preschool meets state requirements as a fully qualified teacher.

Teachers from all three campuses meet regularly to lesson plan together. They also attend staff meetings and conferences together. Our goal is to stay abreast of current trends and practices in early education.

Each year we marvel at the longevity of our staff.


Each campus has a site director to oversee the day to day operation of the preschool. State requirements are met and exceeded by both of our directors.

Lisa Patterson

Lisa Patterson

Lisa Patterson is the Administrative Director for Baymonte Christian Preschools, and the Site Director for the preschool on Granite Creek Road.  She began working at Baymonte in August 1998 as a daycare provider and classroom aide while pursuing Early Childhood Education at Cabrillo College.  In 2000 she began working at the preschool as a co-teacher for the three-year-old and pre-kindergarten classes.  She graduated with an Associate degree for administration in Early Childhood Education in 2005.  She also helps to lead the Blessings Women’s Bible Study that takes place at Baymonte.  Lisa has been married for 31 years and has two beautiful daughters.  Both girls attended Baymonte from preschool through eighth grade.  In her spare time she enjoys taking walks, scrapbooking and spending time with family and friends.

Teri Esparza

Teri Esparza

Teri Esparza is the Site Director of Baymonte Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) and Infant/Toddler Center on Bethany Drive.  Teri was born in Peru, South America.  She has also lived in Puerto Rico!  She married her high school sweetheart, Steve.  They have three grown children and four grandchildren. Her children all attended Baymonte Christian School.  Teri began working at Baymonte in 1987 in the daycare program, and began substituting in the preschool the very next year.  That’s when she knew preschool was her passion and her future.  She returned to school to complete her Early Childhood Education and Administration classes to become a Preschool Director.

Roberta Handley

Roberta Handley

Roberta Handley is the Site Director and head teacher for the Twinkler and Sunshine class at Baymonte Preschool Too on Scotts Valley Drive. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Chico State University.  She had a career in the computer industry for over ten years as a marketing program manager.  In time, Roberta realized computers were not her passion and that children were!  She went back to school to become a preschool teacher.  She knows that working with children is where God wants her to be.  Roberta and her husband have three children who have all enjoyed attending Baymonte.  In her free time Roberta loves to swim, run, play racquetball and go to the beach.


Teaching Staff

Granite Creek Campus

Hannah Balliet feels blessed to have worked with children for the past 15 years as a preschool teacher, culinary instructor and now cooking for preschoolers here at Baymonte. Helping children get excited about nutritious food options is a huge passion for her. Hannah has created an award winning gluten free recipe for a national television show! When she is not creating yummy treats, she spends her time reading, watching movies, jogging and traveling in an R. V. with her two boys, husband and family pup Champ.

Heidi Rios joins Baymonte Preschool this year with a passion to find the key for each child that opens the excitement to learn.  Heidi grew up in the Santa Cruz area and attended Baymonte from kindergarten through eighth grade. She remembers her mom helping with the lunch program at Baymonte. She attends Cabrillo College majoring in Early Childhood Education.  Her hobbies include the outdoors, camping/backpacking, but also painting and cooking. She loves the joy on the face of a child when they learn something new.

Christy Kanawyer is a Baymonte Alumna.  She attended Baymonte from preschool through 8th grade. She completed an Associate degree with emphasis in Early Childhood Education in 2013. Christy has worked in special education for six years as a health aide. She and her husband Jesse have three beautiful children. Sydney is in second grade at Baymonte, Hailey and Bradley attend Baymonte Preschool. Christy enjoys hiking with her family, running, gardening and shopping! Her favorite thing about teaching is to see the smile on a child’s face when they learn and understand something new!

Heather Lemmon graduated with an A. S. degree in Early Childhood Education in 2005.  She teaches the pre-kindergarten children.  When her son began preschool years ago she knew she wanted to join the Baymonte team, all the way back in 2000.  She loves the feel of family and community that Baymonte offers parents, students and staff.  Teaching children has always been the passion of her life.  She grew up watching her mother work with children, so teaching comes naturally to her.  Heather is married to Jarrod, who is a Baymonte alumnus.  They have two children, Ian and Emily, both of whom attended Baymonte. She loves going to the gym and walking with her friends and her dog.

Gail Smith came to teach preschool with a science background. She has been involved with educating children about their environment for many years. She worked as an Interpreter (environmental educator) at Henry Cowell State Park. During summers, she directs the Nature Studies at Camp Redwood Glen in Scotts Valley. Her job at the preschool allows her to combine her two passions: a love of children and teaching about God’s creation! Gail received her Bachelor degree in English from Bethany University and studies Early childhood Education at Cabrillo.  She has two adult children and one adorable granddaughter.  She loves watching children become enthusiastic about learning and helping to guide them in that process.


Preschool Too

Denise Tinkess spent ten years working in the action sports industry, doing sales and marketing for the companies of Billabong, O’Neill and Sessions.  After having her children, Nathan and Desiree, she realized that she really wanted to work with children.  She went back to school to earn the Early Childhood Education units required to work with preschoolers.  She loves the adventures and wonderful insights that each day brings working with young children.  In her spare time she loves spending time with her family, running marathons and enjoying the great outdoors. She loves to see things in a fresh way through the eyes of the children she teaches.


Early Childhood Learning Center

Mandy Arzouni has been teaching at Baymonte Preschool for three years.  She has an Associate Degree for Administration in Early Childhood Education.  She attended Baymonte from preschool through eighth grade and now feels God has called her back to Baymonte. She has a heart for missions and following God wherever He might lead her. Her favorite time spent with the children is on the ground, playing and teaching God’s love.  She feels very blessed to be a teacher at Baymonte.

Abigail Brown recently began working in the Baymonte Infant/Toddler Center. She has a passion for children and for following Jesus. Abigail attended Cabrillo College majoring in Early Childhood Education and units specifically for Infant/Toddler Care.  Abigail has three children, all attending Baymonte.

Amy Fair graduated with an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education in 1998. She taught infants through pre-kindergarten from 1996-2000 and then took over as director from 2000-July of 2015. She and her family moved to Scotts Valley from Turlock in August and joined the Baymonte family. Amy is thrilled to be assisting in the Twinklers class at the ECLC campus. She has a genuine love for children and a desire to build a secure foundation for their educational future. She and her husband Jeremiah have two boys who attend Baymonte. Amy enjoys early morning runs and the Oakland Athletics! She looks forward to many years with Baymonte.

Kimberly Miller has enjoyed working with children ranging in age from preschool through high school. But, she will tell you preschoolers are her favorite!  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible and Physical Education at Pacific Christian College. Her previous job was working with preschool special needs children at Brook Knoll. Kimberly is married and has two children at home.  She loves sewing and craft shows, serving at GateWay Bible Church, playing softball with her husband Paul and supporting her daughter’s sports interests.

Renee Norlin feels blessed to be a teacher at Baymonte Christian Preschool.  She has a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Baymonte is the perfect place to put her skills into practice.  Renee loves playing with the children at Baymonte. She also enjoys developing relationships with the parents. She and her husband stay busy with their two little girls. They love to travel, spend time with friends, and discover all the great spots to take children in the area!

Katie Rylander thoroughly loves teaching.  She is enthusiastic about providing a creative and safe environment for children to explore the world around them.  She has been teaching since 2006.  She claims, “I have learned as much as I’ve taught.”  She received her Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and believes teaching is the vocation God has called her to. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, Ben. She enjoys time outdoors, dirt biking and traveling in the RV. She loves watching a child in the “ah ha” moment, that moment when they connect with the concept being taught. She also loves talking with the children, “They have some great things to say.”

Laura Sondreal attended Baymonte from 3rd through 12th grade!  Laura credits her teachers at Baymonte for challenging and encouraging her faith.  She loves the heartbeat of Baymonte; enthusiastically loving God and serving others.  Laura began teaching preschool at Baymonte in 1994.  She attended Cabrillo College where she studied Early Childhood Education. She has specific training in developmental testing for kindergarten readiness using the Gessell Institute Assessment.  Laura has two children, both of whom attended Baymonte.  She loves gardening and walking on the beach and she is an accomplished musician. Her favorite thing about teaching is the wonder of children seeing the world for the first time. Their insight and perspective remind her of the words of Jesus, “Come as a little child.” Laura sees everyday as a new adventure!

Dawnella Stewart will tell you that children are her joy in life!  She has been working with children for more than 25 years both here in the U.S. and in Africa as a missionary.  She has completed all requirements for Early Childhood Education teacher status and several courses in psychology.   “Children around the world have one thing in common, their eagerness to love and learn.”  She and her husband have raised five children.  She considers herself blessed to have a job that she is so passionate about.