Meet Our Goddard Family

Our expertly trained and experienced teachers and staff blend the highest standards in early childhood education and development with nurturing care to help your child have fun while growing physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.

Careers

If you want to help shape the hearts and minds of young children in a fun, nurturing environment, we’d love to have you work with us! We’re always looking for great teachers to join our family.

Check Out Our Job Listings

Warm, Nurturing & Highly Trusted

Learning happens best in a warm and nurturing environment, which is why our teachers take the time to make sure your little one feels safe and cared for every day to help them develop a lifelong love of learning. 

Expertise & Skills

Our caring teachers are highly experienced in the best methods to support your child with teachable moments of exploration, discovery and learning each and every day. 

  •  Mikaela and Hank

    Mikaela and Hank

    Owner
    Hank and Mikaela relocated to the Asheville area in 2016 from Athens and Atlanta Georgia. While living in Athens, Mikaela earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Master of Art in Early Childhood Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She spent the past twelve years teaching in public schools and the last five she has been serving the families and children of Asheville City Schools. Hank holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Leeds School of Business at The University of Colorado at Boulder. He has experience in owning, managing, and operating small businesses. He has spent the last 8 years working in Textiles in addition to gaining valuable business experience as a board member. Hank and Mikaela are proud to be opening a Goddard School in the wonderful community of Asheville (Biltmore Lake). They are committed to providing the highest quality preschool experience for the children in this community.
  • Mrs Bridget

    Mrs Bridget

    Director
    Bridget Owen has over 30 years of experience teaching preschool in Buncombe, Transylvania, and Henderson Counties. She began working as the Center Director for the Goddard School in 2021 and is earning her Master of Education in Leadership and Administration. Bridget believes that children are individual learners who work at their own pace and need a consistent routine in a safe and nurturing environment. She truly feels that the most important thing is to provide children with an opportunity to learn through a play-based approach with age appropriate, developmental activities. Bridget lives in Brevard with her husband, youngest daughter, and two chihuahuas. They have twenty grandchildren and love to visit the beach! In her free time, Bridget likes to read and spend time outside.
  •  Jessica

    Jessica

    admin/Curriculum Coach
    Jessica Prevor is the Curriculum Coach for the Infant and First Steps classrooms. Ms. Jessica joined our team in December of 2022 after moving here from Iowa with her partner, Josh. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a special education endorsement. She has many years of experience including practicum classes, nannying, and student teaching. She has wanted to work with kids since she was in kindergarten and specializes in babies ages 6 weeks to 15 months old. Ms. Jessica loves seeing a child’s excitement when they learn something brand new, as well as expanding upon pre-existing skills. She has three cats: Milo, Clark, and Violet and loves spending time outside, reading, putting together puzzles and Lego Modulars, and playing board games. Ms. Jessica is very excited to work at Goddard with our kiddos!
  •  Kimberly

    Kimberly

    Curriculum Coach
    Kim Young is a Curriculum Coach for our two-year-old and bridge classrooms and has been working in childcare since 2007. She has worked in church nurseries, nannied, and in childcare centers before joining the Goddard School in February of 2023. Ms. Kim earned her MBA from the University of Mt. Olive. She believes all children grow and learn at their own pace and learning should be fostered through play. In her free time Ms. Kim likes to read, hike, fish, and spend time with her wonderful husband.
  •  Michelle

    Michelle

    Infant
    Michelle Blair is the co-teacher of our Infant Room and provides excellent, individualized care for our smallest learners. She was born and raised in Asheville and has over four years of experience in early childhood education. She is working diligently to earn her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and her Infant/Toddler Childcare Certificate. She has worked in child care centers and church nurseries caring for infants and preschool aged children. She loves watching the children grow and develop, which happens so quickly in infancy! Ms. Michelle began working at the Goddard School in the spring of 2022 because she was open to new opportunities and growth for herself. She has two sons and a daughter, as well as a Walker Coon Hound and a Shitzu. Ms. Michelle enjoys reading and painting ceramics in her free time.
  •  Estefani

    Estefani

    INFANT
    Mrs. Estefani Jimenez is from Rhode Island originally. She decided to move to WNC two years ago when she purchased a home and could stay with her son/be closer to her parents. Estefani was a nanny for over a year and volunteered in a church nursery. She believes that early childhood education is the most important stage in a person's life. Children want to be heard and want to learn! Mrs. Estefani joined our team because she heard only positive feedback and wanted to work somewhere she'd love for her own son to attend, a school with a similar philosophy as her own. Her family consists of herself, husband, son, lizard, and Frenchie. When she's not at work, Estefani is always making time for family outings and home renovations.
  •  Alexis

    Alexis

    Infant and Toddler Support
    Alexis Hoyle was born and raised in Old Fort, NC and is the assistant teacher in the Toddler classes. Before joining the Goddard School in May of 2022, she worked as an intern in a preschool and with children at summer camp. Ms. Alexis is pursuing her NC Early Childhood Education Certificate and is passionate about working with young children. She loves bonding with each child and observing the positive impact of her interactions. In her free time Ms. Alexis loves to spend time with her family and go fishing or spend time outdoors! She is grateful to be developing her career with the Goddard School and getting to know each family in her care.
  •  Michelle

    Michelle

    Toddler 1
    Michelle Nelms is the Toddler 1 Lead Teacher. She grew up in Weaverville, moved to Memphis for nine years, but returned to Asheville due to her love of the mountains. She joined the Goddard School in April of 2022 after hearing about its wonderful educational environment. Ms. Michelle has been working in licensed childcare facilities for 23 years with newborns to 2 year old children! She believes that children learn best through play and has a 23 year old daughter of her own. Ms. Michelle is currently attending graduate school to earn her Master’s degree in Social Services. Additionally, she has a Bachelor’s in Human Services with a concentration in Family and Children services, and she has an Associate’s in Psychology. When Ms. Michelle is not caring for your little ones, she enjoys a variety of hobbies including: photography, spending time in nature, and making jewelry.
  •  Corrinne

    Corrinne

    Toddler 1
    Ms. Corrinne Andrews, who goes by Rin, is from Winston Salem, North Carolina, but moved to Asheville at 10 years old and has been here ever since! She is new to childcare but has watched family members before. She finds children’s way of thinking interesting, and she loves to watch their imaginations at play. Rin lives with her mom and three cats and loves music and fashion. She is excited to start her career in childcare and watch the children learn and grow around her.
  •  Lindsay

    Lindsay

    Toddler 1
    Ms. Lindsay Altizer grew up in Northwest Ohio but was recruited to play tennis at Brevard College. Since college, she has moved around a lot, but the mountains have always felt like her home. Lindsay has her master's degree in counselor education/ school counseling from the University of Alabama. Ms. Lindsay finds that working with children has always been her calling and purpose and is grateful to have been a nanny for families with infant and toddler-aged children. She has also worked with older kids as a camp counselor, tennis instructor, intern, high school tennis coach, and director of student engagement at Brevard College. Ms. Lindsay believes it is a great honor for her to be a part children's early, foundational years. It brings her joy to experience the curiosity and exploration of our young learners. Lindsay had a great feeling when she interviewed her felt this was not only a great center to work at, but one she felt excited and comfortable bringing her own son to!
  •  Krista

    Krista

    Toddler 2
    Ms. Krista Caldwell is from the Asheville area and has returned to Goddard to resume her position as the lead Toddler 2 teacher. She has just graduated with her associate degree in early childhood education in May! Ms. Krista has worked in childcare since 2009, and has various experiences from her aunt's preschool, three-year-old's, and toddlers. Krista loves watching toddlers learn new things each day by playing and communicating and believes that consistency is key! She has returned to Goddard because of our close-knit community and environment. She loves the small classroom sizes as well as getting to form relationships with the families. Ms. Krista has been married since 2017 and has a 15-year-old son. She loves being outside, traveling, camping and kayaking.
  •  Daidrian

    Daidrian

    TODDLER 2
    Daidrian Elliott has been working in child care since 2018 and has experience with ages one through three. She joined The Goddard School in June of 2022 and now floats in the one- and two-year-old classrooms. She went to Asheville High School where she played basketball, ran track, and worked in the on-site childcare center. Ms. Daidrian, or Ms. D. loves seeing the different personalities and skills of the children she teaches. She is excited to help them grow and teach them something new every day. For fun, Ms. D likes to go shopping with her little sister or go to the movies with her cousins.
  •  Rhonda

    Rhonda

    Toddler 2 and Two's 1 Support
    Ms. Rhonda Hattar is joining us to support our toddler teachers. She has lived in many states but returned to North Carolina when her children were in high school. Rhonda has had various experiences stemming from a volunteering position at her children’s school, which turned into a teaching job for Pre-K 2 through second grade. She also substituted through 12th grade whenever needed, provided summer care, and helped in a church consisting of all ages. Her most recent involvement was in another childcare program, with ages varying from six months to four years. Ms. Rhonda enjoys caring for others and watching their excitement grow as they learn. She joined the Goddard School because she had heard we were well known for caring for our students! She has two adult children, and four cats, and enjoys reading and working with children.
  •  Audry

    Audry

    Twos 1
    Audry Wallace is the lead Twos 1 teacher and has been teaching at the Goddard School since March of 2022. She has 4 years of experience teaching in early childhood education centers and studied Human Services at Montreat College. Ms. Audry has earned the Early Learning credential and loves working with children. In her free time she enjoys reading, swimming, and playing board games with friends. Ms. Audry is looking forward to helping children learn and grow during their time at the Goddard school.
  •  Crystal

    Crystal

    Twos 1
    Crystal Hernandez is the Twos 1 classroom assistant teacher. She started teaching at the Goddard School in August of 2022 shortly after moving to Asheville from Florida. Ms. Crystal has five years of early childhood education experience in multiple centers working with infants through two-year-olds. She loves to talk to them about new things and hear them relate to new information. Ms. Crystal’s students always have fun singing, playing, and reading with her!
  •  Casie

    Casie

    Twos 2
    Ms. Casie Hogan is originally from Texas and relocated to Asheville just over a year ago because of her love of the mountains. She has experience in a 12–18-month-old classroom, assisted in a third-grade classroom, and ran an in-home daycare for two years. Ms. Casie's favorite part of working with young kids is helping them understand and express their emotions. She finds it very fulfilling to be able to help guide children through their blooming personalities. Casie has two children of her own, a four-year-old and a nine-year-old, as well as two cats and a dog. She is currently focusing her free time to learning and developing her skills in pottery. Casie loves each child like they are her own and believes open communication and a team-based view are keys to a successful classroom.
  •  Tonya

    Tonya

    Two's 2
    Miss Tonya Pence was born and raised in the area and has worked with children in various settings from babysitting, taking care of her own children, and supporting them during sporting events. Her favorite part of working in early childhood education is seeing each child's personality shine and watching them learn new skills as they develop. Tonya joined our school because of the amazing things she heard about us, as well as her hopes to broaden her teaching experiences. Miss Tonya has been married since April of 2010, and has two children: an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old, as well as one cat named Zorro. She loves the outdoors; frequently venturing out with her family to hike and bike. Her kids also play softball, baseball and basketball, and Tonya loves crafting in her free time.
  •  Hanna

    Hanna

    Bridge
    Hanna Rhoades joined the Goddard School in September of 2022 as Get Set’s lead teacher. Hanna has an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She was an assistant teacher in a two year old classroom for two years before joining the Goddard School, and is committed to creating a safe and fun environment for children to learn. Hanna is excited to teach the enriched curriculum and work in a high quality setting. She has a toddler of her own and values her family above all else. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family and beagle pup. Ms. Hanna is so excited to work with your children and make a difference in each of their educational journeys!
  •  Jake

    Jake

    Bridge
    Mr. Timothy Britt, who goes by Jake, is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, but came to the area as a college coach. He has a bachelor’s in business administration from Life University and has worked with children in athletic camps and church settings. Jake’s favorite part of early childhood is the opportunity to help children learn and grow. He joined our school because of our amazing staff and an opportunity to start his career in early childhood education. Mr. Jake is married, and they are expecting their first child in May. He also has five dogs: Addie, Pebbles, Lip, Peach, and Beanie). Jake loves the outdoors, and spending time with his family and dogs.
  •  Caroline

    Caroline

    Bridge and Two's 2 Support
    Ms. Caroline Herring is from Wilmington, North Carolina, and relocated to Asheville in 2023. She has a bachelor's degree in fashion and entrepreneurial studies, has worked in a fitness daycare, and has nannying and babysitting experience from 6 weeks to 12 years old. She believes that each child is unique and special in their own way and must have an enriching learning environment where they can grow mentally, emotionally, and socially. Ms. Caroline joined our school because of our values and philosophies. She has two older sisters, a border collie named Pacino, and a brown lab mix named Aurora. She likes to walk her dogs and decorate her home, as well as journaling, music, and the beach. She has the skillset and the acumen to provide care and always keep a safe environment, while also creating positive communication styles. Caroline always works hard and will give her best to make it the most enriching and wonderful experience.
  •  Benjamin

    Benjamin

    Preschool 1
    Mr. Ben Hanson just moved here from Minnesota in March. He visited North Carolina with friends, and they all loved it so much, the entire group moved here! He graduated from Principia College in 2022 where he majored in Educational Studies and Sustainability, with a minor in Sports Studies. Ben spent two years working at an Outdoor Education Center, as well as just under a year at another childcare facility before joining our team. Mr. Ben bases a lot of his educational philosophy off Maria Montessori and John Dewey. He believes that the main goal is to foster a love of learning about the world and everything in it. He found Goddard to have lower ratio of students to teachers, thus giving teachers even more time to focus on their kiddos. He loves all animals and in his free time likes to photograph flowers and sunsets. He is also a big Minnesota sports fan. Ben looks forward to watching children grow and learn, and he is excited for this new experience.
  •  Sydney

    Sydney

    Preschool 1
    Ms. Sydney Johnson is from Cary, North Carolina, but has been in Asheville for college at UNCA since 2017. She has a bachelor’s in psychology from UNCA where she focused on developmental and abnormal psychology. Sydney has been working with kids in some facet since she was a teenager in various positions from youth camps, gymnastics, special olympics coach and has worked with kids between 2-17 years old. Ms. Sydney believes early childhood is the most important time in our lives! When we learn how to have healthy relationships and attachment through learning how to set and respect boundaries. She joined our team because she loves working with kids, especially when they’re just learning how the world works! When she isn’t at work, Sydney spends time with her partner, dog and cat, coaching special olympics gymnastics, and enjoying music and art.
  •  Mikhaila

    Mikhaila

    Preschool 1
    Ms. Mikhaila Berkman moved here from Miami in September of 2023 because she always wanted to live in North Carolina. She has worked with kids her whole life and has spent the last three and a half years in an early education school in Miami. Mikhaila has other experience in summer camps, nannying and babysitting. She is interested in Reggio-Emilia, child-led instruction and joined our school because of her interest in our “F.L.E.X” philosophy. Ms. Mikhaila has two dogs, Clark, and Ray, and likes hiking, golf, hanging with friends and her dogs.
  •  Valerie

    Valerie

    Preschool 2
    Ms. Valerie McKinney is from Washington state but has lived in the area for one year now. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, and a certificate in Early Childhood Education. Valerie has three years of experience in different roles such as Head Start, co-op preschool, Christian daycare/preschool, Sunday school, and as a paraprofessional in a public school. She loves how children learn so much every day and have those "lightbulb" moments when they understand something new. She has joined Goddard because of our hands-on learning style and the importance of our families. Valerie loves hiking and the outdoors, arts and crafts, and her dog Rusty.
  •  Skyler

    Skyler

    Preschool 2
    Ms. Skyler Whitaker is from right here in Asheville, North Carolina. She has an associate degree in Teacher Preparation from AB Tech Community College and is continuing education for her bachelor’s degree. Skyler has experience as a nanny for five years, babysits, and helped in a church nursery. Her favorite part of working in early childhood is being able to see her students learn and grow. She chose The Goddard School because of our environment and teaching styles. She has two animals, a golden doodle named Bently, and a cat she rescued named Rue. She loves reading books and being outside/doing outdoor activities. Ms. Skyler has always known she wanted to work with kids and can’t see herself doing anything else!
  •  Alessandra

    Alessandra

    Preschool Floater
    Alessandra Penland was born in Colombia, South America and moved to the USA about 30 years ago. She has worked for Asheville City Schools and in numerous licensed childcare centers for over 20 years, as well as raised two children of her own. Ms. Alessandra works in the Preschool classrooms with the three-year-old students. In her free time, she likes to grow vegetables and cook with them in dishes like sancocho, beans and rice, and many others.
  •  Marie

    Marie

    Pre-K 1
    Marie Sexton started teaching in Pre-K 1 in June of 2022 and has since earned her North Carolina Early Childhood Education Credential to become the lead teacher. Additionally, she is pursuing an Associates in Early Childhood Education and intends to obtain a master’s degree in the future. Ms. Marie has previously fostered children, worked as a vet tech, and moved all around the country before returning to settle down in Asheville. She has four dogs, two cats, and fosters animals for the Asheville Humane Society. In her free time Ms. Marie loves traveling and taking photographs.
  •  Emily

    Emily

    Pre-K 1
    Emily Glover is a Colorado native who moved to Asheville from Denver, where she was working at another Goddard School as an assistant teacher. Ms. Emily is an assistant teacher in Pre-K 1 and she joined the Goddard School of Asheville in June of 2022. She has nine years of childcare experience in a wide range of ages having worked as a teacher in before and after school programs, a camp counselor, a nanny, and a preschool teacher. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, playing with her puppy Maisie, and sewing. She's so excited to be here and spend time with all of your awesome kiddos!
  •  Julianna

    Julianna

    Pre-K 2
    Jules Tollett joined the Goddard School in January of 2023, and is currently out Pre-K 2 teacher. She taught preschool for six months before joining the team, but otherwise younger children are a brand new experience for her. Ms. Jules originally started her career in mental health, mentoring at a therapeutic boarding school for teenagers. She moved from Georgia to Asheville in 2020 and enjoys weekend adventures with her partner. Her hobbies also include reading, writing, and playing with her cat, Bea. Ms. Jules has found her passion working with young children and is looking forward to getting to know all of the families in her class!
  •  Brooke

    Brooke

    PRE-K 2
    Brooke Davis is joining us a Pre-k 2 support teacher. She grew up in Ohio and moved to the area a year ago because she and her husband love exploring the mountains. Ms. Brooke has a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Franklin College. She also has experience babysitting and working in another center for five years with 2–5-year-olds. Her favorite part of working with children is getting to witness as, little by little, they develop their own personalities and interests. Brooke was drawn to this role because she finds working with kids to be uniquely fulfilling-no two days are ever the same! Her favorite things to do outside of work are reading books on her front porch, writing, drawing, and crafting. Ms. Brooke is very excited to be working at our school and is ready to help guide children through their formative years.
  •  Jacob

    Jacob

    Pre-K Support
    Mr. Jacob Hankley is from Chicago but has lived in Asheville for 17 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied education studies from NC State University and has experience in elementary school’s before and after school care as a group leader. Jacob finds that being present in these critical years of development is very fulfilling and important. Mr. Jacob joined Goddard because of its top-quality infrastructure and teaching staff. He is the third of four children in his family and enjoys building computers and going to the gym.
  •  Linda

    Linda

    Pre-K Support
    Ms. Linda Leenhouts lived in California for 45 years, New York for 20 years, and now resides in North Carolina! Her experiences vary from teaching 3–4-year-olds for four years, teaching fifth graders for twenty years, being a parent, working in camps, and traveling with students for annual field trips to Yosemite. She has a teaching credential from Chapman University and has a BA in Liberal Arts. Linda finds that all children are different, and we need to educate the whole child. We need to listen and make sure each child feels safe while improving their skills and learning new things. Ms. Linda joined our school because of our professionalism and strong ethics. She has a son, daughter-in-law, two beautiful grandchildren, and a cat named Luca. Other than teaching, Ms. Linda enjoys being outside, hiking, biking, and knitting.
  •  April

    April

    Kitchen
    Ms. April Coughlin has lived in North Carolina her whole life. She has worked in childcare for four years, with ages varying from 6 weeks to 12 years old. April also has driven school buses, planned summer camp field trips, after school activities, and worked in a school’s kitchen. She loves watching kids grow and learn and was excited to get back into working in a school! Ms. April has two children and loves to travel and do crafts.
  •  Alexis

    Alexis

    SUBSTITUTE
    Alexis Lavoie moved from Georgia to Asheville a year ago to study to become a paramedic. She has experience babysitting and has completed an early childhood education course to prepare her to teach preschool. Ms. Alexis believes kids are a joy to be around and inspirational in a variety of ways. They also keep you on your toes! She joined the Goddard School in January of 2023 as an assistant teacher in the Get Set room. When she is not teaching, she enjoys hiking, drawing, and spending time with her dog and 3 cats. Ms. Alexis is used to a high paced environment being the middle of seven children!
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