Our Teachers

Peachtown Staff

Peachtown encourages cooperative learning for its students and cooperative teaching for its teachers and administrators.  We work as a team and often pull from each other's experience and expertise.  The result is a tight knit and highly cooperative community of learners.  

The Peachtown staff is comprised of full time, part-time and adjunct teachers.  Staffing is adjusted to accommodate the current student population with the goal of maintaining a 6 to 1 student/teacher ratio.  The Lower Level classroom generally houses grades pre-K - 3 and the Upper Level classroom houses grades 4 – 8.  Each of these classrooms has a lead teacher and may utilize part-time or full-time teaching assistants as enrollments warrant.

Peachtown teachers are hired based upon their talent for teaching.  New teachers are mentored as they develop their skills in the classroom.  Proven teaching ability and the academic rigor of their educational experience is valued above teacher certification.  Due to the nature of the curriculum, teachers must be researchers and learners.  Teachers may or may not hold state licenses.

Lower Level Math Teacher

Alyssa Binns Gunderson, B.A. Hartwick College, English (20th Century American Literature), Women's Studies Minor; Teacher Certification, Wells College, English Language Arts, 7-12

Alyssa has taught at Peachtown for eight years.  She brings an array of administrative and community action experience and taught high school English early in her career.  She is passionate about education and is grateful for to the opportunity to foster the curiosity and excitement that children bring.

Upper Classroom Lead Teacher

Mary Ann Vaca, B.A. Warren Wilson College, Intercultural Studies, Sociology Minor; Child Development Associate Credential Training, Arcturus Teacher Training, Healing Education and Remedial Training

Mary Ann comes to us with 30 years of teaching experience in grades 1-7.  She is passionate about travel, and enjoys incorporating art, music, and drama into her classroom.

Lower Level Classroom Lead Teacher

Michele Lawson, B.S. LeMoyne College, Psychology; M.S. SUNY Cortland, Education, NYS Certification, Pre-K through Grade 6, Literacy, Birth through Grade 6

Michele has worked in childcare for more than 20 years and has been teaching in both public and private school settings for 12 years.  Michele brings a lot of energy and patience to our program.  

Upper Classroom Math Teacher
Janelle Miller

Adjunct Teachers

Peachtown has adjunct teachers in the fields of Reading Recovery, Art, Dance, and other subjects, as needed.  Weekly swim instruction and the After School care program are staffed with Wells College students.

Jeanne Hearst is a Reading Recovery Specialist.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education, an M.A. in Language Arts, and received her NYS certification in Corrective and Remedial Reading.  Jeanne has been teaching reading recovery to children and adults with great success for more than 40 years.   

Cathy Mullarney is a Music Educator with over 35 years of experience in General and Choral Music Education.  She has a B.M. in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam and a Masters in Music from Youngstown State University, as well as Level 1 certification in Orff-Schulwerk, a music education approach dedicated to creative music and movement for children.  She is a practicing flutist with the Auburn Chamber Orchestra and does her best on the piano, ukulele, and recorder. Cathy is also especially fond of her ongoing work as coordinator of the San Pedro Sister Community project. 

Marilyn Post is an Art Educator who holds a B.A. from Wells College in English and History.  She spent 33 years as a Senior Counselor for at-risk youth and completed an extensive amount of graduate coursework in the Fine Arts, Education, and Special Education at Syracuse University.  Marilyn has served as a docent at the Everson Museum for the past 14 years, where she gives tours and leads outreach programming for all ages.   She's also a regular participant in a figure drawing group in her spare time.  

Sonjia Turner has been working in the fields of child care and early childhood education for more than 20 years . She currently teaches STEAM along with Writing and French to our Lower Classroom.  Sonjia holds a B.A. from SUNY New Paltz.  She also leads a Friday enrichment program called "Creative Academy".  In addition to her time at Peachtown, Sonjia volunteers at the Hazard Library and is the Head Teacher at the Aurora Preschool.  

Nica Weeks holds her B.A. in Art Education from Nazareth College. While raising her two children, she continued painting, both personal and commissioned work. She was inspired by the Savannah seashore on Tybee Island, where her work was gallery shown. She also has worked as an interior decorator and home stager. She is enjoying her return to the classroom.