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.  


Alyssa Binns Gunderson, B.A. Hartwick College, English, Women's Studies Minor; Teacher Certification, Wells College, English Language Arts, 7-12, Graduate coursework in Critical Literacy and Technology Literacy & Instruction

Alyssa has taught at Peachtown for nine 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.

Coordinator of Curriculum & Instruction, Upper Classroom Teacher

Bird CramerB.A. Wells College, Psychology; M.S. SUNY Oswego, Literacy Education, NYS Certification, Pre-K through Grade 6, Literacy, Birth through Grade 6  

Bird Cramer taught at Peachtown from 2001-2017 and is glad to be back in the vibrant community. She is passionate about Young Adult Literature, all kinds of theater, and most of all, putting great books into the hands of incredible children. 

Upper Classroom Teacher
Mary Ann VacaB.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.  

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.

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. 

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.

Ellen Wood Hall holds a B.A.  in French Studies from Agnes Scott College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature from Bryn Mawr College.  She has held several college level teacing and administration positions throughout her career and now teaches French to our 3rd-8th grade students.  She also spends her days growing dahlias, and participating in the Aurora Farmer's Market.