Our Students

Preschool

Transitional
Kinder

Kinder

1st
grade

2nd
Grade

3rd
Grade

4/5th
Grade

At Primavera, we believe that each child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Primavera has a long and rich history of using a “whole child” approach to educating our students. A whole child education prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs to advance educational equity and ensure that every child reaches their fullest potential. A whole child approach understands that students' education and life outcomes depend upon their access to more profound learning opportunities in and out of school and their school environment and relationships.

Research and education practice confirm that a whole child approach to education will develop and prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow by addressing students' comprehensive needs through the shared responsibility of students, families, schools, and communities.

Preschool

Ages 3-5. Children must be potty trained.

At Primavera, we believe that children who are actively involved in their learning, through play and exploration, make good choices and take responsibility for their learning. We provide developmental materials for each child in our classrooms and encourage them to make choices and pursue their individual interests. Our goal is to help children become self-directed learners.

Our Preschool offers two distinct classrooms: a Montessori and a Reggio inspired community classroom environment where children are free to explore and engage with their environment based on their unique curiosities. Both classrooms incorporate child-led learning programs that follow each child at their own pace to explore their interests. Children engage in various weekly enrichment classes, including P.E., French, Spanish, and Music. The Preschool teachers present lessons of inclusion, cultures, planet care practices, language, mathematics, science with nature-based play to engage the whole child and encourage the lifelong learner in each child.

We emphasize social and emotional growth, where education is a natural process experienced by the child in a prepared environment with guides to independence and care of self and community.

Social-Emotional Development

  • Develop a positive self-concept
  • Verbalize their feelings to others
  • Demonstrate self-confidence
  • Respect cultural diversity, include families in classroom activities
  • Accept responsibility for maintaining the classroom environment
  • Demonstrate sound health, safety, and nutritional practices
  • Respect the personal space and rights of others
  • Demonstrate negotiation skills when working out conflicts
  • Demonstrate positive leadership skills

Fine Motor Skills

  • Develop coordination in their eye and hand movements (completing puzzles, building with blocks, bouncing a ball, drawing with markers)
  • Use small muscles for self-help skills (pouring, zipping, and buttoning)
  • Use small muscles to complete tasks (building, stringing, gluing)
  • Use scissors with control
  • Use writing and drawing tools with control

Cognitive Development: Math/Science

  • Demonstrate an interest in exploring
  • Make observations and discoveries
  • Apply information and experiences in new contexts
  • Recall events
  • Arrange objects in series (smallest to largest)
  • Develop a sense of time concepts
  • Make comparisons: more/less, larger/smaller, taller/shorter
  • Understand one-to-one counting to 10 and beyond
  • Recognize basic colors, shapes and patterns
  • Recognize basic repetition
  • Discriminate differences in taste, smell, and texture
  • Point to and name body parts

Physical Development

  • Run with increasing control over direction and speed
  • Climb up and down age appropriate playground equipment with confidence
  • Throw and catch a ball or bean bag
  • Use their large muscles for balance (on one foot, walk on tiptoes, etc)

Self-Help Skills

  • Manage hand washing, toileting, and personal hygiene with little or no assistance
  • Dress independently and make an effort at zipping, buttoning, tying shoes, putting on boots, and putting on jackets
  • Demonstrate table manners during snack and lunch times, passing food, setting the table, and pouring water from a pitcher
  • Demonstrate respect for the food choices of classmates and respond appropriately to differences of opinion about foods

Cognitive Development: Listening and Language

  • Identify different community jobs
  • Describe relationship of objects in space (inside, below, under, etc.)
  • Engage in pretend play
  • Follow simple directions
  • Use words to explain ideas and feelings
  • Create and retell stories
  • Participate in group discussions and show and tell
  • Learn to appreciate and care for books
  • Recognize and print first name
  • Recognize and write the 26 letters of the alphabet
  • Learn and recite their whole names
  • Recognize and write numbers to 10 and beyond
  • Be introduced to sound-letter relationships

Meet Our Preschool Teachers

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preschool rainbow

Camille Osburn

Camille enthusiastically joined the Primavera community as the Preschool Teaching Assistant in 2021. She graduated from Prescott College with a BA in Art and Human Development. Camille integrates her past experience and learning into the classroom. 

Camille has worked with children in many roles. She has experience as an elementary assistant, nanny, homeschool helper, art instructor, and camp counselor. 

Camille grew up in San Diego, California, but fell in love with Prescott as soon as she moved here for school in 2017. In her free time she loves to hike, make art with friends, dance, cook, and play with her pet guinea pigs, Sheila and Nibbles. She looks forward to getting to know each of her students and families each year!


Sue Stephenson

Sue came to Primavera in 2015. She loves the learning environment, the supportive staff, and wonderful families. She is excited to be in the Preschool Montessori classroom with its beautiful space and outdoor creative learning model.

Sue has 20 plus years of early childhood teaching experience in the Prescott area. Her credentials include a degree in Early Childhood Education, a certificate from the National Center for Montessori Education, National Geographic Teacher Certification and several other continuing education certificates.

Her goal is to guide children and enhance their joy of learning with discoveries of the natural world. Introducing them to the wonders of letters and numbers in a self-paced, nurturing environment that fosters the child’s inner need to explore the world.

Emmy VanUmmersen

Emmy came to Primavera in 2021 as an ESA tutor and Behavior Specialist. After several months she transitioned to a full time position in the preschool classroom. 

Emmy started her career as a nanny in college, and has worked with children in different capacities since 2006. She has a degree in Human Behavior from NAU, and has also studied community development and early childhood education. She has spent time working with challenging behaviors in behavioral health, working with foster children and their families, and as a private tutor for children with special needs. Emmy has consulted with schools to help bring strategies to the classroom to foster cohesion and educational success for all students. 

Emmy brings a passion for meeting children where they are and helping them to recognize and grow in their strengths. She guides from a whole child, self-driven and collaborative approach. Emmy is excited to join the Primavera community, as a former Penguin and daughter of Ms. Mia.


Amanda Ciampaglio-Garcia

Amanda has been teaching at Primavera since 2019. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies with an emphasis in Child Psychology from Arizona State University. She began teaching in 2013. 

Amanda’s biggest goal as a teacher is to let each and every student know that they are unique, lovable and capable of success. She enjoys communicating and connecting with her students on an individual and personal level. 

Amanda’s hobbies include doing art in a multitude of mediums, kayaking and working with the High School Youth Group at PCC. She is thrilled to be a part of the Primavera family and work among other brilliant minds!

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yellow grungepreschool group photo

Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

Ages 4.5-5

Transitional Kindergarten or TK is a school grade that serves as a bridge between Preschool and Kindergarten, to provide students with time to develop fundamental skills needed for success in a school setting appropriate to the student's age and development. Eligible children turn five by December 31 of the school year. This program aims to provide an extra year of growth for children to be developmentally appropriately challenged in preparation to transition successfully into Kindergarten the following school year. 

Play develops a child's physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. TK curriculum is a unique blend of learning play and structure, including daily center time to practice skills. Children have many opportunities for free and guided play as they grow in communicating with others, expressing ideas, and incorporating reasoning using language. They are beginning to represent thoughts and ideas using written symbols. Children also engage in various weekly enrichment classes, including P.E., Forest Exploration, French, Spanish, and Music. Using an integrated approach to cognitive development, children learn about themselves, their families, and their local communities. 

At Primavera, our goal is to help bridge that particular gap between Preschool and Kindergarten, to help make your child's transition as seamless as possible, all the while getting them "ready" to enter the Primary grades in school.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Develop and maintain a positive sense of self and rewarding relationships with others
  • Identify emotions and manage impulses and emotions
  • Follow the rules and meet expectations
  • Work in both independent and cooperative settings
  • Focus attention
  • Initiate and sustain peer play
  • Resolve social conflict

Language and Literacy

  • Develop both comprehension and collaboration by listening and speaking in the presentation of knowledge and vocabulary
  • Develop vocabulary with a variety and specificity of words, both simple and complex
  • Phonological awareness help students prepare for decoding new words
  • Concepts of print focus on appropriate book handling, convention, and the understanding that print carries meaning
  • Students begin to recognize their name and beginning sight words and start developing control in writing or drawing letters or shapes
  • Weekly literature-based themes

Mathematics

  • Recite numbers to 20, recognize and name some numerals, count up to 10 objects, and recognize that the number name of the last object counted represents the total number
  • Compare groups, understanding that adding or subtracting one changes the number, and combining two groups to make a larger group help students prepare for addition and subtraction
  • Sort and classify objects, duplicate patterns, and extend and create patterns
  • Compare the length, weight, or capacity of objects, ordering four or more objects by size
  • Identify, describe, and construct a variety of shapes
  • Identify the position of objects and people's relative positions

Meet Our TK Teacher

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Kelli Price

Kelli came to Primavera in 2020 as a co-teacher in our 1st/2nd Grade classroom. She came to us after a 10 year teaching hiatus and Primavera was the perfect fit. She loves Primavera School, the staff and the families. 

Kelli earned an AA in Early Childhood Development in the early 2000’s and spent the next several years teaching in a private school setting. She has experience teaching Preschool and Kindergarten programs. She took a break from classroom teaching when she began her family to stay home and raise her boys.

Kelli has lived in Prescott since 2009 with her husband and two sons. They love all that our community has to offer. She feels honored and privileged to be a part of your child’s early education. Her hope is to help children love to learn in a safe and fun environment.




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Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a magical time for children. They're still young enough that everything is amazing, but they're old enough to start learning in a more formal setting. Kindergarten is the first year of "real school," elementary school. In the formative years of Kindergarten, our students are offered opportunities to better understand the world around them through individual and shared inquiries. We nurture children's natural curiosity, imagination, and enthusiasm and ensure excitement is cultivated as each child grows and develops. At Primavera, our goal is to set a foundation for a love of learning for the rest of their lives. We strive to teach them to be kind to everyone, be confident in themselves, and succeed in all they do.

  • The requirement for Kindergarten is to be curious, exploratory, playful, and have lots of fun learning.
  • We explore the world around us using outdoors, nature, play, age-appropriate curriculum, and technology.
  • One of the more essential aspects of Kindergarten is conflict resolution and laying the behavioral, social, and academic skills for a successful education experience.
  • We lay the foundation for the reading, writing, spelling, mathematical, and scientific processes to be developed as they grow and move on in school. As a result, these students are well prepared for going into 1st grade no matter where they end up.
  • We use the Starfall curriculum, which encompasses all academic areas in the classroom. This playful, interactive program teaches reading and writing skills and content-area instruction in technology, social studies, and science.
  • The class follows the egg-to-chick life cycle, tracking their development and growth while we hatch chickens in the classroom.
  • Some of the themes we have fun doing and learning about are the lifecycles of plants and animals, holidays worldwide, different cultures and history, and community.
  • In Kindergarten, additional enrichment classes are added to expand their studies, including P.E., Music, French, Spanish, and Art.
  • We believe in teachable moments and a child's curiosity which drives what is learned in the classroom above any academic curriculum provided.
playing with dump truck
kinder penguin

Meet Our Kindergarten Teachers

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Tera West

Tera started at Primavera School in 2004 in the after-school program. She quickly moved into a teaching position in Preschool. She has had the pleasure of teaching both preschool and kindergarten. Additionally, Tera has led the Preschool program and subbed in all other classrooms. She has spent most of her years teaching kindergarten. Kindergarten is where she thrives and the age she most enjoys. Her students have a  blast exploring the world, learning about themselves, and, most of all, having fun!

Tera has her Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a certified teacher for children birth to 3rd grade. Her passion is natural science! Tera is a tactile and visual learner, and that is the way she teaches. She also has dyslexia, which provides her a different outlook on teaching and learning.

Tera was born and raised here in Prescott, AZ. She left for a short time to pursue her career in the military as an All-Purpose Vehicle Mechanic. After being stationed in California, Texas and Italy, Tera wanted to come home to be close to her family. Tera is a wife, mother of two daughters, teacher, photographer, artist, and the beloved caretaker of our Primavera chickens!



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1st Grade

First Grade is an exciting year of growth! We strive to help each first grader learn as much as possible, make healthy choices for their brain and body, be a kind friend and a capable learner. First graders are eager to learn new things, and they're curious about everything. Your students will go on new reading adventures as they begin to discover who they are as readers. They'll grow into confident writers sharing their own stories and become creative problem solvers and flexible thinkers in math. In first grade, additional enrichment classes are added to expand their studies, including P.E., Music, French, Spanish, and Art. Using a whole child approach, first graders at Primavera participate in community building activities to support their social and emotional growth.

kids planting garden
  • Field trips to local farms, library, fire department, and post office.
  • Trick-or-treating at the Veterans Hospital.
  • Learn about insects, safety, holidays, famous Americans, penguins, and farms.
  • Guided reading lessons and literacy centers incorporating phonics, comprehension, spelling, handwriting, written communication, and fluent reading practice.
  • Math includes daily group concept lessons, center games to practice skills, problem solving, and fact practice.
  • In first grade, students practice being caring learners and friends. We explore feelings, friendship, problem-solving skills, and more to help foster social and emotional growth.
1st grade logs

Meet Our 1st Grade Teacher

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Debbie Lynch

Debbie started teaching at Primavera School in 2013, and shas been teaching since 1994. She has taught in both public and parochial schools, and nearly all of her experience has been in the first grade. She also has experience teaching 2nd grade, kindergarten and reading remediation. Through it all she’s learned that she loves small, community-like schools and first graders! 

Debbie has her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from NAU and is a certified reading specialist. She believes education encompasses much more than academic learning. She guides students as they grow academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. She believes all students can learn and it is her privilege to help each student achieve all they can. She loves teaching, learning and the innate beauty of children. 

Debbie and her husband have 3 children, who are all proud Primavera Penguins! Outside of school, she love to read, garden, craft and spend time with her family.



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2nd Grade

Welcome to the wonderful world of second grade, where each child's competence, independence, brilliance, and natural curiosity are nurtured through experience-rich learning opportunities. Second grade is an exciting time for elementary school students! They are no longer the babies of the school, and they are starting to make meaningful connections with the world at large. Second grade is when students become more independent in their learning and application. They have mastered the basics and are moving on to more advanced topics. Second grade students at Primavera are supported with tools and strategies for them to explore and develop independence and individuality.

  • Child focused learning themes include maker/builder, favorite author studies, caring for the Earth, our beautiful brains, geology, animal habitats, clouds, growth mindset, cooking/nutrition, and more. Because they are child focused, new themes frequently emerge from the interests of the children.
  • Literacy centers and reading groups focus on reading comprehension, fluency growth, vocabulary building, spelling, and grammar. Writing is thematically and contextually based as well as standards-aligned. Handwork activities like sewing, weaving, the exploration of mixed media art supplies, and more are added into centers to encourage fine motor control, self-confidence, and regulation.
  • The math curriculum is built on engaging game and small group-based learning. Learning units focus on geometry, math fact fluency, double-digit addition and subtraction, and introductions to fractions and multiplication.
  • Cooperation, mutual respect, and kindness are key components of the second grade social-emotional curriculum. Every student is valued, in addition to striving to create a conscious community in our classroom each day.
  • In second grade, additional enrichment classes are added to expand their studies, including P.E., Music, French, Spanish, and Art.
classroom time
2nd grade dragon

Meet Our 2nd Grade Teachers

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Mia McShane

Mia has been teaching at Primavera since 2011.  She considers herself incredibly lucky to have taught Preschool, Kindergarten, and 2nd through 6th grades. She has been teaching in the 2nd grade classroom since 2021 and is excited to be co-teaching alongside Mrs. Adie! 

Mia received her BSED from NAU in 2012 and taught Integrated Technology to grades K-8 at Mingus Springs Charter School before landing at Primavera. Her teaching strengths lie in her varied educational and experiential backgrounds. This allows her to provide rich, creative, and exciting hands on learning opportunities. She believes the learning environment itself is a powerful teacher.

Outside of the classroom, Mia guides her own forest-based Preschool called The Hundred Acre Wood School. She is also growing a thriving online resale business. Her favorite self-care activities are nature rambles, reading, and drinking tea with milk and honey. Mia and her husband have thrived in Prescott since childhood and have four children; two of them former Penguins and three grandchildren, one a current proud Penguin.

Adria Matthew

Adria (Mrs. Adie) joined the Primavera family in 2012 when she came to us to complete her student teaching in the 2nd Grade classroom. From there, she worked on the Primavera team in Kindergarten and in 2nd Grade as an aide. She has been a lead 2nd grade teacher since 2015.

Adria was born and raised here in Prescott and attended local schools. The path to college took her away, where she began by studying creative writing and sociology in Oregon (at Linfield University), and completed her journey by earning her B.A. in fine art with a major in product design from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After completing her studies in art, she came back home to Prescott and later earned her teaching certification in elementary education from Pima Community College.

When she’s not in the classroom, Adie can usually be found in her studio where she works with materials ranging from wood and metal to textiles. She loves sharing in the creative process with her students, and finds that teaching is an ultimate design experience. Adie and her husband welcomed their first child into the world in 2020, and he is full of joy!



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3rd Grade

Children in third grade who have mastered essential reading and math skills are primed to build upon what they've already learned. Third grade students begin to move from concrete to more abstract concepts and understandings and look for explanations of how things work and why things happen as they do. Students make use of reference books and other materials and use third-grade math and science concepts to continue to explore the world around them. Third graders at Primavera begin to think more globally as they learn about the world beyond home and school and become interested in learning new things.

girls smiling
  • Hiking and native plant identification around Prescott.
  • Themes include Arizona, Geology, Water, Deserts, Changing Habitats, Native Tribes, and Early Civilizations of Arizona.
  • Field Trips to points of interest in and around Prescott enrich our history and science curriculum.
  • Community Outdoor Habitat project.
  • We use Manipulatives in Math for multiplication, division, multi-digit addition and subtraction, word problems, time, and geometry.
  • Enrichment programs such as P.E., E.E., Spanish, French, and Recorders are added to the weekly curriculum.
  • Students spend a great deal of time reading every day, including content-related texts in social studies, science, math, and independent reading time.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the writing process through reading, research, writing an outline, a rough draft, editing, and the final draft.
  • The social-emotional education curriculum is designed to facilitate student awareness and preparedness to interact in groups effectively and appropriately and confidence and conviction in their own moral and ethical choices.
3rd grade sun

Meet Our 3rd Grade Teacher

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Patricia Towne

Trish started working for Primavera in 2014, serving the school in many capacities since that time. After seven years working with both Pre-K and elementary students, Trish became the lead 3rd grade classroom teacher in 2020.

Trish has an Associate’s and Bachelor’s in Business and Marketing and earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Diversity in 2019. Prior to working at Primavera, her teaching experience includes 6 years being a Teacher’s Assistant in Preschool in Oklahoma and over 10 years of experience working and teaching people with varying abilities. She has a passion for helping all children realize their potential through exploration and hands-on learning. 

Trish and her husband have been a part of the Prescott community since 2011, and have enjoyed raising their four daughters, the youngest a Primavera Penguin. Outside of teaching, Trish loves to be outdoors! In her spare time, she likes to hike, bird-watch, garden, swim, and paddleboard. She and her husband are also veterans. Trish is thrilled to be working with such wonderful children, parents, and co-workers!


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4th/5th Grade

Fourth and Fifth grade is about finding our sense of place in the community and the natural world! Students practice deeper analysis and critical thinking skills with complex topics, making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between reading, thinking, and reflection. Fourth and Fifth graders continue to experience independent reading, small group literature study and read aloud. They develop their skills in reading both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students continue to extend, refine, and revise their skills as scientists by observing, predicting, categorizing, and organizing data they collect. Students at Primavera start to develop personal responsibility in these grades while preparing them academically for the rise to 6th grade structure.

  • Field trips to Prescott trails, parks, Performing Arts Center and Art Gallery, the public library, and historical sites. Overnight camping trips to areas of interest.
  • Science Themes (NGSS): Geology, Water in the West, Engineering, Robotics, Food Science and the Art of Cooking, Gardening, and Weather Monitoring.
  • Math: In teaching the AZ 4/5 Grade Standards, our curriculum includes: Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Measurement/Data, Ratios, Pre-Algebra, and Geometry.
  • History Themes: Colonial Times, Revolutionary War, Civil War, Ancient Civilizations, Greek Mythology
  • Writing: Students learn how to work through the writing process to complete persuasive, narrative, and expository writing projects that tie into a theme. They also go deeper into grammar, vocabulary skills, and literary elements.
  • The social-emotional education curriculum is designed to facilitate student awareness and preparedness to effectively and appropriately interact in groups and confidence and conviction in their own moral and ethical choices.
  • Reading enrichment – Quarterly Project Book Reports, a 40-book Reading Challenge, outdoor reading groups, and read-aloud with structured discussions.
  • Additional enrichment classes are added to expand their studies, including P.E., Music, French, Spanish, and Art.
4th grade mushrooms

Meet Our 4th/5th Grade Teacher

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Becca Pattis

Becca has a love for life-long learning and wants to share her experiences with her students. She grew up in Vermont with the wilderness and tight knit community. Becca moved out west and graduated from Prescott College in 2018. Becca majored in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Expeditionary Learning and a minor in Wilderness Therapy. 

Becca first discovered Primavera when she came to do her student teaching alongside Mr. Dan in 2017.  Primavera was the perfect fit for her to continue her education and implement creative and nature-based lessons. After her student teaching she joined the Primavera staff as a classroom teacher and has experience working in many of our grades. Becca has been leading the 4th/5th since 2020. 

Becca enjoys elementary grades because she can make a difference and provide a foundation for the rest of a student‘s educational career. She teaches science, math, language arts, and social studies in thematic, relevant, current and fun ways. Her class has an opportunity to play and study in Arizona’s own backyard and cover many themes. Becca weaves in camping trips, hiking, rafting, field trips, ropes courses, etc into the curriculum. She enjoys working at Primavera and being able to focus on the child as a whole.


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