Because an education background is so important to our program, all of our teachers have extensive academic and real-world experience in the field. Lead Teachers hold bachelor’s degrees and several have their master’s. Most Assistant Teachers have their bachelor’s degrees, as well. All teachers are required to complete additional professional education hours annually, and all staff members are re-certified in First Aid and CPR every two years.
Orange Room (Toddler's Morning Out)
Leslie Bien, Lead Teacher, Mon&Tue
Leslie has been at Saint Stephen’s Preschool since 1998. She started her career as a Registered Nurse after graduating from the Richmond Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. Leslie worked in the medical field for several years before choosing to stay at home with her family. She and her husband have four grown daughters.
Christine Bordwine, Lead Teacher, Wed,Thurs&Fri
Christine has been teaching at Saint Stephen’s Preschool since 2005. She studied Elementary Education at Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining Saint Stephen’s Preschool, she was a substitute teacher for Chesterfield County Schools. Christine is a Richmond native, and she and her husband have two sons and twin daughters. She also raises puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Nada Golden, Assistant Teacher
Nada joined Saint Stephen’s Preschool in 2016. Originally from Alexandria, VA, she graduated from Sweet Briar College in 2002. Shortly after, Nada moved to Richmond and began working at Maymont doing fundraising and event planning. Nada has been involved with Saint Stephen’s Preschool since her two children began attending. She has served on the parents’ council, been room mother, and served as a substitute teacher.
Liz Morton, Assistant Teacher
Liz is a Richmond native. She graduated from Mills E. Godwin High and studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Working with children has always been her passion. She and her husband have a young son and live in Church Hill.
The Purple Room
Sarah Innes, Lead Teacher
Sarah joined Saint Stephen’s Preschool in 2014. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in French from Hamilton College and her master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She began her career teaching middle school in Charlottesville and then in Tampa, Florida. After taking some time to raise her three children, Sarah returned to the classroom as a substitute in the elementary grades at St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s schools here in Richmond, where she discovered a passion for working with younger children. Sarah’s children are Saint Stephen’s Preschool graduates and Sarah is a former parent volunteer and board member.
Amy Nelson, Assistant Teacher
Amy joined Saint Stephen’s Preschool in 2015. Originally from Connecticut, she lived on Nantucket for 25 years where she ran an in-home preschool, before moving to Richmond. Amy and her husband, Robert, have two children who attended Saint Stephen’s Preschool and are now in elementary school. Amy served on the Parents’ Council here for two years. She was also substitute teacher and taught enrichment classes before joining the permanent staff.
The Red Room
Blanche Bruns, Lead Teacher
Blanche was born and raised in RVA. Saint Stephen’s holds a special place in her heart because she attended here as a child. She graduated from St. Catherine’s and attended the University of Alabama, where she earned a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She taught in the Henrico County Public School System for 7 years. Her past teaching experience includes first, second and third grades. She also tutored privately for many families before joining us here.
Debbie Temple, Assistant Teacher
Debbie holds a degree in Special Education from Belmont Abbey College, with a specialty in Intellectual Disabilities. She has worked as a Director, Teacher, and Assistant in the Early Childhood field for the past 30 years in the Richmond and Powhatan area. The nursery school setting enabled her to work while raising her daughter and five sons. Her husband and she are proud grandparents of three.
Mary Beth Deutsch, Assistant Teacher
Mary Beth grew up in RVA, attended Richmond Public Schools, St. Gertrude, and then Virginia Commonwealth University. She and her husband raised four children, all whom attended Saint Stephen’s Preschool. During that time, Mary Beth served as a board member. They also had the privilege of hosting many foster children throughout the years. Mary Beth tells us, “The children were true examples to us of strength and courage. Our children learned the gift of unconditional love through these incredible children.”
5 Day Program - The Aqua, Blue, Green, and Yellow Rooms
Laura Nelson, Lead Teacher, Blue Room & Extended Day
Laura received her undergraduate degree from Longwood University and master’s degree from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the Saint Stephen’s Preschool staff, she taught at the elementary school level for 15 years. She came to Saint Stephen’s in 2009. She and her husband have two children, two cats, and a scruffy little terrier mix.
Whitney Thouron, Lead Teacher, Green Room
Whitney earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon College and her graduate degree in Elementary Studies from Wilmington University. Before coming to Saint Stephen’s Preschool in 2015, she taught in Florida and at St. Bridget’s School in Richmond. Whitney has three young boys, all Saint Stephen’s Preschool students and alums.
Marcie Moyer, Lead Teacher, Yellow Room
Marcie graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. Prior to joining Saint Stephen’s Preschool in 2006, she taught in the Richmond Public School System for seven years. Marcie and her husband have two young children, who attended Saint Stephen’s Preschool.
Nancy Drake, Assistant Teacher, Yellow Room
Nancy was born and raised in Richmond. She graduated from Collegiate School and Mary Baldwin College with a degree in Psychology. After college, she worked as a Social Worker. Then she was the Alumni Director and Auction Coordinator at Collegiate for seventeen years. She has also volunteered with The Virginia Museum, Meals on Wheels, Comfort Zone Camp, Call 12, and is still very involved with Full Circle Grief Center. Nancy and her husband have two children and four grandchildren.
Jen Woodward, Assistant Teacher, Green Room
Jen was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She and her husband have been in Richmond since 2002. Their son is a current Saint Stephen’s Preschool student and their daughter is at Mary Munford Elementary. She has her Early Childhood Education Certificate and has been working with children for as long as she can remember.
Jody Lester, Assistant Teacher, Blue Room & Extended Day
Jody has been working with children of all ages for the past 15 years. She is currently working toward her Early Childhood Education Certificate. She married her high school sweetheart and they live in the Museum District with their three cats and a tea cup Chihuahua
Paige Archer, Lead Teacher, Aqua Room
Paige earned her undergraduate degree in Art from the University of Alaska – Anchorage and her graduate degree in Special Education from George Mason University. Before joining Saint Stephen’s Preschool, she taught Junior Kindergarten at Collegiate and middle school math in Charlottesville and Alexandria, VA. Paige and her husband have a young son.
Preston created the Pop, Hop & Rock program in 2000 when her children were preschoolers. Her unique program focuses on creating opportunities for kids to hone fundamental strengths and skills that allow them to build aerobic, core and other foundational strengths proven to make kids better learners.
In addition to teaching kids, Preston has taught fitness classes to grown-ups since 1992. She is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Health Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Youth Fitness Specialist. Preston’s passion for wellness, nutrition and health drives her love for helping kids to develop strong bodies and brains.
Dawn Childs, Music
Dawn holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education/Educational Leadership from VCU. She is a licensed music teacher through the Commonwealth of Virginia, with certifications in PreK-12 Choral and General Music.
At VCU, she was a member of The Madrigalists, a soprano section leader in The Commonwealth Singers, and a flute/piccolo player for VCU Pep Band. Upon completing her degree, she enjoyed being the middle school choir director at Tuckahoe Middle School in Henrico County. She taught many more years as high school choir director at James River High School in Chesterfield County, where she also served as the performing arts dept. chair. Her current focus is early childhood music.