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)
Christine Bordwine, Lead Teacher, Monday Tuesday Class, Wednesday Class, Thursday Friday Class
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.
Leslie Bien, Assistant Teacher, Monday/Tuesday Class
Leslie has been at St. Stephen’s Preschool since 1998. She started her career as a Registered Nurse after graduating from the Richmond Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She worked in the medical field for several years before choosing to stay home with her family. Leslie’s husband is Billy and they have four wonderful grown daughters and three son-in-law’s and a beautiful granddaughter.
PJ Kaye, Assistant Teacher, Thursday/Friday Class
PJ was born and raised in Greenwich, CT, right outside NYC. She studied Early childhood education at Mitchell College, in CT. She moved to Richmond in 2003 and has been working at Richmond area childcare centers and/or preschools even since. She is married with two young boys. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and spending time with her boys!
The Purple Rooms
Sarah Innes, Lead Teacher: 3-Day Classes-Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
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: Co-Lead Teacher/Assistant 2-3 Day Classes Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Classes
Originally from CT, Amy lived on Nantucket for many years where she was a personal assistant and met her husband Robert, a Richmond native. For over 10 years there, she ran my own day care for preschool age children. When Amy moved to Richmond in 2012 with their children, Henry and Charlotte, to be closer to family she fell in love with St. Stephen’s Preschool. When her children left for kindergarten from St. Stephen’s Preschool, she stayed to help teach some of our littlest ones in the Purple Room. She is currently working toward a CSC in Early Childhood Education.
Lead Teacher: 4-Day Purple Class - Tuesday - Friday
As an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, Susana studied foreign languages and attended The University of Normandie, in France and the University of Lisbon, in Portugal. After earning a degree in culinary arts and working for a number of years as a chef, she earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from North Carolina Central University. For over twenty years, she has taught children, preschool aged through Middle School. Originally from New York, she has a grown daughter who lives in Chicago.
Assistant Teacher: Tuesday - Thursday
This Sarah’s first year at Saint Stephen’s Preschool! She has a B.S. from Guilford College and a M.Ed. specializing in Special Education K-12. She grew up in Richmond, Virginia and have recently moved home from Charlotte, North Carolina. When in Charlotte, she taught preschool for 7 years at Christ Church Kindergarten and loved it! She is so happy to be back in a loving preschool! Sarah and her husband Rich have 3 daughters, one graduated from UNC this spring, one is attending UGA and one is at Collegiate. Sarah and Rich were married here at Saint Stephen’s Church! She enjoys reading, traveling, restoring furniture, exercising, and cooking.
Assistant Teacher: Fridays
Gwen is the assistant teacher on Fridays in the purple room. Gwen attended seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity. She was a Director of Christian Education for six years and then chose to be a stay at home mom. She is currently working towards certification towards Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Gwen and her husband Charles are so proud of our three daughters as they work toward college and master’s degrees. Our family enjoys organ music, sacred music, good home cooked food, growing herbs of all kinds, kayaking, walking together and books!
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.
Meghan Nguyen, Assistant Teacher
Meghan has children, three boys and one girl. Her youngest son, Ole, attends St. Stephen’s Preschool. She attended University of Memphis and has a degree in Education and Sport’s Management. She is a Personal Trainer, enjoy sports of all kinds, and worked at Fleet Feet here in Richmond. Meghan’s husband, Long, is in Dental school at VCU/MCV. She is so excited to be a member of the St. Stephen’s Preschool family this year!
5-Day Program: Aqua, Blue, Green, and Yellow Rooms
Ann Woods Byrne, Lead Teacher, Yellow Room & Extended Day
Ann Woods is a Richmond native and even a St. Stephen's graduate (from a long time ago)! This is her first year at St. Stephen's Preschool, and her seventeenth-year teaching. Most recently she was a Junior Kindergarten teacher at Collegiate School, but she decided to stay home last year after her son Cash was born. She has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Ann Woods is married to Rick and they have Cash who is 16 months old and two teenagers, Thomas and Laura. She loves going to the beach, taking bike rides and playing golf. She is so excited to be back at St. Stephen's and looking forward to a great year!
Mary Kay Douglas, Assistant Teacher, Yellow Room & Lunch Bunch Co-Lead Teacher
Mary Kay was born and raised in Annandale, VA. She attended George Mason University, where she received a degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. She moved to Richmond in 2004 and joined the St. Stephen's family in the Purple Room, after having her first son in 2005 she than became a nanny. Eight 8 years later she joined the St. Stephen's team again and had another son. She now lives in Glen Allen with her husband, Paul and two boys, Anthony and Carmine. She enjoys working in her yard, playing basketball with her son and spending time with her family. She has worked with kids since she was a teenager and feels truly blessed to be part of the St. Stephen's family.
Whitney Thouron, Lead Teacher, Blue 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.
Jelena Subotic, Lead Teacher, Green Room & Extended Day
Jelena taught preschool at the Virginia Commonwealth University Family Life Center for five years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Walden University. Jelena and her husband, Aleksandar, have three children - two boys and a girl. Their daughter attended St. Stephen’s Preschool last year and is not in Kindergarten.
Liz Morton, Assistant Teacher, Green Room
Liz was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Mills E. Godwin High School and studied English at VCU. Working with children has always been her passion and she is thrilled to be a part of the St. Stephen’s Preschool family. She is married to Matt and they have two children and a dog named Pepper. She is a huge VCU basketball fan, loves baking, crafting and family adventures.
Nancy Drake, Assistant Teacher, Aqua Room (Fridays)/Extended Day
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/Floater & Extended Day Teacher
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 & Lunch Bunch
Jody joined St. Stephen’s Preschool in 2012 and has been working with kids of all ages the past 15 years. She grew up in Virginia Beach, but attended high school and college in Richmond. She is a firm believer in the St. Stephens Way and enjoys helping the children to become independent adults. She lives with her Mike and cats/dog in the Museum District. She is a volunteer for Comfort Zone, enjoys baking, taking trips, being near the water and listening to live music.
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.
Mary Beth Deutsch, Assistant Teacher, Aqua Room (Monday-Thursday)
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.”
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
Little Shepherds-Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Sarah was born and raised in Richmond. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an interdisciplinary degree in Art History and Religious Studies. Before she had her first daughter, Sarah owned and operated a pottery business. During a week-long intensive summer training offered by St. Stephen’s Church in 2016, Sarah fell in love with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori inspired approach for presenting stories of the bible and liturgy to children. Sarah was invited to join the St. Stephen’s Preschool family in 2016 to lead the Little Shepherds program. She and her husband Peter have three daughters and the youngest attended St. Stephen’s Preschool.
Holly has been a parishioner of St Stephens Episcopal Church for 26 years. She is married to Tony and they have three children. A graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University, she was a in pharmaceutical sales for several years before deciding to be a stay at home mom when their first child was born. Since then she taught Wee Worship, Sunday School, and K-5 Science through Young Scientist. This year she will be the Music Teacher and Teacher Floater Monday through Friday. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running/walking, working in her yard and playing tennis.