Michele Beach

Executive Director/Parent Education
As a parent myself I know how difficult it can be to decide where to start sending your child to school. In fact the first time my husband and I discussed possibilities for our son’s education I was shocked when he suggested we should consider home schooling. I had a wonderful experience in public schools and just assumed that my children would do the same, so I was surprised to hear that he thought it might not be the best approach. Since that conversation I have learned a great deal about the current trends regarding standards-based education and how desperately our children need a more hands-on approach.  I now understand how much children can learn by experiencing the world directly and through relationships with others. This knowledge, along with my teaching and parenting experiences, has helped me to believe that it is possible to create an educational environment that invites children to be passionate about life and learning.

 

Qualifications: 

B.S. Computer Science, Stanford University, 2000

M.A. Educational Psychology, University of Colorado Denver, 2007

Early Childhood Education Teaching License

Director Qualification, Colorado Department of Human Services

 

 

 


 

Michele Craig Leonard (Mitch)

Assistant Director /Parent/Board Memeber

I received my BA in Sociology and Gerontology at Colorado State University in 2007. Go Rams!  I was grateful to be introduced to Patchwork, were all people regardless of age, are agents for change when they engage critically and compassionately with the world. I then got my Masters Degree in Educational Psychology from CU Denver and teaching certifications from The Friends School Teaching Program in Boulder. I love sharing in the discovery and delight of learning with children. I live in Louisville with my husband, Jesse, and my sons,Thacher and Huxley. I have worked at Patchwork for 7+ years wearing many hats from substitute to Program director to administration. My sister, Heather, works at the school as well and I am excited to again be my niece and nephews teacher this year. Our family is very appreciative to the Patchwork community and all the love and support we receive. 

 

 

 

Jason Swick

Support Teacher/After Care Teacher

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Jason began working with young children at an early age. He gained experience working in various childcare facilities and summer programs for multiple years. This is where he developed a passion for both education and counseling.

Jason graduated from Fort Lewis College in beautiful Durango, Colorado, with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education, and K-6 teacher licensure. Eager to combine his knowledge of teaching, with his strong interest in counseling and the outdoors, Jason moved to Oregon to work for Dragonfly Transitions. Dragonfly is a transitional mental health program for young adults, seeking assistance with life skills, emotional stability, substance abuse, and other related treatment issues. Jason worked as a mentor assisting clients with setting goals, facilitating daily routines, and by supporting each individuals therapeutic process. He is thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn and grow as a professional, while working hands-on with young adults. After two years of working in the mental health field, Jason was eager to get back to working with children in an educational setting.

Jason has now been a part of The Patchwork community for four years.  He has worked in the K12 for multiple years and now has been the schools support teacher for two years, working in all programs supporting both students and staff at Patchwork.  He is now living in Boulder with his wife Cassie and is enjoying being close to family, friends, access to outdoors, and the Colorado lifestyle.   

 

"You have brains in your head

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

Any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go." - Dr.Seuss

 

 

Paige Berry

Toddlers Lead Teacher

 Paige was a theater major at UNC-Greensboro when she developed a strong interest in sharing theater with young children. Soon after college she joined a traveling children’s theater tour in which she performed and led theater workshops for elementary students throughout the Southeast. The joy, the laughter, and the inspiration she experienced, through sharing and engaging in creative, dramatic exploration with children, sparked her interest in early childhood education. Not too long after this experience Paige moved to Boulder to pursue her Master’s in ECE. Through the Boulder Journey School teacher education program and Cu Denver, Paige earned her Masters and became a licensed ECE teacher. Paige is continually inspired by the sheer joy, excitement, curiosity, and wonder with which young children explore the world. Paige sees children as natural learners who deserve time and space to play, explore and discover. Paige believes in supporting and extending children’s thinking by offering experiences, which are open-ended, play-based, child-directed, and connected to children’s interests. Paige seeks to offer children multiple languages of learning through which to express their ideas, and is particularly passionate about incorporating creative movement, music, and drama into experiences. Paige is absolutely thrilled to be joining the Patchwork community!

 

 

 

 

 

Cassie Swick

Preschool Lead Teacher

I am more than thrilled to be joining the Patchwork community!
I am originally from Centennial Colorado, where my love for education began shortly after my little brother was born when I was fifteen. I graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2011 with my degree in Elementary Education, and over two thousand hours of teaching experience. From there, my now husband, Jason and I, spent a summer as canoe guides at a camp in Ontario, Canada. We traveled on to southern Oregon, to a small town called Klamath Falls. I first began my early childhood experience at a private school in Klamath in a preschool classroom, and then continued to teach kindergarten at the same school. We moved back to Colorado, and then to Lafayette, in 2013, so Jason could begin his exciting new job at Patchwork, and I could begin teaching preschool at The Primrose School of Lafayette, where I gained two more years experience as a lead teacher. Outside of our passion for teaching, Jason and I enjoy spending time with our wonderful friends and family, hiking with our furry friend Leo, backpacking, camping, music and concerts, skiing, and tending to our garden.
I believe it is a teacher's job to facilitate in the growth of their students with an open heart and mind, and I believe there is no better place, community, or school to do so! I look forward to meeting you at Patchwork!

 

 

 

 

 

                    

Heather Craig

Communications, Finance and Registration/Parent

I am a Colorado native originally from Glenwood Springs. I moved to Boulder in 1999 and have been here ever since. I have been part of the Patchwork community as a parent for 5+ years and I am thrilled to now be part of the staff. I have an associates of arts degree and I have worked in many different office environments. I have been a CSR and Accounting Controller at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport and I have worked at the Public Defenders Office in Golden.  I found Patchwork though my sister, Mitch who was my daughters toddler teacher. I stayed home with my kids for the 6 years and I couldn't imagine entering back into the working world anywhere but at Patchwork, a community that has supported my family in every way. My daughter , Amelia is in her third year in K-12 and my son, Logan will be in preschool with my nephew Thacher.

 

                     

                                                                                         

 

 

 

Cha Cha Spinrad

Preschool Teacher

I work in early childhood because I love being present for children as they build skills that lead them to become their autonomous, curious, compassionate selves! After working at Homestar in Boulder for five years, I took on a regular closing shift at Patchwork in January 2017. I join Patchwork’s preschool team in April.


I am excited to be a part of Patchwork! I believe that if people of all ages can learn to get along with each other and make decisions together to benefit communities, we can heal many societal wounds. My interests include social justice, biking, music - I play guitar, some violin, and sing, often at school, building with blocks and found objects, cooking vegan food, writing - I am on the editorial board for the Daily Camera and have written (but not published) a few children’s books, local politics, and cooperating - in addition to working for Patchwork, I helped start a food co-op, am a credit union member, and live in a housing co-op.

 

 

 

 

Olivia Bonney

Preschool Teacher

Olivia is originally from Albuquerque, NM where she grew up in a big family. Her mother owned an in-home child care program so she was raised helping care for children. As an adult, Olivia has been dedicated to working with children in a variety of settings including; public schools, preschools, afterschool programs, and most notably at the Brooklyn Free school and Lumiar School in Brazil, both democratic/free schools. Olivia developed a passion for student directed learning while living in New York and working at the Brooklyn Free School. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art from Brooklyn College and incorporates art in all aspects of her teaching. Patchwork has become an integral part of Olivia's life with both of her children in attendance in the K-12 program, she is excited to join the team as a regular teacher after having been a substitute for 2 years. 

 

 

 

 

Jammie Speyer

Preschool Teacher

Jammie loves learning, exploring and growing and is thrilled to be a part of The Patchwork Team. She is the mother of three amazing children who are her greatest teachers. Jammie grounds herself in a strong yoga practice, and enjoys teaching prenatal and family yoga in her community. She loves hiking with her family, watching the History channel, and is a budding foodie. She has a BA in Communication and an MA is Sociology. Jammie lives near Boulder with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

Claire Bruno

Toddler Teacher

Growing up in Denver, I spent my childhood swimming in the deep end, playing “Little House on the Prairie”, and exploring every puddle and rabbit hole in City Park. My imagination is still strong and I get excited about bringing it to the classroom every day!  I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with degrees in English and Creative Writing. My love for literature has fostered an investigative curiosity and an ever-evolving attention for detail.  In my spare time I enjoy rearranging my room and seeking the thrill of a good find at the thrift store. My favorite poet is Frank O’Hara and I love exploring the library on a snowy day. I believe that empathy and kindness can stretch beyond immediate obstacles in order to make a better world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Culture of Caring For Each Other

As adults who are responsible for the care, wellbeing and education of young children, we believe that we first have to take responsibility for ourselves and our impact in the world.  If we want to have a culture of love and forgiveness (we often call this compassion) among the children at our school, we must first create such a culture among the adults.  So, to this end, we have a culture of caring among the staff at our school.  We model how we love each other, how we have disagreements and how we can listen to and learn from our differences.