The Patchwork Board

We are a non-profit democratic organization that operates on consensus!

Consensus decision making means that within each Circle of Responsibility (see the diagram below) each participant must consent to any new ideas or proposals in order for them to become enacted.

So for the children, if someone proposes going to the park for the day every person must give a thumbs up or else the conversation must continue.  They may all agree to go, some may make a plan to go elsewhere with another teacher, or they may decide to plan a park trip for another day!  Whatever we decide, there are no winners or losers.  They must think critically to solve the problem in a way that works for everyone.

This is the most amazing learning environment for kids!  The freedom they have to make choices and learn the way they naturally do is the most precious thing a child can get out of a school. They get a sense of self -worth there!


We use this same process with the adults, meaning that if a new proposal is suggested by a board member, every member must give a thumbs up or the conversation must continue.  Our staff actually hires itself using this model – with every person in the hiring circle having input on every person’s salary, position, and hours until we all agree.  It is important that we practice using democracy so we understand how the children feel.  Not enough shovels in the playground for them feels a lot like figuring how to divide up salaries for us!

We also believe that it is important that we maintain a non-profit status to ensure parents, donors, and the community that our primary goals are not centered around finances, but on creating an exceptional learning environment for people of all ages.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to get in touch with a board member or are interested in applying!

Org Chart & Circles of Responsibility

Patchwork Circles of Responsibility

Executive Committee: vision holding, day-to-day functioning of the school, including Budgeting & Finances, Hiring, Policy-making, Staff Development, and decisions about any exceptions.  EC includes all Program and Administrative Directors.
Teachers & Staff: curriculum, environment, student well-being, program specifics, parent communication.
Board of Directors: outreach, fundraising, gathering parent and community input, staff support, events
Parents: learning, supporting each other, communicating, asking for help when needed.
Children: learning, playing, creating relationships, finding appropriate challenges.

[My boys] are so inquisitive which I credit to the way Patchwork supports them in exploring subjects of their choosing.

Parent & Board Member 2010

Community Partners

As a nonprofit, serving families in the Louisville and surrounding areas, we are continuing to grow, and we want to have a wider impact and connection with our community. Besides offering high quality education and child care for young children, we are continuing to enhance our community offerings such as parent workshops, educational trainings, and community outreach events.

See all our partners here. Please contact if you are interested in partnering with us!

Meet our board…

Jammie Speyer

Board President, Staff Member

I am a mother of three, a yoga teacher, and a forever student. Learning is my passion and my work at Patchwork provides opportunities for continued growth everyday. I couldn’t be more grateful to work alongside your children as they begin to explore their own relationship with learning, community, and the world around them. 

BA, Communication, Colorado State University

MA, Sociology, New Mexico State University

You can also find more information about Jammie on our Staff page and contact her at

Hilda Hoitink

Board Vice President, Parent

Heather Craig

Board Treasurer, Staff Member, Parent

“Because of Patchwork my family is stronger and more connected than I believe it would have been. Patchwork has fostered compassion, understanding, and communication within my family. It has helped us all see each other and ourselves in renewed and positive ways.  We can see each other as individuals.”

Associate of Arts Degree from Aims Community College
6+ Years of Finance and HR Experience (4 at The Patchwork School)
8 years of experience as an involved parent at The Patchwork School

You can also find more information about Heather on our Staff page and you can contact Heather at

Kelly Frey

Board Secretary, Parent

“When my child was first beginning school, it was really important to me to find a place that aligned with our own family values, practices, and passions since he would be spending so much time there.  I believe strongly in learning through exploration and experience as well as trust in and respect for even the smallest of children to help make decisions and have a voice in the conversation.  My experience with Patchwork is that all the children are offered these opportunities on a constant basis.  The philosophies behind Patchwork truly match the environment created daily at the school and to me, that authenticity is highly valuable!  Patchwork is a very special place and our family’s experience with the school has been so rewarding and profound that I am so excited to serve on the Board of Directors.”

BA Environmental Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2009
MA Resilient Leadership (formally Environmental Leadership), Naropa University, 2011
Authentic Leadership Certificate Program, Naropa University, 2011

Michele Beach

Board Member, Staff, Parent

“As one of the founders of The Patchwork School, I continue to be excited each year about all that I learn from this incredible community. Teaching in this environment with an emergent curriculum that is continuously evolving allows me to see the world through the children’s eyes, reminding me to stop and notice the wonder all around us. The other day, with the support of the Kinder students, I even got up the courage to hold a cockroach in my hands… I never know exactly what will arise each day! I also love that every person at Patchwork is valued in their wholeness, with whatever feelings and needs arise, as we continue to emphasize the importance of social/emotional wellness for students, staff and also parents.”

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University

Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver

Master’s Degree in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

You can also find more information about Heather on our Staff page and you can contact Heather at

Patrick Lacz

Board Member/Parent

Melissa Donner

Board Member/Parent

Kelley Stuhlemmer

Board Member/Parent

Patchwork has provided a safe and nurturing space for our children to explore and discover their true selves. I am forever grateful for the respect and support that our family has received. Through Patchwork’s mission of compassion and understanding, we have been given an invaluable experience and the environment to grow together. 

M.S. Health Informatics and Data Analytics, University of Denver, 2022

B.S. Nutritional Science, Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2018

You can contact the board via email:

School Committees


Our fundraising committee works together to plan and coordinate fundraising activities over the course of the year. This might include fundraising dinners at restaurants, product sales, etc. This is an opportunity to get creative. If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact

Community Building

This committee works to bring opportunities for connection outside of school hours. Examples include playdates, group camping events, workshops, and other social events. If you enjoy getting to know other parents and families, and extending a friendly hand to new community members, this is the group for you. Please contact if you are interested in joining this committee.

Teacher Appreciation

At Patchwork, we strive to support and recognize our teachers for the love and compassion that they put into their work each day. Members of this committee help celebrate teachers around holidays, teacher appreciation week, and the end of the year. If you would like to help pamper Patchwork teachers and staff, please contact