Curriculum Highlights for Pre K

  • Follows NC Foundations. Classroom/plans are arranged by learning centers.
  • Students learn through play.
  • Learning goals focused on social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, math, science, technology, social studies, and art.
  • Goal is for children to be successful, excited about learning, and focused on kindergarten readiness.

Meet the Pre K Team

Caring, Passionate Educators and Mentors

  • Diane Maxwell

    Pre-K Director

  • Sara Melendez

    Pre-K Teacher

  • Catie Russell

    Pre-K3 Teacher Assistant

Diane Maxwell

Pre-K Director

What is Mrs. Maxwell’s background?

She has an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Science in Kindergarten Education with a minor in Special Education. She grew up in the North Carolina sandhills region, about an hour from the beach.

Who influences and inspires her?

The 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctors (Doctor Who) and her beloved friends, Diana, Paula, and Marie, cancer survivors who never, ever gave up.

How does God play a role in Mrs. Maxwell’s life?

She had a major crisis of faith when her husband of 36 years died and she went through some really painful times. God never stopped holding her and carrying her through. 

What is something random we may not know about Mrs. Maxwell?

She has published seven books and has three soon to be released.

What is her most embarrassing or funniest moment?

Her husband proposed to her at a church dinner. He got down on one knee while she was seated. When she stood up to hug him, she bumped into someone carrying two glasses of iced tea. He tripped over his feet and dumped sweet tea and ice all over a lady who was like a grandmother to them both. Through dripping gray curls, she told Mrs. Maxwell, “I’m so glad I love you so much. I just got this perm yester-durn-day!”

[for the yellow section of bio] What is the most famous thing someone in her family ever did?

Her grandfather and father both received honors from President Jimmy Carter.

Sara Melendez

Pre-K Teacher

Catie Russell

Pre-K3 Teacher Assistant

What is Ms. Catie’s background?

Ms. Catie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Belmont Abbey College. She grew up here in Henderson County, where she liked to sing and dance. She was in the band and theater in middle school.

What are her hobbies?

Ms. Catie likes to read, do arts and crafts, play the ukulele, and do Zumba.

What is her favorite quote?

“Creativity requires boredom.” – Fr. Mike Schmitz

What is one of her funniest moments as a teacher?

“When I told my religion class that the sacrament of matrimony is when you get married, one child yelled out, “WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!”
  • Cristina Nieto-Lopez

    Pre-K4 Teacher Assistant

  • Lupita Aguillon

    Pre-K4 Teacher

Cristina Nieto-Lopez

Pre-K4 Teacher Assistant

What is Ms. Cristina’s background?

Ms. Cristina received her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She grew up in Hendersonville, where she was a major bookworm, loved the outdoors, and was very much into academics.

What are Ms. Cristina’s hobbies?

She loves hiking, reading, dancing, yoga, and Netflixing. 

What is Ms. Cristina’s favorite place?

Any body of water, especially the beach. A great mountain view comes a close second.

What does she love about teaching?

The creativity, imagination, and potential of each of her preschoolers.

What is Ms. Cristina’s favorite quote?

“The world doesn’t need what women have; it needs what women are.” – Edith Stein

What is Ms. Cristina’s proudest moment?

Receiving her DACA and being able to attend college. 

Lupita Aguillon

Pre-K4 Teacher

What is Ms. Lupita’s background?

Ms. Lupita has an Associates degree in early childhood education. She grew up in Hendersonville where she loved being on a jump rope team.

About Ms. Lupita’s family

She is married to a “superhero.” She has a two-year-old and an almost five-year-old.

What are her hobbies?

Ms. Lupita loves jumping rope, running (but has a hard time finding time), and doing hair.

What is something random we might not know about Ms. Lupita?

She teaches Mexican dances.

What is her favorite quote?

Never follow where the path may lead. Instead, make your own path and leave a trail.

What does she love about teaching?

Watching that spark and twinkle in their eyes.

Progress Monitoring: How do we know
your child is ready for the Next Step?

  • All students assessed for developmental readiness at enrollment
  • Daily observations made and kept in portfolios showing progress through writing and artwork
  • Progress reports used to share growth and parent conferences held in fall and spring to discuss student growth

Focusing on the fundamentals and differentiation of strengths to target math and reading foundations.

A safe environment for developing mature teens ready for the challenges of high school and beyond.

Leading your child on a successful educational path of inquiry-based learning and intrinsic motivation.

Ready to take the first step?

Fill out our online Application here.