Preschool: Teachers

Mattie Hallett (she/her)

Preschool Director

Mattie encourages children to thrive through the exploration of nature, art, food, and self expression. She has spent the past four years as a full time infant/toddler specialist and teacher, while also attending and finishing grad school, running a bakery, performing in a band, and night nannying. If you can’t find Mattie in a classroom she is either in the woods, tending to her garden, on a stage, or in the kitchen (most likely accompanied by her 3 dogs). She was raised by two chefs, and a ceramic sculptor/professor at an international art colony where she learned the true importance of good food, the beautiful process of art, the necessity of diversity, and a love of community; all lessons she believes can be taught in a classroom. Mattie holds a B.A. in both Art History and Creative Writing, with focuses in film photography and playwriting, as well as a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education.

Marisa Faller (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Marisa explores life with a gleeful and curious attitude, thanks to her young students who consistently remind her of important things often forgotten about in adulthood. 
She is constantly doing something, whether it be singing and grooving, cooking and baking, exploring nature as well as worldly cuisines and communities, reading books that are oftentimes made into movies, and befriending animals to coo at them like babies. Marisa is a proud Vermont[st]er who received her BFA in Directing, Playwriting and Production from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Marisa is absolutely, positively over-the-moon to be at another school infused with the arts and is full of gratitude to the new pals at Davis for the chance to teach and grow here.

Chelsea Hendrickson (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Chelsea is an enthusiastic proponent of play-based learning that includes music, artistic expression, and scientific inquiry. She brings a fresh take on fun educational adventures as she seeks to explore the world through a child’s curious eyes and open heart. Chelsea focuses on building strong relationships by creating positive interactions between teachers, students, families, and members of our surrounding community. She creates a nurturing and inclusive environment to ensure diverse and equal opportunities for all learners. Chelsea’s skills have been honed through a variety of educational teaching experiences across the state of Vermont and also in Massachusetts and Florida. In her time away from work, she enjoys gardening  with her cat, Loki along her side, and with the loving help of her partner, Chris.

Simon Mauck (he/him)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Simon believes that we are all lifelong learners and that an inquisitive mind and enthusiastic exploration can get any student ready to discover. Simon is an art teacher and early childhood educator, with a passion for all things creative. He encourages students to ask questions and to use art and play to find the answers! Simon enjoys drawing from life, painting, and most of all, making pottery on the wheel. He lives in Burlington with his partner Sami and their three cats, Soba, Miko, and Salem. 

Brendan Rooney (he/him/they/them)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Brendan is a lifelong learner, tinkerer, and “what-if” thinker, and he loves being able to foster that same sense of discovery and wonder in the children that he teaches. He is a strong believer in the power of play, and in the importance of treating each child’s unique creativity with the respect and attention that it deserves. In the five years that he has spent as an early childhood educator in Vermont, Oregon, and Connecticut, Brendan has grown to appreciate and advocate for the importance of a child-driven curriculum, and is excited to find rich pathways for learning in the many interests of the children at Davis School. Brendan has a B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Purchase, and is always searching for new subjects to dive into. He loves to incorporate his own creative pursuits into his teaching – whether it’s music, sewing, crafting, gardening, or building, there’s always something new to explore!

Josie Slade (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Josie is a strong advocate for performing arts, play, and outdoor exploration in early learning. She believes that children thrive when they are offered the opportunity to be curious, creative, and collaborative. Josie has an extensive background teaching dance and movement in preschools, summer camps, and public schools. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at Champlain College, and also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Theater and Dance with a Virginia PreK-12 License to teach Dance Arts. Outside of work, Josie enjoys singing, playing the ukulele, spending time with her family and friends. She is so excited to be a part of both the Community School and Preschool classrooms here at the Davis Studio! 

Sugar (Jenny) Sugar (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Sugar encourages children to ask a gazillion questions, try new things, get messy, and make mistakes because that is how they learn and grow. She focuses on designing opportunities for each child to explore, experiment, and create. Sugar holds an Elementary Education degree with a concentration in Art from UVM. Additionally, she has been a yoga instructor for over twenty years. She taught preschool for five years and was also a puppeteer with Puppets in Education. Sugar took a break from teaching to pursue writing and become a mother. She is thrilled to be back in the classroom. In addition to teaching, Sugar loves animals and spending time in nature. She plays guitar, draws, sews, and bakes. She loves to make meaningful connections with students and their families while sharing her many passions and excitement for life.