Preschool Staff

Kimberley Bonder
Lead Preschool Teacher, Curriculum Program Coordinator
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I grew up mostly in Spokane Washington and sometimes in a small rural town,  Elma just west of Olympia. Both homes nestled outside of cities in the rolling countryside I spent most of my time playing in creeks, swimming in lakes floating down rivers and enjoying a very large close family.

After high school, I worked, played and attended college, moved to New York, meet my husband moved back to Washington State and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University in human development with a teaching certification in early childhood education.

I found Trillium while researching a democratic school conference being held in Albany New york.  I attended an open house and my children were accepted through the lottery in 2008. My children started their fourth year at Trillium this fall.

I began working at Trillium as a substitute teacher and when the opportunity to join the teaching staff arose, my teaching experience in preschool and kindergarten along with the larger community aspect of Trillium made this a perfect fit.

I believe that in order for human beings to reach their full potential we must have a sense of belonging. This is especially true for young children, their learning environments must establish a sense of wonder, nurture self awareness, allow risk taking, provide time to wallow, tinker, ponder, discover and create ideas about the world as whole and how they belong. I teach by a philosophy I learned back in teacher school…children are naturally curious and naturally playful. It is the tools we provide in early childhood classrooms  for “play” that create lifetime proactive learners. But mostly I agree with Bev Bos who said:   “We are so often worried about preparing children for the next stage, for the 3 year old will soon be a 4 year old, the 4 year old will become a  5 year old .  We must stop and look and prepare classroom for the child as a 3, 4 or 5 year old for they have ARRIVED.”

When not at Trillium, I love gathering with my family and friends, laughing, dancing, playing with my children, reading books and listening to songs I love over and over again.



Sara McWilliams
Lead Preschool Teacher, Administrative Program Coordinator
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I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio where the seasons are harsh and the folks are down-to-earth. As a child, I was an actor, a teacher, a violin and ukulele player, and a crafter. Guess what? I’m still an actor, a teacher, a violin (and now ukulele) player and crafter. I’m one of the rare and lucky few who got to be what they wanted to be when they grew up.  I have officially been teaching for over a decade and it feels good down to my toes: I’m constantly in awe of young children and feel the privilege and responsibility of working together each day. I attended Kent State University where I obtained a bachelor’s and promptly headed off to Los Angeles, CA. There I taught preschool, studied early childhood education, refined my jewelry-making skills, and got my second bachelor’s in “life on my own”. Thankfully, I passed. I married my college sweetheart, we moved to Portland, adopted two amazing dogs, and lived happily ever after. When not being enlightened by preschoolers, I can be found studying metal arts, performing with Playback Theater, (shameless plug: doing amazing work in the field of drama therapy, and trying not to let the Steelers drive me batty.


Mariya Block

Preschool Teacher

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Bio coming soon!