Pat Sefton, Director
Pat joined the Co-op in 2007. She comes to us after a devoted 22-year stint
as Director at University United Methodist’s preschool. She is a
recipient of AAEYC's Mabel Pitts Award in recognition of her
contributions to the lives of young children and families. Pat received
a Bachelor of Science in Education at University of Texas Youth and
Family Services. From her inaugural year at our school Pat showed
patience, dedication, openness, joy, humor, and leadership style that
fits with the Co-op.
Emily Vorspan, Teacher
Emily has been with the Co-op since 1995. She teaches our 2/3-year-old
classes. Emily grew up in New York and graduated from George
Washington University in Washington D.C. where she receive a Bachelor
of Science in Education. Her teaching background includes work with
children in special education settings, conducting Music Together
classes and teaching dance to children and adults.
Susan Beth Sloan, Teacher
Susan joined the Co-op staff in 2009, and she teaches the two and three year-olds. Susan has a B.S. in education from the
University of Texas at Austin and taught second grade in AISD for four years before the birth of her daughter.
Susan and several friends created a small in home Co-op when their children were toddlers. "Our Little School"
was a wonderful experience and adventure. Susan has worked as a freelance photographer in the past and enjoys all
outdoor activities, especially riding her bikes.
Nadia Traietti, Teacher
Nadia has been with the Co-op since 2005. She teaches one of our 4-year-old classes.
Nadia grew up in Massachusetts. Upon graduating high school she worked
in the Boston area with neglected or abused children who had been
placed in residential care. Nadia specialized in Early Childhood
Development for her undergraduate degree. She also holds a
Master’s in Elementary Education from Texas State University.
Before coming to the Co-op Nadia taught at Child’s Day, the ACC lab
school, Habibi’s Hutch Preschool and third grade in AISD.
Maaike Worde, Teacher
Maaike teaches our 4/5-year-old class. Born and educated in the Netherlands, Maaike is
a certified preschool and kindergarten teacher. She has worked as a
teacher in Holland and as a teacher, administrator and social worker in
Botswana, Africa. She assisted villagers in starting educational
programs for young children. She also served on a government committee
working to develop national childcare policies for Botswana. Maaike has
been with the Co-op since 1995.
Tom Maher, Assistant Teacher
Tom grew up not far from Nadia in Winchester, MA. At age two, Tom made his first big
splash when he poured a can of Sherwin William's interior latex on his parent's new couch.
His strong motor skills started to emerge when his baby brother arrived and, as we are told
with gusto were frequently demonstrated on the newborn. At age four Tom lit his mattress on
fire while playing with matches under the bed. Age five brought the first of many emergency room
trips after he jumped, head first, off the bed onto the corner of the trundle underneath. Eventually
he learned to drive, went to college, graduate school, and taught elementary and middle school
in Austin for several years. He even got married and has two daughters at Gullett Elementary.
He still loves to play with fire (supervised, of course), food, and dress up.
Kerry Drake, Atelierista, and Director’s Assistant
Kerry has a dual role at the Co-op: she is the assistant to the Director and
the school’s Atelierista. In our adaptation of the Reggio Emilia
approach, Kerry works with small groups of children of all ages, using
a variety of materials to help them express their ideas. Collaboration
with teachers, observing and documenting the children’s learning
process, and sharing that with parents informs Kerry’s work. Kerry can
also be found in the office continuing to support parents, teachers,
and the director. Kerry has been a dedicated staff member since