Infant Lead: Ms. Benilda
Hi! I’m Benilda Guillen. I’ve lived in Utah for 21 years, but I am originally from Venezuela. My profession in my country was a nurse. I am married and have one daughter. In addition to working with infants, my passion is Early childhood education which creates a safe and loving environment for children. I have been working for St. Johns CCDC for seventeen years. In my spare time I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading, singing, and dancing!
Infant Co-Lead: Ms. Sandra
Hello! My name is Sandra. I have been the Floater Teacher since April 2018. I relocated from Massachusetts in order to be close with my adorable grandson and my children. I graduated from State University of Londrina in Arts in Brazil on 1986 and I was a Middle School Art Teacher for 6 years. Since I came to the USA 17 years ago, I have worked with children and their families. For 7 years I worked at a pre-school In Rhode Island as an Assistant Teacher for babies to toddlers. I have also worked in other various teaching or caregiver paths: Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School and childcare. I always wanted to be a teacher and I love to be around children, love to see them grow and reach their potential. I enjoying staying fit and active, biking, hiking and playing with my grandson and spending time with my family. I am grateful and happy to be part of your children’s lives.
Infant Assistant: Ms. Alishka
Hi! My name is Ms. Alishka. I am an assistant teacher for the honeybees and Rollie pollies. I was born and raised in Utah. I am currently on my junior year at the University of Utah and going to major in Family, Community, and Human Development. Working with families and kids is what I enjoy! I also love the outdoors like camping, hiking, hammocking, and much more!
Lead Toddlers: Ms. Tona
My name is Tona Little Doe Charley. I was born in Salt Lake City on August 25, 1989. I am of Native American descent of the Navajo tribe. I come from a family of four siblings of which I am the youngest. I graduated from San Juan High School in Blanding, Utah. I attended College of Eastern Utah for General Studies.
I am a proud mother of a two year old son, whom also attends St John’s. I enjoy working at St. John’s CCDC and especially love being the Rollie Pollie teacher because I treat every child in my class as my own. I relish in the opportunity to teach sign language to my students, doing arts and crafts and watching them grow everyday. I love reading books, playing board games with my family, and having a good session of Zumba dance. My favorite animals are cats, especially tuxedos. I appreciate my work at St. John’s because I am teaching our future generation and I am an integrated individual in our community.
Infant Lead: Ms. Laura
Ms. Laura has been a baby house teacher with St. John’s for the past two years. She has held a CDA for the past 9 years and has over 15 years experience with infants and toddlers.
Lead toddler: Ms. Jackie
My name is Miss Jackie Hernandez, and I am the lead teacher in the Hopper classroom. I enjoy working with the 1 1/2 year olds. And I am happy to be part of their lives at a time where they are beginning to develop their own personalities. As their teacher I want to show them the joy in learning by implementing art, dance, music, singing and reading activities that we spark their imagination,while giving them the freedom to express themselves. I also encourage group time with games that help the little ones become acquainted with each other and learn to cultivate relationships. But the most important thing is to teach them with, and about, love and respect so they can learn to treat others the same.
Assistant toddler: Ms. Eli
I have been working e for St. John’s about 8 years now. I currently care for 1 year old’s. I love teaching the children Spanish and doing projects with them. Working with 1 year olds is a rewarding experience, I love watching them grow, play, and learn”.
Lead 2’s: Ms. Denali
Hey! My name is Denali. I am a student at the University of Utah and working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. I love hiking and spontaneous adventures. I have two adorable nieces who I adore. I have a cat named Simba, who I am teaching to walk on a leash. I love working for St. John’s and having an excuse to do crafts all day long.
Assistant 2’s: Ms. Alisha
Hello my name is Alisha Harding. I enjoy the simple things in life and in my free time I enjoy this running with my dog, playing video-games, and practicing a vegetarian lifestyle. I’ve grown up with always surrounded with children and taking care of them, children have beautiful souls and deserve the world! I’m excited everyday to see their smiles and very lucky to watch them develop into their own person.
Lead 3’s: Ms. Becca
Ms. Becca has been with St. John’s for 3 years. She has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Utah. She has taught in many of our classrooms and found the perfect position has the Lead Caterpillars teachers.
Preschool Floater: Ms. Laura Edith
Has been with us since 2018 working with many of our classrooms and students. Laura is currently obtaining her CDA with UTah Care about Child care. She loves being able to sing and help the children create art in the classroom.
Lead Pre-K (4’s &5’s): Ms. Emily
Hello, my name is Emily Bryan, and I am a Dragonfly Lead Teacher here at St. John’s! I am originally from East Central Illinois and moved to Salt Lake City in August, 2015. I married my husband, Garett, in September, 2017. We love being active in this amazing landscape that surrounds us. We bike, hike, and backpack as we can. We also have a great love of film; local arts; and local food and beverages. Before moving, I worked nearly 4.5 years at a Montessori-based private preschool in Mahomet, IL. There, I spent almost 2 years as an assistant preschool teacher, and the remainder of my time as a preschool lead teacher (3- to 5-year-olds.)
Long before all of this, I grew up the daughter of a Christian Church minister and a bank teller. My parents still reside in Illinois. I graduated from Fisher High School in 2002, and I attended Lincoln Christian University for five years. My course of study there was Intercultural Studies with a focus/minor in TESOL. I also took some courses in Early Childhood/Child Development during my college years. I am currently in the process of attaining my Child Development Associate credential.
Along with my 7.5 years of experience as a preschool teacher, I also have worked with children through other various paths: babysitting, tutoring, youth group, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and weeks of summer camp. I love working with children! Being able to teach them and watching them learn and grow is one of my strongest passions in life. I believe in a good foundation of manners, etiquette, and respect. I really enjoy Montessori and Reggio teaching methods. I feel that they reinforce these qualities of character, as well as allowing children to learn in a self-initiated manner. I love developing strong relationships with my students and their families. I am always here for you and your child, willing to work alongside you every step of the way in his or her education and development!