Mr. Tommy has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from Oregon State University in 2003. Tommy's passion for art and craftsmanship gave him five years of management experience at a bronze sculpting foundry. His entrepreneurial visions and passion for children's creative expression led him to the building of Kids in Action: Woodworking with Children, a curriculum enrichment program, that ran four years strong. Tommy taught preschool age children the art of woodworking during this time. Tommy is CPR and First Aid trained. Following his passion for children to "unplug and get hands on" Tommy, together with his wife Jenni, created Jenni and Tommy's Kids Unplugged. Tommy now has 6 years of teaching assistant experience and has a natural ability to really see and acknowledge each child as special individuals and to build teachable moments into play.
Natalia Schmidt is from Brazil and has worked as a teacher for eleven years. Her work in social development and educational projects with children and teenagers led her to study Language Teaching in college 2009.
She has worked as a lead teacher since 2011 when she started teaching kids in need in her community. Later as a school coordinator she trained new teachers, taught and mentored more than 300 students. From 2016 to 2017, she taught elementary through high school students from 3-17 years old.
Natalia is married, loves her family, nature and reading books. When not working, she enjoys hiking, running, cooking and traveling.
"I am looking forward to working at Jenni and Tommy's Kids Unplugged and very glad to be able to join the current team in the amazing work they have been doing. Above all, there is the priceless reward of positively impacting children's lives."
Ms. Jenni Owner/ Substitute
Ms. Jenni has a Bachelors Degree in Human Development with a Childhood Specialization from Cal State University Hayward in 2003. Jennifer has been working with children and their families in a variety of capacities since 1996. Her experience includes being a nanny, a recreation leader, a preschool teacher aid, a residential counselor and was a lead preschool teacher at Bright Horizons Family Solutions for eight years. She is CPR and First Aid trained. Her entrepreneurial visions and passion for children’s creative expression led her to the building of Kids in Action: Woodworking with Children, a curriculum enrichment program, that ran four years strong. Following her passion for children and families Jenni, together with her husband Tommy, created a place where children can establish a strong foundation for a genuine interest in learning and creative expression at Jenni and Tommy's Kids Unplugged.
* NO PEANUT OR NUT PRODUCTS ALLOWED
Ms. Ashley was born and raised in Portland. She left the rainy Northwest to attend the University of Arizona. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. The sun continued to call her name and she taught in Tucson for four more years. The Northwest called her back in 2009, where she continued teaching and obtained her masters in Curriculum Instruction. Ms. Ashley has 10 years of experience in the classroom. Most of those years were spent in Kindergarten and Second grade.
Ms. Ashley and her husband welcomed their first child in 2015 and second child in 2017. She has been lucky enough to stay home with them. The past four years has shown her the challenges of raising infants and now toddlers. Spending that time at home with her babies has been special; however, Ms. Ashley is feeling a pull back into the classroom.
Working with children is a passion for Ms. Ashley. She is looking forward to building loving relationships of trust with them and sharing in their joy and curiosity of the world around them. Ms. Ashley prides herself on creating a learning environment of exploration that provides success for all children. She is excited to work with the dedicated staff of Unplugged and their families and children.
Ms. Crystal recently finished her eighth year at Childswork Learning Center. At Childswork she taught two classes each year - a M/W/F morning and a T/Th morning, as well as art and STEM enrichments, Explorers and Arts Studio.
She first came to teaching while she was working on her BA in Political Science, as a student teacher at Helen Gordon Child Development Center. At Helen Gordon she found what she loved about childhood and children reflected in its philosophy and practices. Her experiences encouraged her to reassess her goals. While she continued to study political science she also began to explore how children's rights and civic identity are represented and respected in early childhood while accumulating ECE classes.
As Ms. Crystal continues teaching, her respect only grows for the role healthy, attached relationships - combined with rich, active play and theory building - have on strong communities.
Outside the classroom Ms. Crystal and her husband enjoy reading, traveling, casually walking around with a latte in hand, and attending as many performing arts performances as they can - especially the ones that their daughter is in.
* SOCKS REQUIRED FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN
I've wanted to be a teacher since the third grade. Something about being a positive influence on others, and seeing that 'aha!' moment in action has always been a passion of mine. Life has lead me on many adventures; I've nannied in different cultural settings, I'm teaching myself Sign Language and Spanish, as well as having two amazing little ladies of my own.
I take any opportunity I can to learn more and strive to be the best teacher I can. (I like to think of Ms. Frizzle as my spirit animal!) After working as an aide for three different teachers in a certified preschool, I am confident in my ability to have a unique learning experience readily available and tailored special to each student. I'm grateful to be paired with such an amazing team of people here at Jenni and Tommy's, and look forward to getting to know all of you.