Our Team

Casey
Schmidt
Owner/Director
Teacher
Kim
Grayson

Teacher
Anela
Hollis

Teacher
 

I was raised in sunny Petaluma. My parents and most of my family still reside here today. Our family is very involved within the community, some own businesses, while others are also in the field of education. 

 

Even before graduating from high school I recognized my passion to work with children through employment at a local preschool. I went on to further my education in Early Childhood Development in which I hold an AA. Shortly after I attended Sacramento State in which I majored in Liberal Studies.

 

I continued my career at another renowned preschool in Penngrove, where I was Head Pre-Kindergarten teacher. My every day encounters with the children and assisting the Director lead me to envision having my own preschool. 

 

Today I proudly own Petaluma Village Preschool. I am in the classroom everyday applying and implementing all the wonderful concepts I have learned. Together with an amazing staff and astounding parents, we are able to continue to make Petaluma Village a magnificent, nurturing and thriving school for all children. My greatest reward is the smile on a child’s face. 

 

Hello my name is Kimberly Grayson. I have been teaching children in family daycare and preschool environments for over 15 years. With three children of my own, working with children is a true passion of mine.  

 

I graduated from CSU Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, emphasis upon psychology, government and sociology. I received my Associative Teacher Certificate at Santa Rosa Junior College. I have also attended a series of Early Childhood workshops and look forward to participating in more.

 

In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my husband, gardening, reading a good book and cooking exciting new dishes for my family and friends. My children and their various school/sporting activities are also a large part of my life. I truly love being a part of a child’s growth and development. Watching and participating in this important stage in their lives is both an honor and privilege that I cherish in my teaching experiences. 

Hello everyone! My name is Anela Hollis. I was born in Maui, Hawaii and moved to Sebastopol, California when I was five years old. I graduated from San Francisco State in 2015 with a MA in Museum Studies with an emphasis in Education and worked at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County for several years as their outreach assistant. I discovered how much I loved working with and playing with younger children and earned my ECE Associate Teacher’s certificate from the Santa Rosa Junior College in 2019. As a teacher and educator, I strongly believe in letting children guide me in their play and learning and helping them foster their own sense of self-confidence and independence by allowing them do.

Nilsa
Reischmann

Teacher/
Spanish Teacher
Stephane
Morales

Teacher
Anja
Hulquist

Teacher

I have been a resident of Penngrove for more then 35 years.  I graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York and moved to California as a young adult.  When my sons began attending preschool, I volunteered to introduce the students to Spanish.  Shortly thereafter, I was given the opportunity to create a foreign language program at the school. When they began elementary school, I had an additional opportunity to introduce a new school community to Spanish.  During this time I created school events celebrating diversity and assembled a collection of over 400 books of Spanish/English literature.  I wanted to expose my children and other children to the language and culture that I had inherited from my Puerto Rican parents.  Twenty years later, I have begun a new chapter in my life.  I returned to school and earned 12 ECE units.  I have a great interest in literature which I enjoy sharing.   I also have a passion for teaching and a love of children.

Amanda
Byers

Teacher

Hello my name is Stephane Morales. I was born and raised in California and absolutely love it. I graduated from Valley Oaks High School and am currently attending Santa Rosa Jr College.  Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher and make a difference in a child’s life. I love spending time with them and getting to know their unique personalities. As a preschool teacher I learned that it takes a village to raise a child and I hope to contribute to their learning.In my spare time I like to travel and go outdoors with my dog Daisy and meet people from different walks of life. 

Gracen
Arntz

Teacher

My name is Anja Hultquist, I’ve lived  and attended school in Petaluma since I can remember. I lived with my Mom, Dad and older brother in Central Petaluma so we were close to a whole lot.  Growing up I swore I’d never grow up to be a teacher like my mom and her mom too.  I attended Carpe Diem High School while working at Fourth and Sea Fish N Chips.  Soon after graduating I was offered a position at Gan Israel Preschool.  I knew my love for children was undeniable and accepted the position.  Unfortunately in March of 2020 lots of things changed for a lot of people and Gan Israel closed their door and I was without a job.  A few months later Casey ask me if I’d like to come work for PVP and I was ecstatic.  I will continue to take courses through SRJC to one day own and run my own preschool.  When I’m not in the classroom you can find me doing all kind of art, from water colors to tie dye to making earrings.  I also love exploring local parks and good ole San Francisco.  Your kiddos bring me so much joy and I will forever be thankful to learn along side them.

Gillian
Holl

Teacher

Greetings! My name is Amanda Byers. I am a Sonoma County native with a great appreciation for this beautiful and supportive community. In May of 2020, I graduated from Sonoma State with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Studies: Education. My passion for working with children started nearly 10 years ago when I began babysitting for family friends. Since then, I have gained experience in different early childhood roles such as nannying, tutoring, and most recently spent the last 4 years working as a Behavioral Interventionist with children on the autism spectrum. My favorite part of working with children is learning from them and getting a glimpse of the world through their eyes- priceless! During my free time, I love to spend time with my pup, Oliver, work on jigsaw puzzles and try new recipes in my air fryer. This upcoming fall, I plan to pursue a Master’s in Counseling to eventually become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and continue working closely with children and families!

Hello, my name is Gracen Arntz! I was born and raised in beautiful Petaluma. I attended Petaluma High School and left my junior year to graduate early by continuing independent study! I graduated in March 2018, thanks to the amazing support of my family. Ever since I was little I have always loved children. I began babysitting the moment my little sister was born. Since then I have babysat every chance I had. I have been involved helping out and volunteering at Petaluma Village Preschool since I was 13 years old. Casey is my aunt and has always seen the joy I have when working with children. I am currently enrolled in child development courses, along with Santa Rosa Junior College courses for my Associates Degree. I am extremely excited to finally be a permanent team member of Petaluma Preschool and ready to help the children learn, have fun, and make memories!

Hello, my name is Gillian Holl. I was born and raised in Santa Rosa and now live in Cotati with my fiance, Zack and cat, Maddie. 

I have always known I wanted to teach children since I was a child myself. So after high school I went to Sonoma State University and received my degree in Liberal Studies with an area of concentration in early childhood development. I absolutely loved my time in college, but I am eager to start my career in teaching!

Whenever I have free time I love to read, hike, and swim. I have always enjoyed being outside and hope I can spread that joy to all my future students!

Hello PVP families, my name is Kearstin. Growing up I lived on the east side of Petaluma with my parents and younger brother. I went to Casa Grande High School and graduated in 2018. Since graduating, I have been continuing on with my education at Santa Rosa Junior College. I am expected to graduate December 2021 with an AA in Social and Behavioral Science and a Certificate in Early Childhood Education. In my free time I enjoy going to the beach, hiking, working out, drawing with charcoal and spending time with my friends and family. After I graduated, I managed a health club in Cotati for two years. I started babysitting at the age of 13 and have been working with children ever since. Once I started nannying full time I realized I wanted to make a career out of working with children. I take pride in being a guide in your child’s learning journey. I am beyond grateful to be working with your children and to have the opportunity to grow alongside them. I look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on the children's growth and to new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers at PVP.

Parent Advisory Council
Parent Volunteers

The Parent Advisory Council is comprised of a dedicated and talented group of core parents who meet monthly to collaborate on a variety of issues and projects, such as fundraising, volunteer efforts, field trips, and curriculum.  All parents are welcome. We are deeply grateful for their ongoing contribution to the school and recognize it as critical to our success.

The school maintains a three hour minimum parent contribution each month. We strongly believe that parent involvement is a critical component of the Reggio Emilia approach. 

 

Our parents are a vital part of successful school operations. Parents volunteer in a variety of capacities from gardening, assisting in the classroom, maintenance projects, project preparation, and much more. We are very fortunate to have such a vibrant and involved parent community. We also are blessed to have a number of educators in our parent community that actively contribute to the program.

Kearstin
Jason
Teacher