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Staff

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Vanessa Cusimano, Preschool Director 
Mrs. Vanessa received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University in Alabama and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from City University. Before staying home with her two children, she taught at an integrated preschool program for children with autism as well as at Snoqualmie Elementary School’s special education preschool program. Mrs. Vanessa enjoys making learning fun while promoting growth in all developmental areas. 

“I have experienced the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool Program as a parent twice and am very excited and honored to be a team member within this dedicated, energetic group of educators.”     

Amy Armstrong 
Mrs. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California Riverside with a major emphasis in mathematics and a minor emphasis in education. She returned the following year to earn her professional clear multiple subjects teaching credential with a Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) emphasis. She was an elementary classroom teacher for eleven years in California and Texas, before becoming a stay at home mom to her three children. After moving to Issaquah, her twins joined Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool, and Amy became a substitute teacher during their Pre-K year.    

“Our twins had a wonderful experience with the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool. Now that they are moving on to elementary school, I am very excited to be joining the preschool team as a lead teacher. I hope to pass on my love of math and science to my students.”     

Ann Aho 
Mrs. Ann received her BS degree in Human Development and Family Studies from South Dakota State University in 2000. While attending college she worked with Head Start, a daycare, and as a shelter coordinator where she ran a children’s support group at a domestic abuse shelter. After graduation, she did home based work with families for Greater Minnesota Family Services. After her first son was born, she chose to stay home, but remained active with children through volunteer work, coaching soccer, and working as a nanny.   

“My daughter attended the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool and our family loved the teachers and the program. I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this team and assist in helping the preschoolers have a positive school experience while they develop a love of learning.” 

Christal Ferrier 
After graduating from Concordia University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Ms. Christal discovered her love of working with children and their families while working as an Office Manager at a local Montessori school. She later worked in child care at a fitness facility and has enjoyed volunteering in her     daughter’s elementary school classroom and library. 

“I’m excited to be a part of the Issaquah Park and Recreation Preschool Program.  My children attended the program and it was a such a positive experience for our family. I look forward to creating this same experience for other families.”      

Anuma Dhwaj 
Mrs. Anu is passionate about working with kids and learning with them. She received her master’s degree in Human Resource Management from a renowned college in India. Before making a career move towards the field of education, she was part of the human resources corporate world. For the past few years, she has been a part of the education field as a Teacher/Instructor/Volunteer at a private learning center and an elementary school. She is a mother to two lovely young kids.  She enjoys playing and working with them as a mother and a teacher also.   

“Fun + Learning = The Best Educational Experience because we never forget what we learn with pleasure."    
Mellany Mendoza 
Mrs. Mellany got her Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering in the Philippines. After moving to Washington in 2007, she became a stay at home mom and volunteer at her church and kids’ schools. She has been working for Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool since 2013.   

"Love for learning comes at a very young age. Thanks to the teachers here at Issaquah Parks & Recreation Preschool that my youngest son developed his love for learning. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to be a part of it for other preschoolers."      

Gigi Vazinkhoo 
Mrs. Gigi loves children. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration in the Philippines. She was a nanny for eight years in Vancouver, British Columbia while she took Early Childhood Education/Daycare courses at Vancouver Community College. She volunteers many hours within the Issaquah School District. Mrs. Gigi has worked for Issaquah Parks & Recreation since 2007. 

"I really like the Issaquah community and want to actively help as many kids as I can."