Meet the Teachers

Our Staff

The teaching staff at Woodlands Tree House is comprised of professional educators with knowledge and experience in teaching young children. All employees meet the licensing requirements to teach in a licensed facility in the State of Texas, including background checks, and FBI fingerprints.

We strive to hire dedicated and nurturing teachers with a passion for teaching young children. We are committed to building on that enthusiasm by supporting their professional training and continuing education. In order to work at Woodlands Tree House Preschool, all teachers and teacher assistants must receive 24 hours of in-service training every year in addition to training in CPR and First Aid.

Meet Our Teachers

Cecilia Sanchez | Director

I was born in Mexico City and grew up as a bilingual child. I am a mother of 3 bilingual children and have been living in The Woodlands since 2005. I have a B.A. in Bilingual Education, a Masters Degree from Columbia University in Early Childhood Education and am also a certified Montessori Guide. I worked for 15 years as an English Teacher at the American School Foundation and the ETON School in Mexico City before moving to the USA. My dream was to open my own bilingual preschool which came true with Woodlands Tree House Preschool. My passion is to educate children in an environment where they can learn through play, discovery and while having fun. My door is always open to parents, children and past Tree House families.

Patti Miller | Office Manager

I have a degree in Business Law but have been in the education field for over 25 years as a kindergarten teacher, university registrar, state testing facilitator and grade level assistant. I welcomed the opportunity in 2012 to open Woodlands Tree House Preschool with Cecilia and be a part of making her dream a reality. I am married to a Marine and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Norma Velasco | Curriculum Coordinator & English Teacher 4-year-olds

I was born in Mexico and because of my family’s heritage was raised bilingual and bicultural. I have degrees in Pedagogy and Preschool Education and a Masters in Education. I’ve had the opportunity of teaching children from 6 months to 10 years old for over 20 years but mostly enjoy working with the preschool age. I am certified as an American Sign Language instructor for babies, knowledge which I apply to all age groups as a tool for enhancing their learning experience. I’ve been married for 20 years and have 2 children. My family and I have lived in The Woodlands for 5 years and I am very excited to be a part of the Woodlands Tree House team as a teacher and curriculum coordinator.

Gloria Eppinette I Private Kindergarten Teacher

I was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and I have taught every age from preschool through adults. I received my BA of Psychology from DePaul University and a M.ED in Reading and Language Arts at Sam Houston State University. I am certified in Bilingual, Gifted and Early Childhood through 4th Grade Education. I am married and have five children. I’m very fond of teaching little ones and embarking them on their path to reading, writing, independent thinking and lifelong learning. My heart’s desire is that my service to your children will inspire them to exceed expectations in all that they do!

Julie Blount | English Teacher 4-Year-Olds

I am originally from England but Texas has been my home since 2005.  I am married with two grown-up children, one grandson and live in The Woodlands.  I worked for many years as head teacher at two preschools in England.  I have a Diploma in Preschool Education earned in the UK and hold numerous certifications in related fields. Above all I am passionate about working with children. I have worked at Woodlands Treehouse Preschool for a number of years and I am very happy to be part of the “Treehouse Family”. As each school year comes along I look forward to working with and getting to know both the children and their families. My goal is to provide a safe and happy learning environment whereby children are excited to come through my classroom door each day.  I believe if you can achieve this a child will naturally flourish.

Maru Elizondo I Spanish Teacher 4-Year-Olds

Originally from Mexico, I have lived in The Woodlands for 16 years and have been teaching preschool for 9 years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree and enjoy reading, playing tennis and spending time with my family. I am extremely caring, nurturing and demonstrate a very patient approach in the classroom. I am excited to be working at the WTHP with your children.

Beatriz Sanchez | Spanish Teacher 4-Year-Olds
Jessica Figueroa | English Teacher 3-Year-Olds

I come from a Mexican background, am bilingual, and have lived in Texas for most of my life. I graduated in 2011 with an Associate Degree. I have been working with children ages 18 moths to 4 years old for the last 8 years and have been with  Woodlands Treehouse Preschool for 3. I love teaching through play as children learn best when they are having fun. My goal for your children is for them to be happy and love to learn. I am very excited to be working with your children this year.

Carrie Crawford | English Teacher 3-Year-Olds

I was born and raised in Southern California before moving to The Woodlands in 2014.  I received my Bachelors in Psychology, with an emphasis in Child Development from California State University, Long Beach.  I worked through high school and college coaching gymnastics to children of all ages.  When I graduated college I transitioned into teaching academic preschool.  I have been a stay at home mom of three for a while now.  I am excited my youngest is now old enough for Treehouse so I can get back to my first love, teaching!

Liz P. Mitre | Spanish Teacher 3-Year-Olds

I was born in Mexico and started teaching when I was in college while getting my degree. I worked as an ESL teacher in an after school program for 9 years until I moved to The Woodlands where I was invited to join the team at Woodlands Tree House Preschool. It a joy to be working with your children.

Claudia Herrera | Spanish Teacher 3-Year-Olds

I was born and raised in Mexico. My husband and I moved to the States 22 years ago where we had our two children. We’ve been living in The Woodlands since 2001. I have a BA in Chemistry and Biology. I started working with preschool children 13 years ago. I really enjoy working with young children and stimulating their curiosity in learning through discovery, exploration and play.

Andrea Etcharren | Spanish Teacher 3-Year-Olds

I have been living in The Woodlands for 21 years after doing my studies in Mexico City. I have been educating children for 17 years and I am very happy to be working at the Woodlands Tree House Preschool.

Keri Finnegan I Lead Teacher 2-Year-Olds

I was born in Houston, TX and currently reside in Tomball with my husband and three daughters. I have a BS in Psychology and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have worked with children for the past 10+ years in a variety of settings, ranging from coaching cheerleading and tumbling, to play therapy, to teaching preschool children (including those with special needs). I am passionate about early childhood education, and I am thrilled to be at Woodlands Tree House Preschool. I look forward to a wonderful year of growth, learning, and lots of FUN with your children!

Fadia Zavala | Lead Teacher 2-Year-Olds

I was born in Mexico City and moved to California when I was 10. I’ve been living in The Woodlands for 4 years and have been working in Treehouse for 2 years. I will be graduating in December with my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I am excited to be a teacher at Woodlands Tree House Preschool.

Nicole Gimenez | Lead Teacher 2-Year-Olds

I was born in Mexico City. My mother is American so I grew up 100% bilingual. After getting my Law Degree, I realized I had a passion for children  and decided to pursue a teaching career. I have been working with children for over 20 years including the creation of an after-school English Program for young children. My desire is to provide your children with a strong educational foundation and develop happy and confident children who love learning!

Susi Fenske I Lead Teacher 18-Month-Olds

I was born and raised in Germany where I earned my degree in Early Childhood Education. Before moving to the US, I worked for four years as a preschool teacher in a Red Cross facility. I am happy to be a part of the team at Woodlands Tree House and I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year with your children.

Merrie Decker| Gardening Teacher