Staff Members

Holladay Preschool is committed to promoting personal development of our students to prepare them for the challenges in life that lie ahead. Our staff consists of experienced, certified, and continually trained educators.

The goals for each age group are set together by our staff, but teachers are expected to achieve those goals in their own special way that fits their own teaching style and the needs of their particular class. That flexibility spurs creativity in the curriculum.

Kristi Thompson, Director

“Seeing children experience the joy of discovering new ideas is remarkable. Every day at Holladay Preschool, I am able to watch children grow and learn through intentional play.”

Kristi is the glue that holds Holladay Preschool together. Before signing on as Director in May 2013, Kristi’s career was spent in public policy and non-profit work. She is a University of Utah alumni. Her hobbies include golfing, skiing, and reading. Kristi’s two daughters are proud Holladay Preschool graduates.

Julie Neilson, Administrative Assistant

“I have always believed in teaching the whole child which builds confidence, self-esteem, and a love of learning. I am lucky to work with such skilled educators and witness the magic that occurs every day at Holladay Preschool.”

Julie is the hub of Holladay Preschool who makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. After working 18 years as a flight attendant, Julie took an early retirement to get involved in her children’s education through several PTA positions. Her free time is spent hiking, running, reading and listening to her favorite band, REM.

Sharon Bain, Office Assistant

“Self esteem, kindness, following directions, discovering new ideas, enjoying creativity, and getting along with peers is so important in the success of each student. I love that the developmental philosophy of Holladay Preschool strengthens these skills to help children adjust and excel in their whole life, as well as their education.”

Sharon is our ever-present support, filling in and stepping up in whatever area is needed. Sharon has a BA degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Beginning Reading Instruction, which she put to use as a 2nd grade teacher for 23 years. She loves sports, as well as gardening, cooking, and doing other activities with her 20 grandchildren.

Lori Bergstrom, Teacher

“The age-appropriate developmental philosophy at Holladay Preschool helps the children be socially ready and to be able to negotiate, to be kind, and to have friends. Creativity is encouraged and singing is the best part of the day.”

Lori has been teaching at Holladay Preschool for nearly a decade and has over 25 years of teaching experience. She holds a Speech Pathology degree from the University of Utah. Lori is passionate about reading and that love has helped her grow as a preschool teacher.

Loralee Christensen, Teacher

“I love that Holladay Preschool is so creative and child-centered. Life skills aren’t evaluated like the alphabet, but are every bit as important in a well-rounded adult. The social experiences, responsibilities, and confidence children learn here will last their entire lives.”

Loralee is a Holladay native and has taught at the preschool for over 15 years. She graduated from Olympus High and eventually Utah State University with a BA in Liberal Arts. Loralee loves painting, sewing, quilting, and crocheting. She also is an avid traveler. Her children are Holladay Preschool grads and their experiences are what attracted Loralee to the job.

Lori Gee, Teacher

“If there is one thing a child needs to prepare them for kindergarten, it is self-confidence. Social development helps promote this by offering a wide variety of experiences through play, and children at Holladay Preschool are offered so many wonderful experiences through social interactions.”

Lori has been with Holladay Preschool for over 25 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science. Lori enjoys crafts of all kinds, especially scrapbooking and card making, which she displays in a homemade yearbook for each of her students.

Candice Greene, Teacher

“I love Holladay Preschool for the focus it has on each child's own personal development. I especially enjoy watching the children's imagination at work be it through their creations, singing time or just listening to their conversations during purposeful play and snack time.”

Candice was first a Holladay Preschool mom whose four children are all alumni. She has a degree from the University of Utah in Family and Human Development. When she’s not vacationing at a beach, Candice can be found playing tennis, running, or reading good book.

Julie Iorg, Teacher

“Holladay Preschool teaches the whole child: socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Childhood is such a valuable stage in life and to have the opportunity to help children learn and grow and to become self-confident in a nurturing environment is truly fulfilling.”

Julie brings her love of teaching and a passion for yoga together often in her classroom. She holds a BS in Psychology and has a Special Education background, in addition to being a certified kids yoga instructor. Julie also enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, paddle boarding, camping, snowshoeing and snowboarding with her family.

Linda Layton, Teacher

“Children need a good foundation to succeed in school. At Holladay Preschool, we stress the need for age-appropriate activities by using teachers’ own ideas and creativity to make each class unique and special. Each day is varied and active to make learning fun.”

Linda has been teaching at Holladay Preschool for over a decade. She worked in the Jordan School District as a substitute teacher, a teacher’s aide, and reading specialist before coming to Holladay. Linda loves children’s books and is not afraid of a messy art project. She enjoys gardening and cooking with her children.

Shelly Leatham, Teacher

“We encourage children to accept themselves, try new things, don’t worry about failure, learn how to be a friend, anticipate kindergarten, and play!  Process over product is my motto as I design each day.”

Shelly has been a preschool teacher for over 20 years, starting at Holladay Preschool the year after her youngest daughter graduated. She has degrees in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as Psychology. Shelly loves spending time with her grandchildren, and playing tennis or her favorite game, Settlers of Catan. She also enjoys reading and has written a children’s book.

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