We are a small teaching team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working in process honoring daily practice with your child and family community. Thank you to the following alumni and current Klahanie School families for sharing their perspective learning and growing together in our school. community. Huge hugs friends.

Kristine Kernz

Klahanie School current Mama & Trusted Substitute Teacher

Our family feels so fortunate to have found Klahanie Preschool. Klahanie is a magical place for our daughter where she is made to feel special every day when she arrives, learns about nature, and gets to play in the garden with her friends. In our 4 year old daughter’s own words, “Teacher Emmy is the best because she gives me hugs and sings beautiful songs.” 

Emmy has been deemed “the child whisperer” by others and we concur! Emmy’s heart is found in every corner of Klahanie, her energy is felt the moment you arrive and she is the earth that grounds the children and makes them feel safe. 

The other teachers also add so much value to the program. My daughter is always so excited to tell me about the big push on the swing that Teacher Austin gave that day, being excited that it is Teacher Laura’s day, the art project she did with Teacher Jordan or the owl wings she was able to touch with Teacher MoMo. 

I am confident that my daughter will be ready for kindergarten not only academically, but most importantly emotionally, because she will know how to interact with others by being empathetic, using words to express her feelings and adapting to a variety of teaching styles. 

Nicky Wilks

Klahanie School alumni/current Papa & Vashon Journeymen community Founder-Mentor

When we relocated back to my home of Vashon two and a half years ago, my partner Katelyn initiated the conversation around our oldest son, Maverick, beginning school. With him being just 2 years old, I felt resistant to the idea. I could see how much he was still relying on mom for physical, emotional and social nurturing, and his play with others seemed to be progressing at a healthy pace. That said, we made the decision to explore Klahanie after learning about my niece’s experience with Emmy and Klahanie during her own toddler years.

Upon meeting Emmy, I immediately felt the warm, maternal energy that Maverick would need to begin growing his social bubble. Learning about her philosophy to “follow the child”, incorporate significant outdoor time despite the weather, and consistently use sharing circles to foster compassionate listening and authentic sharing had quickly reversed my initial feelings.

Now, as a budding elder in the group, Maverick is still supported with the same warmth and openness that first greeted him. And, most importantly, he is stretched to find his own flavor of leadership. He comes home from school and leads us in song, generates his own activities, and is able to apply the learning in meaningful ways.

The trust I have in Emmy, Jordan and the Klahanie community is deep and growing. I cannot imagine a better place to begin our journey in early childhood education, and I hope that any who value the qualities we observe in Emmy and her team consider joining this beautiful family, too.


Sue Day

Klahanie School alumni Parent

Emily Graham and the Klahanie Nursery School have been an integral part in Zea’s development. Zea started at Klahanie at 10 months and has really enjoyed every day she’s spent there since (she’s currently 18 months). Zea has grown tremendously with Emily and her son Fin. With Emily’s guidance and through positive interactions she has learned a tremendous amount about independence and self-assuredness, being gentle, having patience, using her manners, and treating others with respect. I think the thing that stands out the most in Emily’s teaching philosophy is the incredible respect she affords the children. Her patience seems to be boundless and her speech gentle. I would recommend Emily and Klahanie School to the highest degree.

Montessori “Follow the Child” Kindness and Anti-Bias Education Focus

Our honored teaching job is to witness, support and celebrate the students we are honored to learn beside. We rely heavily on pause of observation to assess void of judgment and keenly on physical, emotional, social and cognitive responses to experiences sensorially. Klahanie School teaming teams seek to walk parents to supportive resources and professional referrals when needed. We value working in teams with our highly skilled Maury-Vashon Island schools, counselors across the board and support focused local organizations that nurture woven support for children, youth, families. We are a child-family advocate based school and find great solace in the connection with amazing community members who offer our budding school volunteer-ship and fiscal donation to supplement the highest experience Early to all that seek and those who need our supports. We are a safe space for solution.

Our school year daily focus on Peace Maker and Kindness Acts with Anti-Bias foundations in our Montessori classroom offers hopeful glimpse in the capabilities of civic-social connecting and create a space of equitable discussion and reflection by teachers, students and families.

Please email us to become involved: klahanieschool@gmail.com

Please consider Donating to help supplement equitably accessible programming to all who might need some support.

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