Mountain Teachers

Michelle (she/her)

Michelle (she/her)

I hail originally from New Zealand – I was raised and nurtured by a loud and proud albeit small extended family. I was fortunate to have my maternal grandparents right around the corner and spent literally half my childhood in their home – a valuable experience that I still draw upon in my day-to-day life. Family life revolved around eating, drinking and talking together – all those family stories passed down from one generation to the next…

I have worked with young children and their families for most of my adult life and feel more passionate and grounded in my teaching work as I get older. I have been working at Hilltop since 2010.

In my work with preschoolers I like to focus on the social and emotional development of each and every child. I believe that a socially healthy and emotionally resilient child will become a natural, inquisitive and emboldened learner. My teaching practices are driven by my values around identity, community and social justice.

Outside of work I enjoy gardening, thrift store shopping, eating out and watching movies and I’ve never found a cheese or a pair of Camper shoes I didn’t like.

Ellie (she/her)

Ellie (she/her)

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Dawson (Ellie), and I’m a proud Pacific North westerner! Although I’m originally from Portland, OR, I’ve enjoyed living in Seattle on and off for the past nine years. Throughout my career as an educator, I’ve had the honor and privilege of teaching two year olds, fifth graders, and many ages in between! I’ve been at Hilltop a total of six years.

I am so excited to be a Mountain Room teacher. My favorite thing about being in the classroom is the day to day connection I have with the children, their families, and my fellow teachers. We learn and grow alongside one another, and everyone is transformed by the end of the school year. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband Jason and toddler Elsie Joy, rooting hard for the Seahawks on Sundays, and listening to the waves on any beach I can get to on a regular basis. Looking forward to a wonderful year with the Mountain Room community!