Meet our Teachers

Kristen Tonda

Director of Kinder Village

 

I hold a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on pre-primary from Minnesota State University, Mankato. I bring two years as an elementary teacher and five years early childhood teacher/Assistant Director.

 

I live in South St. Paul with my husband and our three daughters: Natalie, Charlotte, and Macy. I'm your typical mom who enjoys long, quiet walks through Target and strong coffee. I also have a passion for teaching and building strong relationships with parents, students, and staff.

 

Ihya Toure

Assistant Director and Infant B Teacher

I hold a Bachelors of Science degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I have been working with children for as long as I can remember. No matter the task at hand, as long as I was surrounded by children, I felt complete and happy. I've also had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's hospital, as well as volunteering with homeless children with the enrichment program at People Serving People. I have also worked with school age kids ranging from Prek-6 graders at Seward elementary school with the University YMCA as a literacy mentor. 

 

Fun Fact: French is my 1st Language! I love working with children because of the impact that I can have on them. From a social learning theory standpoint, children are like little sponges who absorb everything they see, hear and learn within their environment, especially from their caregivers, which then greatly impacts their development. I believe that it is my duty to make sure that these young ones are receiving the best care, and are equipped with skills and resources that will help them to become successful adults.

 

Kayla Urbano  

Toddler Teacher

I graduated from Park High School in 2006, where I started my career path in Graphic Design and Communications. Halfway through college, I gave into my passion of working with children and earned my degree from Metro State in May of 2017. I was able to earn a degree in Individualized Studies, where I combined my skills of Graphic Design with Early Childhood.

 

As long as I can remember, I have worked with children in some form. I began as a helper in my mom’s family child care center. I eventually became her assistant teacher. Over the years I have babysat and worked as a nanny. I have also taught church school, assisted with bible camps, and have been the nursery coordinator since 2014.

Maria Saliente

Infant A Teacher

Bridget Martin

Preschool Teacher

I am currently pursuing a degree in Professional Communication at Metropolitan State University. I bring three years of experience working in the Columbia Heights School District as a Family Literacy Infant Teacher.

 

I enjoy being outside, hiking, biking, running, canoeing and backpacking. My favorite activities with kids are reading books and exploring the outdoors.

Emily Bethke

Lead Teacher – Early Preschool

I hold a Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from WITC. In the process of receiving Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Metropolitan State University. I have experience in one year as an Infant Teacher and five years as an Early Preschool Teacher. 

 

I enjoy spending my time outdoors; hiking, bouldering, backpacking, camping, and I love to travel! I enjoy working with children because it provides me the opportunity to craft the minds of the future. Children often remind me to hold onto the pure insight on the world around us and to hold onto that free spirit that often gets lost as our responsibilities and views of life change. I appreciate the trust parents have in our center and in us as teachers to allow their children to learn and grow with us.

I hold B.S. Degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I am still pursing a masters in nursing specializing in infants. In college, I was a literacy mentor for elementary students in the Saint Paul City School through America Reads. After SPCS, I went and became a mentor/coach for Beyond Walls’ students (Middle School- High school) in relation with the UofM after school program for three years. Before taking this job, I was an infant assistant teacher and was later moved as co-lead teacher in the infant room in an early childcare facility.

 

I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a granddaughter, an educator and a life-long learner. My passion is working with families and the individuals that make up the unit. I believe that families are the building blocks of society and understanding them is understanding life. I am a person who can relate to a lot of things and because of this I am able to read many emotions and connect with others with empathy and sympathy. My Filipino culture and faith has definitely impacted the way I live my life in the daily and the woman I have become. I give thanks to the people who have made me who I am today and the continual support and love.

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Kinder Village is part of Episcopal Homes of Minnesota    www.EpiscopalHomes.org    651-272-4974

504 E Lynnhurst Ave, St Paul, MN 55104