Director Lily Kreutzer has always felt called to work as an advocate of children and families for the health of our communities. This passion has been central to her academic studies, her art and music projects and employment. She feels honored to celebrate the magic of childhood daily as a early childhood educator.
After studying in France and graduating from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Education/Minor French Studies, Lily continued to embrace the concept of experiential learning and embarked on inspired educational life adventures of her own. She worked as the director of the Jawbreaker, a community arts gallery, while also performing on stages around the country with noted musicians and the Bread and Puppet Theater of Vermont. In addition to artistic pursuits, Lily worked for years at the awarded Locomotive Restaurant as a gourmet organic vegetarian chef and loves to prepare delicious recipes daily for the school.
A Portland native, Lily returned home and began teaching preschool in Portland in 2005, employed by the Mary Cassatt School of Art as Co-Founder and Head Teacher of the Laurelhurst location. Now as Founder, Director and Co-Teacher of Portland Preschool, Lily is thrilled to create an inspired and inclusive classroom where children feel joyful and empowered as they explore the world around them.
Lily is a proud member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA). Lily also remains an active member of the Portland arts and music communities both onstage and behind the scenes as a member of the Cardboard Songsters; a founding board member of Siren Nation Women’s Music and Art Festival; and as a teacher for the Oregon Country Fair’s Energy Park.
University of Oregon: Eugene, Oregon, 1996-2000
B.A. in Educational Studies focus of Family and Children Services; minor in French, December 2000; Dean’s List 1996-1999, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
Université de Lyon: Lyon, France, 1998-1999
Completion of the international studies program CIEF, centré international des études françaises
Head Teacher, Patricia Casana, has a passion for teaching young children and has had the privilege to do so over the past six years here in Portland, as well as abroad. She attended the University of Oregon, where she majored in Spanish Language and Anthropology. She studied abroad in Morelia, Mexico, where her love of the Spanish language grew deeper through practical application. After graduating she worked as a Language and Culture Assistant in Girona, Spain teaching English in two public elementary schools over the course of two years. Through this experience she developed an interest in experiential learning, as she saw children and teachers engaging in a dialogue and then delving into hands-on projects like building chicken coops, composting and creating theatrical performances.
Patricia’s teaching style draws inspiration from Reggio Emilia Approach, which encourages dialogue and collaboration between students and teachers. Her ability to listen and her passion for language and culture are things she loves sharing with children. Her enthusiasm for learning new things about her environment through authentic experience is something she feels is extremely important not only in a child’s education, but is an ongoing life process. She enjoys singing, gardening, yoga, making pottery, hiking, cooking and running, and strives to share these passions with her students.
University of Oregon: Eugene, Oregon 2004-2008
B.A. in Spanish Language and Culture ; minor in Cultural Anthropology
Kassie is from New York. She attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn to study Art Education and earned a minor in Sculpture. Kassie studied nature and the human form through clay, metal, mold making and jewelry.
Kassie's inspirations and interests are drawn from the natural world and her connection with community. She shares with her students her love of dancing, music, hiking, herbal medicine making, gardening for food justice, cooking and botany.
Kassie strives to make this world a better, more beautiful place and her work begins with children. For the past ten years she has been working youth of all ages . She has experience in the Montessori method of teaching while incorporating Reggio Emilio and Waldorf/Rudolph Steiner philosophies.
Pratt Institute, New York 1999-2006
Associate in Fine Arts