Kindergarten Prep

GHA’s fully-licensed, full-day, five-day-a-week Kindergarten Prep program is designed specifically for four and five year olds. This structured program focuses on developing each student’s academic and social emotional skill sets preparing them for their entry into Kindergarten. The Kindergarten Prep program helps children develop independence, self-confidence and curiosity through an inquiry-based approach. By teaching students how to make good choices, problem solve and ask questions, children graduate from the Kindergarten Prep program with a solid foundation, ready to excel as they enter GHA’s Kindergarten program.

Students spend significant time outside in Gig Harbor Academy’s certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom®, one of only seven in the state, or lower playground at least twice a day and receive music, Spanish and physical education instruction three times per week. Kindergarten Prep students also attend a structured library class once per week.

Carolyn VonZimmerman

Carolyn VonZimmerman, Kindergarten Prep Teacher
Carolyn VonZimmerman brings enthusiasm and energy to the classroom every day. With over 20 years’ experience teaching students at the Kindergarten Prep level, Carolyn’s commitment to developing independent doers and thinkers is evident. Carolyn’s often self-professed commitment to the “classics” brings a sense of nostalgia to her practice and fosters an appreciation for creativity and individuality in every child.


Shelia Walther

Ashley Thielman,
Kindergarten Prep Teacher

Recognizing the importance of fostering individuality, Ashley provides a supportive and nurturing classroom environment for her students. In a collaborative and engaging setting, learning is intentional through various projects, engagement with nature and GHA’s certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom®. Ashley’s approach to teaching and learning is evident in her daily practice and example as both a lead teacher and parent of two GHA students.


Brittany Hess

Brittany Hess,
Kindergarten Prep Teacher

Brittany Hess moved to Washington from California in 2017 with a Bachelor's of Science in Recreation and Hospitality Administration and a minor in Environmental Studies. She has been a member of our Early Learning Team since 2017. She previously worked as a nanny, helped run after school programs, community centers, and was the recreation supervisor at Squaw Valley USA.


Emma Felt

Emma Felt,
Kindergarten Prep Assistant

Emma Felt is a native Washingtonian and chose to remain in-state for college, where she graduated from Washington State University after studying Cultural Ethnic Studies and Agriculture. Prior to working at GHA Emma worked on a private yacht - she so happy to have her land legs back and to be working with GHA's awesome kids!





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