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Meet Our Team

At School of Enrichment, we are fortunate to have a group of amazing educators who not only bestow their considerable knowledge onto their students, but also every day show deep compassion, caring and enthusiasm for each and every single one of the children in their care.

Marcee Zendejas, AAECE


Marcee and her family moved to Bend from Southern California in 2004. She brings over 30 years of experience to School of Enrichment working with children of all ages. Her career began as owner and director of an after school children’s program in California for school age children. She volunteered in a Children’s Musical Theater program for several years and loved it! As her children completed preschool, she realized her passion for early childhood education. Marcee then began teaching Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten.

Katie Brandow, LCSW


Katie has been involved with School of Enrichment prior to opening its doors in 2007. Her passion is supporting parents in finding trusted care with enriching experiences so that parents can maintain a healthy life balance and feel in their core being that their kids are safe and enriched. Katie is mom to two daughters and genuinely trusts that early childhood experiences in a supportive environment teach socialization, problem-solving and coping skills that create equipped children and eventually adults who are ready to take on the world productively, healthfully, and positively.

Kara Bernhardt, BS

Assistant Director

At three years old, Kara told her family that she was going to be a teacher when she grew up. Her path never changed, and she graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with a focus on Childhood Development. She was involved with many programs that included different aged children, and through these, she found her passion in Early Childhood Education. She found the youngest minds to be most interesting.

Heather Sanders School of Enrichment

Heather Sanders, MA Education

Substitute Teacher 

Heather has had the privilege to work with kids for over 25 years. Heather has experience working in camps, running programs, has substitute taught elementary in public schools and has nannied. Most recently, Heather has fallen in love with early childhood. Working with this age group brings Heather joy and we all need that! Kids are so pure in heart, fun, and interested in all that life has to offer and Heather really enjoys being a part of that.

Heather has her BA from University of North Texas. Heather has early-childhood and elementary teaching credentials from Western State College in Colorado. Heather also has a Masters of Arts in Education with an endorsement in Special Education from Lewis and Clark College.

Heather is also a mom to three awesome kids she shares with her amazing husband. Heather’s very favorite activities are camping and exploring and she believes she would be a perfect candidate to live on the road in an RV someday! Heather also enjoys walking, reading, and playing yard games.

She is so so grateful for the opportunity to work at School of Enrichment because as she says, “It makes me a better person!”

Stacy Haaga


In 2019, Stacy and her family moved from Utah to Bend. Prior to relocating, Stacy was an educator at a Nature Co-Op school, specializing in preschool education. Her profound passion lies in working with children, particularly in the realm of early education. Stacy‘s enthusiasm for teaching and nurturing young minds knows no bounds, and she firmly believes in integrating the arts and nature into play-based learning.

For Stacy, there’s immense joy in being a part of a child’s educational journey. She stands firmly by the idea that play-based learning is the most effective way for children to explore and comprehend the world around them. One of the aspects she cherishes most about working with kids is their innate ability to spark curiosity and share their contagious energy. Stacy is eagerly looking forward to returning to the classroom and seizing the opportunity to educate young learners at School of Enrichment.

Beyond her professional life, Stacy is a devoted mother to two daughters, one navigating college life and the other embarking on her middle school adventure. She and her best friend have celebrated two decades of marriage. Stacy‘s affection extends to animals, as she dedicates her time to volunteer weekly at a bunny sanctuary. At home, she lovingly cares for three bunnies, a dog, and a cat.

When Stacy is not engaged in teaching, she can be found exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Oregon on foot, by bike, or while skiing. She has a profound passion for travel, particularly road trips that allow her and her family to immerse themselves in the wonders of the great outdoors, all from the comfort of their cherished “baked potato,” which is affectionately known as their Airstream.

Teri Lippi, BS


School of Enrichment eagerly planned to bring Miss Teri on as a lead preschool teacher for over a year. Teri spent most of her childhood in Oregon, other than an exciting few years living in Italy with her family. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management at Portland State University and an Associates degree in Marketing and Communications at COCC. After college, Teri moved to Bend with her husband to raise a family and escape the big city life. 

Upon arriving in Bend nearly 20 years ago, Teri opened Sunshine Corner, an in-home preschool and childcare. We’ve had the pleasure of working with several incoming School of Enrichment students who attended Miss Teri’s reputable and highly respected program. Teri opened this business so she could raise a family while doing work she was passionate about. Teri owned and operated Sunshine Corner for the past 19 years, working with children from infants to age 5. Teri was ready for something new and decided to close the business and join us at School of Enrichment full time! 

Teri’s hobbies include making freezer jam, gardening, preserving food, reading, organizing family events and camping. During the summer she enjoys eating on the front porch, morning walks, backyard get togethers, beach trips and root beer floats. During the winter she enjoys reading books by the fireplace with soup on the stove. She also enjoys playing Yahtzee and card games. A few facts about Miss Teri are that she has an identical twin sister and her son is a pilot in Alaska. Join us in welcoming Miss Teri to our team!


Brandi Kaniho, BA Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education


Brandi was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended Central Washington University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. After that, she moved back to Hawaii to start a family. While there, she worked for 8 years in a private preschool and 2 years as a kindergarten teacher in a public charter school. Since moving to Bend in 2020 with her husband and three children, she lead private learning pods ranging from preschoolers to second graders. When she’s not working she likes to explore new areas, take road trips, involve her kids in activities like sports, and just relax – taking it all in. While Hawaii will always be her home, she thinks Bend is a pretty special place too and is happy to be adventuring and teaching here. What Brandi values most about her job is making connections to build relationships with her students and their Ohana’s. Brandi truly believes that relationships, connection and community are at the heart of growing and teaching good humans. She wants to help foster these traits in kids and create a safe environment where students grow a love for learning.

Amanda Moran

Teaching Assistant

Amanda and her family moved to Bend from Central California in 2009. As a teen, Amanda enjoyed
working in the nursery at her church as well as in the special education classroom at her high school. Amanda has volunteered in her three children’s classrooms since preschool and they are now in high school and college.  When her children were young she taught music and art classes at the Gymboree Play and Music.  In more recent years she has had the privilege of being asked to travel with her children’s outdoor learning program. Amanda enjoys spending as much time as possible with her children and family. She also enjoys traveling and exploring new places as well as seeing all that Oregon has to offer.

Alexa Sherar, AA ECE


Alexa was born and raised in Portland. Growing up she babysat her cousins and neighbors and knew working with children was her passion. She moved to Arizona in 2003 and attended Pima Community College, where she obtained her AA in Early Childhood Education. Alexa taught at a play-based preschool in Tucson for four years where she feels she mastered connecting and engaging children in a positive way. In 2011, Alexa moved to Bend to be closer to family, where she continued to teach and nanny. Alexa assisted at a Montessori school for a year and was a lead teacher for four years at a Waldorf-inspired preschool in Bend. Alexa enjoys teaching children to grow and flourish into strong, independent, and caring people. When Alexa is not working, she spends time with her two dogs and seven chickens in Tumalo. She enjoys knitting, reading and camping.

Jessica Laemmle, AA


Jessica was born in Southern California and moved to Central Oregon at a young age. She attended Central Oregon Community College and has an Associates Degree in Child Development. Jessica has worked with elementary aged students for the last eleven years in recreation programs. Jessica has enjoyed every moment working with elementary school aged children and is truly excited to step into working in early childhood education. Jessica’s goal is to have a safe and environment where all kids feel free to express themselves. She builds a small community in her classroom, allowing little minds to feel safe to learn and grow. In Jessica’s free time she enjoys traveling and hanging out with her husband, five year old daughter, and her dogs. Jessica looks forward to getting to know each child and make positive memories of their first experiences in a classroom.

Janine Higgins

Teaching Assistant

Janine has been a substitute teacher at School of Enrichment since the fall of 2014. Janine spent the last 18 years raising her two daughters who are now young adults. Janine is excited to have the opportunity to spend more time supporting at School of Enrichment now that her girls are older! Janine is flexible and calm in her nature and students and staff enjoy spending time with Janine. Janine has regularly volunteered in both of her daughter’s classes since they were in kindergarten and this is where she found her passion of working with children. Janine has a presence that we all appreciate and students bond with her quickly. Janine’s favorite part of working in early childhood education is watching them grow and learn. Janine is flexible in her nature and in the classroom giving her the ability to work with a variety of personalities, she is cheerful and friendly and children are naturally drawn to her. We are so grateful to have her at School of Enrichment each day!

Amanda Blair

Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant Amanda is a native Oregonian who has has lived in Bend since she was seven years old. Amanda graduated from Bend Senior High School in 2016 and is currently in the process of obtaining an Elementary Education degree through Eastern Gateway Community College. Amanda is enjoying her classes and especially those in psychology and child development. Amanda is a dedicated student and has made the “President’s List” with a 4.0 GPA. Amanda has plentiful experience as a nanny and as a teaching assistant in other preschools. When Amanda is not working or taking classes, she loves to paint, hike and care for her pet rabbits, her cat and leopard gecko! Amanda’s favorite part of being in the classroom is stories and art projects but you’ll also see her blend in with the kids on the playground swinging, teetering and joining in on all the fun happening with our preschool friends!