I am very excited to be joining the team here at Grandma's Place! My students call me Ms. Sue and I started working in education in 2001. I have degrees from PSU in Psychology and Business as well as having completed much of my Master's credits in Early Childhood Education. My special fields of interest are behavioral and learning challenges. I have worked with students ranging in age from birth to 19, both here and in Central America.

I am a single mother who has proudly raised six beautiful children. All of them are grown and on their own now, except my 14-year-old son, Jaysun. Jays and I live in a cabin on Mt. Hood with our Great Dane named Goliath! I love hiking, camping, fishing and anything that takes me outdoors. I am a local sports fan and love to support the Blazers, Winterhawks, Timbers and Seahawks. One of my sons is at OSU, so I guess that makes me a Beavers fan too.

In my spare time, I love to draw and paint and I am always tapping my feet to some type of rhythm. My favorite pastime is probably cooking and enjoying a meal with friends and family. A secret about me is that I am naturally tip-toed. So, when you see me waltzing around in high heels, I really am more comfortable!

​My name is Ms. Karen and I am the Curriculum Coordinator at Grandma’s Place.  Prior to taking this position, I was the teacher in our Young Preschool classroom.  Before moving to Portland, I spent 6 years working for the St. Paul Public School District (Minnesota) in pre-k and kindergarten classrooms.  3 of those years were through AmeriCorps and the following 3 years were funded by a grant through the McKnight Foundation to provide early math and literacy support to students. During this time, I returned to graduate school at Hamline University and completed my K-12 teaching license with a focus on ESL (English Second Language) education.  

Teaching is truly my passion; I cannot imagine working in any other field!  I am always excited to learn about more ways to be a better educator and share these ideas with the teachers at our school.  I love spending as much time as possible in our classrooms, getting to know students and seeing their growth and development!

In my spare time, I love to crochet and always have at least 5 projects in process.  My husband and I like to go backpacking or camping in our converted school bus.  We love the mild Oregon climate and being able to do things outside year-round!  


My name is Nicki, I have been working in early education since 2001. After working in the field for a while, I decided that I wanted something more and decided to give college a try. After two terms I figured out that my heart was with the children and I quickly returned to early education. Throughout the years I have spent numerous hours in trainings and I am currently working to obtain my CDA (Child Development Associate). 

I feel that the first 3 years of a child’s life is so important and I am so happy that I can be a part of their development. I love all the smiles and hugs from not only the children that are currently in my care but from the children that started with me in infants and are now in preschool. And oh yeah, getting to know the families is a bonus! 

I spend all of my spare time with my two daughters. Kylee and Kenyah. They are my heart and soul. We love camping, swimming, roller skating, baking, and riding snow mobiles.  

​​My name is Tai and I am one of the teachers in the Infant room. I started working at Grandma’s place in 2014 and I’ve had the opportunity to work with all age groups. I’ve been working with children since 2001 and I enjoy the work that I do.

Years ago I decided that I was going to go into the medical field, and after going to school to get the education and training I found out that I loved working with children and decided to stay in the field. I love watching children grow and seeing the look on their faces when they do things they’ve never done. Seeing them succeed is so rewarding. 

When I’m not at Grandma’s Place I am spending time with my husband and my daughter who is the joy of my life and keeps me busy. We like going to the zoo, the beach, and other kid friendly places. 

Mobile Infants

Hi I am Jenny Acred. I am the Mobile Infant teacher, and I have been with Grandma’s Place since 2011. I went to Mount Hood Community College and received my associates in Early Childhood Education. I plan on attending Ashford University to earn my Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship with a Minor in Child Development. 

I love watching children grow and learn in my care. I especially love watching a child master a skill we have been working on. The Mobile Infant age is full of growth and skill development and I get the opportunity to guide and encourage my children to accomplishing new skills. 

I love to bowl and hang out with my daughter. I love watching her grow in the activities she participates in (bowling and dance), I also love going to the movies. 

My name is Iman and I have been working at Grandma’s Place since the summer of 2015. I have been working with kids and infants since I was 12 years old, with babysitting and helping my sisters with their kids. I currently work with mobile infants, but since starting at Grandma's Place. My favorite part of working here has been watching the kids grow and develop. I have worked with multiple age groups. 

Outside of work I'm a student at Portland State University studying public health. I also enjoy spending time hiking when the weather is nice enough. I also love watching and playing sports. When I am not studying or working, I love to spend time playing soccer with friends. 

My name is Samira Mohamed and I am one of the Mobile Infant Teachers. I am originally from Kenya and speak both English and Somali. I have been working at Grandma’s Place since 2016. I really enjoy working with younger kids.

I am currently attending Portland Community College in hopes of becoming a teacher. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my family. I also like watching movies and going shopping with my friends.


My name is Sharron Sherbourne and I am a wobbler teacher.  I have been working in childcare centers in Washington and Oregon since 2003.  In 2012 I received my Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in ASL through Pierce College.  I have also recently earned my Child Development Associate’s (CDA) through Rasmussen University.  

In addition to teaching, I enjoy spending time with my three children.  Aaron is 19, Megan is 15, and Courtney is 14.  We have a lot of fun cooking, camping, hiking, and watching movies together.  On the rare occasion that I get a moment when I’m not surrounded by children, I love reading.  Teaching is what I love to do most.  I look forward to getting to know you and your family to help your child reach every goal and strive for more.  Mostly, I hope to instill in your child, a love for learning.

My name is Sajo, but everyone calls me Mr. Safet. I am married. I've been working with children since I was 18. I have helped many deaf and hard of hearing students. I started working here October 2016. I love having the opportunity to be a teacher. So far, I love to teach my students sign language because I want encourage them to speak and sign for their education. I speak four languages, Bosnian, English, ASL, and Spanish. 

I have taken advantage of going to community college in order to get my degree and certificate to help me be a better educator for my students. I am committed to developing my knowledge, skills, and training to help encourage and support the children and families. 

In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, hanging out with my families, and going to the mall with my wife. I love spending time with my family and friends. ​

Young Preschool

​Hi everyone! My name is Bree, I am the Young Preschool Teacher. I have been working with children since 2008. In those years I have worked at a in-home preschool, several centers, and occasionally nannying on family vacations in other states!  

Being a teacher is my happy place. There is so much joy in watching each of your students grow and develop. It is such a blessing being a part of each of their lives. I have learned so many life lessons from being in this profession. You learn to be patient, to love unconditionally with your whole heart, and you learn to put a little more imagination in everything you do.

In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors, hiking, taking Beautimus (my dog, who is also the class pet) to our local dog park and riding dune buggies with my fiance on our property!

​Ms. Natalie- Bio coming soon!

My name is Neify Lavadores. I started working at Grandma's Place in spring 2017. Working with the children has been a wonderful experience. I love my job! I love how they learn and develop everyday.  We both learn from each other.

I like going hiking and spending time time with my family and friends! I love interior design!


Hi everyone. I am Cheryl Aimen and I am one of the Preschool teachers at Clark Family Center. I have been working with children for 26 years and have an AA in Early Childhood Education.
What I love most about working with children is helping and watching the children learn as they grow. I love to teach children through play.

In my spare time I love to spend time with my grandchildren Remy and Aimee, and the rest of my family. I also love to go for walks. 


Hello! I am Kelly Richardson and I am one of the resident prekindergarten teachers here at Grandma’s Place. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. I have worked in Early Childhood Education since 2006 and it has been my full time job since 2012.

We work on a lot of skill development and mastery in the prekindergarten classroom as we prepare our students for kindergarten. I love watching my students gain new knowledge and master those skills we have been working on. This is not a quick process, but it is very rewarding.

In my personal time, I enjoy writing, reading and preforming comedy.

Hi I am Aaron Kelsh. I am one of the prekindergarten teachers. I have been working with children professionally for 5 years. Both of my parents are educators so I have been exposed to early childhood development my whole life. 

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film. I have many varied interests including; building, painting, cooking, music, biking and watching movies. Recently I have been building tables with reclaimed wood from pallets. 

What I love most about working with children is re-experiencing life and learning by watching my students interact with the world around them and each other. The rediscovery, imagination and wonder I find inspiring and it reminds me of how much work it takes to figure out our lives. 

Support Staff

Hi, my name is Halden J.T. Lesslie-Arcaya.

I am currently attending Portland Community College after graduating from Cleveland High School. I plan on attending The University of Washington. I was also a counselor for Outdoor School for four years.

I enjoy hiking, camping, eating, and sports. I hope my time here allows me to build a relationship with you and your children. 

Hi, my name is Phyllis Hughes. I am a Preschool teacher here at Grandma’s Place. I have been working in Early Childhood Education for over 30 years! In my time as a teacher, I have watched the industry grow from simple babysitting to full scale programs with active curriculums and assessments done on students to track growth and development. 

What I love most about teaching is watching my students grow and develop. It is amazing to see what a difference just six months can make as they learn to make friends, create art and play on their own.

I am a big fan of Football and Basketball, go Seahawks and Blazers!! I also enjoy shopping with my friends.

I'm Ms. Sharifa and I have worked at Grandma's Place since February 2015.  I'm originally from Somalia and speak three languages: Somali, Arabic, and English.  I have 2 children, one boy and one girl.  When I'm not working I like to spend time with them, going to movies and having fun.  

I love working with kids at Grandma's Place because it makes me very happy.  Singing songs if my favorite thing to do with them!

I'm Ms. Pat, the head cook at the Clark Family Center building. I was born in Columbus, Ohio; but considers myself from Tennessee where I lived for 17 years. I have over 6 years of experience working in the Early Childhood field. Something interesting about me is that I am the second eldest of eight children.  I love spending weekends exploring Portland with my daughter Norma. 

​Hey y’all! I am Norma Coffman. I work with my Mom, Miss Pat in the kitchen here at Grandma’s Place. I have been working with children since 2010. I am currently taking classes at Clackamas Community College and would like to teach art one day. 

I very blessed to be working with my mother, we are two peas in a pod. I enjoy playing with the children and watching them grow. Working with the children brings joy to my life. 

In my free time I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I enjoy cooking and baking. I love cats and dogs and, as strange as it may sound, I collect mushrooms.
When I am not working, I like to go bike riding with my boyfriend, hiking, spending with my family. One day I hope to travel the world. 

Hi there, my name Melinda Emmons. I am the park aid here at Grandma’s Place. I have been working at Grandma’s Place as the park aid since 2011!

I enjoy my time with the children and love helping them play safely at the park.

In my free time, I like to read, knit and crochet, and love playing games on my IPad as well as spending time with my family. 

Meet Our Teachers


Clark Family