Our Teachers

Konne Ainsworth (4Day & T/Th)

Konne Ainsworth is our current Director and the teacher of the Tuesday/Thursday class and the 4-day class. She has been on the staff at Explorer since 1976. Early in her Explorer career, Konne created our program for two-year-olds, and over the years has been instrumental throughout the school’s three moves.

Konne also developed and taught curriculum in the Early Childhood Education department at Ohlone College for 15 years . She taught classes on Literacy, Science, Art and the beginning course, Developing Curriculum in ECE.  Konne holds a BA degree in Child Development and a MA degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a credentialed California elementary teacher and credentialed to teach community college and adults in early childhood.  She has a California Children Center permit at the Director’s level.

Konne is a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education for Young Children) and a member of CCPPNS (California Council of Parent Participating Preschool).  She has presented workshops at the state convention (CAEYC) and at the CCPPNS annual convention as well as the California Kindergarten Association.  She was awarded the CCPPNS Lifetime Achievement Award and has twice received the Director’s Award.  Konne completed the Music Together training as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Splash Zone training.  Her personal interests include reading, biking and cooking.

Teacher Konne emphasizes the importance of children becoming active participants in their own learning through exploration, questioning and investigation.  She believes the cooperative preschool is a wonderful laboratory for parents and children to learn together.

Annie Castle-Deckert (MW2s, Fri2s, and Together Time)

Annie was an Explorer parent for four years before becoming an Explorer teacher in 1995.    She teaches both 2s classes as well as the Together Time program for parents and toddlers.

Annie holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology,  an Adult Education Credential and a Child Development Site Supervisor Permit.  In addition to teaching at Explorer, Annie has taught  Child Development  classes at Mission College and other community colleges since 1999.  She also serves as the coordinator in the California Early Childhood Mentor Program.  She teaches a variety of parenting classes and presents workshops at Early Childhood conferences.

When Annie is not teaching, she enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, and hiking with her husband, Marlin.  Her  daughters, Emily and Audra, are now young adults and live nearby, so family get-togethers are always a priority. 

You can get to know Annie better by browsing her blog:  www.teacherannieexplores.blogspot.com

Jackie Kite (MWF, Fives Fun Club, and an aide in the 4Day class and T/Th class)

Jackie trained as a teacher in her native England and taught in England, Greece, and Italy prior to coming to America. She has a M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from SJSU. She also has the equivalent of a BA in Art Education from Leeds University (UK) and a Teaching Credential in Parent Education from SJSU. 

Jackie began teaching the MWF class at Explorer in the fall of 1997. At the present time, Jackie is also the assistant teacher in the T/Th class and the 4 day class. She also teaches the Fives Fun Club twice a year.

Prior to working at Explorer, Jackie worked for the YMCA supervising childcare programs and family activities. Jackie is also a certified Music Together teacher.

Jackie belongs to many professional organizations and has presented workshops at conferences for the following organizations: California Kindergarten Association, California Association of Young Children, Pacific Association of Young Children, California Association of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, and the California Association of Adult Educators. CCPPNS twice awarded Jackie with their teacher of the year award (2005 and 2009).

Jackie believes that it truly does take a 'village to raise a child', and that the community at Explorer supports the whole family in that endeavor.

Paula Oakes (
aide in Togther Time program and our substitute for all classes)

After graduating her children from Explorer, Paula is glad to be back! Her experience at Explorer includes Together Time, 5 years as a participating parent, and four years on the Board where she was Chair of Parent Education and the Liaison to SCVC. Her classroom experience also includes nine years of teaching high school social studies (including psychology and sociology).  She has a M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from SJSU. Paula also has a BA in Liberal Studies from UCSB and a professional clear credential from San Jose State University . She recently returned to Explorer as a substitute in all the classes and aides in the Together Time program.

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