Konne Ainsworth


Konne Ainsworth is our current Director and the Lead Teacher of the TTh class and the 4Day (Pre-K) 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 Deckert


Annie was an Explorer parent for four years before becoming an Explorer teacher in 1995.  She is the Lead Teacher for Together Time, MW 2's, and Friday 2's.

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.

Jenell Carroll


Jenell came to Explorer in 2013 as a parent and was able to experience each class Explorer has to offer at least once with her two sons.  In 2017, Jenell began substituting in all classes and in 2018, she began teaching the Fives' Fun Club enrichment program.  She is excited to start the 2018-2019 school year as Lead Teacher in MWF and Assistant Teacher in TTh.

Before coming to Explorer, Jenell taught primarily 2nd grade for seven years after receiving her multiple subject teaching credential from SJSU in 2003.  Jenell has a BA degree in Liberal Studies from Westmont College and recently began accumulating additional early childhood education units as she shifts her career path from elementary education to early childhood.  She is eager to continue her education journey as her career continues to grow. 

When she is not teaching, Jenell enjoys going on adventures with her husband and two boys. She also enjoys gardening and reading books when she has some free moments. 

Paula Oakes


After graduating her children from Explorer, Paula is glad to be back!  Her experience at Explorer included Together Time, five 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 is the Assistant Teacher in Together Time and Friday 2's.

Carolyn Mulcahy


Teacher Carolyn joined Explorer in 2018 and is the Assistant Teacher in both the MWF morning class and the 4-day afternoon class.  Carolyn has a Child Development Teaching Permit and a BA in psychology from San Jose State University.  She will be applying to grad schools in the spring and hopes to attend a Master’s program in Fall 2019.  Carolyn plans to earn her MA in Developmental Psychology and teach at a community college or State University.  She has always been passionate about social- emotional development and has an affinity for children with special needs sense she is a non-traditional learner herself.

Carolyn has been a Teacher, Program Coordinator and Center Director at different types of preschool programs, school-age enrichment programs and camps throughout the Bay Area.   On Tuesday/Thursday mornings she is also a lead Teacher of the three-year-old class at LGSONS.  LGSONS is an outdoor parent observation nursery school in Los Gatos, affectionately nicknamed, “Mountain School.”  Carolyn was referred to Explorer by parents who enrolled their children at both schools.  She firmly believes that without parent involvement educators can’t make a lasting impact in the lives of children.  When Carolyn isn’t teaching, she loves hiking, camping, going to the beach, gardening and doing yoga.