Our educators are a special breed. We engage learners with cohesive, hands-on curriculum. We see this as the best path to building problem-solvers.
At LEADPrep, we benefit from a full-time, dedicated staff, rather than part-time, content-focused model. We have 11 full-time teachers for a 1:5 teacher/student ratio, allowing for real connection and attention in the classroom.
Our team not only supports our students, we support each other, using a teacher/co-teacher model and switch out, playing both roles throughout the day. This fosters our atmosphere of community and cohesion that makes LEADPrep so special.
It takes a special group of people to make the magic happen every day.
Meet our magicians
Head of School
Liz McFarland is originally from New Orleans, LA where she first attended culinary school and then went to get her Bachelor’s in Elementary education at the University of New Orleans. From there she went to the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota for a Master’s in Special education. She then moved to Seattle, where she taught special education classes and pursued further graduate work in School Psychology and Educational Leadership at Seattle U and UW-Danforth program. She has been a school administrator in public schools since 2010 at all levels from elementary to the district office level overseeing multiple programs at multiple schools.
When she is not at school, she enjoys hanging with her teenage son, trivia, cooking, traveling, and karaoke! She is excited to be a part of LeadPrep!
Director of Operations
Christi is a proud mom of four kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. She has a soft spot in her heart for unique educational opportunities. Between them, she and her two younger kiddos have 4 alternative school experiences, spanning preschool thru high school.
Drawing on her varied career and life experiences, Christi’s goal is to provide the background support needed to make it possible for the other staff members to thrive in their roles and fully utilize their talents.
In her free time, Christi enjoys reading, spending time with family, friends & pets, traveling to sunny destinations, designing spaces, furniture, decor & gifts and engaging in various areas of activism.
Director of Learning / Spanish TeacherFernanda is a Spanish teacher who was born and raised in Argentina. She got her BS degree in Education and has been teaching for 16 years, not only in elementary but also in HS. Fernanda lived three years in Spain, where she worked in different schools as an ESL teacher as well as a Spanish teacher as a second language. Teaching and taking care of her students is her passion. In her free time, Fernanda takes ballet and modern jazz dance classes. She has been dancing since she was a child.
History / Social Studies Teacher
Rob found his passion for working with children at a summer camp in upstate New York, where he led children through a multitude of tasks – ranging from kayaking to songwriting, while providing emotional support for children struggling being away from home for the first time. From there, he began working in an elementary school special education classroom in Florida, where he found the joys of working with neurodiverse children. In 2015, Rob moved across the country, taking a month long road trip from Florida to Seattle while camping at all the national parks he could along the way. He has spent the past four years working as an ABA behavior technician, providing one on one support both at home and in the classroom for children with autism as young as three and as old as eighteen. In his free time, Rob loves noodling on guitar, paddling his canoe, and snoozing in his hammock.
Matt is a Kirkland native who graduated from Lake Washington High School in 2016. Always excited by math, he tutored peers throughout his life and worked recently at Lincoln High School (Seattle). In the near future, he plans to obtain a Master’s in Teaching for secondary mathematics and teach internationally. He completed his BA in Mathematics and Economics at University of Montana where he developed a passion for the outdoors and loves to backpack, fly fish, and ride his bicycle.
Jesse is a PNW native who found his passion for teaching and photography at Occidental College when he began taking weekend photography trips and helped lead backpacking photography trips for MS/HS in Death Valley. After completing Seattle Central’s Commercial Photography program, he started an International photography company working with International schools. He became drawn into education from working with all these schools and earned his teaching certification from George Mason in 2006. Jesse has spent 20 years in his photography business and is very excited to teach photography again. His hobbies include playing some bad guitar, board games, puzzles, and cards. Jesse is always in search of the best burger.
English / ELA Teacher
Emma is a Washington native from Whidbey Island. She has been working with kids for almost 7 years and spends her summers as a camp counselor. When she’s not in the classroom she’s out and about with her husky Koa, and on rainy days she is curled up reading a book.
Nick is originally from New Jersey where he earned his Bachelor of Science. After getting his MA at Montclair State University, Nick worked as a science teacher for 13 years at both public and private middle and high schools. At the Liberty Science Center, he worked as a STEM enrichment specialist where he led lab activities and facilitated the ‘Live From Surgery’ program. Nick loves basketball, bowling, and trivia nights with his wife, and can be found at beard and mustache competitions that raise money for local charities.
Kester is a professional illustrator and comic book artist. She received a BA in Studio Art from Seattle Pacific University and completed the University Scholars program–a cross-disciplinary study of philosophy, faith, and sciences. Kester leads contemplative music and meditation at St. Andrew’s Seattle, an LGBTQ affirming Episcopal church. She is also a life-long neurodiversity advocate for children, teens, and adults. Kester has decades of lived experience supporting people with executive function and sensory processing issues, as well as other medical and learning disabilities. Neurodiversity includes ALL people, because everyone is unique, and we create diversity with our differences!
Registrar / Special Projects
Danyella first joined the LEADPrep team as the Remote Coach, assisting students who needed to learn from home, and has since become registrar and organizes our Friday expeditions and more! In 2015, she landed in Seattle after a month-long road trip from her home state, Florida, and has put down roots here ever since. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, going to concerts, and camping.
Maureen is a trailblazing school leader, author, and podcaster. Her master’s and doctorate focused on educational innovation. Using her experience and passion for inclusion, belonging, and strength-based experiential learning in the creation (and ten years’ leadership) of LEADPrep has been an honor. Hobbies include travel, exploring, and singing to the car radio.