Katie Tsilosani
School Director

Ms. Katie is the Owner, Director, and Lead Teacher at Purple Bloom School. Before Purple Bloom School emerged, Ms. Katie owned and operated her in-home child care including Purple Bloom Preschool for 14 years. She spent that time studying the philosophies of Play Counts®, Heather Shumaker, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Handwriting Without Tears®, Get Set for School®, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Reggio Emelia, Magda Gerber, Janet Lansbury, Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Method, and Dr. Maria Montessori   At 17 years old, Katie received the KCRG TV9 “A+ for Education” for creating an immersion program for the special education students in her high school.   Ms. Katie is a trained and certified Suzuki violin and viola instructor. She owned and operated Stringworks School of Music for 10 years and taught violin at the University of Northern Iowa Suzuki Music School.   She earned her associates degree from Kirkwood Community College and has since continued her education at the University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa.  

Ms. Katie and her husband, Irakli, have three children whom all attend Purple Bloom School.

 

 

 

Kelley Adkins
Assistant Director/ Lead Teacher Room #6

Ms. Kelley is the Assistant Director and Lead Teacher of room 6 AT Purple Bloom.  She initiated and oversees the upbringing of monarch butterflies with our students. She owned and operated her in-home childcare for four years. Ms. Kelley has experience working in the Iowa City School District as a one on one paraprofessional and a behavioral interventionist. She earned her AA degree and is certified in all early childhood education required training. She and her husband, Malik, have two daughters, two beagles, a guinea pig, and a chinchilla!   Both of their daughters attend Purple Bloom.  Ms. Kelley continues her education by attending various workshops and conferences related to early childhood education. Her favorite part of the school day is watching the kids use their imagination to create something amazing from a pile of “stuff”. 

 

 

Lisa Montz
Marketing Director

Lisa grew up in Marion, Iowa with her older sister and Purple Bloom School Director, Katie Tsilosani.    She graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Liberal Arts.  Before joining Purple Bloom, she worked at Kirkwood Community College with marketing and high school outreach.    Lisa and her husband Noel have one son, Morgan.    She really enjoys working at Purple Bloom because of the supportive community Purple Bloom has become! 

Iris Grossman
Lead Teacher #8

Ms. Iris earned her degree from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music at Deakin University in Australia. Before working at Purple Bloom School, Ms. Iris worked at her family’s music center, Tone New Music Center, for 15 years teaching private piano lessons for ages 3-4 years. She also taught private vocal lessons. Ms. Iris was born into an artistic family, her dad owns his own painting studio, her mom the music studio, her brother is an art and guitar teacher, and her sister sings!  Ms. Iris lives in Iowa City with her husband and enjoys spending time at home and is a “gamer girl”.   Her favorite thing about working at Purple Bloom is the peaceful atmosphere.

Kai Plews
Lead Teacher #1

Mr. Kai Plews is the lead teacher of Pre-K Room #1 at Purple Bloom. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BFA in Photography. He then attended the University of Iowa and graduated with an MA and an MFA in Photography. Mr. Kai is currently certified in all early childhood education required training. He has training in social emotional teaching strategies, child-led play strategies, curriculum development, and pedagogical practices. Before working at Purple Bloom School, Mr. Kai worked with Ms. Rachel in her in-home tot school, In the Hive Playschool. Mr. Kai has a passion for teaching and working with all age groups. One of his favorite aspects of working with preschool aged children is reading books. He is excited to bring a creative and art focused approach to Purple Bloom!

Mr. Kai and his wife, Ms. Rachel, live in Iowa City with their five children: Dex age 10, Veda age 9, Gus age 6, twin 3-year-olds Leo and Asa, and their cat Spyder. Mr. Kai and Ms. Rachel's children attend Purple Bloom School.

Rachel Plews
Lead Teacher Room #2

Ms. Rachel Plews graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.S. in Sociology. She is currently certified in all early childhood education required training. She has additional training in social emotional teaching strategies and child led play strategies. Before joining Purple Bloom, Rachel owned and operated her own in-home "tot school". She developed and taught curriculum focused on play-with-a-purpose for children aged 2 and 3 years. She especially loves working with this age group because everything is a new adventure for them! 

Rachel and her husband, Kai, live in Iowa City with their five children: Dex age 9, Veda age 8, Gus age 5, and twin 2 year olds Leo and Asa, and their cat, Spyder.   Ms. Rachel’s children attend Purple Bloom School.

 

 

Jenny Smalley
Lead Teacher #7
Hello! My name is Jenny Smalley and I am so excited to join the Purple Bloom Community! I studied Early Childhood education at Kirkwood Community College, followed by nannying some awesome kiddos, teaching 2 and 3 year olds in a center and then eventually leading my own in-home childcare. I have also been a ‘stay at home mom’ for the past few years to my three sweet little boys, RJ, Jude, and Silas. I have such a passion for watching children grow and learn through play and curiosity. I feel very strongly about guiding children positively as they navigate through their environment, emotions and relationships. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your child’s experience here at Purple Bloom! I look forward to getting to know each and everyone of their unique personalities. What a gift that is!”
 
 
 
 
 
Tammy Bach
Classroom Assistant #7

Ms. Tammy Bach has her associate’s degree (Liberal Arts & Science) from Kirkwood Community College and has all of the pre-requisites required for their Nursing Program as well. Before working at Purple Bloom School, Ms. Tammy worked in restaurant management.   Ms. Tammy lives in North Liberty with her fiancé, 2-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son, and their English bulldog, Bella.  Her favorite thing about working at Purple Bloom School is that it feels just like a family. Ms. Tammy studied martial arts, the violin, and loves music and cooking. She continues her Early Childhood Education by attending conferences and training seminars.

Emma Brown
Classroom #4/Summer Camp Counselor

Ms. Emma is 3rd year student at the University of Iowa and is currently studying Secondary Foreign Language Education and Spanish. She is also studying to be certified to teach K-12 English language. Ms. Emma has previous experience working in early childhood education and before/after school programming. Her parents live in Des Moines, her sister is working Minneapolis, and she has a pet parakeet named Lago. She is in the University is Iowa marching band and is a huge Hawkeye fan. Ms. Emma really enjoys working with her Purple Bloom co-workers. She finds it fulfilling to watch the students at Purple Bloom hit their developmental milestones. She is looking forward to Purple Bloom Summer Day Camp 2020. “I can't wait to hang out with some kids and go on some fun adventures when the weather is nice! I also hope to do some fun art projects and other projects to learn from.” We are so happy to have Ms. Emma at Purple Bloom!

Teanna Davila
Classroom Assistant

Ms. Teanna is currently studying Criminology, Law, and Justice. She’s not sure what she is going to do with her degree yet but is excited to be in this field. Ms. Teanna has previous experience working in Early Childhood Education.  Her favorite thing about working at Purple Bloom is being with the kids because they make her day so much better!

Breanna Davis
Classroom Assistant/Office

Ms. Breanna Davis has her associate degree in Early Childhood Education and is in the process of earning her bachelor’s degree.  She has previous experience working in early childhood education before joining the team at Purple Bloom School including working at another center and nannying. She grew up in Wellman, IA. Ms. Breanna has Tourette’s syndrome and is dedicated to educating others on what it means to have Tourette’s syndrome. She truly enjoys working at Purple Bloom School because of family feel and that children are most important above all else, and staff are treated great.

Lora Hesseltine
Classroom Assistant

Ms. Lora Hesseltine has a B.A. in Psychology. Before working at Purple Bloom School, she was a stay-at-home mom.  She currently resides in North Liberty with her son, Ben.   They have several pets including Walter, Tom, Sam, Rosie, Jeff, and soon Maggie and Yuliya. Ms. Lora’s is looking forward to expanding her family when her partner and his children move in with them in Coralville. Ms. Lora continues her Early Childhood Education by attending conferences and training seminars.

Payton Janney
Infant Teacher

Ms. Payton Janney is currently working in our infant room at Purple Bloom.   She is a master’s student at the University of Iowa studying Child Life. Child life is psychologically and socially supporting children while they are in the hospital through play and development. Ms. Payton has previous work experience at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital playing and supporting children. She grew up in Cedar Rapids with her parents and sister. Her sister just got a job as a pediatric nurse and the University of Iowa and she has a big old dog named Tank. Ms. Payton is a Chicago Cubs fan is very much missing watching the Cubs play baseball! She enjoys working at Purple Bloom because she loves the kids and being able to learn more about them while providing a safe environment for them to grow.

Lily Lucas
Classroom Assistant
Billie Mottet
Classroom Assistant

Ms. Billie is currently studying Education at the University of Iowa. She is originally from Urbandale, IA and has three sisters. Ms. Billie’s favorite part of working at Purple Bloom School is building relationships with children and watching them grow every day.  

Ella Schmitz
Classroom Assistant/Summer Camp Counselor

Ms. Ella began studies for music education at the University of Iowa. Before joining Purple Bloom, she was a barista at the Bread Garden Market.   Ms. Ella loves her family because they absolutely rock! In her free time, she loves to travel.  She enjoys working at Purple Bloom because the children fill her heart everyday and bring her endless joy. She is looking forward to Summer Day Camp 2020 because she cannot wait to experience a leadership role and spend all day outside exploring and learning about this wonderful earth we live on.

Olivia Trevino
Classroom Assistant
Roberta Venneri
Classroom Assistant

Ms. Roberta has her MBA + Diploma in Pedagogy. She is a Professor of Management and speaks Italian as a second language. Her favorite part of working at Purple Bloom is working with all the children. Ms. Roberta is married and has two kids, Dorotea (16) and Guido Antonio (13). She loves animals, cats in particular, and very much enjoys educating young children!