Staff

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 Reggio Amelia, Dr. Maria Montessori, Handwriting Without Tears®, Get Set for School®, Play Counts®, author Heather Shumaker, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.   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.

 

 

 

Irakli Tsilosani
Director of Business and Facilities
Molly Hodgin
Assistant Director/Lead Teacher

Ms. Molly is the Assistant Director and Lead Teacher at Purple Bloom School. She earned her bachelors in Child Development and Administrative Management from the University of Iowa and Walden University. Prior to coming to Purple Bloom School, she owned and operated her in-home child care for seven years. She studied the philosophies of Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia and strived to implement these principles each day into her program. Ms. Molly has previous experience working as an in-home Nanny and at child care centers. She continues to further her knowledge by participating in training geared toward early childhood education.   

Ms. Molly happily resides in West Branch with her husband and three daughters, Payton (5), Ellie (3), and Stella (1).

 

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! 

Sharaya Peck
Elementary Teacher

           Sharaya Peck is a licensed elementary teacher. She graduated from Iowa State University with her B.A. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Her specialized endorsements include literacy education, special education (level 1 & level 2), and Child, Adult, & Family Services. She is certified in Creative Curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, and various other techniques for teaching children. Before joining Purple Bloom, she taught for Linn Mar Community School District in Linn County.  Ms Sharaya’s work experience includes teaching Kindergarten, Pre-School, and working as an Early Literacy Specialist.   She and her husband Robert have two children; Lincoln age 4 and Sullivan age 1.   Both of her children attend Purple Bloom.

 

 

Kelley Atkins
Lead Teacher

Ms. Kelley is a lead teacher in Pre-K at Purple Bloom School where 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”. 

 

 

Jacquelyn Cochran
Lead Teacher
Cindy Frazier
One on One Paraprofessional/Lead Teacher

Ms. Cindy is a lead teacher in the one year old classroom.   She has her Associates Degree in Social Work from Kirkwood Community College. Ms. Cindy has 3 years+ experience as lead teacher and a para educator in a childcare center setting. She finds Purple Bloom School to be liberating for the students and teachers alike.   Having minimal boundaries allow the children to play and learn the way they decide.   Ms. Cindy lives in North Liberty and has two children, Koryn (16) and Camden (18).   To continue her education, Ms. Cindy participates in early childhood courses and conferences.

 

Marlys McKaig
Lead Teacher
Emilie Nelson
Lead Teacher
Rachel Plews
Lead Teacher

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.

 

 

Sarah Asare
Classroom Assistant
Kaitlyn Beason
Classroom Assistant
Nakia Brown
Classroom Assistant
Britta Cavinder
Classroom Assistant
Dawn Clark
Amber Corso
Classroom Assistant Substitute
Breanna Davis
Classroom Assistant
Sahara Elzaki
Classroom Assistant
Michael Farrey
Classroom Assistant
Thais Farrey
Classroom Assistant
Daisy Garcia
Classroom Assistant
Ryan Getz
Classroom Assistant
Grace Heller
Classroom Assistant
Rikki Hemsley
Classroom Assistant
Lora Hesseltine
Classroom Assistant
Therese Kankolongo
Classroom Assistant
Saba Khamees
Classroom Assistant
Daphne Klein
Classroom Assistant
Lily Lucas
Classroom Assistant
Maryann Mbanza
Classroom Assistant
Mandy McPherson
Classroom Assistant
Kai Plews
Classroom Assistant
Roxy Running (Johnson)
Classroom Assistant
Eliza Schaeffer
Classroom Assistant
Lindsey White
Classroom Assistant
Chloe Zunkin
Classroom Assistant