Meet Our Staff

Tina Higley

Preschool Director

858.679.8169


My name is Tina Higley and I have the honor and privilege to serve as Director here at Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool. I first fell in love with this place as a stay-at-home-mom looking for a preschool for my now 24 year old son. I never left! I’ve worn many hats since I began this career in September of 1995. I initially started to work at Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool as a teaching assistant and during that time decided to go back to school to complete my degree and learn all I could about early childhood development. For many years I taught classes for 3 and 4 year olds and eventually added the responsibilities of assistant director. Finally in 2009 I left the classroom and accepted the position as preschool director. Talk about coming up from the ranks! I’m often asked if I miss teaching in the classroom and, truth be told, I certainly do. However, I find my role as Director equally rewarding. What a blessing it is to wander into a classroom or onto the playground and witness the tremendous growth children display because of our unique program! I’m so proud of our entire staff here at the preschool. Their dedication to children and their families is evident in all they do. Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool is truly a caring and experienced community of early childhood educators. We are a very special place. Give me a call…I’ll be happy to take you on a tour!

Margie Travis

Assistant Director

858.679.8169


My name is Margie Travis, I am currently the Assistant Director here at Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool. It has been my pleasure to be part of this ministry for over twenty years. Initially, my first visits to Mount Olive Preschool was in the capacity of a mother, searching for a preschool for my 3 year old boy. Little did I know, that God had plans for me as well! My son’s separation anxiety was so extreme, that I literally camped out on the picnic tables for weeks until his anxiety subsided. During this time, the Director thought I might be a good fit for the preschool, and asked if I would like to volunteer in the office. That was the beginning of my love for this very special place. As I watched my son learn, and grow emotionally, socially, cognitively, physically and spiritually, I knew that God was nudging me to educate myself in this field. I decided to take some Early Childhood classes at Palomar College, and also received an Early Childhood Certificate of Lutheran Teaching through Concordia University. It has been such a privilege and blessing to use that knowledge in serving so many wonderful families, as their children grow in their Early Childhood experience here at Mount Olive Preschool. I have known my husband since I was 11 years old. Together we have four children and six grandchildren that we absolutely adore. We have lived in Poway for over 30 years.

Michelle Cannon-Wiest

Lead Teacher


Hi, I’m Michelle Cannon-Wiest and I teach the four/five year old, “Butterfly” class. This coming fall will mark my 22nd year here at Mount Olive Lutheran Preschool. My teaching experience began in 1976 after graduating from SDSU with a degree in Elementary Education and later on, after realizing where my heart truly lies, I sought a degree in Early Childhood. Growing up in the Imperial Valley, just 20 minutes from the Mexican border, gave me an early opportunity to learn Spanish. Thank goodness it came easily for me and now I get to share it with my kids here at school. I am also interested in American Sign Language and enjoy teaching the children the importance of learning to sign. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to touch the minds and souls of these precious children every day through sharing with them my enthusiasm and love for teaching.

Jeanie Spooner

Lead Teacher


Hi, my name is Jeanie Spooner and I was born and raised in San Diego. I moved to Poway in 1995 and really enjoy living in our little, “City in the Country.” Mt. Olive has been a big part of that! I have loved teaching children since I started babysitting at age 12. I took ROP Child Development in high school and received my Associates Degree and Certificate in Child Development at Grossmont College. I started teaching in 1980 and haven’t looked back since. I have been an aide, a teacher, an Assistant Director, a home daycare provider and I can’t imagine a more rewarding job! It was teaching pre-school that introduced me to my husband 24 years ago. He was “Uncle Jim” to some of my students and we made it official 22 years ago. All 12 nieces and nephews were in our wedding and it was a day to remember! After teaching other people’s children for so many years, we were finally blessed with three of our own beautiful kiddos! Meghan-19, Lauren-18, and Evan-14, have made our lives complete! Watching them learn and grow has truly been a daily delight. With one in college and two in high school, I wonder where the years have gone! So, a word of advice; make lots of memories, take lots of pictures and videos, and whatever you do: don’t blink, because before you know it, they grow up!! I came to Mount Olive Preschool when my daughter, Lauren, was in pre-school. She had Michelle Cannon-Wiest for her Jr. Kindergarten teacher. She grew a lot that year and the most important thing I remember her taking away was that she, “Always wanted to keep Jesus in her heart!” What a better foundation to take into school could there be? When we moved to Poway, I started my home daycare so I could still do what I loved but also be at home with my own love bugs. I did this for a few years until I was expecting my son and then I took a short time away from teaching. When he was a little older, I was drawn back to start subbing and of course was pulled to Mt. Olive because of the warmth we had felt when Lauren was there. I was offered a teaching job right away and taught for a couple of years. I took another couple of years off to deal with my son’s diagnosis of Tourette syndrome and to start a support group. I came back in 2011 as an assistant and this year I am back doing what I love most...teaching! I’m so blessed to be back with such a loving, nurturing and giving group of ladies! You can now find me with my 3 year old friends, the "Hummingbirds" as well as the 4 year old classroom of "Bluebirds". God is so good! I look forward to being able to be a part of your children’s growth. Thank you for sharing them with us for such a precious time of their lives. I hope to nurture and guide them and let them know how special and blessed they truly are!!

Ellen Stanley

Lead Teacher


Hi! My name is Ellen Stanley. I have worked at Mount Olive Preschool for 14 years, and in early childhood education for well over 20 years. I discovered my passion for teaching young children after becoming a mother and attending a cooperative preschool alongside my children. Once my children were in elementary school I realized just how much I missed interacting with three and four year old people so back to college I went! I started my second career in northern California…Lafayette to be exact. I hold many fond memories of my teaching days at Seedlings Preschool. It was a great place to work! In 1995 my husband was transferred to San Diego and we settled in Poway. It took a few years for me to find a new workplace that felt like home. I love being part of the loving staff at Mount Olive Preschool, working on such beautiful grounds with so many caring families. I am ever grateful to have found a work place home to continue making lasting memories! I have been married for over 30 years; have two grown children and four grandchildren. Spending time with my family tops my list of how I enjoy spending my spare time. Together we enjoy the tradition of Sunday family dinners, as well as outings to parks and the kids sporting events. Since moving to Poway, I have become a California native plant enthusiast and really enjoy time outdoors, both at home and at my home away from home.

Jenny Nasser

Lead Teacher


Hi my name is Jenny Nasser and I have worked at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and Preschool for 12 yrs. I am the teacher for the 2 year old "Fishy Class". I grew up in Tucson, AZ and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Business. We moved to Poway in 1996 and have attended Mt. Olive Church for the past 16 years. I have been married for 24 years and have three wonderful daughters. I discovered after my oldest daughter started attending Mt. Olive Preschool that my real passion was in working with children, especially preschool age. So back to school I went and I feel very blessed to be working here at Mt. Olive with such a wonderful staff and interacting with such amazing children and their families. Not only do I have the opportunity to touch the minds and souls of these beautiful children but I, too, have been rewarded by sharing in their enthusiasm, joy, laughter and accomplishments.



Jeannine Seaboldt

Lead Teacher


My name is Jeannine Seaboldt and it has been my privilege to work at Mount Olive’s preschool for 22 years. My roots and love for Mount Olive Lutheran Church and Preschool run deep. I am the daughter of one of the Founding Fathers, Edward Strehlau, who helped build the Church. The first services were held in my parent’s garage on Midland Rd. while the church building was being constructed. What an amazing sight for this then preschooler to see; an altar and burning candles as I opened my garage door! I am an avid reader and I am passionate for animals, "All God’s Creatures". I am happily married to a Navy/Coast Guardsman and we have raised a wonderful son and daughter. They, also, grew-up in this church. During my education at Palomar College, I took a class in Child Psychology: Birth to 6 years. Thanks to Professor Nancy Cohen, I was fascinated, inspired, and hooked. I knew where my education and heart was leading me. Pre-school was where I wanted to apply my education and personality. It was a perfect fit for me. Children are remarkable and I love helping them learn and socialize and, best of all, have fun while doing it! Every year is different, and every child is unique. I teach them and they teach me. It is no small wonder that I love what I do and I pray that it always shows.


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