Meet our family! All seasons Path staff are certified in The Seasons Ways. They have additional skills and offerings that make their contributions uniquely special for our community. All staff cross over between schools, bonding with all Seasons children.
Annie Whitney first came to Seasons as a teenager in 1991. Working five days a week as an assistant under the mentorship of Ruth Shobe, Stacey Ulep, and Kelly Kist, Seasons first core staff, she integrated The Seasons Ways into her very self. In those early years Annie also served as every parent’s off-hours babysitter, working closely with families and practicing The Seasons Ways almost 24/7.
When Annie became a mother and witnessed the reality of what other programs offered as well as the limitations her peers had with parenting skills she became passionately re-invigorated to champion The Seasons Ways and set herself on a course of learning how to become a more mature and skilled Leader in The Seasons Ways. Working closely with Kelly Kist, Seasons Founder, she was trained again with her sights set on helping to strengthen the program ensuring it’s success for future generations, her own children included. Annie has enjoyed a close relationship with Kelly and the new board of directors for several years and has been instrumental in keeping Seasons connected to the philosophy during transitional times.
Annie’s integrated skills–not only in working with children in deep connection but also in practicing and teaching The Seasons Ways to a cadre of Parent-Teachers–are demonstrated daily through her loving, astute, and sensitive interpretation of The Seasons Ways and Non Violent Communication (NVC). Kelly often remarks that she set out to demonstrate, define, and teach The Seasons Ways, and Annie EMBODIES them in her very essence.
If it is a loving “auntie” that a child needs, or a caring, empathic, and understanding mentor that a parent or teacher needs, Annie is there. She has made Seasons a core part of her self and lives, joyfully, as a wonderful example of the long reaching effect that practicing, loving, and learning through The Seasons Ways. We believe that every child and parent who gets to have Annie as his or her teacher is lucky, indeed.
As Seasons Director, and in partnership with The Seasons Way, Annie has continued her work in mentoring teachers to not only teach at Seasons, but to eventually open their own programs, bringing more of an opportunity for families to choose programs in line with the philosophy of The Seasons Way. For a while Annie had become an active board member of The Santa Barbara Family Child Care Association, committed Seasons to the Green Care for Children organization as well as become a network member of the Family Child Care Steps to Quality program. Annie, in partnership with The Seasons Way, The Santa Barbara Family Child Care Association and Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County has hosted continuing education opportunities for childhood professionals in the areas of Child Abuse Prevention, Nutrition, as well as Empathy Training. Annie is passionate about promoting quality programs for all children in our community.
Erin joined the Seasons community in Fall 2012. She has been committed to learning Non-Violet Communication as well as healthy emotional development. She came to Seasons open to learning a different and more peaceful way not only to teach, but to embrace in her own life. Erin genuinely loves people and establishes connection with the children as well as their families.
Erin is a life-long student of health and healing from many angles and has been training as a BEST practitioner for the past 3 years. We have been fortunate that she has been willing to share her healing work with the children and our community as a whole.
Erin is fun-loving and kind. Her laughter is infectious, the joy she brings to our school is magic.
Kate visited Seasons with her 16-month-old daughter for the first time in December 2011. Seeing the Seasons Way embodied in Annie, she asked if she might apprentice under her when the time was right. Nine months later Kate and her daughter joined the Seasons community.
Kate graduated from Dartmouth College in 1999 with a B.A. in English, one course shy of an education minor. Originally thinking she wanted to teach high school English, it wasn’t until 2003 that she discovered her enjoyment of younger children. This realization was brought about by a spiritual formation program for children called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The program, based on Montessori’s method, has as its foundation a respect for the child which she found deeply compelling. Falling in love with the work, Kate was trained to be with the 3-6-year-old children and found her awareness of child development growing rapidly in the process.
Kate is often described as hard-working and enthusiastic and is committed to being in authentic relationship with others. She appreciates the essentialism of young children and their immense capacities for wonder, joy, and love. People and books that have shaped her include: Maria Montessori, The Absorbant Mind, Sofia Cavalletti,The Religious Potential of the Child, Gianna Gobbi, Listening to God with Children, Aletha Solter, Aware Parenting, Richard Louv, The Last Child in the Woods, and Donna Goertz, Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful.
Katie joined the Seasons community in April 2018 after moving to Santa Barbara with her husband Joshua and two VERY spirited children Jasper (3) and Nina (1). Katie had been looking for a place to learn how to help her children to work through big feelings. She also felt drawn to spending her days outdoors with her children. Through Seasons, she was able to navigate her new landscape safely and confidently. Annie, Christie and Erin were great resources for her.
Katie became a teacher at Seasons in July 2018. She has been caring for small children since age 10 and teaching beginning in college. Her experience is diverse. She has taught ages 0-75 in Early Childhood, Reading Recovery, English as a Second Language, French, Spanish, Visual and Culinary Arts.
Katie has also worked remotely with the Online Program of Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena since 2012. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor for their Human Development and Early Childhood Education Programs. She draws from her experience with numerous educational philosophies such as Magda Gerber’s Respectful Infant Educare, the constructivist self directed learning of Reggio Emilia, Emergent Learning, and Trauma Informed Practice. She has delved into Dr. Aletha Solter’s Aware Parenting to inform her own parenting and teaching at Seasons.
She has a BA in French from the University of Oklahoma and Masters of Religion and Culture from Covenant Seminary in St Louis. She has lived abroad in France and Perú.
She is expecting baby Felix May 2019.