big wood School
Kim Piggins, Director
Kim and her two daughters, Kendall and Madison, relocated to the Wood River Valley and PCBW from San Diego, California on New Year’s Day 2010. Along with her deep Christian faith, Kim brings with her a strong background in Preschool leadership and teaching from the Baldwin Academy and Francis Parker School in San Diego, California. Over her 20+ years of experience, she has worked in virtually every capacity with every age group in the Preschool/Elementary School setting….Aide, Pre-K Teacher. Kindergarten Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, Office Manager, Administrative Assistant, Reading Resource Teacher, Tutor, and Director. She moved over to the Administration side of Education in 2005 and has thoroughly enjoyed combining her love of children, calling to teach, and business/organizational skills in the School Office environment. Kim and her girls, now 17 and 14, are loving the mountain lifestyle with the hiking, biking, skiing, and rafting and are filled with gratitude that they get to call Big Wood School their “home away from home”!
Susan Chizum, Sharks Pre-K Teacher
Susan started at Big Wood School in 2009, teaching the Silly Monkeys. In 2015 she switched to the Sharks Pre-K class and has revolutionized it! Susan graduate from UW in 2005 with a BA in sociology. When Susan is not working, she loves spending time with her husband Eric, and their son Ethan (in the Owl class at BWS). They love to spend time outside riding bikes, hiking and camping!
Jen Silva, Sharks Aide
Jen started working at Big Wood in 2016 and helps Miss Susan with the Sharks. She has been around Big Wood for several years, as both her children went here and she has substitued many times as well. She taught kindergarten for 10 years in California before moving to Sun Valley in 2011. Jen lives with her husband and 2 children, Bridgette and Peter, in Hailey.
Ali Perrapato, Owls Pre-K Teacher/ After School Club
Ali has lived in this beautiful valley since 1997. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, certified K-8 teacher, and also has a Fine Arts and an Art Education degree from the University of Idaho. She has a true passion for teaching Pre-K. Ali enjoys spending free time working on her home and garden and spending quality time with her husband and two sons. She has taught at Big Wood School since 2006.
Lusi Baeza, Owl Aide
Lusi was born and raised in the Wood River Valley. She started working at Big Wood during the summer of 2016 and currently helps Miss Nicole with the Silly Monkey class. Lusi has her Early Childhood Development certificate and is currently working on her Elementary Teaching Associate degree. She feels fortunate to be a part of the Big Wood team and working with the wonderful students here. While not at Big Wood, Lusi spends time with her two kids exploring and traveling.
Nicole Williams, Kind Cats 3 Year Old Class
Nicole joined the Big Wood team in 2015 and led the Silly Monkeys, the young 2’s group, for 2 years. This year she has moved up to the 3's and is the teacher for the Kind Cats. She has a passion for early childhood education and this age group in particular. Nicole received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and Early Childhood Education from Cal State Northridge. When Nicole is not at BWS, she is out having fun with her husband, and children, ranging from college to pre-school. They love to travel and explore the Valley, cook together and play with their dogs and cat. Nicole feels incredibly blessed to work at BWS and loves when people stop to say hello, either in the classroom or around town.
Bailey Brooks, Kind Cats Aide
M. Bailey Brooks joined the Big Wood School in 2017. She returned to the Wood River Valley after having lived 11+ years in Seattle. She majored in Interior Design at Iowa State University and later returned to school to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. She worked with children on the autism spectrum at Academy for Precision Learning for three years. During that time her passion for working with children flourished. She is thrilled to join the Big Wood School family and work in a preschool setting. Bailey is also happy to have her daughter, Harper, attending this fabulous preschool. When Bailey is not working she is spending her time with her family and loving the great outdoors. She is beyond thrilled to be back home in the Wood River Valley!
Linley Fraser, Ladybugs 3 Year Old Class
Linley Fraser moved to the valley in 2001 after the completion of her bachelors in Environmental studies from Prescott College. She grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and took many ski trips with her family, which is why she was drawn to the Sun Valley area. Linley came to Big Wood Preschool in 2006 and immediately knew she had found her calling. She currently has completed all of her classes toward her masters in elementary education. Linley teaches the 3 year olds and loves everyday she gets to spend with all the wonderful personalities. Linley's love for Big Wood Preschool cannot be measured! With her husband Cam, and two kids, Hayes and Jennings, she loves life in the Wood River Valley!
Nicole Mix, Ladybug Aide
Nicole is in her first year at Big Wood after moving to the valley last summer with her husband, Alex, and two dogs, Axel and Murphy. She grew up in Northern California and received her Bachelor's degree in Child Development as well as her teaching credential at CSU Sacramento. After graduation she worked as a first grade teacher for four years. She is loving her new life in Idaho and enjoys all the beauty the valley has to offer. She loves to hike, bake and hang out with her family and friends.
Augusta Walker, BumbleBees 2 Year Old Class
Augusta is originally from Brazil where she earned degrees in early childhood education as well as a social service. After graduating she worked for a state childhood services program in Brazil. She and her sisters moved to Sun Valley in 2001 and Augusta worked for the Sun Valley Company and then for a preschool called G-day Care in Hailey. She enjoys working and being around children and is very excited to be a teacher again, and be a part of the team at BWS.
Kristen O'Laughlin, BumbleBee Aide
Kristen O'Laughlin found her passion for teaching when she was barely 18 years old. She has been working with children for 9 years now! Her experience ranges from infant care , preschool, Montessori and having her own in-home daycare. She started at The Big Wood school February 2017. She lives in Hailey, Idaho with her 3 year old daughter Annika. Kristen gets so much satisfaction with knowing she gets to come to work everyday and see all the sweet smiling faces and hear the laughter of pure happiness! She couldn't imagine doing anything else!
Lindsey Emmer, Leap Frog 18 Month Class
Lindsey is the lead teacher for the Leap Frogs. She has been coming to Sun Valley her whole life, but moved to the valley in 2011 after finishing her Masters in Art Therapy/ Counseling Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Lindsey is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked with children in her private practice in Ketchum. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the first grade class at the Community School and is excited to now be a part of the Big Wood Team. She loves road trips, skiing, hiking, and playing in the great outdoors with her husband, Jay, and her son, Jack, who is a proud little Bumble Bee this year.
Jenny Brandt, Leap Frog Aide
Jenny is new to the Big Wood School community. She is a registered nurse of the state of Idaho. After stepping away from nursing to raise her son, she decided to take a job over the summer of 2017 as a camp counselor. She loved working with the children so much she decided to continue on in the fall. Jenny now assists Miss Lindsey in the leap frog class room. She lives with her husband and son in Ketchum and enjoys the outdoors and the arts.
Candace Stonebraker, Chipmunks 18 Month Class
Candace has been a teacher at Big Wood School since 2010. She currently teaches the 18 months - 2 year olds (Chipmunks) class and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement Area. Candace and her husband moved to Idaho from Tennessee in 2008. Prior to that, I retired from teaching in Tennessee with 30 years of service. 23 of those years teaching Kindergarten. She says being a teacher keeps her young!
Hope Van Der Meulen, Chipmunks Aide
Hope Van Der Meulen moved to the Valley 5 years ago, with her husband and son from Alaska to help with her husbands family ranch. For the past 4 years she’s been a ranch mom and a very active parent at Syringa Mountain School. Her son is now in 5th grade, so she decided that she would like to work with young children again. Hope joined the Big Wood team in 2017 to help Miss Candace in the Chipmunk room. She has a lot of energy and loves to sing and dance with the kids. She enjoys getting them to use their imagination and seeing the world through their eyes.
Hayley Niehaus, Silly Monkeys 18 Month Old Class
Hayley moved to the valley in 2017 to begin a position at Harvey Art Projects in Ketchum. While she is a Jerome native, she graduated from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington during spring of 2016 where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts focusing on printmaking & painting. She spent three years working with preschoolers at Whitworth Church Child Care in Spokane where she realized her passion for children through helping develop & lead art activities & projects for various classrooms. She hopes to further her education in the near future by fusing together her love for art & children into some sort of creative career. She feels extremely grateful to be a part of the BWS team & has enjoyed getting to know all of the little ones. When not at BWS, Hayley enjoys frequent visits to the local galleries, practicing yoga, exploring outdoors & creating whenever she can!
Kendra Wallace, Silly Monkeys Aide
Kendra is originally from the Wood River Valley. Her family moved to Jerome when she was young, where she graduated from high school. Kendra started working at the Big Wood School in the summer of 2017. She is currently in the process of getting her TEFL certificate so that she can teach English to children all around the world. Kendra is incredibly thankful to have found a job that is growing her love of teaching and is allowing her to follow her dreams.