Education is our passion!

We are experienced, certified teachers who believe education should involve the total person, including social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Our breadth of knowledge and experience ensures a high-quality, nurturing environment for your child to learn.


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Elizabeth Watson


Beth Watson

 Elizabeth Watson is the director of The Children’s School at Stephens College and continues to work with preservice teachers. Her passion for education has been shaped over the past 16 years as a classroom teacher in both preschool and elementary and as an instructor in the college classroom. She started her career at Stephens College as an undergraduate student from Minnesota and received her early childhood degree and teaching certification. After her first year of teaching, she continued her education at the University of Missouri and received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. She is now ABD and will finish her doctorate at the University of Missouri in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with an emphasis in Reading. As an early childhood and elementary educator, she believes the best way to enhance learning is to provide students with hands-on experiences that will create thought-provoking experiences for students to become independent creators.


Preschool Teachers

Lisa Huskey

lisa huskey

 Lisa Huskey is a part of our preschool team and has many years of experience in early childhood meetings, including the Children’s School where her own four, now grown, children attended. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from The University of Missouri, a master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction-Leadership from Emporia State University, and is certified in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. In her spare time, she volunteers for Columbia Second Chance and enjoys gardening and spending time with family and pets (three dogs and two cats).


Taylor Midgley

Taylor Midgley received her Bachelor of Science in Education in 2012 and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Taylor has been teaching preschool at The Children’s School at Stephens College since 2013. She has a passion for early childhood development and believes the key to unlocking a child’s full potential is through developing a safe, nurturing and loving learning environment. 



Elementary Teachers

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson is proud to be a Stephens alumna, receiving her B.S. in Elementary Education in 2004 and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010. A seventh-year teacher, Rachel has also worked as curriculum coordinator and director of Crossing Kids. She is passionate about learning alongside her students, teaching tolerance and social justice, and cultivating a love for reading. Originally from Colorado Springs, Rachel enjoys hiking, camping and all things in nature, but savors a good book, a cozy chair and a cup of coffee just as much.



Peter LaMear

Peter LaMear

Peter LaMear teaches in the open elementary classroom at the Children’s School, working primarily with fourth and fifth grade students, and teaches Foundations, Family and Community, and Inquiry into Education in the education department. His scholarly interests include psychodynamic theory, creativity, learning, learning to teach, and depictions of teachers in narrative and documentary film. Previously, he has worked as an English and math teacher in public schools in Chicago, Illinois; Chelsea, Massachusetts; and Fulton, Missouri. He has trained teachers with Harvard Teacher Fellows, developed an integrated ESOL/Know Your Rights curriculum with Boston College’s Center for Human Rights, and taught sections at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Peter holds degrees from St. John’s College and Harvard University. He is certified in Elementary and Middle School Education.


Sarah Parks

Sarah parksSarah Parks graduated in 2006 from Mizzou with her B.A. in Sociology, and 2010 with a B.S. in Education and 2011 with a M.Ed., both from Stephens. She is certified in early childhood education, elementary education, and middle school science. Sarah has a passion for children’s literature and teaching science. She is a Columbia native and lives with her husband, Nick, a small dog named Pax, and a large orange cat named Elwood. They welcomed their son, Finn, last May. In her spare time she loves walking in the woods with their dog, taking Finn on adventures, going to the movies and concerts, and being foodies.


Teacher's Aides

Tracie Huffman

Tracie Huffman works at the Children's School with all ages. She graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a minor in Equestrian studies in 2020. She is currently in the Master of Education in Counseling program to become a school counselor. When she is not working or doing school work, you will find her under a tree with a good book, wandering, and exploring the great outdoors, horseback riding, and/or volunteering for Second Chance.
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The Children's School at Stephens College

Melanie Kelley,
Administrative Assistant
(573) 876-7260 [email protected] 1200 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215

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