Little Forest Playschool


Executive Director  -  April Wade 

Assistant Director  - Tiffany Fuerte 

I have been in the Early Childhood Field for 13 years, 12 of those years I have been a lead teacher and have recently transitioned into learning the administration side of the field. 

I bring a passion for continued learning to Little Forest. I will always do what is best for the students. Children are our future, it is our job to foster that.

Business Manager- Claire Ayraud

Toddler Teacher - Barbara Cruz

I am Barbara Cruz and this is my twenty- third year teaching at Little Forest Playschool with the toddlers.
My credentials include The Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA), Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD) and the New Mexico Child Development Certificate (CDC) and currently continuing my early childhood education at the Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and currently working towards a New Mexico Infant Family Studies Certificate (IFS)

I'm from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. I enjoy spending time with my family and my dog Bella bug, listening & dancing to country music, love reading, enjoy going to the movies and trying new foods. (Favorites dark chocolate & coffee)

I love teaching in the toddler class because every day is new adventure. I like the community feeling that exists here at LFPS and the way the parents and teachers work together, allowing us to witness their growth within each child during the school year. I look forward to continued success and new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers at Little Forest Playschool.

Ms. Leigha Oliver- Assistant Teacher Rm 3

           I have been at LFP for almost 2 years now, but I have been in early childhood education for about 10 years. I work along side Barbara Cruz in the 2-3 year old classroom. My main focus in the classroom is building trusting relationships with each child. I love being the first experience a child will have in a classroom setting. I do my best to make sure each child has a positive outlook on education while building social and emotional skills to help strengthen peer relationships. I am a true believer in children learning through play and Little Forest Playschool has the best play-based atmosphere in my opinion. When I am not at school playing with the children, I am ice skating or at parks playing with my sweet 5 year old little girl.

Pre K Teacher - Maria Saunders 

This is my 5th year teaching at LFPS,  and my 10th year teaching Pre-K. I love playing, exploring, learning, and having fun in the classroom. 

I have my CDA and my CDC. I am currently in school to get my AA in Early Childhood. I was a teacher at San Ildefonso Head Start for 5 years. I was also a student of LFP when I was young. I am a single mother of two amazing daughters, Kira and Seneca.

Infant/Toddler Teacher - Nichol Lewis

Ms. Ayana Espinosa- Assistant Teacher Rm 2B

           I started at Little Forest in the summer of 2018 as a Floater. I spent time in every classroom and have found my permanent place in Room 2B. I love the little kiddos! Watching them learn and develop new skills and talents is so amazing. Getting to know the kids individually and having a part in strengthening their learning development is why I love working here every day. The diversity in each classroom from the teachers and students to the materials they use to enhance the learning makes LFP so enjoyable to be apart of, it is a great learning experience not just for the kids but for myself as well. When I’m not at LFP or with my family, I am attending Early Childhood Education classes at NNMC.

 Channa Romero- Teacher Rm 2A

 I have worked in early childhood centers for over 12 years. I enjoy working with children of all ages, but I have really enjoyed working with the 4 and 5 year-olds. 

I love being with my family. We are very close and we do a lot of family adventures together. .I live in Espanola with my boyfriend and our 3 children. 

Mrs. Susan Williams- Lead Teacher Rm 1

Mr. Drew Wyman- Lead Floater

            This will be my 11th year at Little Forest. I work in every classroom with every teacher and enjoy spending time with every child. My favorite part of the day is seeing the kids’ faces as they enter the classroom in the morning and welcoming them with a hug. I love watching the children grow physically through play, emotionally through relationships and mentally through new concepts. It is so enjoyable to see the community of parents and staff at Little Forest come together as a big family that helps each child feel loved. On my spare time I enjoy playing video games with my friends, writing creative stories and spending quality time with my family.

Ms. Paula Jaramillo- Floater

            I have been at Little Forest for about a year now. I work in every classroom relieving teachers periodically throughout the day. When I walk into a classroom, I love being able to play and talk with each child and see what they have been learning and discovering that day. I have always loved being around children from being a swim instructor as a young adult to raising my own daughter now. I enjoy watching the children learn through play-based activities in nature as well as using manipulatives to show their creativity come alive. In my spare time my focus is on my family, taking my daughter out to the movies or to dinner, hiking with my dogs and relaxing with my cats.

Mr. Shawn Williams- Floater

         This past June is when I started helping teachers in their classrooms. I am a Senior at Los Alamos High School and I love having fun with kids. The best part of working at Little Forest is seeing all the smiles. You know when you walk into the school that there is a lot of love there for the children. Everyday when I open the gate and find wildlife living side by side with the children on the playground I am in total awe. What better way to teach children about loving the world around them then to be exposed to nature on a daily basis. When I am not at high school or at Little Forest you will find me on the trails training for Ultra Marathons or exploring the canyons.

Ms. Vanessa Martinez- Floater

         I started 5 months ago here at Little Forest and I have loved every second of it. I am currently a freshman at UNMLA studying Early Childhood Education. Working here has been the most amazing experience and has really solidified my decision to become an educator. In every classroom I love sparking the children’s imagination through reading books and telling stories to them. Being a part of the classrooms and watching the children’s eyes light up while doing science experiments is one of my favorite parts of the day. Incorporating nature into children’s lives is so vital these days and I feel that Little Forest stands above all over schools by making their environment the driving tool of learning. When I am not at Little Forest or UNMLA I am at home reading or hanging out with my brothers.