Early Childhood Educators

Tucson Community School employs experienced, professional preschool and kindergarten teachers, all of whom undertake ongoing studies in early childhood education.  Adult-to-student ratios are consistently better than Arizona DHS and NAEYC guidelines and are amongst the best in Tucson.

The Director and teachers welcome parents to observe, discuss policies and make suggestions.  Meetings with parents are invited at any time and teacher provide feedback daily.  In addition, teachers and parents meet formally to discuss written summaries of the child’s progress and development.

Cheryl Lazaroff, Toddler Class

Mrs. Lazaroff returns for her 39th year to teach the three-year-olds and the Extended Day Program. She received her B.A. degree from the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California, following studies at Goucher and Haverford Colleges. She has a lifetime Child Development Programs Certificate from California. Cherie and her husband, David Lazaroff, a well-known local naturalist, are the parents of Cat. Cherie enjoys camping, symphony concerts and reading.

Barbara Edmunson, Toddler Class

Mrs. Edmunson received her B.A. in Music and Anthropology and a M.A. in Music at UC Santa Barbara. After raising her children and moving to Arizona, she returned to school and earned a Masters in Education at NAU. She has taught music, elementary education and special education preschool. She lives with her husband, Stan, who is retired. She also has a daughter, Katie, who is a nurse. She enjoys gardening, hiking, movies, animals, and spending time with her family.

Jacqueline Wiseley, Preschool Class

Mrs. Wiseley is thrilled to be a new addition to Tucson Community School. Born and raised in Tucson she is looking forward to staying involved in this beautiful community. A recent graduate of The University of Arizona’s Early Childhood Education program, Mrs. Wiseley has an abundance of knowledge gained in and out of the classroom that will guide her in providing the best learning experiences for students at TCS. Her favorite thing about teaching is learning from the children’s experiences. Mrs. Wiseley found words to live by from Lella Gandini and they were: “The role of a teacher is to be a researcher.”

Mrs. Wiseley enjoys spending time with her husband and beautiful daughter above all. She also enjoys camping, hiking, tropical beaches and islands, and road trips.

Sandy Bantlin, Kindergarten

Mrs. Bantlin is thrilled to be joining the TCS staff as their Kindergarten teacher!   With a BS in Early Childhood Education from University of Wisconsin and an MA in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, she brings 20+ years of teaching experience in preschool, mostly kindergarten, and a little first grade.  Mrs. Bantlin has also worked in the Early Intervention program as a Parent Advisor with ASDB and enjoys incorporating American Sign Language into the classroom.  When Mrs. Bantlin is not at school, she loves to spend time with her family—Mr. Bantlin (Art, a CPA) and their three college- and grad school-age sons, Drew, Lance and Jake, and their dog, Charlie—hiking in the desert, exploring the White Mountains and cheering on any UA sports!  Mrs. Bantlin, a transplant to the desert, is also especially fond of the Saguaro cactus!   

Jessica Angel, Pre-K

Mrs. Angel is thrilled to be in the pre-kinder classroom again this year after falling in love with TCS and its caring, play-based learning environment as her children Carmen, now eight, and Wesley, four, have attended the school.  A University of Arizona Psychology graduate, Jessica has always been interested in early childhood education and child welfare.  While in college she volunteered with the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center.  After graduation, she spent a year at Green Fields Country Day School before becoming a full-time mom.  Born in Tucson, Jessica spends her time outside of school raising her family in the beatiful Sonoran desert with her husband, James.

Barbara George, Kindergarten

Mrs. George is very excited to be starting her eighteenth year at TCS after having been away for two years.  During her time away, she had the privilege of working with children with special needs in the Tanque Verde School District.  She has her B.S. from the University of Arizona with a minor in Psychology.  Barbara and her husband David have two beautiful children who were students at TCS almost twenty years ago!  Barbara enjoys music, animals, movies, travelling, and spending time with friends and family.

Karin Greer, Pre-K

Mrs. Greer is very excited to be joining the TCS team! She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education, and her M.A. in Language, Reading and Culture, both from the University of Arizona. She has also obtained her Early Childhood and Reading endorsements, to better pursue her passions for early childhood education and early literacy. Before coming to TCS, Mrs. Greer spent 5 years teaching first and third grades in the Catalina Foothills School District. When not at school, Mrs. Greer loves spending time with her family–especially her husband, young daughter and two Siberian Huskies, Scout and McKale. She enjoys reading, being outdoors, and cheering on the Wildcats!

Barbara Padilla-Bassett, Toddler Class

Mrs. P-Bassett is honored to be joining the staff at TCS this year!  A life long Tucsonan, Mrs. P-Bassett is a zealous gardener and lover of out door play!  She has a CDA certification, an ECE Preschool Certificate from Central Arizona College, and continues her education in the ECE field.  She spends her free time gardening, adventuring, and enjoying time with her husband and her 2 sons.

Amanda LaRochelle, Toddler Class

Being born and raised in the dirt of the desert has been an incredible experience: the smell of creosote after a monsoon, finding an illusive rattler, hiking among hundred year old saguaros, they way the clouds explode with color in the summer. Ms. LaRochelle enjoys sharing these experiences over again through the eyes of her (almost six year old!) daughter, Nola.  Amanda is continuing her Early Childhood Education here in the desert at Pima. She has spent the last three years teaching Pre-K, and is more than ready to take on the adventure that is the Toddler Class! Thank you for welcoming me to this incredible teaching family.

Kelsey Collins, Preschool Class

Mrs. Collins is thrilled to be joining the TCS team this year! She is a Southern Californian-gone-Tucsonan who has fallen in love with the Old Pueblo! She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California, with a minor in Spanish. Mrs. Collins is a downtown dweller who shares a historic home with her husband Stephen and dog Napoleon. She loves cacti, creating and crafting (especially decorating, calligraphy, and painting), urban exploring, trying new restaurants, and planning events. She has worked with toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, and can’t wait to meet her class this year!

Adriana Encinas, Preschool Class

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