Kindergarten Staff

Abby Franklin (Loving Space owner and Kindergarten teacher)

Abby started Loving Space Preschool in 1993 and the Kindergarten in 2001, because she wanted to create an environment for kids that was hospitable, healthy, and especially, fun. “So many of the places I substitute-taught were so NOT that way,” she explains. “I wanted to provide a place that celebrated the joy of childhood, that provided a creative outlet, healthy food, healthy activities — with enough adults around to make sure that kids got what they needed.”

Great ideas are what Abby thinks are her most important gifts to Loving Space. “I have a lot of ideas,” she laughs, “ and I think I bring a great deal of passion to my work. I feel so lucky that my dreams are not only coming true with the school — they’re being surpassed. Every year just gets better and better.”

When she’s not teaching, Abby loves to read, walk her two dogs, go to movies, and spend time with her family: husband Chris and kids, Raeanne and Leo.

Her favorite quote? “A little nonsense now and then – relished by the wisest men.”
– Willy Wonka

Erin Merenda (Kindergarten teacher)

A Bellingham native, Erin has been at Loving Space since 1997, with a couple of breaks for some world traveling. “I took a year and a half off to travel to 15 countries,” she explains. “When I left I wasn’t sure what my plans would be — whether I would come back to work, or maybe stay in any one of those countries.” But she found that being away made her realize how much she wanted to be at Loving Space. “I found I needed this place in my life — that what I was doing for these kids, and what they were doing for me, was so important to me. I feel I’ve learned more during my time at Loving Space than I have in any other school situation I’ve ever been in.”

Erin brings a great sense of humor, endless patience, and loads of creativity to Loving Space. “I think I’m a good friend to the kids,” she says. ‘I see myself as a playmate, a friend, and a facilitator to them.”

Has she cured the travel bug? “No way!” Erin protests. “I mostly visited the Southern Hemisphere that time. Now I need to do the Northern!” The only difference next time is that she’d like to travel with her (future) family. In the mean time, she tries to live by the words of the great philosopher, Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.”

Lisa Spreyer (Kindergarten assistant teacher)

“I do like to play,” says Lisa Spreyer with a smile. Lisa started working in the Kindergarten as a parent helper with her son Owen, then quickly became a member of the Loving Space teaching team in 2015. Lisa is passionate about learning and has a deep respect for childhood. “I love the authenticity and candor of children. They really know how to follow their interests. It’s a great lesson to be around.” Lisa always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She holds a degree in sociology and taught in the ESL program at Skagit Valley College for 12 years before landing at Loving Space. In her spare time Lisa enjoys being “artsy and crafty,” she loves to cook and experiment with lots of different healthy recipes, and enjoys games and puzzles. She also enjoys volunteering with PLLAY and is thrilled to help take the joy of Loving Space into the community. Her favorite ice creams are the coconut ice and the lemon mint ice at Mallards. Her words to live by: “It’s all good.”

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