Michael Knuckey Executive Director / Teacher
Michael Knuckey came to America from Australia in 1994 where he was completing Bachelors Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Business Management. He started working as a volunteer teacher in preschools in 1999, when his son, Alex, was 3 years old. Before starting at Children’s House, Michael had worked as a professional cook for 17 years and had been employed both teaching cooking, and as a private caterer. He loves to paint, and has decorated many a child’s bedroom with murals. Michael has taken classes in art, sculpture, painting, psychology, children’s literature and Industrial Design.
Michael has been with Children’s House since 2005 and works in all aspects of the school. He lends his art expertise to the class in both the projects and the decoration of the room, he runs the office and administration side of the school as well as working with the children as a teacher. Michael is a qualified Early Childhood Director and Early Childhood Educator, he has Level Three credential as a Early Childhood Professional, and an Associates in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education.
He is active in the Early Childhood community, serving as the Treasurer on the local chapter of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) and on the volunteering on the early Childhood Advisory Councils for both Boulder Valley School District and the Front Range Community College Early Childhood Department. In 2015 he was awarded “Educator of the Year” by the Boulder County branch of the National Association for Education of the Young Child (NAEYC).
Justine Lopez Program Director / Teacher
Justine Lopez grew up in Miami, Florida with her two loving parents and three older sisters. From an early age, she knew she had a passion for education and working with young children. During her time in high school, she chose electives in Early Childhood Education and earned her Child Development Associate (CDA). This credential allowed her to work in a daycare while she completed her BA in Elementary Education and Sociology at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.
For the following six years, she worked as a Title I (80-90% qualifying for free or reduced lunch) elementary school teacher for grades K through 3 in both Florida and Colorado. Through these years of experience, she realized the deep importance of early childhood education and decided to return to the field where she could help set a solid foundation for children and their education. In 2018, she earned her Large Center Director’s Certification which began her new career path.
Over these years she has built deep and loving relationships with so many wonderful children, families and coworkers. In her spare time, Justine enjoys spending her time gardening, hiking and biking. She is enthusiastic about her work at Children’s House Preschool where she continues to develop positive relationships and advocates for children and their education.
Ellie Bredemeier Part-time Teacher
Elle Bredemeier grew up in Massachusetts with her parents, older brother and sister. She spent much of her childhood riding horses and working at the stables. After high school, Elle attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she received a B.A. in both Early Childhood Education and Psychology.
She then moved to Boulder in 2003. Elle began working at Rallysport Health and Fitness club in that infant and toddler room, but soon became a preschool teacher there. After 10 years as a co-teacher, Elle became preschool director and ran the summer camp as well.
Elle resides in Longmont with her family, including 3 children that have all attended Children’s House! When not at work, Elle will be found spending time with her family, cooking, and enjoying Colorado’s outdoors. She absolutely loves working with preschool age children and is very excited to be part of our teaching team.
Carli O’Brien Full-time Teacher
Carli grew up in western Montana in a rural town with her family and attended the same school from kindergarten through high school. Growing up in a small community allowed her to form close relationships with teachers and administrators. “Our school was the meeting place for all community events,” Carli stated. “From the arts, to academics or sporting events the entire community was involved.” Quickly, Carli knew she wanted to pursue a career in education to surround herself and others in a positive, engaging environment.
Carli graduated from The University of Montana with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in literacy. Throughout college, Carli spent 4 years working in a preschool, first as an assistant, and then as a preschool teacher. In the evenings and weekends she worked as a tutor for dyslexic students in need, using the Barton Spelling and Reading Systems approach. She spent her first year post-grad teaching 6th Grade Earth Science in Montana before moving to Boulder, Colorado.
In her free-time, Carli enjoys exploring new places local and far away with her friends, family and dog, Millie. She is excited to continue growing her knowledge in Early Childhood Education while forming lasting relationships with the Boulder community.