Welcome to our school! We look forward to getting to know your child.
Traditions Preschool General Information
DIRECTOR: Darra Draheim
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Karen Gilliam
AGE RANGES: Two year olds to pre-Kindergarteners. Children are placed in classes according to which year they will attend Kindergarten. The age cut-off is August 1st.Bears – Two years old by August 1st.Zebras – Three years old by August 1st.Giraffes – at least four years old by August 1st.
All classes will have a six children to one teacher ratio to provide the optimum learning environment. All classrooms have at least two teachers in attendance.
SCHEDULE: Traditions Preschool hours are 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. during the school year. We are open Monday through Friday. Parents may choose one, two, three, four, or five day attendance for their child depending upon availability. Summer camp information is under the enrollment tab.
EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: Our philosophy is to guide the children’s development in all areas by a variety of activities. We will offer the traditional preschool activities such as readiness skills, circle time, arts and crafts, music, story time, share circle, etc. The lesson plans are developed by the Director and the teachers to be age appropriate and consistent throughout the program.
We have themes each week emphasizing colors, literary characters, holidays, habitats, etc. The study of traditional preschool skills revolves around the weekly themes. We are striving to strike a balance of activities to enhance all areas of a child’s growth, while provide a safe, happy, and positive “first school” experience.
TEACHERS: The Director and many teachers have Elementary Education degrees and teaching experience in the public schools. Our teachers have (or have had) children involved in our preschool. Those that do not have college degrees have substantial college hours and are also serving our community as scout leaders, classroom volunteers, etc. Turnover is very low with many teachers with decades of experience in a classroom. Staff members are CPR certified. We now offer Stretch-n-Grow Fitness classes included in the monthly tuition. Individual computer classes are also included in the tuition. We also include Spanish instruction, and special group activities in Science and Math.
BUREAU OF CHILDCARE GUIDELINES: We meet or exceed Bureau of Childcare licensing requirements. All teachers are screened and documented according to their guidelines. Sanitation, fire safety, curriculum, and paperwork requirements are met in order to continue the excellence of our program. More information can be found in our parent handbook. All required forms for enrollment are available in the office
Meet the Teachers Of Traditions Preschool, Inc.
DARRA DRAHEIM, Director. I have been a preschool educator for several decades. I graduated from MU - Columbia with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood education. I have previously taught Kindergarten, Sunday school, Bible school and taught third grade in Lee's Summit at Prairie View Elementary. I am a long time Lee's Summit resident, am married, and have two grown children, Jonathan and Elizabeth, who are now young adults. I am dedicated to continuing the excellence of our program, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your child.
KAREN GILLIAM, Assistant Director. I have a 20 year-old son, Ryan, who is attending Missouri State, three grown daughters and five grandsons who keep me very busy! Though my educational background is in business, I have worked with kids for most of my adult life, and have loved working with Darra for going on 16 years. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, George and our children and grandchildren. Through the years I have taught all age groups in a preschool setting, in addition to helping teach Sunday School and Vacation Bible School in my church. I am so looking forward to a great year with your kids!
KAREN BENNER, Science, I started working with Darra in 2007 as a classroom teacher and am excited to begin a new science program for Traditions this year. I am a speech-language-pathologist that has served a wide population of ages and disorders, but truly enjoy preschool age students and have always been interested in exploring the wonders of science! In my personal life I am the mother of three dancing daughters that range in age from a five-year-old beginning kindergartener to an eleven-year-old fifth grader and a nineteen-year old just beginning college-Go Huskers! In my free time I enjoy practicing art and photography, attending musicals and plays, watching dance competitions both on TV and those of my girls, and most recently, reading about health and nutrition.
CHRISTINE BRISON, Zebras. I am excited to be teaching the Zebras for my third year! I truly enjoy the privilege of being a part of children's learning and seeing the world from their amazing perspective! I have been a substitute teacher for grades K-8 in Lee’s Summit for eleven years and love teaching children. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Psychology Minor from Mizzou. My husband and I have lived in Lee’s Summit for 14 years with our two children and two cats. Adelaine (16) is a junior at Lee’s Summit North High School and Gabriel (20) is attending culinary school . I love flower gardening, baking and the laughter of children. I’m excited for a fun year in the Zebras’ classroom!
LINDA BYRD, Giraffes. I am married and have two wonderful children of my own. Since my children are now teenagers, it is refreshing to “revisit” the younger years at Traditions. I count it a privilege to teach and nurture the young ones at this school. This will be my sixth year to have the joy of teaching children. Every child is a unique individual with a unique personality and I look forward to working with your child.
VICKIE KLOIBER, Giraffes. Hello Families! I have two amazing daughters, Isabelle is six and just started first grade. She attended Traditions for two years. My youngest, Violet, is four and has attended our preschool for three years. I am finishing my last bit of school for elementary education and minor in nutrition. I love being with the young minds and watching them grow and learn. I'm very excited to be with the Giraffes this year and teaching the basics of Spanish to all of the children! Have a great 2014-15 school year!
JENNIFER MILLER, Zebras. I received my Elementary Education degree from the University of Saint Mary. I was a substitute teacher in the Shawnee Mission district until I moved to Lee's Summit to teach first grade at Westview Elementary. In addition to being a teacher, I have 10 years experience as a Nanny. I decided to stay home once my 3 boys came along. I have been teaching in the Zebra room since 2009. I'm looking forward to another fun and productive year with your children.
ELIZABETH SMITH, Bears. I have been around children, and teaching children for as long as I can remember. My mother was an in-home care giver, and she also taught at preschools and day cares. Children were her passion, and I believe she passed that passion to me. In middle school and high school, I assisted in various aged classes for Vacation Bible School. After high school, I was co-teacher for VBS, and also lead teacher in Sunday School classes for children. I have also been working childcare and teaching swim lessons at Legacy Park Community Center. This will be my third year teaching at Traditions. I have been married for just about three years. We have no children yet, but we do see a family in our future.
CANDACE STEWART, Giraffes. I am so very grateful to be returning to teach at Traditions Preschool! I am happily married to my husband, Jason. We have two great sons, TJ and Blake. I previously taught preschool in Texas where we are from. We attend Abundant Life Baptist Church where I am involved in the children's ministry. I'm very excited about helping your child grow and get ready for Kindergarten.
SARAH STROM, I am a proud Marine wife and mother of two. My son is in Kindergarten at Meadow Lane Elementary and my daughter is a Zebra at Traditions! This will be my second year teaching at Traditions Preschool, and I love being around kids who are eager to learn. In my spare time, I like to bake, cook, and do craft projects. With my family, I enjoy fishing, camping, sports, and really all things outdoors. I look forward to meeting your child and helping them learn and grow. The innocence, wonder, and imagination of the children I teach make coming to work everyday a joy! Preschool is such a fun time as everything is new and exciting!
LESLIE WASSON, Zebras, Hello! My name is Leslie Wasson and I have lived in Lee’s Summit for 26 years. I am married and have four adult children. I have an extensive preschool teaching background! I have taught for 18 years with Darra and five-plus years at a local church. I have taught ages infant-5 year olds. Currently I am attending college to receive a B.S. in Child and Family Development and am very excited about graduating in December. I love Lee’s Summit and spending time with family and friends. I am looking forward to teaching the Zebras again this year!