Welcome to our school! We look forward to getting to know your child.
Traditions Preschool General Information
DIRECTOR: Darra Draheim
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.
We strive for 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. We also include 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 married children, and an adorable granddaughter, Harper. I am dedicated to continuing the excellence of our program, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your child.
CHRISTINE BRISON, Zebras. I am excited to be teaching the Zebras for my eighth year! I truly enjoy the privilege of being a part of children’s learning and seeing the world from their amazing perspective! I graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Business and a minor in Psychology. My husband and I have lived in Lee’s Summit for 18 years and have two adult children, two cats and a beautiful granddaughter, Willow. 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 young adults, 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 tenth 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.
ASHLEY HARLEMAN, Giraffes, I am very excited to begin my fourth year at Traditions Preschool teaching Giraffes! I have been in education for several years and have taught many different ages from preschool to third grade. I graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2004 with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. My husband and I live in Grain Valley with our two wonderful children! My daughter Peyton will be in fourth grade this year in Grain Valley and my son Bryce will be a first grader! I am looking forward to a wonderful school year full of fun and discovery!
ASHLEY HARP, Bears. I am thrilled to be returning to Traditions Preschool! I live in Lee’s Summit with my husband (Ryan), and my two boys (Kepler & Aldren) and our sweet puppies Pigeon & Cricket. I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Avila University in Theatre. I have worked for many years acting, teaching, costuming and supporting imaginations with Theatre for Young America. Fueling the spark of creativity in the beautiful imaginations of littles through play, literature, songs, and hands on activities is my passion! My family and I are HUGE Star Wars fans. I love movies, musicals, pasta, and vintage clothes. I am beyond excited to be back at Traditions!
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 child.
LAURA NASTASI, Zebras. I have previously taught with Darra for over 15 years in Zebras and Giraffes. I have an Elementary Education degree from MU and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UMKC. I have experience teaching 4th grade in the LS school district. My husband and I are longtime residents of Lee’s Summit. We have four children.
ABBEY ROBINSON, Zebras. I am married and have two wonderful boys, who always keep me on my toes. Rounding up my family is our dog Scotty, he truly thinks he is my third child. I attended Pitt State University and have worked as a retail manager. This is my fourth year at Traditions Preschool and I am so excited for the opportunity to work with you and your child!
LAURA SCIPHO, Bears. I am married to John and have two daughters, Alia and Amya. We have three dogs. Odin, Thor, and Major. I love watching movies, reading and scrapbooking. My favorite things are chocolate, iced coffee, and spending time at church. My best times are spending time with my family. I have been working with children for as long as I can remember, and this makes my seventh year teaching. This is my fifth year with Traditions and I am really looking forward to it.
SHEILA THOMPSON, Giraffes, I have previously taught with Darra from 2002-2007 teaching Giraffes. I worked 3 years at Marian Hope Academy teaching second grade math, reading, and music. In many settings, I have loved teaching and working with young children. I have been teaching at Traditions since 2015. I enjoy spending time with my family, shopping, and going to music & sporting events. My husband and I have lived in Lee’s Summit over 30 years and we have two adult sons. I am excited to be teaching the Giraffes class and can’t wait to meet our new Pre-K students.
LESLIE WASSON, Giraffes, I have been teaching at Traditions since it opened in 2010 and I have been teaching and working with Darra for over 20 years! My husband Dan and I have been living in Lee’s Summit since 1986, and we have raised four wonderful children here, who are now adults and an amazing granddaughter named Bailey! I received my degree from the University of Central Missouri (UCM) in Family and Child Development. I enjoy living in Lee’s Summit and spending time with my family and friends. I have always loved teaching and working with children of all ages. This year I am excited to be teaching Giraffes with Linda Byrd. I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year at Traditions!
CHLOE YODER, Giraffes. I am excited to return to teaching at Traditions this fall! I graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Biology from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992. After growing up in Iowa, my husband and I have now lived near Lee’s Summit for 23 years. We have been blessed with two wonderful children, a daughter who is a junior at UCM and a son who just began his freshman year Southwest Baptist University. Throughout my years of raising our kids, I have worked with children in many settings. I ran an in-home day care for 7 years, taught Sunday School, Bible school, and spent the last 10 years working as a substitute teacher for grades K-12 in the Pleasant Hill School District. I am thrilled to be focusing once again on the younger years of child development when the joy and excitement of learning abounds!