Our professional faculty members are highly qualified early childhood educators with extensive training and experience.


  • Lead Teachers have a degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field and have a combination of training and experience.

  • Teacher assistants have a Child Development Associate Degree or similar credential or have experience in an early childhood setting.

  • Collectively our teachers have over 50 years of early childhood education experience.

Kristen Blue (Director)

This year will mark Kristen’s fifth year as the EEC Director. She also taught the Pre-K class for 8 years prior and this year transitioned into a Director only role. She began her teaching career in 1995, after earning her degree in Special Education from ASU. She taught in a K-4th grade learning resource classroom in the Scottsdale School District and then in an integrated special needs preschool in the Paradise Valley School District.


Kristen specializes in the Creative Curriculum, and has a deep understanding of the importance of a play-based learning environment.  In her classroom, she followed an emergent curriculum, which emphasized a child-centered, rich learning environment that included loose parts and process art, where she helped students negotiate conflict, make friends, and acted as a guide in their learning and inquiry about the world. Now she is excited to work alongside the teachers as a mentor and facilitator. 


Kristen has two children, Ashlyn (18) and Ryan (14), both of whom attended a play-based cooperative preschool.  When Kristen is not teaching, she loves spending time with her children, her husband, taking walks, reading non-fiction, singing and photography.

Doug van der Veen (2's Lead Teacher)

Doug was a stay-at-home dad finishing his dissertation on the nature of money when he discovered he liked co-oping at preschool more than teaching Economics.  When his daughter, Cleo, left preschool for kindergarten, Doug stayed on at the EECP as a teacher.  For the last 19 years, Doug has continued to teach at the EECP.


When not at school, Doug is the co-owner of an international firm that specializes in creating interactive learning spaces in over 500 public libraries. He also was one of the two families who founded the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, serving on the founding board, designing and building many of the first exhibits, as well as driving the first Museum Without Walls bus to festivals and fairs.


With all of his background in service to children, his favorite place is in the 2’s classroom, and he has made teaching an avocation and one of the favorite things he gets to do during the week.   Doug is married, has three children and two grandchildren.  He is fond of quoting Mr. Rogers, who is his hero.

Jana Mascioni (2's Assistant Teacher)

Jana’s passion for early education was sparked soon after her daughter was born when she
transitioned from working in the Fashion Industry to a stay at home mom. In 2016, soon after
her family moved from Los Angeles to Phoenix, her daughter started in the two’s class and they
have felt at home in the EECP community ever since.


As an active parent at the school, Jana took the opportunity to teach lunch bunch two years ago and then accept the Two's assistant teacher position a year later. That experience at EECP inspired her to seek further training and a certification in yoga and mindfulness for children. She is looking forward to working with Doug as the two’s assistant teacher again this year!

Jana is originally from Kansas City and graduated from Kansas State University. She is married
with one daughter. As a family they love to cook, read and have dance parties.

(2's Assistant Teacher)

Bob Davis (3's Lead Teacher, Pre-K Assistant Teacher)

Bob is the lead 3’s teacher and assistant Pre-K teacher. He also teaches Lunch Bunch and Aftercare. He earned his BA in education from Southeastern Louisiana University and then went on to teach high school English in Nashville, TN. When his daughter was born he transitioned into teaching part-time as a substitute teacher and being a stay-at-home dad. As a substitute, Bob spent a good deal of time in elementary school classrooms and gained experience with many different age groups. While studying and teaching English, Bob developed a deep intuition for language development and is excited to be using these skills at the preschool level. In addition, with a background and passion in story telling and music, Bob creates a unique dynamic in the classroom environment.


Bob has a 7-year-old daughter who is in second grade. In his free time, he enjoys playing in a rock-n-roll band, camping with his family, and tinkering in his garage.

According to the students at the UU Kids Kamp,

“Teacher Bob tells really good stories, plays wacky guitar, and is a crazy dancer.”

Laurel Butterfiled (3's Assistant Teacher)

Laurel is our newest teacher to join our team and community!  Come back soon for more...

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Katherine McCowan (Prek Lead Teacher)

Coming soon...

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Nancy Wilson (Prek Assistant Teacher)

Nancy first became involved in cooperative preschools in Chicago, Illinois where her daughter attended a mixed-age program and she served as Secretary of the Board.  She fell in love with the cooperative spirit and being involved in the classroom.  When she moved back to Phoenix in 2011, she sought out a co-op preschool for her children and immediately found a home at EECP. Her daughter joined the Pre-K class and her son started the 2's.  She was an active parent and served on the parent committee for three years.  She enjoyed working alongside Teacher Bob in the 3's class during her first year teaching here at the co-op and this year she will be teaching with Katherine in the Prek class for the third year.

Nancy is a native Phoenician and attended Northern Arizona University.  She is married and has three children.  She enjoys baking, gardening, caring for her chickens, reading and cooking with her kids.

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Early Education Cooperative Preschool

4027 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253     |     Direct line: 623-201-7180 |or 602-840-8400 x 233      |     eecdirector@gmail.com