Gig Harbor Academy’s PreKindergarten program takes the Preschool philosophy one step further as the children mature and provides opportunities for continued development of the whole child. Children are encouraged to be actively engaged in their own learning, to make choices, interact with others, resolve conflicts and gain a sense of competency. Each child’s level of readiness, personality and learning style is recognized in a program that promotes developmentally appropriate practices to foster the individual’s growth.

This program runs on a five day per week schedule allowing for valuable interaction in the classroom setting, music classes 3x/week, Spanish 3x/week and PE 3x/week!!

Carolyn VonZimmerman

Carolyn VonZimmerman, Pre-K Teacher
Carolyn VonZimmerman moved to Gig Harbor in June 2006 with twenty-one years experience teaching pre-kindergarten already under her belt. She started her career in her hometown of Miami, Florida working at the same private school for eighteen years. We are proud to say that Carolyn has been with Gig Harbor Academy since 2007, an integral part of the GHA early childhood program, preparing students for Kindergarten and the upper grades.


Melanie Bruey

Nancy Manglona, Assistant Teacher
In 1991 Nancy Manglona became the lead teacher for Our School of Gig Harbor Child Care Center where she worked for twenty one years. In this capacity, she met the annual training requirements for the Washington Administration Code (WAC) in Early Childhood Education. In the fall of 2012, Nancy joined the faculty of Gig Harbor Academy as the Prekindergarten Assistant Teacher.


Shelia Walther

Ashley Thielman, Pre-K Teacher
Ashley Thielman received her BA from the University of Washington and then her Masters in Teaching from City University in Bellevue. She taught kindergarten for 8 years at a private school in Spokane before moving to Gig Harbor in 2014. Ashley is a GHA employee and a GHA parent...she is happy to be back in the classroom and at the same school as her two boys!


Julie Meyer

Brittany Hess, Assistant Teacher
Brittany Hess moved to Washington from California in 2017 with a Bachelor's of Science in Recreation and Hospitality Administration and a minor in Environmental Studies. She has been a member of our Early Learning Team since 2017. She previously worked as a nanny, helped run after school programs, community centers, and was the recreation supervisor at Squaw Valley USA.