top of page

Teachers & Staff

Sandy Hill is fortunate to have a remarkable and dedicated staff who wholeheartedly embrace their roles in shaping the lives of young children. Their unwavering commitment, passion, and expertise create a nurturing and inspiring environment where children thrive and grow.

Erin Beauharnois

Erin, a native of Point Loma, embarked on her journey in early childhood education after graduating from University H.S in 1999. At Colorado State University, she majored in Human Development and Family Studies, focusing on Infancy and Early Childhood Development.


During her college years, Erin gained valuable experience as a teacher's assistant at the Colorado State Lab School, conducting observational studies with children aged 3 to 4 1/2. She also served as a teacher's assistant in the Moderate Needs Special Education Program at a local elementary school in Ft. Collins.


Upon earning her bachelor's degree in 2004, Erin returned to San Diego and found her calling as a teacher's assistant and substitute teacher at Sandy Hill. In 2005, she joined the pre-K teaching team and, in 2007, became a full-time teacher.


Erin's connection to Sandy Hill runs deep as she not only contributes to the school as a dedicated teacher but also has the privilege of working alongside her mother, Susi, in the Footprints classroom. Their shared passion for education and nurturing young minds creates a special bond that enriches the Sandy Hill community. Erin's commitment to excellence in teaching is evident in her invaluable presence at Sandy Hill.

Susi Domingos

Susi, an experienced teacher with a strong educational background, holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from United States International University and has completed graduate work in Special Education at San Diego State University. She began her teaching journey as a student teacher in the Poway School District and gained further experience at a preschool in Mira Mesa.

Susi taught kindergarten in Escondido before taking a break for her daughter's birth, returning later for two more years. In 1983, she played a key role in developing a kindergarten program at a new preschool in Sorrento Valley. Susi discovered Sandy Hill in 1990, drawn to its wonderful environment and gentle atmosphere. Her son attended Sandy Hill while she taught pre-K and participated as a co-op parent.

Now in her nineteenth year as a teacher at Sandy Hill, Susi finds joy in seeing her daughter, Erin, also thriving as a teacher at the school. She believes that Sandy Hill fosters a strong sense of community, benefiting the entire family.

2023 SAndy Hill Staff-Jessica.jpg
Jessica Etheridge

Bio to come!

Paula Holden

Paula, a passionate and dedicated teacher, has a strong background in education. With a combined degree in Anthropology and Literature from the Johnston Center at the University of Redlands, she has always been fascinated by the connection between education and individual development.

Paula's journey in education began with her first anthropology fieldwork at a Montessori school, where her interest in teaching young children flourished. During that time, she also initiated and piloted a volunteer childcare program for a local women's shelter. Her experience includes working as a playground supervisor at Park Dale Lane elementary and actively volunteering in her children's classrooms, particularly in teaching gardening to kindergarteners.

Currently, Paula is homeschooling her daughter while also supporting her son's journey through traditional education and exploring the common core curriculum. Since joining Sandy Hill in 2012, she feels fortunate to be part of a community that genuinely values each child's unique qualities and embraces the joys of childhood. Paula teaches in Sandy Hill's exceptional Adventure Class.

Kacy Lafferty

Kacy is an experienced and passionate teacher with a diverse background in education. She began her teaching career on Catalina Island, where she specialized in Marine Science. With a Bachelor's degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, Kacy also student-taught 5th grade and started her own kayaking and snorkeling camp, Discovery Adventures.

Her teaching journey has taken her to various locations, including the Central Pacific islands of Kiribati and a one-room schoolhouse on Catalina. Kacy has also led educational trips in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. In San Diego, she completed her Masters in Teaching at National University, obtaining a clear multiple subject credential. As the outreach coordinator for Sea Camp San Diego, she taught Marine Science to local students.

Kacy's passion for connecting children with the natural world and helping them find their place in it brought her to Sandy Hill. Her expertise and dedication make her a valuable asset to our team, and we are thrilled to have her as our Adventure Class leader.

2023 SAndy Hill Staff-Daniel.jpg
Daniel Quel

Daniel Quel is a passionate preschool teacher at Sandy Hill Nursery School, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role. With a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, he has an incredible educational foundation in understanding young minds, only matched by his intuitive connection he develops with the children in his care.


Prior to joining Sandy Hill, Daniel founded and taught at A Kid's Place Preschool in North County San Diego, where he nurtured a love for early childhood education. Despite the challenges of starting a school at the exact wrong time, thanks to the Covid pandemic, Daniel found his way to Sandy Hill, where he continues to fulfill his vision and make a positive impact in the lives of young children.

2023 SAndy Hill Staff-Emily.jpg
Emily Taylor-Mortoff

Emily serves as Assistant Director of Sandy Hill Nursery School, bringing a wealth of experience and a deep passion for Early Childhood Education to her role.


With a background in the arts and a love for language and storytelling, Emily's work with children is informed by her creativity and unique perspective. After graduating from UCLA and working in the entertainment industry, she pursued her studies in Early Childhood Education.

In 2020, Emily and her partner, Teacher Daniel, opened a play-based preschool in their home, which unfortunately closed due to the pandemic. During their search for a preschool for their older son, they discovered Sandy Hill and instantly fell in love with the campus and the close-knit community of families.


Since joining Sandy Hill, Emily has become an integral part of the school, bringing her expertise, creativity, and unwavering dedication to creating a nurturing environment for the children.

bottom of page