|Meet our Teachers|
Hello, my name is Deborah Somody and I am the founder and director of Sonshine Preschool. I am happily married and the mother of four grown children and the grandmother of seven precious children. I have a B.S. from Northeastern and my C.D.A. in Early Childhood Education. My experience includes working with preschoolers for over thirty years and working in the Meriden Public School Reading Program for 12 years where I taught TLC: Teaching for Literacy Competency. It is a privilege to be a part of this school and work in such a loving supportive Christian environment where families and children are valued and where we can make a difference in your child’s life. I am committed to excellence in the program that we offer to you. My hobbies include biking, gardening, and playing with my grandchildren.
Hello, my name is Kim Swanson. This is my seventh year at teaching at Sonshine Christian Preschool. I am married and have three children in addition to all my children here at Sonshine. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UConn and received my teaching certification from SCSU. At this time I am pursuing my Child Development Associate in Early Childhood. I have years of personal and professional experience working with children with special needs and advocacy. I love Sonshine because it is a warm, supportive environment for students, families and teachers alike. I also love the strong kindergarten readiness program where we have fun while we teach concepts which are reinforced through our multidisciplinary approach with Biblical teaching and character building. I feel blessed to be part of a wonderful preschool .
Hello, my name is Debby Hartenstein. I am married and have three grown children and nine beautiful grandchildren. I have worked in the Meriden Public School system with special needs children and also in the reading program for a total of twelve years. Before that I was a part of the teaching staff at First Baptist Preschool for six years. Last year I enrolled at Middlesex to pursue my Child Development Associate. At Sonshine I have a passion about instilling a love for reading in each boy and girl as I teach concepts about print along with sight words and pre-reading strategies. I love each of the chidlren and enjoy every day where I am giving them a foundation for life and learning.
Hello, my name is Robert Parker. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and family. My five children are grown and married and have blessed my wife and I with twelve grandchildren. I have worked in the field of early childhood for more than twenty-five years as a teacher and director. During that time I received a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from SCSU. My experiences of founding a preschool in Bristol, CT and a Childcare Center in South Meriden have uniquely qualified me to serve as Chairman of the Sonshine Preschool Board. I enjoy working in the Afternoon School Program at Sonshine which gives me firsthand knowledge of our Preschool and Afterschool program and an opportunity to meet each family.
Hello, my name is Candace Farnsworth. I live in Meriden with my husband and three school age children. I have a daughter in high school, a son in middle school and my youngest son attends elementary. This is my seventh year teaching in the Three Year Old Class at Sonshine. I am pursuing my degree in Early Childhood and enjoy helping your children grow and develop and reach their full potential. Life in Three's is always full of wonder as they discover God's creation and learn to work and play together. My hobbies include coaching girl's softball, as well as enjoying the sport myself. I love to spend time at the shore with my extended family on the weekends during the summer.
Hi, my name is Melissa Miranda. I have been married to my husband Felix for 11 years and we have two children ages 11 and 8. My son attended Sonshine in 2007 and we all enjoyed the experience here. From what I see, Sonshine is a solid starting point for any family to help and shape their child and give them the building blocks necessary to help them in the future. This is my sixth year working at Sonshine. I also am currently pursuing a nursing degree at Gateway Community College. I enjoy working with all of the children and the great staff here at Sonshine. I plan to be here for years to come.