Our Teachers & Staff

Our Directors

Michelle Pearson, SEED Director

Rachel Blair, SEED Assistant Director

Michelle was born in Lansing, Michigan, but has lived in Aiken for most of her life. She and her husband, Barry, have three married children and eight grandchildren. To her, the best aspect of being the Director is watching the children laugh and learn while sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them. She has been on the staff at St. John's since 1995. 
Rachel has been a long time member of St. John’s. She was born and raised in Aiken and is an alumni of the University of South Carolina Aiken where she received her Bachelors in Business Administration. Rachel has two daughters who have both attended and completed the SEED program here at St. John’s. Rachel and her husband, Dusty, love watching their girls grow their faith and love for Jesus Christ through the children’s ministry here at St. John’s. 

Blooms- 5k

Tara Preston, 5k Teacher

Tara Preston is going on to her fourth year of teaching Kindergarten for St. John’s SEED and is SO excited. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2014 and taught 3K there before moving to South Carolina. She now lives in Jackson, SC with her husband, Alex, their four girls, Eleanor, Charlotte , Vivienne , Madeline and goldendoodle, Teddy. 

Patti Carroll,  Classroom Aide

Katie Yaeger,  Classroom Aide

Patti was born in Texas where she received her elementary education degree from Texas Womens University.  She has been married for over 35 years and has three children.  She has taught many years in Aiken as a third-grade teacher but put her career on hold to help take care of her one and only granddaughter.  She loves being able to assist in the Kindergarten classroom.  
Katie was born in New York where she received her Bachelors in Mathematics and Masters in Education. She has taught High School Mathematics for the past 10 years including both Spring Valley HS in Columbia and South Aiken HS. She is excited to be joining the kindergarten team as her two boys, Owen and Caden, will be attending the SEED program this year.

Sprouts- 4k

Melissa Patterson, 4 Day Teacher

Elaine Ray, Classroom Aide

Melissa was born in Indianapolis, IN but has spent most of her life in North Carolina.  She moved to Aiken almost 10  years ago.  Melissa has been married to Tommy for 21 years and they have 3 children, Zachary, Connor and Emory.  She loves watching the children learn, grow and explore! 
Elaine was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Penn State. She and her husband, Joel, have one daughter and two sons. On the staff at St. John's since 1998, she continues to enjoy watching the children learn and grow and can't imagine a better place to be. 

Ashleigh Whittle, 5 Day Teacher

Anna Macdonald, Classroom Aide

Ashleigh lives on a farm in New Holland. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Chris. They have 2 children, Madee and Noah.  Ashleigh loves to teach because she enjoys seeing a child’s eyes light up when they master a new task for the first time. She believes teaching is a calling, and she loves to serve Him. 
Anna is originally from Manchester UK, but has lived in the USA since 1998. She has two children and a wonderful husband who is a chef! This is her seventh year as a 4K aide here at St John’s and she feels so blessed to be part of this fabulous SEED program. In Anna’s spare time, she loves working in her yard and all things equestrian! 

Buds- 3k

Mary Gail Staubs,  3k Teacher

Angela Vandergrift, Classroom Aide

Mary Staubs is the 3K teacher at St. John’s. She has been with the SEED staff since 1991 and enjoys helping children learn through play and interactive skills. She loves seeing God work in their little lives. Mary and her husband and have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys the beach, thrift shopping and spending time with her loving family. Mary believes showing Christ’s love through the way we live our lives is the most powerful witness we can have. 
Angela was born and raised in the Graniteville area. She currently lives in North Augusta with her husband Scott and two sons Kyle and Nathan. She loves Clemson football, shopping, going to the lake and spending time with her family. Angela has been with St. John’s SEED since 2017. She loves watching the kids learn and grow. Angela also loves the excitement on their faces everyday when they come in the room. She feels so blessed to work here with all the wonderful people at St. John’s. 

Alicia Reeves,  3k Teacher

Lisa Langford, Classroom Aide

Alicia is new to SEED this year and so very grateful and excited to be here.  She is a Certified Early Childhood Education teacher with experience teaching Kindergarten as well as ESL.  Alicia is a strong believer in early literacy, learning through movement and play, and teaching every type of learner.  She and her husband Jesse have three children, Malia (11), Samantha (4), and JP (1).  Malia attended SEED all the way through Kindergarten, and Samantha and JP attend currently.  She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and being outdoors.  She believes that God brought her to this wonderful place and is thrilled to be a part of these little children’s lives!
Lisa was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to Aiken with her parents in 1988.  An alumni of USC, Lisa graduated with a degree in Accounting.  She has been married to Jeff since 1995, has one daughter who attended SEED in 4K and 5K,  and they have a dog.  Lisa has been working with SEED since 2017.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, baking goodies, being creative with many different art mediums, and doing outdoor activities.  She has a compassion for helping kids learn and grow. Lisa is looking forward to teaching your children this year. 

Seedlings- PreK Prep

Natalie Jones, Preschool Prep Teacher

Ali Stephens, Classroom Aide

Natalie was born in West Virginia and moved to Aiken in 1990. She previously worked in accounting, but her move to Aiken presented her the opportunity to work in childcare. Natalie has been with St. John’s since 2004 and she has loved every minute of it. She worked as the aide in 5K and is currently the Preschool Prep teacher. Natalie is married with one daughter and three amazing grandchildren, Aaliyah, Christopher and Robert. Her family enjoys taking their camper to the beach and lake for family fun and memories.   During her time at St. John’s she has met many great people and families. To Natalie, St. John’s SEED program is a true family. 
Ali started with St. John's SEED in 2021.  She is an alumni of the University of South Carolina Aiken where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration.  Ali is married to her husband, Josh, and they have three children, Hailey, Porter, and Taylor.  In her free time, Ali enjoys getting together with friends and family, traveling, and baking!

Pods- 2k

Brandi Foster,  2k Teacher

Dixie Hardee, 2k Teacher

Brandi was born and raised in Aiken. She and her husband Darren have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Brandi looks forward to all the new and fun things we will learn each year. She has been on staff since 2002. 
Dixie was born in Spartanburg and raised in Inman, SC. She Moved to Aiken in 2013. She and her husband Tim have 6 children and 2 grandchildren. She considers it a blessing to be able to come to work and be surrounded by all the smiling faces of Gods miracles. 

Pods- Nursery/Toddlers

Rae Felix, Nursery Teacher

Anna Lyons, NurseryTeacher

Rae has been working with babies and toddlers for over 25 years.  Caring for these ages, watching them grow and change so rapidly, is still amazing!  Rae is originally from Kansas and has lived in Aiken for over 30 years.  She and her husband have two grown sons, a daughter in love and one grand dog. She and her family enjoy lots of outdoor activities, Atlanta Braves baseball and traveling together. 
Anna was born and raised in Aiken, SC.   She and her husband have two daughters, Baylee and Oaklee, who have both attended the SEED program.  She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  Anna looks forward to watching how the babies learn and grow.  

Erica Russell, Toddlers Teacher

Stephanie Gagnon, Toddlers Teacher

Erica is a lifelong resident of Aiken, SC.  She has worked  in childcare for over 10 years and is excited to continue her career with St. John's SEED.  Erica is a youth group leader at True North Church.  In her free , she loves crafting
and spending time with family and friends.
Stephanie was born and raised in Aiken, SC.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their two dogs.  Stephanie loves traveling to watch the Braves play.  She is excited for all the new faces to the toddler room this year.  


Patsy Flowers, Music Teacher

Patsy is an Aikenite having been born, reared, and educated in Aiken. She and her late husband, Neil, worked with the youth of St. John's and Patsy directed the children and youth choirs for many years. Patsy taught 4K for St. John’s preschool for 35+years as well as being the music teacher, which she continues to do. She also is currently the pianist and choir director at St. Paul's UMC. She has one son, Scott, and daughter in law, Summer, and one grandson Bennett  and one granddaughter Carly Ann - her most wonderful blessings! One of Patsy's greatest joys is getting to share her love of music with children. "I love children and I love music - it's a perfect fit! I am so blessed."