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Tara Sawyer, Executive Director/Parent Coach

Tara started Pea Pod Playschool in 2015. Her son was a member of the founding cohort. Tara is the Executive Director of Pea Pod, a parent coach in the playschool classroom, a mom of two amazing kids, a dance teacher, and Camp Director of Camp Shazaam.


With a degree in Landscape Architecture specializing in playground and community spaces, Tara is an avid proponent of community building. In 2019, Pea Pod Playschool and Mt. Tabor Preschool worked together to recreate the Taborspace Playground. Tara donated her landscape design skills to the project and led the design process. She continues to nurture and maintain the playspace as it slowly matures into the community asset envisioned by the design team.


Tara loves working with parents and kids. Over the past ten years, Tara has been on a personal journey of growth and discovery with a focus on parenthood, child development, trauma informed care, emotional healing, and empowerment. She believes strongly that the key to a child's mental health and future success begins with a positive foundation of social and emotional wellbeing by recognizing, allowing and validating feelings. Tara recently completed a year long certification program called Wunderled, by Fairy Dust Teaching. The program is a mixture of Waldorf and Reggio Emilia teachings that looks at the Teacher, the Child, the Family and the Environment.


Tara is committed to creating safe, authentic spaces for people of all ages, and is passionate about fostering the next generation of change makers.

Trainings and Certifications:

October 2017 Speaking with Kids: Compassion & Cooperation Workshop

March 2018 Hand in Hand Parenting Class, 6-week series

April 2018 NAMI Family-to-Family 10 week Class

August 2018 Yoga Playgrounds Teacher Training

February 2020 Non-Violent Communication Workshop 

June 2020 Empowered Sensitivity: Making Sense of Your Child's Sense-Ability

February 2021 Roots, Rhythm, Race & Dance Masterclass by Karida Griffith

March 2021 Big Life Journal's Masterclass on Transforming your Child's Negative Self-Talk

July 2021-June 2022 Wunderled Approach Certification Program by Fairy Dust Teaching 


Jasmine Kennedy, Preschool Teacher

Jasmine is a dedicated and passionate educator specializing in early childhood development, with a focus on students aged 18 months to pre-kindergarten. With over six years of experience in childcare settings, Jasmine has honed her skills in creating engaging, educational, and nurturing environments for young learners. She believes in the power of exploration and play as fundamental elements of early education and strives to inspire her students to discover the world around them with curiosity and joy.


Joining the Pea Pod Playschool team in February of 2023 was a natural step in her journey, aligning with her passion for nurturing young minds and hearts. Jasmine’s teaching philosophy centers on the importance of building strong, supportive relationships with the children, and their families, creating a community of learners that extends beyond the classroom.


As a multifaceted educator with a rich cultural background, Jasmine brings a unique perspective to Pea Pod Playschool. Born to a diverse heritage as a Black, Indigenous, Japanese-American woman, her upbringing in both Maryland and Oregon, has deeply influenced her approach to education and community building, focusing on trauma-informed care and conflict resolution. Jasmine graduated from the University of Oregon in 2021, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology. Her academic focus on early childhood development and global health communities has equipped her with a broad understanding of the needs and challenges faced by all children.


Jasmine holds a strong commitment to fostering the individual potential of each child, recognizing and celebrating their unique differences. Her teaching philosophy centers on the importance of building strong, supportive relationships with her students and their families, creating a community of learners that extends beyond the classroom. Art holds a special place in Jasmine’s life, and she has become Pea Pod’s resident craft connoisseur! From sun catchers to birdhouses, she has introduced the children to a world of creativity, exploring a wide range of mediums and activities. Her goal is to continue fostering an environment at Pea Pod that is not only conducive to learning but also champions acceptance, compassion, and growth.


At Pea Pod Playschool, Jasmine brings a warm and caring heart to her classroom every day. She is excited to embark on new adventures with her students, guiding them to explore their potential, grow, and become confident, creative thinkers. Jasmine looks forward to making a positive impact in the lives of her students, encouraging them to explore the world in their own way.

Trainings and Certifications:

 University of Oregon, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology, 2021


Morgan Pallett, Assistant Executive Director

Morgan joined Pea Pod in 2022 as a stay at home parent who needed community after a long 2 years of parenting in Covid. An interested reader, Morgan had read No Bad Kids prior to Pea Pod but saw it come to life in the playschool as Tara interacted with the kids. Her daughter stayed at Pea Pod for 2 years and Morgan joined the Board of Directors in 2023. When Pea Pod started a preschool program, Morgan left the Board and joined Pea Pod as an administrative assistant. 


Morgan’s pre-parenthood career was in human relations and management. She works with Pea Pod to enroll new families, hire and train new employees, and create schedules for the Parents On Duty.

Trainings and Certifications:

Willamette University, BA in Art History, 2006

Seattle University, MBA, 2013


Pea Pod is always looking for good team members

Are you great with kids? Enjoy the chaos of early childhood? A good communicator? Want to make a positive impact in the lives of families with young children? Check out our Parent Coach job description.

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