Nellie Huggins: Owner/Teacher
I’m Nellie Huggins and I have been working with children professionally for 20 years and opened Kaleidoscope in 2017 after my time providing childcare at the University of Oregon for three years. Prior to that I nannied in Chicago and taught Preschool on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico as well as in the suburbs of Chicago. My favorite thing about Kaleidoscope is the amazing community being built and culture of kindness we instill in the children in our care. My goal for the upcoming year is to grow the Kaleidoscope community even further and expand our programs to accommodate for families in the Eugene and Springfield area.
Danielle Charlson: Lead Teacher
My name is Danielle Charlson and I am originally from Fresno, California. I moved to Oregon 5 years ago to attend the University of Oregon! I graduated in 2018 with a major in Educational Foundations and a minor in Special Education. I have been working in childcare centers and with kids in schools for over 6 years now. Outside of working, I enjoy watching and playing sports and my favorite place to travel to is the beach!
Maria Slade: Associate Teacher
I'm Maria, and I'm a Senior at the University of Oregon, studying Crime, Law and Society within the General Social Sciences program. My experience
working with kids started as a Teaching Assistant at Northwest
Children's Theater in Portland, Oregon, and I've been with the KCDC
team since 2017. When I'm not studying or working, I'm probably dancing with Dema, UO's African Dance ensemble, or practicing my baking skills.
Sesa Ferdun: Assistant Teacher
My name is Sesa Ferdun! I have worked with and around kids for about 7 years now. I've helped swim lessons, coach water polo and was a outdoor science camp counselor! I am currently a senior at University of Oregon studying International Studies and Nonprofit Management. I currently play on the Women's Rugby Team at the university so that takes up most of my free time but I also have a passion for international travel and exploration in general! Fun Fact: My language concentrations are in Portuguese and German!
Mackenzie Guzman: Assistant Teacher
Hi, I’m Mackenzie! I’m currently a senior at UO studying General Social Sciences with an emphasis on crime, law, and society. I love spending time outdoors with my dog as well as reading and the beach. I have been working with children for over seven years, and I’ve loved every moment of it. My favorite part about working at Kaleidoscope has been watching the kiddos grow and develop into their own individual selves! For the next year, I’m very excited to work towards my goal to continue to build relationships with the kids and families.
Ian Mullin: Assistant Teacher
I am a Journalism/Spanish graduate from the University of Oregon who enjoys playing and writing music. I lived most of my life in Moscow, ID with my parents and three sisters. In addition to babysitting my two younger sisters, I have worked in childcare since my youth, as a camp counselor, volunteering in after-school programs and as a second-language tutor during a study abroad in Spain. I began working in a professional setting in the spring of 2018 at Kaleidoscope. A goal I have for my own development in childcare is to establish a regularly-occurring music program, in which children can participate in singing along, learning about instruments, or by simply dancing!
Jeni Difani: Administrative Director/Meal Planner
I'm Jeni, mom of Breylee and Ella. I received my Bachelor's degree in Psychology and have worked with children for 15 years in public schools, group homes, and childcare environments. I also have lots of experience working with children/youth with moderate-profound special needs, and currently work for a company that provides therapy to children with autism. In my free time I enjoy exploring outside with my kids, traveling, and making yummy food! I love the culture of inclusivity and compassion that Kaleidoscope creates, and am looking forward to adding fun, healthy, and new foods to our menu.