Amber Hughes, Director

Amber was born and raised in the PNW and married her high school sweetheart. Not long after giving birth to their daughter, they moved to “The South”. Their son was born in Tennessee in 2002. They later moved to Georgia where Amber started working as a substitute teacher for Forsyth County School District. Upon returning to Washington State, Amber began working as a para-educator, focusing on working in the special education department.

Amber and her family now reside in Newcastle. Before joining EDS, Amber was a Toddler Teacher at Patti’s for three years. She truly believes that the needs of the children come first.

Amber is very proud of her two children, her daughter who graduated with her JD from Seattle University, and her son who is pursuing a degree in Data Analytics.  In her free time, Amber loves spending time with her children for weekly movie nights, hiking with her 2 dogs, and crocheting to de-stress.

Melissa Jefferson, Turtles Class Teacher

Melissa has lived in Washington her whole life and loves music and animals. She began her journey in early learning as a substitute teacher at EDS in 2022. Soon after, she began working on her S.T.A.R.S training and joined the EDS family as a Turtles teacher.

Though she is new to teaching, she looks forward to creating a safe and happy space for little ones to play and learn. She believes in each child’s unique potential and is thrilled to be part of their journey.

Marcia Palk, Sea Stars Class Teacher

Marcia was raised on Mercer Island and currently resides in Bellevue with her husband and three children. She has an AA degree in Early Childhood Education and a BA in Business Administration. Marcia has always had a passion for teaching and engaging with children. She currently works with another Island preschool in the afternoons and in the past volunteered teaching Sunday school, YMCA t-ball and soccer youth sports, and served on the Lake Heights YMCA parent advisory board.  She joined Emmanuel Day School in 2012 and loves being involved with preschoolers, supporting them as they learn and grow independently and socially through fun and positive experiences. In her spare time, Marcia enjoys adventures with her children, volunteering at church, hiking and traveling with the family.

Alejandra Ramirez-Nava, Sea Stars Class Assistant Teacher

Alejandra was born and raised in Mexico. She moved to Washington State 13 years ago.
Alejandra graduated from La Salle University with a Marketing degree. She worked for three years as a substitute teacher for Colegio Miraflores in Leon, Guanajuato. She has over 12 years of experience working as a nanny. She has always enjoyed working with young children.
Alejandra has one son (Alex) who was at EDS for two years and now is attending kindergarten in Issaquah. In her spare time, Alejandra enjoys spending time with Alex, going to parks, swimming, and hiking.

Sonja Logan, Dolphins Class Teacher

Sonja was born and raised in Melbourne Australia, completing a diploma in children’s services and worked in a childcare/preschool for ten years. She has two girls, seven and five, and moved to Mercer Island in 2012 where her husband got contracted to PSE for 16 months before returning back to Australia for two years. She returned to Mercer Island again in February 2015 as a job opening for her husband became available and decided to relocate again.

She has always enjoyed working with children and after her daughter attended the Sea Stars class decided that Emmanuel Day School was a great place to work. She loves spending time with family and friends and getting in the great outdoors kayaking and hiking and loves to travel.

Bri Geraghty, Dolphins Class Assistant Teacher

Bri was raised, and currently resides, on Mercer Island with her daughter.

She previously taught preschool in Bellevue for six years before taking a break to pursue a career in medicine. After 13 years, she chose to follow her first passion and return to teaching.

Bri began as a substitute at EDS before joining the staff in September 2023. EDS was a perfect choice, as both she and her daughter are alumnus. In her free time, she enjoys exploring local parks with her daughter, staying active, and traveling.