Tours: (831) 429-NBCC (6222)

Linda Swan ~ Teacher ~ Family Support Meetings

Linda is a former Child & Family Therapist, having a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology along with her Early Childhood Development degree and a Bachelors Degree in Behavioral Science.  She brings a wealth of knowledge to the NBCC Community. She spearheads our monthly parent education workshops which cover topics that include parenting guilt, 'Raising Adults', positive discipline, sibling relationships, parenting from the inside out, and so much more! Linda has a passion for research and helping others.  She has a gentle and loving approach to working with our youngest age group, and provides her students with a positive first time school experience. She is a wonderful teacher to our students, as well as a mother to 3 of her own awesome kiddos. When Linda is not teaching, she loves spending time knitting beautiful creations, taking long walks in nature with her husband or cooking amazing dishes with her family!

​                   Administration Team

Jonnie Cardinale ~ Owner/Founder

Jonnie's childhood dream was to become a teacher. She is fascinated by child development and brain research and believes that investing in early education is investing in our future. Her understanding of child development stems from her range of experience as a teacher. She has taught children ages 3-12 years and grades preschool through 1st. She enjoys observing children's growth & development and has a keen eye for scaffolding learning. Jonnie's biggest passion is helping children see themselves for the amazing human being's that they are!  She says, that watching them grow in their own capabilities and in their understanding of their world, keeps her smiling and hopeful for the future. Jonnie has degree's in Early Childhood Education and  specializations in the areas of Curriculum Planning, Anti-bias Education, Families & Diversity, & Children’s Literacy.  She is a nationally certified handwriting specialist and has helped hundreds of children acquire skills for their elementary academic success.  Jonnie's advocacy extends from the local to state levels, sitting on the Santa Cruz Childhood Advisory Council and the Central Coast Association of the Education of Young Children (CCAEYC).  Jonnie takes joy in communicating with the greater community, the important work of early education. She has been a part of the Santa Cruz community for over 40 years and has 2 grown daughters and husband who loves to fish. For fun, she enjoys mysteries, cruising, and drinking great coffee. A goal of Jonnie's is to write a children's series.

Courtnay Schmidt ~ Teacher

Courtnay teaches in our Honu classroom and has a gift for working with our youngest learners. She has a background and education in early childhood development, and has always known she was meant to work with children! She understands and connects with the children giving them the space to explore, communicate and share their curiosities. Her previous experience in facilitating and running 'Art & 'Messy' camps has aided the thoughtful and engaging curriculum she develops in the classroom. She specializes in creating amazing sensory experiences for our students while supporting their growth and development through art and play. The children can always look to Teacher Courtnay for hours of fun and learning! When Courtnay is not teaching, she enjoys backpacking, hanging out with her family, cooking amazing meals or creating her own art!


Karyn Schmidt ~ Co-Founder/Director/Teacher/Family Support

Karyn has been in the field of Early Childhood for two decades! She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of social and emotional development and in the sharing of community and family resources. After receiving her degree in Child Development, she went on to specialize in creating family supported communities to encourage collaborative learning and growth. Through the small group family meetings at NBCC, she very much enjoys seeing families share together, building relationships and a community that will last a lifetime! Her certificates include Anti-Bias Education, Families and Diversity, Administration, and Curriculum Planning. Karyn appreciates a plethora of teaching philosophies. The ones that speak to her the most involve the Reggio-Emilia approach, play based learning using the constructivists theory; where it is believed that children learn best through observation, documentation, and children’s involvement in their curriculum and education. Her greatest experience however, comes from raising three children of her own. She loves spending time with her family gardening, taking hikes, playing and watching basketball, and enjoying the community that they’ve been a part of for generations.

​​Teaching Team

Jordan Kirchner ~ Teacher

Jordan has been working in education for over three years and started this journey intern teaching at Gateway Elementary School in the Kindergarten classroom.  Jordan graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a bachelor's degree in Intensive Psychology with a focus on development and a minor in education.  She has now started working on her master's degree in early childhood education.  Some of the things Jordan loves most  about working in education is being able to create an exciting learning environment, being a positive role model and connecting with families.  Jordan also loves our large caring and inclusive community here at NBCC!  When Jordan is not teaching or learning she loves to play volleyball, spend time with her friends or play with her cat!    

Jaime Allen ~ Teacher

Jaime has been working with children for over 30 years! She started when she was a young child herself, helping her mothers' home child care.  Later, Jaime opened her own home preschool with her mother while raising her three wonderful sons.  Not only does she have a degree in early childhood education, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience from working for so long with our youngest learners! Jaime believes in an environment that is rooted in respect and compassion, and strives to nourish each child's spirit, fostering their natural sense of wonder while providing a protective space for them to grow. Her story telling is engaging and you can always find a captivated audience fully enjoying the tale!  When Jaime isn't teaching or working with children, she is busy cheering for her son's sporting events, walking by the ocean with a friend or creating handmade fairy dolls with her mother!

Jody Holt ~ Teacher 

Jody has a fun and energetic way about her.  The kids all call out, "Yay, Jody's here" when she arrives!  Jody has her degree in Early Childhood Education, Science in Liberal Arts and a degree in Arts in Graphic Design.  She has a wealth of knowledge for developmentally appropriate practices and brings with her fun and exciting curriculum. She loves to follow the children's lead and dive into the learning even deeper.  Her documentation of the learning is something we all appreciate as we follow all the activities through her display boards, photos and The Learning Foundations for Preschool Years.  Jody is a team player and all the children and staff enjoy to see her at work everyday!  When Jody isn't teaching, she enjoys reading some of her favorite books, drawing and spending time with her husband.