Kindergarten Staff

Each member of the Horizon Honors Elementary School staff is committed to creating and maintaining an environment of trust, risk-taking, flexibility and respect. The environment enables students to learn, believe, dream and dare by fostering choice, exploration, dialogue and real-world problem solving.

Donna Bennett

Donna Bennett
Kindergarten Teacher

Years of experience in Education: 15

Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 15

Background: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Teacher Certification in Elementary Education, TAP Certified

Favorite part of teaching: "The kids. They are amazing."

Why Teach Kindergarten Students? ""They are open and honest and really want to learn. It is such a joy to be a part of their lives. I learn something from them everyday!"

Davona Eshman
Davona Eshman
Kindergarten Teacher


Years of Experience in Education: 8
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 3
Background: Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Favorite Part about Working in a Classroom: “I love observing the growth of our students as well as building relationships with the families we serve.”
Why Work with Kindergarten Students? “This age group is so full of joy and excitement in all they do. They amaze me in ability and willingness to try their best!”
Monica Jimenez

Monica Jimenez
Kindergarten Teacher

Years of Experience in Education: 11
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 7
Background: Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education
Favorite Part about Teaching: “Building relationships.  I enjoy getting to know my students, learning their strengths, celebrating their successes and watching them grow.”
Why Teach Kindergarten Students?  “When teaching Kindergartners, everything you teach them is new and exciting.”

Erin Reid

Erin Reid
Kindergarten Mentor Teacher

Years of Experience in Education: 14
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 14
Background: Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, master’s degree in Educational Technology, TAP certified.
Favorite Part about Teaching:  “The students.  Their love of something new, the challenge, makes me strive to be a better teacher and a better person.  I want to know who they are, their wants, needs, and dreams.  Getting to know who they are as people helps me understand how to help them learn and I get to be a small part of their lives for a little while.  Every day is filled with joy.  No day, week, month, or year is ever the same and I just love what every new day brings. “
Why Teach Kindergarten Students?  “Except for student teaching, I have always been in Kindergarten.  I actually completed my student teaching in a first grade and was looking for a job in a first or second grade classroom.  When I was hired at Horizon Honors Elementary in a Kindergarten position, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to teach students at this age.  After the first day, I was hooked!  Many people are not given the opportunity to really see how amazing a 5 year olds mind is and how capable they really are.  Every student I have had the pleasure to know has not only met my challenge, but has taught me things that I never dreamed of.  They look at the world in such a unique and unbiased way that, for many, seems simple.  But when you really listen and have a child share with you their thoughts, you realize they are the most brilliant people you have come across in a long while.  They are not bound by rules, their thoughts have not been boxed in to meet certain standards or roles, but they are truly free to explore and express their ideas without constraints.  This is an amazing time and I am so thankful every day that I am lucky enough to call this my job.  I am one of those lucky people that can, without a doubt, say I LOVE my job!”

Tracey Carswell

Tracey Carswell
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Years of Experience in Education: 11
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 8
Background: Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies/Concentration
Favorite Part about Working in a Classroom: “I love working with children and the excitement they show when learning something new.”
Why Work with Kindergarten Students? “Kindergarten is a fun age. For some students it may the first time going to school. I am honored to help set goals for the rest of their academic life. The first experience of school with the students is a joy.”

Ruth Hughes

Ruth Hughes
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Years of Experience in Education: 16
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 16
Background: Parapro certified, classes at the college level, Brain Gym Certificate, ACE Certified.
Favorite Part about Working in a Classroom: “Providing a healthy atmosphere so all of the children can learn. I enjoy teaching small groups to learn all aspects of reading and math.”
Why Work with Kindergarten Students? “Kindergarten is the most interesting of grades. Kindergarten is where it all starts. It sets the stage for the rest of their academic life. Kindergarten is the perfect place to teach that nutrition and physical activity go hand in hand with learning. Healthy body and mind equals academic success.”

Donna Levi

Donna Levi
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Years of Experience in Education: 19
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 19
Background: Parapro certified, classes at the community college level.
Favorite Part about Working in a Classroom: “I love seeing when the lesson has clicked. “
Why Work with Kindergarten Students? “They want to be here, they want to learn and I love being a part of that.”

Lesley Murphy

Lesley Murphy
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Years of Experience in Education: 9
Years at Horizon Honors Elementary School: 2
Background: Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with minors in English and History
Favorite Part about Working in a Classroom: “Striving to understand how each child connects with learning and figuring out ways to meet his or her learning style and love language. I enjoy conversations with students on the playground and at lunch to find out what things engage them.”
Why Work with Kindergarten Students? “Kindergarten students have the greatest imaginations and that is a fun place from which to launch learning whether it be writing, discussing literature or even figuring out math. It is a year of huge progression… from simply learning letters and their sounds to becoming independent readers. There is so much joy seeing their excitement when they connect the dots.”