Staff

We are blessed to have experienced and caring teachers for each of our classes!

Please meet our current staff:

Carla Gearhart – Lead Teacher
Ms. Carla returned to the Huntsville area a few years ago due to her love of the area and her husband’s retirement from the Army (finally).  She has been teaching music since she was 16 years old and has a B.A. in Music Education from Penn State.  Mrs. Carla took a few years away from the classroom to raise her three daughters and to teach and mentor young Girl Scouts as their Troop Leader for many years.  When her youngest started elementary school, Mrs. Carla returned to the classroom and taught preschoolers at a school very much like Hope.  She also developed and implemented a music program for all ages at the school.  Her love of helping children discover skills and the world around them is her favorite thing about teaching. In her free time, Mrs. Carla enjoys spending time with her family, camping, reading, and making music.

Amber Wright – Fours Teacher
Ms. Amber graduated from Athens State University in December 2017 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  This is her second year teaching at the Playschool, although she has several years of experience in helping, teaching, and caring for children in her church nursery.  Ms. Amber has a 2-year old dog named Toby and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, doing crafts, and sewing.

Sarah Todd– Fours Teacher
This is Ms. Sarah’s third year teaching at the Playschool and her first year teaching 4 year olds.  She received her degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and spent several years teaching preschool prior to becoming a parent. Her wonderful husband, Mike, is a mechanical engineer working on Redstone Arsenal is also a Lt Col in the Air National Guard with the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, AL. Both of Ms. Sarah’s daughters attended HPP and she served on our Playschool Board for two years while her youngest daughter was a student here. When she’s not busy taking care of her sweet girls, Ms. Sarah enjoys reading, snuggling with pet cats, Elvis and Shadow, and doing crafts.

Carol Murphy – Threes Teacher
Ms. Carol has taught at the Playschool for the past two years and has over 15 years of experience teaching and caring for toddlers in nurseries, preschools, and mothers’ morning out programs.  She has two children and she enjoys supporting their activities after school and on the weekends.  Ms. Carol and her family spend their free time outdoors, hiking and boating.  She is full of patience, kindness, and good humor – all of which are essential to teaching three-year olds.  She is excited to be guiding our students as they learn through play!

Tiff Koontz – Threes Teacher
Ms. Tiff recently moved to Alabama from the state of Washington where she owned a state-licensed home childcare and preschool for the last 25 years.  She has 100’s of hours of continuing education credits specializing in science and nature.  She has also spent many years involved with Girl Scouts as a troop leader and then as a program director for a day camp.  Most recently, she actively participates in the children’s ministry at her church.  Ms. Tiff has 7 children – four biological children, ages 17-25, two step-children, ages 18 and 24, and one that her and her husband are in the process of adopting from foster care, age 12.  In her spare time, she enjoys growing plants, doing crafty things, and especially likes her family’s yearly beach trip during fall break. Ms. Tiff is crazy for open ended art projects, so expect tons of Picasso-like art to come from her classroom!   She also loves the color red, anything with polka-dots, is fueled by COFFEE, and she’s extremely excited to be joining the Hope Presbyterian Playschool team!

Karon Howard – Twos Teacher
Ms. Karon is returning to the Playschool for a second year, and especially enjoys teaching our youngest students.  She moved with her family to Huntsville from Auburn a few years ago for her husband’s job. She taught preschool for many years before making the decision to stay home with her 4 kids over the last 13 years.  Now that they are in school she is excited to have the opportunity to come and spend her days with your children.  She is the Children’s Director at Hobbs Island Church, and she loves spending her nights at the ballparks and dance studios with her kids.