Sparkle Spot Learning Educators: Who we are…

Julie Hannan, Founder

Julie Hannan is an experienced, passionate educator with over 25 years of teaching experience. She is both a certified K-8 teacher as well as a certified PCI Parent Coach. In 2011, Julie left the classroom to work individually with elementary aged kids and their families.

Her teaching experience includes many years in the classroom at both private and public schools. An avid learning enthusiast, she has taken countless classes, continuing to hone her craft by putting the latest research into practice. Creative and fun, Julie is a master at combining the art and science of teaching. Julie is married and the mother of 3 adult children. Outside the classroom, she has been a Girl Scout leader, volunteered in schools and church, designed curriculum, facilitated PEPS groups, and coached many parents. Julie is a graduate of the University of Washington with a BA in Psychology, K-8 teaching certificate, and a M.Ed in Learning and Technology. In 2013 she earned her Parent Coach Certification through the Parent Coaching Institute affiliated with Seattle Pacific University.

Julie Gjording

Julie Gjording is an Individual Learning Specialist at Sparkle Spot Learning, ready to work with students on literacy, math, and learning skills.

Julie is an experienced educator who is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of students. Her empathy, gentle nature and sense of humor help to create a safe learning environment, thus helping her students to be able to take risks and enjoy celebrating their successes. Working together with students to build on their strengths and interests, Julie helps motivate and empower her students.

Julie has been a classroom teacher as well as an elementary school intervention teacher for 20 years. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from University of Portland. Additionally, she has been trained in Wired for Reading.  Julie currently enjoys making connections on a personal level with students and families through her individual and small group learning sessions. As a lifelong learner, Julie loves to grow professionally and to implement current educational practices into her work with students.

Cate Hannan

Cate Hannan is a 2014 graduate of Whitman College, majoring in Sociology. She has worked as a swim instructor, as a paraprofessional at the Experimental Education Unit (EEU), and with a local pediatric occupational therapist. She is trained in Handwriting Without Tears, Social Thinking, and has attended the Early Childhood Conference. Cate is a contributing creator of the Sparkle Spot summer camps and Sparkle Girls! which is a social friendship group. In addition to working with groups of children, Cate also works individually with students in the areas of handwriting and spelling. She is currently attending her last year of Occupational Therapy School at UPS in Tacoma.

Mia Young

Mia joined the Sparkle Spot Learning Team in March of 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, currently working in a kindergarten classroom at the Experimental Education Unit, an inclusive birth to kindergarten education program at the University of Washington. At Sparkle Spot, she works with the Sparkle Girls group and on the summer camp team. Mia’s experience in social-emotional learning and inclusive education make her a vital part of our team.

Mike Drummond

Mike is our fantastic middle school math guy. He’s cool and he knows his math stuff! Mike is a substitute middle school math teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. He understands current middle school benchmarks, but more importantly, he understands middle school kids, and how they think and learn.

Chrystol White

Chrystol is a compassionate and fun teacher focused on helping children find their sparkle as they develop both their reading skills and belief in themselves as learners. Children are able to grow their confidence when they see that they are improving because of the work they are doing. Each session with Chrystol includes time to find and celebrate growth.  She uses current research based practices, including Wired for Reading, to help students learn through stories, games and art.

Chrystol holds a Masters degree in Teaching from Seattle University and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Art from the University of Washington.  She has taught in both public and independent schools for the last 12 years and is currently a 2nd grade teacher in the Edmonds School District. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, knitting, cooking, gardening, yoga and playing her with almost four year old son.


Kim Ryseff

Kim Ryseff joined Sparkle Spot Learning in September 2018.  She is a certificated teacher who has been working for the Seattle School District for over 15 years. Because Kim has experienced many iterations of math and reading curricula, she is familiar with multiple methods used in research-based curriculum and instruction.  More importantly, she delights in working with children, and helping them discover their individual “pathways of learning”.

Annabelle Hannan

Annabelle joined our team this summer, working with the kids in our summer learning camps. She is the youngest daughter of Julie, a junior at Whitman college, and a reading & dog enthusiast. Along with a natural gift of connecting to children of all abilities, Annabelle comes to Sparkle Spot Learning with six summers of experience working at Wedgwood Pool as a lifeguard and swim instructor.