About Sonshine Preschool

Our Program

Sonshine Preschool is a child-oriented school. Preschool children learn through creative play, firsthand experiences, and through the use of a variety of materials, both indoors and out. We provide a safe environment where children are encouraged to make friends, become independent, develop self-esteem, develop self-control, and make good choices.

Our program provides opportunities for children to become better acquainted with the fascinating world around them. In an unhurried and emotionally safe atmosphere, they have time to explore materials, nature, and relationships with children and adults.

Our learning activities are integrated into delightfully directed days:

  • Creative Art
  • Music & Movement
  • Block, Puzzles
  • Imaginative Play
  • Math, Science, Literature
  • Outdoor Exploration
  • Sand & Water Play
  • Riding, Climbing, Running
  • Field Trips & Special Visitors

Sonshine Preschool is licensed by the State of California Department of Social Services and is periodically inspected by a licensing agent. Our facility license is #561702583.

Sonshine Preschool is a non-profit school, not restricted by racial or national origin, nor religious preference.

Our Philosophy

At Sonshine Preschool, our goal is to create an environment that reflects God’s love and character through the warmth, understanding, and Christian conviction of each teacher. Music, Bible stories, and day-to-day activities will give children the opportunity to experience the basic belief to “love God and one another.” Our staff seeks to satisfy and develop the spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, social, and creative needs of each child through our love and supportive behavior.

Our Staff

Our staff seeks to satisfy and develop the spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, social, and creative needs of each child through our love and supportive behavior.

How We Got Started

Sonshine Preschool was established in 1983 and continues to be a vital part of Orchard Community Church’s ministry to children and families. Upon completion of a church remodeling and new buildings project, the preschool moved to new classrooms on November 1, 1999. Capable, caring teachers have led children in our loving and creative environment for over 30 years.



Sonshine Staff and Board Members


  • Annette Walters


    Annette Walters - Director

    Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Some of my earliest memories involve me, a chalkboard, and all the younger neighbors. I thought I would teach elementary school until I started taking Early Childhood Education classes in college. This is when I fell in love and realized that so many important things happen with children between their birth and 5th year of life. I went on to complete my Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies from Cal State Fullerton in the early 2000s. Since then, in one way or another, I have worked with preschool-age children for the majority of my adult years. I have taught preschoolers, worked in Children’s ministry, and become a mother. I couldn’t be happier to be here at Sonshine preschool.

  • Phyllis McGrath

    Office Manager

    Phyllis McGrath - Office Manager

    My husband and I have three children, all former Sonshine preschoolers, two in college, and one in high school. The last year that my youngest was attending Sonshine, the position of office manager became available and I was so blessed to be offered the job. The best part of my job is listening to the fun stories of preschool kiddos, their little minds are amazing. In my spare time, I love reading, doing puzzles, working in the yard, and adventuring with my family.

  • Sandy Nideffer

    Toucan Teacher

    Sandy Nideffer - Toucan Teacher

    I am Sandy Nideffer and I feel so fortunate to be teaching the Toucans class! After retiring in June 2020 from teaching kindergarten, God provided a class of “almost kindergarten” students for me at Sonshine Preschool! It’s great to teach some of my favorite things to the Toucans: colorful and seasonal art; letters, sounds and language; great books; and Jesus!

    I grew up in New Jersey where I often played “school” in our basement. My parents gave me a love of travel and took me with them to many wonderful places, beginning at the age of 3. I moved to California in high school and to Ventura in 1984. I have an adult son and one spoiled dachshund dog.  I am a member of Orchard Community Church and currently serve as a Deacon. In my spare time, I still love to travel, learn, read, walk, putter around my house and garden, and spend time with my friends and family.

  • Heidi Steinbroner

    Sandpiper Teacher

    Heidi Steinbroner - Sandpiper Teacher

    I’ve been “Teacher Heidi” since 1979 when a friend’s mom started a preschool at their church. I’ve been fortunate all these years to work in faith-based schools and got to share Jesus with lots and lots of little friends. I am a wife to the best teacher’s assistant and turtle tank cleaner ever. We have two grown children and a spoiled, but very sweet old lady dog named Sugar. Besides preschoolers,  I love Jesus, tea lattes, gardening, reading, and crafting!

  • Lou Purdy

    Blue Jays Teacher

    Lou Purdy - Blue Jays Teacher

    Hi… my name is Lou Purdy, and I am the proud mother of five fabulous children! I have lived in the great city of Ventura since 1990. Some of my favorite things to do during my free time are going to the beach, taking walks, listening to music, or sitting down in a cozy spot reading my bible devotionals.
    My passion in life was always to be a school teacher. I have been working with children for over 20 years, and have been at Sonshine Preschool since 2014! Over the years, I have enjoyed watching my students learn and grow within the classroom. The sounds of playing, laughter, and singing warms my heart beyond words! A “love of school” and a “love for God” are what I always hope to inspire in every one of my students! Year after year, I can truly say, I feel blessed to be called “Teacher”!

  • Ashley Gibson

    Finches Teacher

    Ashley Gibson - Finches Teacher

    My name is Ashley and I have been teaching at Sonshine since 2017. I am a wife and mom to 3 kids. When I am not working with preschoolers I enjoy yoga, running, reading, being outdoors, and spending quality time with family and friends. I feel incredibly grateful to teach at Sonshine!

  • Elisa Takaya

    Owls Teacher

    Elisa Takaya - Owls Teacher

    My name is Elisa Takaya and I am SO blessed to be the owl teacher at Sonshine Preschool!  I started teaching at Sonshine after teaching elementary school and then staying home as a mommy to my 3 daughters. My family attends Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, and my husband and I are the Directors of a high school retreat program in Goleta called Love Of God (L.O.G.). I love everything Disney, traveling to see this amazing world God has created, Jesus, my family, baking, and teaching at Sonshine!

  • Tiffany Barnhart

    Two-year-olds Teacher

    Tiffany Barnhart - 2's Teacher

    I am an animal lover and artist at heart. I was born and raised in Ventura, California. My husband and I have a son and a daughter who were also born here in Ventura. I attended Sonshine Preschool when I was 4 years old. I was in the “Cardinals” class. My husband and I decided to send both of our children to Sonshine. I have been a student, a parent, and now a teacher. It is a blessing to work here.

  • Beca Stenzel

    Two-year-olds Teacher Aide

    Beca Stenzel - 2's Aide

  • Bev DuBransky

    Outside Teacher (MWF)

    Bev DuBransky - Outside Teacher

  • Resee Jones

    Outside Teacher (TTh)


Sonshine Preschool Board

President Alisa Bossoletti
Vice-president Carly Martin
Treasurer Rick Reynolds
Secretary Shannon Smith
Sonshine Preschool Director Annette Walters
Staff/Board Liaisons Open
Fundraising Coordinator Emily Walls
Church Elder Representatives David Pels