Faculty & Staff


Sue Bendroth
Director, Mighty Oaks
Hi, my name is Sue. What a pleasure it is to welcome you to another year at Acorn School. I am the Director and one of the Mighty Oak teachers. I have a degree in Occupational Therapy with more than 30 years of experience working with preschoolers and kindergartners in the classroom guiding them along their developmental path of acquiring social, emotional, physical and academic skills through our science and social studies curriculum. All four of my children attended Acorn as Chipmunks, Woolly Bears, and Mighty Oaks. They are now grown and are presently scattered across the country-more places to visit!!  One of the highlights of the day is to open your car door and greet your child. My goal and desire for every Acorn student is to develop an ” I can” attitude and understand it is okay to make mistakes and to love to learn. It is exciting to be part of your child’s education as learning is a lifelong journey! Welcome to Acorn School!

Kelly Flynn
Mighty Oaks, AM Chipmunks
Hi, my name is Kelly and I teach in the Mighty Oak and the morning Chipmunk class.  My son was a Tadpole and then a Mighty Oak.  So my transition from parent to teacher has seemed like a natural passage!  I have a degree in Psychology and over 15 years of experience working as an educator with young children.  I live in Stratham and enjoy tennis, travel and spending time with my family…and our several pets!

Shelly Gordon
AM Chipmunks, Chickadees/Club Acorn, Chippie Cheeks, Ext. Day
I have been part of the Acorn community since 2009 when my daughter became a Chipmunk and then a Tadpole.  My son followed as a Chickadee and I loved the warmth of the teachers and the nature play based curriculum.  I became a board member and enjoyed serving the needs of the school with a great group of volunteers.  I have a B.S. in Education from the University of Kansas and have taught elementary school for eight years before starting my family, so when I was ready to return to teaching, Acorn was the perfect place. My outside of school life is full of outdoor family fun, art projects, volunteer projects, reading and my favorite- adventuresome travel!

Chris Hochschwender
Mighty Oaks 
Hi, my name is Chris Hochschwender. I am one of the Might Oak teachers. In 1986, I received my BS degree in Elementary Education with minors in Child Development and Psychology from Plymouth State University. I have also taught kindergarten and third grade in the past. I love to read and travel whenever I get the chance. I live in Newfields with my husband and three sons.  All three of my boys were Chipmunks, Chickadees and Mighty Oaks here at Acorn many years ago! I am looking forward to another great year and to welcoming new families into our Acorn community.

Karen Gray
Woolly Bears, Tadpoles, Chippie Cheeks & Enrichment
This is my first year teaching at Acorn School!  I come here from Agape Preschool in Portsmouth, where I was a teacher for 16 years.  I’m excited to join the staff here and look forward to an awesome year!  I have 3 sons and live in Greenland.

Sarah Palmer
AM/PM Chipmunks, Woolly Bears, Tadpoles
Welcome to Acorn School – I live in Stratham and have worked at Acorn since 2002.  My three children attended Acorn so I was an Acorn parent for eight years prior to teaching here.  I received my BA in Psychology from Denison University in Ohio.  I enjoy travel, going to the beach and spending time with my family at Lake Sunapee.

Kim Schults
AM/PM Chipmunks, Chickadees, Tadpoles
Hi! My name is Kim S.. What a wonderful year we have been enjoying.  This is my 5th year at Acorn School and I look forward to many more!  It has been wonderful being part of the Acorn community and meeting so many great families!

Becky Shepard
Music Director
Hello everybody. My name is Becky and I teach Acorn music! I live in Exeter with my husband Dudley and my 2 dogs Zipper & Willy. I like to play golf and tennis and I also like to write musicals for the theater. Most of all I LOVE ACORN SCHOOL!

Kathryn Swenson
AM Chipmunks/ Chippie Cheeks, Club Acorn, Enrichment & Ext. Day & substitute teacher
Hi!, My name is Kathryn Swenson and I have been teaching at Acorn School since 2010.  I teach the Morning Chipmunk class and the Enrichment & Extended Day programs.  I received me BS in Early Childhood Education from Colby-Sawyer College.  I live in Epping with my daughter Alexis and my many animals.

Christine Thomson
Woolly Bears, Enrichment, Enrichment & Extended Day
Hi, my name is Christine. I started teaching at Acorn in 2007, but I have also been a student and parent at the school. I grew up on the Seacoast and graduated from the University of New Hampshire.  When I am not having fun at school, I like to spend time with my family and friends, travel, exercise, ski, read and most of all enjoy the beautiful area that we live in.

Tracey Wilder
Mighty Oaks
My name is Tracey Wilder and this is my 16th year teaching at Acorn School.  I am a NH  Early Childhood credentialed teacher.  I have taught the three and four year old classes and I am now teaching in the Kindergarten class.

Kimberly Williams
Business Director, Chippie Cheeks &Yoga Teacher
Hello Acorn families!  I’m Kim and I can be found in the office as Business Director, or on my yoga mat sharing my love of yoga with the Mighty Oaks. My connection with Acorn began many years ago as a parent. My  2 alumni sons will quickly tell you that their years at Acorn were “awesome!!”  My BS in Nursing compliments my Childlight Yoga Teacher Certification.  I live in Stratham with my husband, two dogs and a cat. Travel, hiking, gardening, tennis, skiing, and reading good books are my passions. I  always look forward to meeting all the old and new “nuts” at Acorn School!