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, PM Chipmunks
Hi, my name is Kelly and I teach in the Mighty Oak and the afternoon Chipmunk classes.  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,Chip. 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!

Michelle Graziano
AM Chipmunks/Club Acorn
Hi, my name is Michelle and I teach in the AM Chipmunk room as well as the Club Acorn program.  I received a B.S. degree in Art Education from River College.  It has been a pleasure to be back at Acorn and have enjoyed being a part of a wonderful community of parents, staff and alumni.  I live in Stratham with my husband John and three daughters.  I love nature, travel, being involved in community service projects and all things creative!  My three daughters were all Chipmunks at Acorn and are now 17, 15 & 12 years old- time flies!  If you ask them today, they would all say that Acorn was the best school they ever attended.  they learned to truly love school, made lifelong friends and gained a real desire and love for the outdoors.  I often think who they would be today if they had not begun their journey at Acorn.  I am grateful to the Acorn community for the impact it has had on my children and I look forward to getting to know your child and being a source of support to your family as you begin this exciting eew adventure.  Welcome to the Acorn family!

Melissa Guy
Club Acorn/Chippie Cheeks 
Acorn School is such a special place for my family.  My daughter, Delaney, was a Chipmunk, Woolly Bear and Mighty Oak. Her sister, Callahan, just began her Acorn adventures this year as a Chipmunk.  We feel so fortunate to have found a school that fosters a love of nature, friendship and community.  I was a fourth grade teacher for 13 years and I’m excited for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful staff.

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.

Nancy Loftus
Woolly Bears, Tadpoles/Chippie Cheeks & Enrichment

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 4th 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 theatre. Most of all I LOVE ACORN SCHOOL!

Kathryn Swenson
AM Chipmunks/ Chippie Cheeks, Enrichment & Ext. Day & substitute teacher
Hi!, My name is Kathryn Swenson and I have been teaching at Acorn School since 2010.  I teach 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 & 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 15th 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!