Established in 1997 on Vashon Island, Washington, Starbreak is a unique preschool and kindergarten program that celebrates individuality in children and emphasizes creativity and community. Co-founder and lead teacher, Dan Cullinan, has extensive training and experience in Waldorf and Montessori methods. This combined experience underscores Starbreak’s core commitment to being present for each individual child and their unique needs.
We believe that the learning process grows out of deep emotional and social support.
At Starbreak, children actively learn to be in a community, to verbalize what they feel, and to have empathy for others and awareness of the world around them. Our program inspires curiosity, encourages adventure, and embraces learning by trying. We instill a sense in each child that trying new things and making mistakes is a normal part of growing and learning. We emphasize the magic of learning and discovering through experience. Children participate in hands-on interactive activities that encourage wonder, mutual respect, and growth.
Our job as teachers is to introduce the wonders of the world through art, music, reading, science, nature, and collaboration.
Our program is primarily play-based within an enriching, prepared, and creative environment. Children are honored for their unique gifts and invited to participate in a range of activities based on their personal interests. Though the kids love our comfy classroom space, we are outside often and always making room to learn and investigate what the natural world presents.
Situated on a 2+ acre home and farm, Starbreak is a unique school environment with safe, creative spaces for indoor and outdoor fun. Beach adventures are just a 5 minute walk away, while the land itself hosts gardening projects, nature explorations, creature care, outdoor theater and more. Children help support a thriving plant and animal community including a baby lamb, homing pigeons, and rabbits.