About Us


SONshine Preschool was founded in 1991 as a Christian preschool program for children ages two to five years old. Rooted in the knowledge of God’s love and care, our goals are to build a child’s self-confidence, help children learn how to get along with others, and foster a love of learning and discovering new ideas.

Our program utilizes fun monthly themes incorporating math, phonics, science, dramatic play, music and movement, art, story time and outdoor play to nurture and engage each student. In keeping with the needs of young children, the daily schedule provides a balance of active and quiet time, as well as individual and group activities.

We provide an environment that is safe, loving, and rich in opportunities for learning and growth.

SONshine Preschool…A Bright Place to Grow!


Jessica LaFerriere | SONshine Preschool DirectorJessica LaFerriere | Director

Hello, my name is Jessica LaFerriere and I am excited to introduce myself as the new Preschool Director of SONshine Preschool. SONshine holds a special place in my heart as my youngest son Luke, who is now twelve, attended SONshine. As a parent I have personally experienced the warm, loving and nurturing environment that SONshine offers and I am thrilled to continue this practice. I will be using my 20 years of preschool experience to ensure your child benefits from maintained high quality standards.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with all ages of children, but preschool has always been my favorite. The preschool years are a fun and curious time, and I enjoy offering children new and meaningful experiences to enrich their little lives.

My background consists of a Bachelors Degree in Child Development from Chico State University and years of experience as a Site Supervisor for State Preschool/Head Start program.

On a personal note, my husband Zack and I have been married for 17 years. We met our Freshman year at Nevada Union and today we have two sons; Drew (14 years old) and Luke (11 years old). I look forward to sharing time with your children this year and can’t wait to see how much they grow!

Mandi Steffenson | Preschool TeacherMandi Steffenson | Preschool Teacher

Hello! My name is Mandi Steffenson and I am a teacher at Sonshine Preschool. I have been married to my wonderful husband George for 16 years and we have two sons who are 13 and 14 years old. Our family enjoys doing various outdoor activities together, going to soccer games and having family movie nights. I am fond of all types of music and enjoy singing with my students.

I attended California State University, Chico and earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. My studies have included early childhood education. I have 14 years teaching experience.

Preschool children are so much fun and I want to spark a love of learning in each of them.

SONshine Preschool Advisory Board

SONshine Preschool Board

Left to right: Nikki Meenan, Erica Gammelgard, Beth Griffin, Ellen Gammelgard

The SONshine Preschool board is made up of a small group of volunteer parents and church members who assist with decision-making related to the every day workings and long term well being of the preschool. We work with both the school and church staff to promote meaningful experiences for both children and parents. Feel free to contact us, we are here to help.

Our Facility

Outdoor facility of Christian preschool in Nevada City

SONshine Preschool is located at 175 Ridge Road in Nevada City, on the Sierra Presbyterian Church campus. Our bright welcoming classrooms are fully equipped for education and play and overlook a spacious outdoor playground area, nestled in the trees. We welcome you to schedule a time to visit. Email us at info@weLOVEsonshine.com or call 530.265.3291 x15