Welcome to New Discovery School, a preschool where children know they are loved, respected, and honored; a place where we celebrate often and have fun every day, and a place that feels like home to both children and adults. Thank you for visiting our website. If this feels like a community you want to join, please contact us to schedule a tour.

Our History

Susan Tomlinson Gorman founded New Discovery School in 1985. Her goal was to create an environment where young children are encouraged to create, explore, make connections, and to know that they are honored and respected. Those goals are still thriving today only with a deeper and more thoughtful purpose. Through her own educational experience and love of learning, Susan gained an appreciation for interdisciplinary studies and project-based learning. She believed that by learning how things are connected through hands-on exploration, young children would have a more meaningful and fulfilling learning experiences. She also encouraged learning through the arts.

NDS grew from one class of ten children located in the South Lake Union neighborhood to six classes and a team of talented teachers and specialists working together in the Roosevelt neighborhood. The primary mission of NDS has remained intact through these many years and changes. It continues to thrive as a community of children, parents, and teachers who are all committed to sharing a love of learning and collaboration, respecting every individual, showing compassion and empathy, and sharing in playfulness, joy, and kindness.

In 2016, after thirty years of leadership, Susan was ready to move onto new adventures. Through an extensive search, the NDS board and search committee found an experienced new leader in Alissa Nasiatka who is dedicated to continuing the legacy of New Discovery School. Alissa happily served as Director of New Discovery School for three years before making the necessary decision to return with her family to Ohio for personal reasons. Upon Alissa's departure an extensive search was enacted and Bret Ellerton was appointed the Director of New Discovery School. In addition to teaching at NDS since 2000, Bret has been the lead music teacher. He stepped into a leadership position in 2015 as Program Manager, and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2018. Bret is deeply committed to the mission of New Discovery School to foster a warm community, while protecting play, loving relationships, and the arts as central components in early learning. Through Bret's leadership and that of those before him the very essence, mission, and philosophy of New Discovery School continues and thrives!