Connie now has three adult children, four adorable grandchildren – two of which have attended LNS.  Connie also loves animals and has one dog, one cat, four chickens and Speedy the turtle, who lives with Connie in the summer and at LNS during the school year.

Some things that Connie loves to do are to play with her grandchildren as often as she can, read, and attend as many Oakland A’s games as possible!

Connie likes teaching the 4 and 5 year old class because she enjoys seeing the children excited about learning. She loves when the writing table is filled with children drawing treasure maps or making their first letters to write "I love mom". Their conversations have so much meaning at this age. They talk about friendships that, in some cases, will be life long because their parents became friends while attending and working side by side at a co-op. The 4 and 5 year old class offers many wonderful things to help prepare the children for the world beyond nursery school:

  • Field Trips – Garden of Learning, Fire Station
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Class Journals
  • Use of measuring cups (math activity) during snack
  • Music Specialist in the Spring
  • Yoga from our wonderful Assistant Catherine


Connie likes the 2's class because they are just plain adorable!  She enjoys helping parents with their first experience of being part of a co-op and seeing them enjoy their children.

Connie enjoys working with parents who are looking for direction and guidance in a variety of areas including first time parents, kindergarten readiness, sibling rivalry, sleep issues, and communication strategies – just to name a few.

Karen Conrad has been a Co-Director at LNS for seven years and was Assistant to the Director for seven years prior. Before that, both of her children came here for preschool, so Karen has been involved with LNS for many years, served on the Board and has experience in many capacities. Karen also does all the office work for Conrad Painting and has lived in Lafayette for over 25 years.

Karen was born in Brownsville, Texas and grew up in Pomona in Southern California. She completed her Early Childhood Education units at Diablo Valley College while working at LNS as Assistant to the Director. She attends the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) conferences, as well as the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS).

Pets? She’s had many pets, but at the moment her house is ruled by her amazing cat Charlie.

Hobbies? She spends almost all her free time watching water polo games and swim meets. When there is a moment of free time, she likes to read,  go to the movies, a show, play, or try a new restaurant with her family.

Highlights of 3s class – Karen loves the 3s class because the children are like sponges. They are curious about everything and want to learn all they can. She likes watching the beginning of friendships develop; helping them learn how to navigate those friendships and watching them grow.

Highlights of 2s class – the children are so sweet, and the opportunity to a part of their first preschool experience is magical.

Why she chose LNS for her children? When she was looking for a preschool, she toured quite a few. Then she went to their annual Science Day of Discovery, and that clinched the decision. She liked the sense of community, getting to know all the parents, and watching her children grow and become self-confident. She loved being in the classroom for her children’s first years of school. Her best friends today are parents she met while her children were at LNS. “Once an LNS parent, always an LNS parent “even after you've moved on.

LAFAYETTE NURSERY SCHOOL

Our Directors


Connie Hawkins has been the Co-Director at Lafayette Nursery School for 16 years.  Prior to LNS, she worked at a preschool in Oakland for 13 years, until she moved to Martinez with her husband and three children.


Connie grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and received a BS from Brigham Young University in Social Work.  She also has a minor in Child  Development and Family Relations. Continuing Education is very important to Connie and she taken over 60 units in Early Childhood Education from Merritt College in Oakland and Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.  
She has also attended many wonderful and informative conferences including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) for over 20 years.  Another important conference she attends is the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS).