Join MIPA/ RENEW today!


The Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA), established in 1937, is a private non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to enhancing the lives of children from newborn through kindergarten in Mercer Island and the community at large.


What we do:

  • Build a Community: Meet other Mercer Island families at family-friendly events or social gatherings. MIPA is a volunteer-run organization and a great way to get involved in the local community. Your contributions directly impact our children!
  • Fundraise: We believe that every dollar raised should go directly back into supporting and serving our own community. MIPA partners with Mercer Island Youth & Family Services (MIYFS) to assist low-income Mercer Island families with preschool tuition and the City of Mercer Island to improve the playgrounds on the island. 
  • Advocate:  MIPA serves as a voice of preschools and families of preschool-aged children on Mercer Island. We work with the City of Mercer Island and other Community Groups to ensure safe, fun, and full-filling parks and programs on the island. 
  • Organize Community Events: Every year we organize several events for the local community. Toy Swap and Circus help raise funds to support our community. Preschool Fair and Summer Concerts are free community events. 


Benefits of membership include:

  • Playgroups:  MIPA playgroups form every year based on interest. Playdates are held at members’ homes and at parks in good weather.
  • Family Events:  Organized meet-ups of families and kids at various parks, locales and homes 
  • Adult Socials:  Join us for fun and educational adult social events throughout the year –  Book Club, Moms’ Night Out, Parents’ Night Out, and Holiday Party!
  • Community Service: Funds raised at our events support local playgrounds and preschool scholarships 
  • PTA Legislative Updates:  Keep up-to-date via member meetings and newsletter updates on what is happening in the legislature regarding our children’s education.
  • Discounts:  With your MIPA membership card, you can receive discounts on products and services from many local businesses. 






It’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped to make our CARnival event yesterday a great success. Our sponsors, entertainers and event ringmasters went the extra mile to pull off our annual Circus event and we’re so pleased we could make it happen!


PROPOSED 2021-2022

Nominations Voted on at June 15 Meeting


The MIPA nominating committee is thrilled to place the following names into nomination for the 2021-2022 MIPA Executive Committee. We hope you can join us in person at our end-of-year meeting, held on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. in our Co-President’s backyard. Please see Evite for details and look for information on how to vote via email if you’re not able to join.


We also have open positions in: membership, advocacy, preschools and development/sponsorship, among other leadership roles. There are ways to get involved with whatever time you have to give. Please reach out to Ashley Hay at to learn more.


The proposed 2021-2022 MIPA Executive Committee follows:


For the office of Co-President:

Lesley Malakoti

Sharon Walia


For the office of VP Membership:

Karen Chan


For the office of VP Community Events:

Laura Schultink

Claudia Yong


For the office of VP Advocacy:

Nirmal Ghuman


For the office of VP Preschools:

Ashley Wu


For the office of VP Communications:

Summer Ohno

Jaimie Birtel


For the office of VP Development/Sponsorship:

Julie Frey


For the office of Co-Treasurer:

Stephanie Castle


For the office of Co-Secretary:

Rachel Blum

William Gerdes

Natasha Garcia


For the office of VP Social:

Kelly Wright

Allison Kawano

Shannon Smith




Each year MIPA is pleased to recognize an Exceptional Educator among preschools on Mercer Island. Fourteen local teachers were nominated this year with many glowing comments from parents and past students. The winner of the 2021 Exceptional Educator Award is Beth Christofferson, Director and Lead Pre-K teacher at Pixie Hill Preschool. She was adorned with treats and a surprise drive-by party with current and alumni students to celebrate. Congratulations, Ms. Beth!



 mipa's virtual preschool fair



MIPA has hosted our in-person Preschool Fair for many years and it’s a great opportunity for families to learn more about local options for their young children. This year, we are excited to share information virtually.  All the information is on the event page here, including a detailed spreadsheet about the schools and daycares as well as links, photographs, and some fantastic videos. Enjoy and share with your friends!  


mi holiday lights drive Recap

We were blown away by the community support for the MI Holiday Lights Drive! We received 684 orders and raised over $8,800 for MIYFS Food Bank and emergency assistance programs! We thank everyone who participated by purchasing a map, gifting a map, and donating. We are also extremely grateful to the houses that participated on the Snowflake Way and Candy Cane Way routes- you brought so much heart and cheer to our island and we were overwhelmed by all the positive feedback from families who enjoyed your displays.  



Thank you to everyone who supported our Toy Swap fundraiser this year! With your donations, purchases, and/or volunteering time we had a very successful event. If you purchased items at the sale, please check your email or text messages for details about pickup. 



Thank you to all the families who supported MIPA and are helping make Halloween 2020 more fun with the "We've Been Treated" Yard Signs. We are now sold out of the signs -- they went fast! We so enjoy seeing them around town. Have a safe and festive Halloween!




July 8, 2020

Dear MIPA Members,


Welcome to a new year! While a tremendous amount has changed and uncertainty remains for the time being, we look forward to another year of friendships, support, and great times.  Whether in-person, virtual, or both, MIPA is excited to continue our mission to support the community and foster meaningful connections. Play groups, book clubs, and social events may occur through platforms such as Zoom if needed, but the opportunity for friendships and socialization remains. We hope to be able to offer some of the great events MIPA looks forward to every year, such as Toy Swap and the Circus.


If you haven't already, please find us on Facebook (Mercer Island Preschool Association) and 'Like" our page to receive updates on your newsfeed. We are excited for what will, no doubt, be a memorable year with you!



MIPA Board


The 2020-21 MIPA Board is:



  • Lesley Malakoti
  • Laura Schaps


VP Membership 

  • Kristin Rahlfs
  • Sharon Walia
  • Marta Prieto 


VP Community Events 

  • Gretchen Anderson
  • Danielle Melin


VP Advocacy 

  • Ashley Hay


VP Preschools 

  • Hilarie Galloway
  • Natasha Garcia
  • Jennifer Almond 


VP Communications 

  • Sarah Siler
  • Summer Ohno


VP Development 

  • Laura Schultink
  • Julie Frey


  • Erin Erickson
  • Claudia Yong



  • Danielle Laskey
  • Karen Chan
VP Social 
  • Shannon Smith
  • Allison Kawano 




Toy Swap Chairs 







  • Rochelle Givens
  • Cassie Locke
  • Kayla Locke


Book Club

  • Emily Vavrichek 


Board Member at Large

  • Susan Conrad-Wang

Upcoming Events

No Upcoming Events




MIPA is grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

JP Morgan

Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

Carrie K. York, DDS


Lewis & Gibson Dentistry