Director and Lead Teacher
My philosophy for early childhood education is rooted deeply in fostering problem solving skills, independence, and communication skills. My role as an educator is not to simply oversee the activities of children on a day to day basis, but rather help them discover and develop their abilities, creativity, and voices.
I have led a twenty-year career in early childhood education as an educator, program developer, and advocate. Throughout my career, I've worked at several preschools in Portland as a lead teacher, responsible for implementing emergent curriculums that were developmentally appropriate, encouraged classroom community, and supported the health and well being of the children.
In addition to my experience as a teacher, I have also successfully developed and implemented other preschool programs prior to launching Stumptown Kids. As a strong proponent of the importance of art in early childhood development, I created a developmentally appropriate preschool art curriculum for parent and child classes through the Bureau of Portland Parks and Recreation. I directed these classes at Sellwood Community Center, Mt. Scott Community Center, and Matt Dishman Community Center from 1999 to 2006.
In 2003, I independently developed a preschool program at the Oregon Zoo, which gained popularity among parents and children alike over its eight year span. The two hour class engaged children ages 3-5 in animal and conservation themes in conjunction with zoo exhibits. I believe that conservation education is critical in early childhood education. Teaching children about conservation and its importance to our planet is incredibly important to me and is something that I continue to integrate into my teaching philosophy.
Early in my career, I worked at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as an early childhood science educator where I helped to create and sustain an appropriate early childhood space within the museum. I interacted with children to help them explore and learn from exhibits and lab activities and trained, supervised, and mentored museum volunteers.
As an early childhood advocate, I am also active with the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC). Between 2000 and 2002, I served as OAEYC’s Public Relations Chair, where I worked with the OAEYC board to publicize activities and promote the organization’s work with diverse populations.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Child and Family Studies with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. I am a Step 10 with the Oregon Registry Online (ORO)/ STARS program, certified in First Aid, CPR, am trained in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect, and registered with the Oregon State Criminal History Registry.
I have worked in early childhood education for more than seven years. I studied Early Childhood education while in high school and worked at my school's onsite school preschool as well. Since graduating, I've been in the classroom, working at various day schools and preschools across Portland. I love being part of the teaching team at Stumptown Kids. My goal as a teacher is to bring a love of learning, art, and new experiences to the classroom and instill those values in children. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and engaging in various art projects, such as painting and latch hook kits.