Karen Vegors — Children’s Teacher
Karen has been interested in teaching since she was a child, and it was after being a co-op parent for 5 years with her two children that she stepped into her “perfect-for-her” career. She’s been teaching in co-ops since then, having completed her Early Childhood Education certificate. She believes strongly in the co-op model where parents learn alongside their children, and that co-op schools empower the whole community. In the classroom she derives great joy from watching children discover new things, and challenging them to try, grow, and explore. The classroom may look messy when kids are actively learning; Karen believes this whole-bodied investigation invites collaborative, fun play, and fosters a love of learning that lasts. Each child’s individual interests will be acknowledged and honored, often guiding some of the learning projects. She keeps safety concerns uppermost, and teaches classroom safety as a responsibility of children and adults. Parents will be guided to assist in classroom activities so that each day is valuable to child and adult alike. Karen lives in West Seattle with her husband and two children, and finds time to be a Girl Scout leader and summer camp counselor.
Mary Endicott — Assistant Children’s Teacher
Mary has lived in the Seattle area for 30 years and now lives in Renton with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, Willow. She earned her Associates degree from Bellevue Community College and a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu Seattle. She began her life in childcare in the early 2000’s as a co-teacher and then as a lead teacher at a preschool in Bellevue and later had the wonderful opportunity to be a nanny for the same family for over 10 years. Since then she has been a cook, a part time nanny, a co-teacher at a preschool in Issaquah, and most recently a stay at home mom.
Mary believes in and has seen the many benefits of play-based learning and has really enjoyed experiencing the co-op preschool model with her own daughter. She is very excited to get back to working with kids in a preschool environment.
Jamie Cho – Parent Education Instructor – Preschool 3’s & 4’s
Jamie grew up in Orange County CA. She attended UC Berkeley for undergraduate studies in Psychology and then completed her doctorate in Special Education in a joint program between UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. Her research focused on parenting and home-school partnerships in the context of disability. She has experience in educational research as well as in teacher education through credential programs in the California State Universities.
Jamie has three children: two boys and one girl aged 10, 7 and 4. She and her children have been involved in cooperative preschools in California and her youngest will continue in a cooperative preschool in Bellevue.
Jamie strongly believes in the importance of family involvement especially in early childhood. She emphasizes research-based practices and inclusive education. Jamie very much enjoys working with young children and their families.
Jennifer Watanabe – Parent Education Instructor – Preschool 3’s & 4’s
Jennifer Watanabe has been teaching parenting classes at Bellevue College since 1997. She is a certified Positive Discipline parenting educator. She has vast experience teaching classes based upon research-based information on child development, temperament, emotion management, and the Positive Discipline curriculum. She earned her parent coaching certification in 2007 from Seattle Pacific University’s Parent Coaching Institute. This coaching approach influences her teaching style: class content is presented in a way that helps parents successfully use the positive parenting strategies they have learned. She is passionate about families, including her own. She and her husband are the parents of two young adult sons, who are 24 and 20 years of age. They all enjoy traveling and exploring Washington State.
Stephanie Sloan – Parent Education Instructor – Toddler 2’s
Stephanie Sloan is an experienced instructor in Parent Education and Early Childhood Education at Bellevue College since 1987, and is currently full-time faculty and program chair for Early Learning and Teacher Education. Stephanie has her M. Ed. from the University of Washington, and a BFA in Modern Dance. Before becoming an instructor, Stephanie was a toddler and preschool children’s teacher in the BC Parent Education Program. She loves to see children and parents learning together, and being a part of that journey in our parent education classes. Stephanie has two young-adult sons who both attended BC toddler classes and co-op preschools. She likes to keep active with yoga and aerobics classes, as well as kayaking and biking with her husband. She also loves to take photos, make photo books, and knit.