4 Year Old Classes – The Dragonflies
This class fosters an atmosphere of cooperative learning. We reinforce the social skills already acquired and expand the learning skills necessary to successfully transition to Kindergarten. The teacher/student ratio is 2:18.
This class meets 3+ days per week. Children enroll for Mon/Weds/Fri or Tues/Thurs/Fri, and have the option to add a 4th day to create the schedule that works best for you and your child. We also offer the additional class option of Lunch Bunch, which extends the school day until 1pm.
Miss Susie — Lead 4s Teacher M/W/F
We are excited that Susan Erdahl decided to return to our team at Valley Christian Preschool. Susie has eight years of early childcare and preschool teaching experience to share with our 4-year-old Dragonfly class. Susie comes back to VCP after being a Lead Teacher at Small Friends Preschool in Garden Home where she taught both the 3s and the 4s classes on alternate schedules. Prior to teaching at Small Friends, Susie held the position of Assistant Teacher here at VCP in our 4s classroom. We are thrilled to have her return home to our VCP team, and teach in the Dragonfly classroom once again. Shes brings with her a host of fresh and fun ideas to share with all of us. Before her preschool teaching career, Susie managed her own in-home childcare business. Susie was born in Nashville, Tennessee and has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology.
In her free time, Susie enjoys camping and hiking with her husband, Brian, and her three daughters ages 10, 15 and 18. Closer to home she enjoys cooking and reading.
Toni Walter comes to VCP with 15 years of teaching experience working with students of all ages as a Special Education Specialist, providing her expert support to students facing academic, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Toni has taught Special Education for the West Linn/Wilsonville School District, the Beaverton School District and the Hillsboro School District. Prior to teaching at Valley Christian Preschool, Toni was the Lead Special Education Teacher at North Marion High School, where she taught Language Arts, Math and multiple other subjects to a mixed class of high school students, grades 9-12.
Toni was born in Hillsboro and completed her undergraduate degree at Concordia University. She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Teaching (Pre K – 12) from Pacific University. In addition to her many years of teaching, Toni’s past career experience includes traveling as an Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant and working at Orchard Hardware Supply.
Toni has two adult daughters that she is very proud of; Ms. Allison Walter and Dr. Sarah Wolf. She also has two amazing preschool age grandchildren; Julane, 5 years and Tatum, 2 years. It is her grandchildren that inspired Toni to return to the joy of teaching preschool! Toni’s hobbies include travel, outdoors, gardening, animals, Oregon Ducks Football and road trips to destinations unknown with her dog, Sammy.
Miss Diane – 4s Teacher M/T/W/Th/F
Diane Benz brings many years of teaching experience, warmth and wisdom to our Dragonfly classroom. Diane grew up in NE Portland and attended catholic schools for elementary, high school and college. Miss Diane began teaching when her youngest daughter started kindergarten, 28 years ago! In the span of her career, she has taught preschool, kindergarten, and both first and second grade. Before teaching at Valley Christian Preschool, Diane taught for eight years at Beaverton Christian Preschool in the 4 year-old and kindergarten classrooms. Diane shares; “I find it very rewarding to teach in the fours classroom. Four was my favorite little age with my own children.”
Diane and her husband have raised four children and are now the joyful grandparents to seven grandchildren, with an eighth on the way! One of Diane’s granddaughters also attends VCP in our 3 year-old Bumblebee classroom.
Diane enjoys cooking and considers herself a “foody” at heart. She finds great pleasure in cooking and baking for others. Diane also loves the outdoors and keeps active walking, riding her bike and working in her yard. She loves the flowers! She lives in the neighborhood and walks to school each day.
Miss Nicole – 4s Teacher Thursdays & Fridays
Nicole Poe is new to VCP this year and we are so excited to add her fresh energy to our team! Nicole grew up in Boise, Idaho and attended the University of Phoenix where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Electrical Engineering. She has been employed at Intel for the last 16+ years and currently works there as an Engineering Technician. In addition to this impressive career, she will be joining our teaching team at VCP, on her days off from working at Intel. Nicole will be teaching at VCP on Thursdays and Fridays in our Dragonfly classrooms. On Thursdays she will teach with Miss Toni and Miss Diane and on Fridays she will teach with Miss Susie.
Nicole and her husband Derek have a blended family which includes 4 daughters (ages 12, 15, 16 & 18 years) and 2 sons (ages 8 and 23 years). Their family also includes a dog named Sassy and a kitten named Ozzy. Nicole has been an avid volunteer within the Beaverton School District over the past 15 years and has enjoyed leading the Art Literature program for her children’s classrooms, and also for various other classrooms. For the past 7 years she has been a Girl Scout Leader and she is an active member of the Girl Scout Board. She has also enjoyed coaching soccer for both Westside and Aloha United. A few of her passions include taking dance lessons with her husband, singing freely in the car with her kids, running local 5k runs with her family and she loves the magic of Disneyland!