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 will be attending VCP beginning this fall in our 2 1/2 year-old Grasshopper 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 Karla – 4s Teacher Fridays
Karla Van Raden is new to VCP this year and we are so excited to add her fresh energy and worldly teaching experience to our team! Karla spent 10 years traveling the world while working as a nanny for different families. In 2014 she went back to school and earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Walden University in 2016. Since completing her masters, Karla has taught preschool as an assistant and a lead teacher at West Hills Learning Center and she recently returned from a year of teaching preschool in Ireland. Karla grew up in Beaverton and attended ACMA high school. As a youth she enjoyed playing basketball, soccer and also enjoyed dirt track racing with her dad. In her free time, Karla enjoys the arts; painting, drawing and photography and she enjoys the outdoors; biking hiking and swimming. Fun fact, she is a huge rugby fan and is looking forward to World Cup 2019!