2 & 2 1/2 Year Old Classes – The Grasshoppers
In the Grasshopper Classroom, the children are introduced to the wonder of the world around them through opportunities to explore. The open-ended nature of play with a variety of materials encourages the children to develop the skills they need in order to progress to the next level. The teacher/student ratio is 2:10.
Please find a May 2018 note for Miss Heather’s classes here.
Miss Heather — 2 1/2s Lead Teacher & Friday Playgroup
Heather Koukel is both the 2 ½ year-old lead teacher and the 3s Friday Play Group teacher. She began her teaching career at Valley Christian Preschool in 2004 and has taught for 13 years total, and specifically in our 2 ½s program for the last eight years. Miss Heather truly loves the little ones and appreciates that for many children in her care, she is their first teacher. It is very important that their school experience be a joyful one, so she aims to set the stage for their love of school for years to come. In addition to teaching in the Grasshopper classroom, she has taught Lunch Bunch, Friday Playgroup, and has assisted the Preschool Director.
She grew up in sunny southern California, and attended the University of California, Irvine, where she graduated with a BA in Social Ecology. She met her husband, David, while at Irvine, and married in 1992. They moved up to Portland a year later, and have loved it ever since. Their beautiful daughter, Ellen, is a VCP graduate and is now a sophomore at PSU. They also have two furry children, a very chubby cantankerous cat named Dutch and a large bear-like pup named Winnie, who attempts to be a lap dog.
When not at work, Heather enjoys going for walks with her dog, reading, and perusing the food stalls at the farmers’ market.
Miss Christy — Young 2s & 2 1/2s Teacher
Christy Webster is returning for her 7th year teaching the 2s and 2 1/2 year-old classes at Valley Christian Preschool, and has been blessed every year. She loves the philosophy of VCP’s Play Based Learning because she feels it is the language of young children.
After growing up in Garden Home and Beaverton, Miss Christy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement. She loves working with young children, and has taught in one way or another for her whole life.
Christy spent much of her childhood on her family’s sailboat, has ridden an elephant with flapping ears, and has helped make a float for the Portland Rose Parade, leading her to still be wary around too many corn husks and purple statice flowers. If she is not out exploring nature, then you will probably find her with knitting needles or a book in one hand, and possibly a cup of coffee or tea in the other. Miss Christy loves going on adventures with her husband, Jeff, and their teenage daughter and son. Often, their dog, Magnet, accompanies them.
Miss Lisa – Young 2s Teacher
Lisa Garpestad brings her bright personality and passion for children to share with our newest preschoolers. Prior to joining our teaching team at VCP, Lisa’s previous experience included 4 years as a Certified Professional Nanny, 2 years as a Lead Toddler Teacher at Learning Tree and she also taught a Gymboree Play and Music class. Her work career as always revolved around children!
Lisa and her husband currently live in Tigard with their three children; two daughters (ages 11 and 12) and a son (age 9). The Garpestad family also includes a Maltese puppy named Daisy, with a bit of a barking habit. Lisa grew up in Portland and recently moved back to the area with her family after living for a time in both Seattle and in Missouri. Lisa spends a fair amount of time chauffeuring her daughters to cheer practice and competitions, and loves every minute of it! She is also an excellent photographer. Her other hobbies include reading, watching Netflix with her family, savoring coffee and socializing often with family and friends. We are so happy Lisa has joined our VCP family!