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 an October 2017 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 12 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 — 2s & 2 1/2s Teacher
Christy Webster is returning for her 6th 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 Melissa – 2s Teacher
This will be Melissa Hughes-Aas’ third year teaching at Valley Christian Preschool. Miss Melissa completed her undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara and holds a Masters in Business Administration in Health Services Management. She came to VCP with 6 years of experience working in the public schools with children ages Kindergarten-3rd grade. Miss Melissa first became a part of the VCP staff as a substitute teacher and spent time teaching in all of our classrooms. Her twins are VCP alumni and she has fond memories of their time at Valley Christian Preschool. She has a strong appreciation for all the learning and growth that occurs during the preschool years and it is evident that she truly enjoys and embraces this precious phase of childhood.