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MEET THE STAFF
Kelly Sullivan, Program Supervisor
Kelly has worked in Early Learning for over 15 years and was a founding member of The Loving Tree School which is celebrating the start of its 5th year of existence at The United Church of Ferndale.
Kelly attended Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College studying Early Childhood Education. In addition, she has over 250 continuing education hours. She is eager to return to school and further her education as she believes people should never stop learning, growing and challenging themselves.
Kelly likes spending time with her family, hiking, music and sharing potato chips with her 4 amazing boys ages 19, 14, and 9 year old twins. They are the loves of her life. Her favorite color is Blue.
Kelly says “My favorite thing about being a part of The Loving Tree School is seeing a vision come to fruition. I have always dreamed of a warm, loving space for children to grow in, and I love the growth I see every year, achieving that very thing. It is amazing when you start with nothing, how much you can build through community and hard work. It feels VERY gratifying. I love seeing children’s smiles and looks of wonder each day. I truly, LOVE my job and feel blessed that I can say that without a doubt. I am blessed.” And so are we to have Kelly as our new Program Supervisor!
Heather Holcomb, Lead Teacher
Heather has been working with children for over 13 years and recently graduated from Whatcom Community College with an AA in Early Childhood Education. In addition, she has many continuing education clock hours and various early learning trainings.
Her favorite age group to work with is 3-5 year olds because I love to help them explore and watch as they learn new things on their own.
Heather has a son who i, s almost 5 and they enjoy time together. She loves butterflies, tigers, and Tacos/Fajitas! She grew up in Vermont and her favorite color is purple.
Heather is the newest teacher at The Loving Tree School, pictured here with her 5 year old son Skyler.
Angie Onstad, Lead Teacher
Teacher Angie has worked in Early Learning for over 23 years. She has a CDA (Child Development Associate) from Rasmussen College. She also has many continuing education hours and early learning trainings. Angie loves teaching preschool age children and takes pride in helping children to feel confident. She works to instill a love for going to school starting a young age. Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and family, going camping , working on classic cars and playing with their 4 dogs.
Susan Deamer, Teacher’s Aid
Susan is currently enrolled at Whatcom Community College in the Early Childhood Education program and will be assisting us in our classrooms. Susan already has a degree in web site development and has decided to go back to college to pursue a career doing something she has always loved, working with children. Susan has a daughter who was a former student of The Loving Tree school, and is currently in 1st grade. Susan loves cats and pizza!
August 23, 2018
Greetings Wonderful Families of The Loving Tree School! I find myself full of excitement, wonder and awe when thinking about this coming school year.
I have so much to share with you it is difficult to know where to start! Let’s jump in:
Fist of all, as hopefully all of you know, I have taken on a new roll here at The Loving Tree School. I am now filling the roll of Program Supervisor. I am very thankful, and humbled at the same time. I look forward to promoting growth and depth for our program in many ways! Keep your eye open for monthly newsletters (Titled: Let’s Grow Together), parent education classes, volunteer opportunities and events. This also means that I should be the main contact person for questions, freeing up our teachers to focus on children. My new email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me via the church phone, 360-2384-3302 or message me directly on Facebook.
With my acceptance of the new position, it opened up a lead teaching position in our program. With that, I would like to tell you a little about our new teacher, Heather Holcomb.
Heather has come to us with 13 years of early learning experience and a degree from Whatcom Community College in Early Childhood Education. Not only is she educated and experienced, she has a wonderful personality! She is warm, joyful and bubbly. It was hard to choose as we had 4 good candidates, but she rose to the top as we contemplated the best match for our LTS families. We warmly welcome Heather and we encourage you to do the same.
In addition to new staffing, our program will function a bit differently this year, and hopefully better. Our teachers have started their brainstorming and are full of wonderful ideas! One thing they have decided is to name their classrooms.
In classroom #1, will be our wonderful Teacher Angie. She will have 10 students and the help of volunteers, aids and the program supervisor. The teachers have chosen to have an animal theme in their rooms this year. Teacher Angie has chosen to name her classroom the Bear Cubs Room. Fun!
In classroom #2, will be teacher Heather. She too will have 10 students with help from volunteers, aids and the program supervisor. She has chosen to have her room be the Tiger Cubs room. Oh my!
In our afternoon program, based on current enrollment, both teacher will work together in Classroom #1, the Bear Cubs. If enrollment continues to increase in the afternoon (which I feel it might) we will divide the group and open both classrooms with the teachers teaching separately.
Another sign of growth is the new placement of our sign in table. We have moved the table out of the hallway and out closer to the church entrance (the official name of that space is the church Narthex, it’s like the lobby of the church). The hope in this is to relive some of the congestion that is in our hall at pickup time, and it is a stepping stone to a new gate that we will be having placed at the start of our hallway. This is for a few reasons, the biggest one being safety. It will help to prevent any children escaping in to the parking lot, and it creates a barrier between the students and people entering and exiting the program. It will also help us to safely hand children off to registered adults who are authorized for pick up. Look for the gate to be up in the next month or so.
What else?! I have been posting many opportunities on Facebook. One upcoming event is our staff and volunteer training. We already had one for just staff, and we are now offering another training on Wednesday September 12th from 9-12. It is mandatory for any parent or person who would like to volunteer in our program. We will discuss program culture, policies, and what to expect. Background checks will be required for all persons volunteering in classrooms in any capacity. I am also willing to lead a night class if there is enough interest so please let me know!
Fundraiser results! I have finally gotten information on our final fundraiser numbers and where our playground project is in its development.
Last year, our families raised over $2,600! Wow! What a blessing! During the summer discussion on how to implement our bike track began. I can tell you measurements have been taken, some bushes are being removed to make way for the bike track, and work parties will be formed to help level out the ground. I will be meeting with our Property Management and Trustees of the church and we will brainstorm work party ideas and dates. I will let you know. Once the ground is prepped, we will be hiring someone to lay the cement, and bids for that are being gathered as we speak.
Another thing to look forward to this year is parent education classes. I will be leading discussion groups on various child development topics. I hope to include guest speakers and fun. So be looking for information on dates, I hope to gather once a month, starting the end of September.
Start of the year basic information is as follows:
First day of school is September 5th
No specific supplies are required. You already (or should have and need to now please 😊) paid a supply fee to cover most everything
Each child needs a: Bag or backpack, a change of clothes, and a water bottle that will come and go from school
The first 8 weeks of school our focus is on routines, trust, and separation. All your child really needs to do the first few weeks is get through the door. The rest comes with time.
A reminder that the teachers will be ready to receive children in their rooms at 8:30. 8:15-8:30 is teacher planning time and their set up time for the day. I will be greeting families at the front door at 8:25 and ask that families wait to enter rooms until 8:30. If you need to make arrangement to drop off a bit earlier due to scheduling issues, please contact me so we can work out a plan. Thank you!
Be prepared for a picture on the first day of school! We will have a first day of school photobooth set up, and a volunteer photographer stationed there to capture the big day! You will be welcome to snatch a pic too!
Whew! One long newsletter, but we have so much to celebrate! Join us in our joy!
And as always, thank you for the privilege of caring for your children. We are honored and grateful for the opportunity to grow together.
Kelly O. Sullivan
The Loving Tree School