Summer '09

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CLASS ROSTER (Click on a name to send that person an email)  Class email is private and may not be used in any type of commercial or private mass mailing lists.


Val Donato & Sandra Looper (Instructors)


Something about one another...           


Val's Autobiography:  

   Sandra's Autobiography:  

        Student Autobiographies:


Alyssa (click on Alyssa to see and her son)

Hello to all of you! My name is Alyssa Powers and I'm a resident of North Seattle. My family includes our one year old son Sean, husband Dan, a cat named Walker and our dog Cinja. My son recently started crawling quickly so it's been a busy few weeks! I am also a fourth grade teacher for the Seattle School District. The students I work with are nine and ten years of age and they come from many different backgrounds. My classes are usually split evenly between girls and boys with a total of about 28-30 students every year. I've been teaching for six years and recently went to part time teaching in order to be home with our son a few days a week. I've lived in Seattle since the age of two, with a few of those years in Bellingham while I attended Western Washington University. I spent much of my childhood in the Columbia City/Beacon Hill area as well as Capitol Hill. As a child I lived with my mother, father, and younger sister. My parents and sister now live a few miles away and are very excited to be grandparents and an aunt. Prior to becoming a parent I spent a lot of time working with my students and taking classes of my own in order to become certified as a reading specialist. I also spent time with my husband going on hikes, camping, and traveling. We've enjoyed going to different places in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. We'd love to do more traveling soon! This class interests me because I enjoy talking with other parents. In part I enjoy this because I am a new parent, and also because of my interactions with parents as an educator. My husband and I joined a parenting group a few weeks after our son was born and we really valued the time we spent with other parents. We were able to share experiences, give each other tips about what's worked with our infants regarding sleeping, eating, etc. My hope for this class is to have another forum to talk to parents and focus on the topics Sandra and Val mentioned. I'm excited to talk to all of you over the next few weeks!

Amri Walsh

Hi, I'm Amri, and I have two daughters, aged 2 and 4. We moved back to Dublin last August, after almost 8 years in Seattle. This is where I grew up, and while it is really great to be home, and really lovely to be close to family again (the typically large Irish family - I am one of six children, and have a huge extended family), it was nevertheless a huge adjustment, and we are only now starting to feel settled again. While in Seattle, I took part in several different preschool co-ops with my daughters, and found both parent education and the interaction with other parents invaluable. I haven't found any equivalent here, but luckily found out about FAM 180 a while before we left, and have taken it a number of times before out of personal interest. It has helped me not only with my parenting, but also with many other areas of my life. I was really happy to discover that I could take the course from here, and am looking forward to getting started and to meeting everyone :).

Anne Ljunggren (click on Anne to see her family)

My name is Ann Ljunggren and I currently live in Black Diamond with my husband, Shaun, daughter Olivia (4), son Finn (2), and two labrador retrievers Woody and Bugsy. Before staying home with my two little ones I taught the 6th and 4th grade in the Kent School District. I still occasionally substitute teach. I was born and raised on the other side of the mountains in Spokane. I am the youngest of three children, with two older brothers. I follow four and six years behind my brothers, which puts me in the unique position of only girl, baby, and kind of only child (since my brothers left home long before me.) My father owned and ran a Veterinarian medicine practice for 35 plus years in Spokane before retiring. My mother was a stay at home mom until I was in the 4th grade and then she went back to her career as an elementary school Librarian. I came from a very traditional, "Leave it to Beaver" type of family. I used to love to shop, go to movies, and eat out but now that I have small kids and stay home I don't have the time or money to any of it! Gardening has become a new hobby of mine as I can go and work outside during nap times and find solace and peace digging in the dirt. I also enjoy reading alone in the quiet at night. I decided to take this class after investigating some good on line courses to keep my teaching certificate current. A friend suggested this course as she took it three times to renew her teaching certificate. She said it was an excellent course for any parent. I am! I am looking forward to learning from and with everyone, even if we are doing it in a virtual world.

Bethany Belisle (click on Bethany to see her photo)

Hi! My name is Bethany Belisle and I am looking forward to learning with you all. I live in Arlington with my wonderful husband Nic and our Beagle, Jake. We do not have children yet but are looking forward to the possibility in the near future.... Jake keeps us busy and bubbling with pride right now! I teach 5th grade in Arlington at Eagle Creek Elementary and just finished my principal internship this past school year! I now have my masters in administration, but don't plan to jump into administration quite yet... I still love teaching! In my spare time I love to exercise- running, biking, swimming, yoga, weights, pretty much anything that gets my heart rate up! My husband Nic and I also love jet skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family cabin in Roslyn, WA, and walking the dog. We are also getting ready to embark on another fun adventure...building a house together! We just got our permit today and should break ground in the next few weeks. Nic is fairly handy and will most likely do much of the work himself so I am especially excited to learn from you all in the "balancing work and family" section of this course. As far as life philosophies go... a wise friend once told me "you can do anything". I truly believe that and try hard to live by it!

Collette Desjardins

Hello. My name is Collette Desjardins and I live in Farmingdale,Maine. I am the youngest of two girls born to a French Canadian family. I am a mom of two boys, Craig 15 (sophmore) and Ryan 21(college graduate of an Associates in Culinary Arts).My significant other Duane has two girls, Courtney 15 (freshman) and Lyn-ann 20 (mom of two boys 1 and 3) as well as David 14(freshman) year old boy. Whom all live with us expect for Lyn-ann.

Collette Desjardins

Part II -- lol I am a preschool teacher and enjoy working with children with special needs. I have a few of my own and am always looking for new techniques and information for myself and that I can share with children and their families.

Denise Hunter

My name is Denise Hunter and I am 27yrs old. I have a 1 yr old daughter named Amani and a 4 month old son Denzel. Yes, after Denzel Washington. I just moved from Renton to the North end. It's been almost 8 yrs since I've been around a newborn, (my daughter) and took this course to get advice and maybe give some to any one in need. I am the only girl in my family, I have 2 brothers and am so what of a tom-boy. My daughter was very excited to have a little brother although she wanted a little sister. Now that a couple of months have past she is starting to get a little jealous. I guess she's tired of playing with the "new doll". I'm a little rusty at the parenting role and need a little help.

Emily Holland

I grew up in Illinois and moved out to Seattle right after High School. I received a BA in Psychology and much to my surprise (and in my last quarter of school) my boyfriend and I found out we were pregnant. We planned a quick, but beautiful wedding in 3 months and we had a baby 4 months later. My daughter Kaija is 3 and a half now and the most amazing little being imaginable. 7 months ago we gave birth to our second daughter, Finley. My husband is my complete support and we both agree the two girls are the best things that ever happened to us. We live right by the zoo in Phinney Ridge. I have not taken an online class before and decided to take the course for a couple different reasons but mainly to expand my knowledge of parenting. I am working nearly full time while my husband stays home with our youngest. I also needed 5 credits to keep my daughter, Kaija enrolled in NSCC Childcare Center:) Before I had children my hobbies were painting, traveling, soccer, yoga, snowboarding and reading. I still try (as much as a mother can) to do the same things as before. Traveling is probably the thing I miss the most!

Erica Ottesen (click on Erika to see photo)

Hello, My name is Erica Ottesen and I am a 4th grade teacher at Lakeridge Elementary in the Mercer Island School district. I hold a master's degree in education with a minor in early childhood education. I have 14 years experience working with children in the classroom in grades K-4. I have taught in private as well as public school. I grew up in a small town in Alaska with my mother, father, and younger brother. My parents owned a business and as a result worked long hours throughout my childhood. Homework as well as playtime took place at my parents business. Dinners were late and mom was always stressed to the max. My brother and I spent a lot of time with babysitters and I assumed the caregiver role over my brother at a very early age. These childhood experiences influenced my decision to become an educator. While I knew teaching was hard work, I also knew the schedule of a teacher was one which lent itself to a well-rounded family life. I live in the suburbs of Seattle and do not have any children. I very much would like to have a family. A friend of mine told me about this course and I look forward to gaining new insight and collaborating with other professionals regarding family issues.

Greg Schwab (click on Greg to see him with his family)


Hello. My name is Greg Schwab and I am a High School Principal in the Edmonds School District. I am the proud parent of a 9 year old son named Jakob and apart from my parenting experiences, I really see an area of growth for me in better understanding young children. Having spent my entire career as an educator working with high school age students both as an English teacher and now as a school administrator, I must admit that these early years are somewhat of a mystery to me. I look forward to the growing in my understanding of this topic and learning from others who may have more experience to share. I am married to Julie and together we enjoy running and other forms of physical fitness and recreation as a way to balance the long hours we both work.

Gwen Baugh

I am a teacher at Edmonds-Woodway High School and I have been teaching the Child Psychology class here for the last two years. That is one reason I wanted to take the class. My interest in children goes beyond the classroom because I have three nearly-grown children of my own, Brandon 25, Kelly 23 & Laura 19. I became a single parent through divorce when my kids were 10, 8 and 4 years old. The adjustment that we had to make after the divorce came as a shock to me and my kids since I had been a stay at home Mom and had not worked outside the home since my oldest was born. I immediately had to go to work and find daycare for my youngest daughter, Laura. What a year that was! Every morning was an ordeal, trying to get her to the in-home daycare. She would hold onto my leg and scream for me not to leave almost everyday for an entire school year. My ex-husband and I co-parented with much difficulty. He became an every-other weekend Dad and seemed to fit the steriotype "Disneyland Dad". My kids are all in college and/or working. We managed to raise our children through it all. I live in a house in Edmonds. Next year, I'm teaching full-time and I also own a Latte Stand. Taking care of my wonderful 86 year old Mother who has short term memory-loss is also a priority. I have a very busy life. I can't remember my pre-parenting life well:) I had a great college experience at WSU, where I graduated with a BS in Home Economics Education (1976). That is a major that seems so old-fashioned sounding now. My favorite thing to do growing up was skiing, which I try to do occassionaly still. I also like to sew, but don't seem to have the time to do much of that right now. My family and I remodeling my Mothers home for the last 2 years, which actually was stressful but a lot of fun. I love Interior Design. I will have to think about my philosophy of life. It would definitely have to do with the importance of relationships including family and friends. Also, God has an important place in my value system. I will have to find a picture to scan or send in. Over and Out!

Jody Fewel (click on Jody to see her whole family)


Hi! I'm Jody Fewel. I am taking this course for a few important reasons. I am a stay at home mom of 4 young children and I need LOTS of parenting advice. Also, I am a teacher by craft and need to address my elementary education certification requirements. I have taken this course before, and I was so lucky to learn so much. I find myself using my learnings daily. My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years, but the last 6 have by far been the busiest, most challenging and exciting. We are the parents of almost 6 year old triplets, Joseph, Jack and Isabella and our latest (and final) addition to the family, Thomas, who is 2 years old. As with all children they each come with their own unique personalities and needs. I am originally from Bellevue where I grew up and was educated. I am very close to my parents and siblings, most of who still live in the area. I attended Washington State University and obtained my education degree. I am a proud, proud Coug with many fond memories of school, fun and friends. My husband’s family is also in the area and we are lucky to get to spend time with them as well. Each of our families has been instrumental in helping us raise our children. In my “spare” time and during my pre-parenting days, I love to run, read and spend time traveling and with friends. It is one of my great challenges to try to balance some of these things into my daily life. Before having our children, I taught first through fourth grades for 11 years and loved it. There are days where I miss it greatly.

Julie Schwab (click on Julie to see her with her dog)

My name is Julie Schwab. I am the youngest of five in a blended family (three half-brothers and one sister). I have a wonderful step son named Jakob. I work as a School Psychologist & Behavior Specialist in the Edmonds School District. Prior to work within public schools I worked in Clinical Research focusing on mental health studies in early adolscence. I enjoy being active as much as possible in my free time. Whether it's running with my husband and our dog, working outside, or coaching high school athletes. With the long hours of work I also enjoy the inverse and admittedly enjoy relaxing and the quiet moments at home. I take this course as I am continuing to work on my licensure and in need of credits. The topics interest me as I enjoy learning from others, experiencing events through anothers view and understanding others perspectives.

Kolleen Seals

A little background: I grew up in Edmonds with one sister who is 5 years older then me. Although she lives in another state we are best of friends. I love getting together and letting our kids play. Currently: My husband of 11 years and I have 3 boys. Jacob is almost 8, Austin is 5 and Dylan just turned two. They are amazing and so much fun. My husband drives 40 minutes daily to work, he is a golf pro out in Sammamish and I work at a local high school. I mainly teach health and culinary. I have always loved my job, and still do, but after having kids I do have to prioritize between work and family. I took this class after a co-worker informed me about it. She really found it useful for home and work. I took my masters through an on-line program and found it very useful. I love how on-line courses allow for flexibility when you have little ones. The last two years I have taught an on-line health course at our school. It is amazing what high school students now have available to them.

Larisa Martin (click on Larisa to see her family)

This year has been the best year ever! I got married to the man of my dreams in Puerto Vallarta on 4-4-09 and my older sister had my first neice on 2-26-09 named Allison! I also finished my first year in the Northshore School District. I taught 3rd grade, which I think is the best age because the kids are still so sweet and loving, yet they are old enough to be somewhat independent. Before this I worked in Arlington teaching 5th and 3rd grade. I grew up in Seattle until fourth grade when my family moved us to Bothell so we could attend a better school than the ones we were at. I have a very close family, including my intelligent feminist mom, easy-going fun dad, soft-spoken kind older sister, and a funny sassy little sister. We all live close to each other and get together 3-4 times a week. I know that is rare and I am very grateful of that! My husband Dave and I both attended University of Washington and grew up in Bothell, yet somehow we never met until two years ago. I knew right away I wanted to marry him and started telling everyone I was going to marry this man. Luckily, he felt the same way and we got engaged the next year and married this year. He is sweet, intelligent, hilarious, and gives me unconditional love. That is the best feeling in the world. I think he's such a good man because he grew up with a single mom and two sisters who taught him how to be sweet to women. For fun we enjoy jet skiing, snowboarding, walking, bike riding, rollerblading, and dancing. We want to have 2-3 kids, but not for a few years, so we can enjoy being married first! I try to be optimistic and live by the philosophy: Love the life you Life, Live the life you Love!

Laurie Greco Mathews (click to see photo of Laurie and son)

My name is Laurie and my husband, 2 kids and I live in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle. Our son is four years old: Nick and our daughter is 2: Millie. I work part time as a high school teacher at Eastside Catholic School. I currently teach AP biology and Anatomy and physiology to juniors and seniors. I enjoyed taking this course last summer and look forward to dicussing the parenting and schooling topics for this quarter.

Leslie Blair

I live on Vashon Island which is located in the south of Puget Sound, nestled between Seattle to the east and Tacoma to the south. One must take a 15 minute ferry ride to reach our island. It is a beautiful, idyllic setting where the community is strong and crime is low. The public school system is highly rated and it is a great place to raise a family. I am married with two daughters, ages 10 and 12. I teach 4th and 5th grade at an independent school on Vashon. I am once again taking this class for three main reasons: I need credits to keep my teaching certificate current, the cost, and its actually a very interesting and beneficial class for both my role as a parent and as a teacher.

Lisa Pepple (click on Lisa to see her photo)

I'm Lisa Pepple and I am married with a 13 year-old boy named Riley. My son is a lot like my father in that he likes to take things apart and put them back together in new ways. I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona with two parents and a younger brother. My brother and I didn't get along for most of my childhood and it took having a foreign exchange student come to live with us while I was in High School to improve that dynamic. I worked for 10 years in marketing and advertising before going back to school to become a teacher. I have been teaching for 8 years, 7 of those years in 3rd grade, at Lakeridge Elementary on Mercer Island where I also live. I find that with my variety of life experiences and having a child, parents of my students often come to me for parenting advice for their kids. I am taking this class to broaden my parenting/child development knowledge and to interact with others so that I can continue to learn.

Lucy Anderson (click on Lucy to see her with her two children)

My name is Lucy Anderson and I have two children - Owen is 5 years old and Maggie is 18 months old. I live in Seattle (Montlake neighborhood by the UW)with my husband Erik and my two kids. I teach 3rd grade at Lakeridge Elementary on Mercer Island. This will be my 13th year teaching there. I teach part-time to help balance my time with my kids. I've taken this course once before and really enjoyed the topics and discussions. I'm renewing my certificate and need a few more credits to do so. I thought this class would be a fun way to fulfill the requirement.

Monica Snider

Let's Try This Again: Hello, My name is Monica Snider and I live in Olympia, Washington. I am married and have two boys. Both of our children are quiet, reserved boys until they are in their home setting. Then the true boys come out. They both love everything boy: trains, trucks, and the list goes on. Before children, I taught for seven years at many different grade levels. I started teaching at an alternative high school, and then I taught in the primary grades for a few years and finished my seven years with teaching sixth graders. This is the primary reason for taking this course, to complete continuing education requirements for my teaching certificate. I have taken one other on-line course when I was completing my masters. When we decided to start a family, my husband and I decided to have me take some time away from teaching to raise our children. I cherish the time that I have with my children now and know that it will all go too fast. It already has – it is amazing to think that my two babies are already toddlers. It is my greatest gift to be given the opportunity to raise our two wonderful boys. I also have a home-based business which gives me the opportunity to work part-time around my husband’s and kid’s schedules. It also allows me time to meet and get to know other women while I have a little time to refuel for being the best mommy I can be. I grew up in Moses Lake, Washington and was the fourth of eight children. My parents now have nineteen grandchildren and still live in Moses Lake in the home that we all grew up in. My mom stayed home with us and my dad was a farmer.

Sarah Petrie (click on Sarah to see the family)

Okay, pushed the button too soon. Wonder if that can be fixed.... Hi All! My name is Sarah Petrie. I am the proud mother of two boys and wife to my fantastic husband. My husband, Mike, and I were married the summer of '05 on Whidbey Island. We are currently living in the University District just north of the UW. We are surrounded by our family. My parents have been living in our basement apartment for about a year now and Mike's brother's family lives next door. I have two adorable boys. Jack is 26 months and Sam is 4 months. Parenting has been more fun and challenging than I ever expected. I am enjoying Jack's language development incredibly right now. His latest new phrase is, "Oh dear!" Don't know where he picked that one up but it's precious. Sammy keeps me busy and I am trying to win the nap battles currently. We also are kept busy with two cats and a lab. I am an only child who grew up with two full time working parents. I am not warped from day care! But, I am glad I have the opportunity to stay home with my kids. I have lived my whole life right in the Seattle area and did K-12 in the Northshore School District. I have a BA from UW in Social Work and my Teacher's Certification from Western. My husband and I are high scholl sweet harts and have been together 15 years! Prior to my parenting years I taught for Lake Washington School District. Throughout the years I have taught 1/2 multiage, 2nd grade and 3rd grade. I miss teaching a ton but wouldn't trade my stay at home experience for the world. As part of my maintainance for my teacher's certification I decided to take this course since it applied so directly to parenting and teaching. Hmm...hobbies...I haven't had a lot of time to really enjoy my hobbies in the past couple of years. I love to read murder mysteries, surf the web, travel with my husband, dinner with friends, walks with the family and dog, and I'd like to say exercise but I'd be lying! My husband and I were just having that, "Where would you like to be in 5 years?" discussion. Some of my goals include: getting back to work at least part time, traveling the East Coast of the USA, experience the Whistler Olympics(We went the the Turino Olympics), grow our family, and spend time camping with the boys. Okay, as for the picture, I realized I really need to get a few more with me in them. I have a ton of my kids but the most recent picture of me is a really terrible one from Christmas. Before that there are pictures from the hospital when Sam was born. So, you get the pumpkin patch and an extremely pregnant me! This whole time I've been writing I've been trying to think of my philosophy of life. Way too big a topic for this evening! In short-Have fun and enjoy my family every moment because life is short and can change in a moment.

Shelley Greene (click to see Shelley and her brother at the inauguration)

Hi everyone, My name is Shelley. I'm 23, have two jobs and am very involved in my church. I don't have a life partner yet, nor am I a parent. My full time job is Family Support Specialist, for ECEAP preschool. (It's Head Start but funded by WA state more than the Federal government.) We have 36 families per year, plus a few because of families moving, exiting the program, and new families entering. So, I'm in this class to share what I know and learn what you know! I always tell 'my parents' (the parents in the ECEAP program) that "you can always learn something new, or get a reminder of something you knew once but haven't practiced in a while!" And I figured that same motto should apply to me. I'm very interested in resources for low-income families, as well. I currently still live with my parents. Moving out is far too expensive; I can't see spending that kind of money when I don't need to. That was a lesson learned as a child - mom always went to the grocery store with coupons in hand! My brother is away at college, in North Dakota, becoming a commercial airline pilot. I have just the one brother, and he is 4 years younger than me. We have always been close :) Mom did not work outside the home while I was growing up. She did volunteer MANY hours at the school. She was my source of strength in the face of my peers teasing me. She attended all my school and soccer events, even though she did NOT enjoy the soggy wintertime games. When I was old enough to tell her she didn't need to go all the time, she finally did skip a few. Dad worked for Boeing, and retired just before I graduated high school. Then, he became a substitute teacher for high school math, and now works at a community college in the area. He went to all my soccer practices and helped with math homework. But he never has been able to get interested/involved in things that don't interest him. I still love soccer, though I haven't played much at all since high school. I'm into rock climbing a little now, and work at the community center's rock wall. At church, I'm leading a brand new program called Bible Club, where we go to church member's front yards and invite the neighborhood kids to come hear Bible stories, play games, and have fun. I love to travel! But not just to the touristy destinations. I like to learn about the culture of a place and how people think. It's a little more difficult to get that than just see places. I find myself alternately very passionate and then very dull. I'm very hard on myself, and always think I could be doing more. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone else, and am glad for the opportunity to have this class and discuss topics that are important to all of us who have the responsibility for raising, or helping other raise, today's children.

Stacey Estenson (click to see photo of family vacation)

Hi my name is Stacey Estenson and I am a school counselor in Anacortes, Washington. I work at Mt. Erie Elementary with students from Kindergarten through sixth grade. I have worked there for the past nine years and have enjoyed working with a wide range of students and ages. My program consists of individual, group, and large group classroom lessons. My counseling style is to provide hope to students and have fun doing so. I have been married for seventeen years to my high school sweetheart Blair Estenson. We have three beautiful daughters ages 16, 13 and 11 years old. Mallorie, 16 loves to learn and her favorite sport is diving and she will be a junior at the Anacortes High School next year. Megan, 13 plays soccer and loves hanging out with her friends. Clara, 11 is happy, outgoing, enjoys the outdoors and is eager to learn new things. She too loves soccer. If I could freeze my girls at their ages now I would! Teen years at times have been challenging, but we are all hanging in there. My husband is a pilot and this summer he is flying biologists from around the world to nesting sites of the yellow billed loon on the North Slope of AK. We are missing him, but he is having a great time. My parenting partner is my husband. I feel fortunate that for the most part we agree about how to parent our children. I have taught parenting with Love and Logic classes in the past and this is concept and theory I can really believe in and stand behind. I have never taken a course online, so I am excited about trying this new way of learning. This summer I am trying a Pilates class at a studio. I am finding to be relaxing and enjoyable. It sounds strange, but I get a workout, sweat but feel when I leave that I just had a massage. I now understand the big interest. The only drawback $$, it is pricey. I enjoy running a jogging in forest lands near my house. Our family has a new puppy named Juno, she is a Golden Doodle and is 11 weeks. She has already brought a lot of joy to our family. I just finished reading "My Sister's Keeper," by Jodi Picoult. Great book, if you go see the moving bring a box of Kleenex. The book and movie have different endings and I enjoyed both. When time permits, I like to read but I find it tough with running three kids around especially with my husband gone. I took this course for professional development hours, ESA certification and to MOVE UP on the pay scale. To be honest, I am not sure what to expect from the course I am just excited to be learning, focusing on parenting and family. This is an area where I always try to improve for myself and my family. This should be an interesting adventure.

Tanya Ummel (click on Tanya to see the whole family, including mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law)

Hi- I am a 40 year old mother of four and a high school counselor. I have two biological kids (Tristan, age 11 and Tyler age 6), and two step-daughters (Lauren, age 19, and Carlee age 17). I work at the same school that my husband does-- he is an English teacher. I like to play soccer and go for bike rides with the kids. I am currently busy acting as the General Contractor for our basement remodel. I am taking this class because I thought the topics looked interesting. It also counts toward my continuing education requirements that I need in order to maintain my counseling certificate.

Theresa Hanson (click on Theresa to see her with her two sons)

Hi - my name is Theresa and I live in Seattle with my husband Sam and my two teenage boys - Brian (who attends community college) and Kyle (in high school - wheee!)I also am quite proud of my step-daughter, Heather, who lives in Wyoming with her husband and works as an Occupational Therapist. I work as a Speech/Language Pathologist in Shoreline and I love the kids on my caseload. They keep me on my toes and laughing. I grew up in Seattle with my older brother and sister with parents who were very involved. For instance, they were always the scout leaders, the baseball coaches, the chaperones, the parents giving rides, etc. for all of their kids' events! Sometimes, when we were teens, we wished they weren't so "involved", but as an adult I realize just how lucky I was to feel their support and interest. A friend suggested this class as fun and informative and (though I enjoy computers) I've never taken an online course. Also, while you think you will never, ever forget the intense experience of parenting young kids - I find you do kind of "forget" a little bit. And family life and the pressures of society changes. So I hope to learn how to best support the students on my caseload and their families. I enjoy walking my dog, reading and doing crosswords, cryptograms and sudoku puzzles. 

Megan Olson (Click on Megan to see her photo)

Hi! My sister and I grew up near Covington, WA. We had a bit of a mini farm with horses, ducks and chickens. I now live in West Seattle and teach on Mercer Island. As a fourth grade teacher I am very interested in issues related to children. However, I have none of my own. I enjoy hiking, skiing, reading, organizing, and adventures near and far. I am taking this class for my continuing ed credits.


  (updated 6/09- Val Donato)

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