Teachers & Staff - West Union KinderCare in Portland, OR | KinderCare
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West Union KinderCare

Heidi Cusworth,
Center Director

18275 NW West Union Rd. Portland OR 97229
Ph: (503) 531-4046
Ages:
6 Weeks to 12 YEAR-OLDS
Open:
6:00 AM to 6:30 PM, M-F

SPECIAL DIRECTIONS: at 185th and West Union

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS BUSED TO: West Union, Lenox, Bethany, Jacob Wismer (pronounced Whiz mer), Oak Hills, Rock Creek, Springville

Teachers & Staff

Our staff welcomes all families and children into our classrooms. They are available anytime to offer a tour of their classroom or answer any questions about the class or curriculum.

Heidi Cusworth, Center Director

Year Started:
1/1/1991
Tenure:
23 Years
Years in ECE industry:
22 Years

Shelley Wright, Assistant Director

Shelley has worked for Knowledge Universe at many levels. She finds her current position as Assistant Director fulfilling because she gets to interact with all of the parents, children and staff.

Previous Experience:

Shelley has worked for Knowledge Universe in many capacities over the last sixteen years.

Year Started:
1/1/1997
Tenure:
17 Years
Years in ECE industry:
21 Years
Education:
Early Childhood Education Credits, Child Development Associate's Credential

Ms. Terry, Infant Classroom

Ms. Terry began working with children in 2001. Infants and Toddlers are her passion. In 2010 Ms. Terry joined the team at the West Union KinderCare, first as the Lead Teacher in Toddler classroom and then moved to the Infant room as soon as the position became available. Ms. Terry studied Early Childhood Education at Maricopa Community College. She also focused some of her studies on nutrition. Providing a stimulating, loving, safe and clean environment is extremely important to her. It is also important for Ms. Terry to ensure smooth transitions from school to home and vice versa, by communicating effectively and thoroughly with parents about their baby.

Year Started:
1/1/2010
Tenure:
4 Years
Years in ECE industry:
12 Years

Ms. Lanaya, Toddler Classroom

Ms. Lanaya joined KinderCare in 2009. Since then she has worked mostly with Infants and Toddlers. She is the Lead Toddler Teacher. Ms. Lanaya enjoys working at KinderCare because of the entire staff. It is a professional group that works together for the benefit of the children who attend our school. In particular Ms. Lanaya enjoys teaching at KinderCare because of the curriculum. She has completed Early Childhood Education courses at Portland Community College and is currently enrolled to complete her Child Development Associate's Credential with Rasmussen University.

Year Started:
1/1/2009
Tenure:
5 Years
Education:
Early Childhood Education Courses, Pursuing Child Development Associate's Credential

Ms. Brittany, Preschool Classroom

Ms. Brittany joined KinderCare in 2010. Prior to arriving here she worked for various other childcare companies for five years. Her experience has been with Toddlers, Two-year-old and Three-year-old children. Ms. Brittany enjoys working at KinderCare because of the high standards and the curriculum. It is exciting to know she is offering the very best for the children every day. Knowledge Universe has provided Ms. Brittany with excellent continuing training and education since she was hired. This has definitely impacted her teaching style and methods for the benefit of the children in her care. Ms. Brittany finds her day fly by since she made the move to the Preschool B classroom. Three-year-old children are the greatest, most energetic, curious and excited people on the planet.

Year Started:
1/1/2010
Tenure:
4 Years
Years in ECE industry:
5 Years

Ms. Dipa, Prekindergarten Classroom

Ms. Dipa has a Master's Degree in English Literature from University of Calcutta. She also has one year of Bachelor's of Education Training from the same university. Ms. Dipa is currently the Lead Prekindergarten B teacher. She started working for KinderCare in 2000. Ms. Dipa was here the day the school opened. She has worked in multiple capacities, even, for a time, as Acting Center Director. It has been a wonderful journey so far. Ms. Dipa enjoys working with children, teaching them and contributing to building our future generation. She tries to provide the best experience that a child might expect each day.

Year Started:
1/1/2000
Tenure:
14 Years
Years in ECE industry:
13 Years
Education:
Master's Degree in English Literature, Bachelor's of Education Training

Ms. Lisa, Prekindergarten Classroom

""I love teaching the children and especially love teaching math. I particularly enjoy teaching academics in an encouraging and nurturing environment. It is important to me to provide the best I can each day for the children in my classroom. I want all of my children to feel welcome and safe enough to take risks as they learn. I don't want children to worry about making mistakes and worry about doing everything 'right' while learning in my classroom.""

Ms. Lisa has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Portland State University. She graduated in 2009. Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Lisa worked for a Head Start program in Vermont and an Early Childhood program in Tennessee. She joined KinderCare in May of 2012 as the Lead Teacher in the Prekindergarten A classroom.

Year Started:
1/1/2012
Tenure:
2 Years
Education:
Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies

Ms. Alla, Private Kindergarten Classroom

""The past two years at the West Union KinderCare have been very fulfilling for me. The quality teaching team and supportive management make teaching here wonderful. The community and families at West Union are the best. It is a fantastic partnership we share in educating and growing the children at West Union.""

Ms. Alla began teaching Kindergarten for KinderCare in 1991. She loves teaching the KinderCare Kindergarten curriculum. She tried out the Management positions within the company but found that she could not leave teaching.

Year Started:
1/1/1991
Tenure:
23 Years
Years in ECE industry:
22 Years
Education:
Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology & Sociology, Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Elementary Education

Ms. Kiersten, Private Kindergarten Classroom

Ms. Kiersten graduated from NAU in 2012 with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. Being the oldest daughter of three, taking care of children has always been a passion for her. Ms. Kiersten is excited to be at KinderCare and to provide your children with the best Prekindergarten year possible. She started at KinderCare in 2007. At that time Ms. Kiersten worked in the Infant room. She returned in late 2012 and very quickly after took over the "late for date" Kindergarten children. It is important to Ms. Kiersten to provide the children with a safe place to learn, grow and explore. If there is one thing she feels she truly wishes to provide is an environment where the children feel safe enough to take risks, make mistakes and grow.

Year Started:
1/1/2007
Tenure:
7 Years
Education:
Degree in Elementary and Special Education

Ms. Michele, School Age Classroom

""I know that when things are working exactly the way I hope then the children and I are learning and growing together. That is when we have magic in our classroom. School Age children can be independent but still need help and guidance. It is fulfilling to watch them grow in independence. It is always fulfilling when I know I have brought them something new to discover and learn.""

Ms. Michele graduated from Boise Bible College in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Education. She has been a teacher in Early Childhood Education since 2001 and joined this KinderCare team in 2012. The reason Ms. Michele work's with children and will always work with children is because she wants to make a difference in their lives. She knows that her experience and her passion makes her School Age classroom the best.

Year Started:
1/1/2012
Tenure:
2 Years
Years in ECE industry:
12 Years
Education:
Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Education

Ms. Marianne

Ms. Marianne pleased to be joining the KinderCare team! She obtained a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and a Master's Degree in Education from Santa Clara University in California. Ms. Marianne taught in the Cupertino School District (California) for ten years prior to moving to Portland with her family. She spent most of that time teaching first grade but had experience with children in grades Prekindergarten to eight grade. Ms. Marianne has taught all subjects but her specialty is teaching early literacy skills. She loves to incorporate music into her lessons as often as possible. Ms. Marianne's passion for teaching comes from her love of the learning experience. She finds children to be naturally curious and feels that they should be free to inquire, explore and think critically. Ms. Marianne believes that every child should be treated with respect and dignity and should feel important.

Years in ECE industry:
10 Years
Education:
Master's Degree in Education, Bachelor's of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education

Ms. Hanni, Floating Teacher

"“My entire life has encompassed caring for, teaching and nurturing children of all ages. I was an active volunteer for my own four children's schools and athletic activities before entering the childcare field. My goal is to expand my knowledge and grow in the childcare field by continuing my experience and education.”"

Ms. Hanni comes to us with four years of experience in Early Childhood Education. Her experience is with children two and under for the most part and also includes some time in a management role for an early childhood program. Currently Ms. Hanni is a Step 5 in the Oregon Registry, with 120 hours of early childhood education

Years in ECE industry:
4 Years
Education:
120-Hour Early Childhood Education Units

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