The Heart of BCS: Our Teachers
The faculty at BCS provides the continuity, heart, and soul of the school's program. While the children are the center of the school, it is the teachers who influence the atmosphere, maintain the energy for ongoing projects, and function as liaison between the school, the home and the community.
Our teachers embody:
- A passion for teaching and for kids
- Respectful, compassionate communication
- Excitement and enthusiasm for our curriculum
- Outside interests
- Academic professionalism
Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten
Heidi graduated from Western Washington State College in 1975, having studied home economics, early childhood and elementary education. She also spent 15 months in Teacher Corps and studied counseling and parent education at the University of Oregon. Before coming to the Bellingham Cooperative School in 1986, Heidi worked in Day Treatment at Catholic Community Services for 10 years, worked with the Lynden Home-Based Education program of Head Start, taught Parent Education at Bellingham Technical College for a dozen years, and taught 5th grade at Happy Valley Elementary School. She took over as Director and kindergarten/early elementary teacher at Belligham Cooperative School in 1994.
The school is a family affair. Heidi's daughter Alicia attended BCS through 6th grade and now directs the before and after school program at BCS. Heidi's husband Gerry Alford taught at the Co-op School in 1981. He recently retired after 37 years with the Bellingham School District. The Alfords share a commitment to life-long learning, demonstrated by reading and attending workshops and lectures whenever possible. Heidi enjoys arts and crafts, coffee with friends and travel.
|After School & Summer Session Program Director|
Alicia started attending BCS when she was nine months old, when her mother Heidi began working there. She was “the Co-op School baby” until she was old enough to enter the preschool, and she continued attending BCS throughout her elementary years. After graduating from high school, Alicia spent a year working as a nanny and traveling to several countries. She then spent two years at Whatcom Community College, two years at the The Evergreen State College, and two years working full time at BCS.
Alicia first began working at BCS as a classroom volunteer at the age of 12, later becoming an instructional assistant and now director of the before and after school program. She also directed the American Girls summer camp for several years, most recently in 2009. Her passions are music, traveling and children, and she also loves snowboarding, mountain biking and kayaking.
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