Leslie is a teacher in Cedar and Alder. She also leads AfterCare for Opal Beginning School.
It is a dream come true to have the opportunity to begin my journey with Opal Beginning School this year. Before coming to Opal, I spent 10 years teaching at the Mentor Graphics Child Development Center in Wilsonville, a center strongly influenced by the municipal preschools in Reggio Emilia. During my time with Mentor Graphics, I attended 3 of Opal’s Summer Symposiums which inspired and guided me into deeper thinking about engaging with children. The most recent symposium, focused on constructing a pedagogy of play, opened new doors in my thinking about how play reveals who we are and how it can allow us to discover more about ourselves as well as others.
I’m grateful to be working in an environment where I have the chance to explore this, and many other ideas, in an community where each person’s gifts and talents are recognized and valued. I hope to uncover more about myself and others as I collaborate with our Beginning School community. I am so honored to be a part of the incredible stories taking place at the Opal School, and look forward to discovering and telling my own stories this year.
In my time away from school, my husband John and I spend countless hours renovating our mid-century home with our children Nolan and Elle. When we’re not working on the house, we all love to hike, camp, go to the beach, sing, have dance parties in the kitchen while we cook, play soccer, basketball, swim and have our own version of “family” wrestle-mania. I personally enjoy reading, painting, writing, drawing/doodling, gardening, singing and trying new things. I am still gaining confidence in cooking, skateboarding, left-handed cartwheels and math.