Teacher Jim

Carolyn Aguilar, Teacher 3-5
Merill Becker, Spanish Specialist K-2
Sandy Buchner, Instrumental Music Specilist
Kyra Canfield, Teacher 3-5
Jeanne Garland, Operations Manager
Nick Glomb, Teaching Assistant
Charlotte Gottienkienny, Teaching Assistant
John Ervin, 3-5 Teacher
Molly Hall, Drama and Dance Specialist
Claire Heineman, Art Teacher
Randi Hutchins, Teacher K-2
Carolina Leon, Spanish Specialist 3-5
Mary K. McNeill, Vocal Music Specialist
Adam Pearlstein, EDP Teacher
Jim Riley,Instructional Program Lead
Emily Schwartz, EDP Teacher
Emily Varner,Teacher K-2
Josie Warner, Teacher K-2

Teacher Profiles

Claire Heineman, Art
Claire has a B.S. in design and commercial photography. She earned a master's degree in art therapy and counseling and worked as an art therapist at public elementary schools and homeless shelters in San Francisco and Seattle. Her favorite part of the job was doing art with elementary-aged kids. Says Claire, “I feel that art should be about how the child feels when creating and not about how others judge the finished product.” Claire enjoys painting and getting messy outside with her two children and also works in black-and-white portrait photography.

Josie Warner, K-2 Teacher
Josie has been teaching Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students for the past 12 years. She is passionate about creating respectful, creative environments which center around children's thoughts, ideas, and questions. Josie received her degree in elementary education from Pacific Oaks College and has also attended two summer literacy intensives at Columbia Teachers College.  When she isn't teaching, Josie enjoys spending time with her family hiking and riding bikes. She also enjoys taking quiet time for herself to read, think, and write.

    Teacher Mim
Jim Riley, 3-5 Lead Teacher
Jim has been teaching for twenty years. He started the third through fifth grade program at University Co-op in 2000. Prior to that, Jim taught in the Shoreline school district for ten years and started the multi-age 4th-5th-6th-grade program at Shoreline. Jim worked in advertising and social work before pursuing teaching. He has a degree in communications from Gonzaga and a master’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Rose in New York. He has two sons who attended University Co-op. During his free time, Jim coaches soccer and enjoys traveling, fishing, birding, and the outdoors with his family.

    Teacher Kyra

Kyra Canfield, 3-5 Teacher
Kyra began teaching at University Co-op in 2005, after five years of teaching in California. Kyra has a master’s in teaching and an undergraduate degree in physical anthropology from San Francisco State University. Prior to teaching, she worked as a primate keeper at the San Francisco Zoo. Kyra has two children who attended University Co-op. She enjoys reading, music, and good food.

John Ervin, 3-5 Teacher
Although John attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, he grew up less than two miles from U Coop and is excited to be teaching so close to home. He has taught science through Pacific Science Center, Woodland Park Zoo, Camp Orkila, and the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery; and general subjects in South Korea, Spain, and here in Washington. You can catch him many evenings by Greenlake running, reading, or playing board games.

Mary K. McNeill, Vocal Music, K-5
Mary K. has been teaching singing at University Co-op since 2004. She is a “song catcher” in the true sense of the word with a special knack for selecting songs that engage children’s hearts, minds and spirits. In addition to directing youth choirs at several Seattle area schools and El Centro de la Raza, Mary K. runs the Children of Peace Choir which performs intergenerational concerts with groups like the Raging Grannies. Mary K. teaches each summer at the Middle East Peace Camp. Her true passion is giving children a voice through music to spread the message of peace.

Sandy Buchner, Instrumental Music
Sandy has been described in the 2005 book, A Day in the Life of the American Woman,as the rock star of the under-seven set. Sandy, a Kansas native, has lived and worked as a musician, children’s entertainer, recording artist, music specialist, and clinician in Seattle since 1990. Currently she facilitates a before-school choir and after-school programs in Seattle Public Schools, as well as a handful of area childcare centers. She is also engaged as a working musician in the local music scene, performing on guitar, stand-up bass, and ukulele in both her band and a solo project.

Jeanne Garland, Operations Manager
Jeanne joined the University Co-op staff in 2007. She has worked in non-profit management for nearly 20 years. Jeanne was the director of the PAWS Wildlife Center. She has also worked as a grant writer, program manager, and has served on several non-profit boards. She has a degree in Communications and Journalism from Michigan State University. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time on the beach with her family.