Meet Our Staff

Administrative Staff:

marna

Marna Towle, Executive Director

I have a Masters in Education with a specialization in early learning and have been in the early learning field since 1975. I find it very gratifying to partner with teachers and families in fostering children’s curiosity about the world around them, and confidence in themselves as valued and capable human beings. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, home improvement projects, and being outside, in the garden, on a mountain or beach, and when exploring new places.
Melissa

Melissa O’Keefe, Human Resources/Business Manager

I have my B.A. in English, am a certified bookkeeper, and will be working on my MA in Education Policy in the fall of 2018. While I’m not in the classroom anymore, my interests are in being a part of Early Learning that is centered on making systemic changes for the best outcomes for children and their educators. I love being at Interlake where our priorities focus on high quality child care and being a supportive environment for passionate educators to develop their skills. I enjoy reading, trying new recipes, and taking my son on adventures around Seattle.
Rebecca

Rebecca Dallin, Hiring/Professional Development Coordinator

I have a BA in English/Psychology and an AS in Early Childhood Education, and I have been working in childcare since 1994. I have been lucky enough to have been exposed to some great examples of reflective, authentic early childhood education, and I enjoy working in a community so focused on community and on children’s social-emotional growth. In my spare time I enjoy drawing, reading, and hiking around the pacific northwest.
Heidi

Heidi Modin, Classroom Coach/Enrollment Coordinator

I graduated from Washington State University in 2014 with a BA in Human Development specializing in Early Childhood Education. I have worked in various early learning centers including a lab-based preschool, Head Start center, and a Montessori school before settling in at Interlake Child Care and Learning Center. Here at Interlake, I love the tremendous friendliness and silliness of these children, and the privilege to watch them thrive with social-emotional development while learning to be inclusive, creative, compassionate human beings. When I’m not at Interlake, I enjoy reading, hiking, music, and game nights in my free time!


Our Mentor Teachers:

Valencia

Valencia Holcomb, Preschool Mentor Teacher

I have a BS in Early Childhood Education: Child & Family Studies and Psychology. I have also taken two semester of Masters level courses to further my understanding about developmental disabilities. I believe in appealing to every child’s learning style; learning shouldn’t feel like work, it should be fun and engaging. What I love about Interlake is that both the children and teachers alike have the freedom to explore their creativity, adding their own personal gifts to make our community a better place. In my personal time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Zach, and our son, Marcus. We love cooking and exploring all the PNW has to offer.
KJ

KJ Sims, Preschool Mentor Teacher

I received my degree in elementary education from the University of Montana in 2011 and taught preschool for four years in Missoula. I moved to Seattle from Montana and started working at ICC in August 2015. I agree with Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, Vivian Paley, Mr. Rogers, and anyone else who is credited with saying, “play is the work of childhood.” I have been very impressed with the workers I’ve met at ICC thus far!

 

Ellen

Ellen Adams, Toddler Mentor Teacher

I attended Ohio University and received a B.A. in Linguistics and Classical Greek, with a certificate to teach English (TESOL). I taught adults English in college and have worked at summer and year round camps for over 7 years, where I learned that emergent curriculum is a wonderful way to learn and teach. Interlake has become my home over the past few years. The support of the staff, families, and children when I am having any big feelings has been out of this world since my first days here. Some of my favorite things to do when I am not at work are snuggling with my cat, Clementine and watching the boats go through the Ballard Locks.
Miranda

Miranda Kirk, Toddler Mentor Teacher

I’ve been a teacher here at ICC since 2016. I graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Child and Adolescent Development in 2014, and before coming to ICC I taught in public elementary school, private, and nonprofit schools for about 6 years collectively. While I have such a special place in my heart for elementary school and all of the joy teaching at that level brings, it has been nothing compared to the joy of early childhood for me. I absolutely love allowing my days to be child-led, following them through all of the weird and silly avenues of their curiosity and inquiries, and I believe real learning occurs when children feel loving and safe connections around them and a freedom to explore and ask questions.
Aicha

Aicha Parkouda, Infant Mentor Teacher

I am trilingual (English, French, Mooré) and before coming to Interlake I was working as a lead teacher with infants at an Education Center in South Seattle for several years. I have a bachelor’s degree in project management and am currently pursuing my AAS degree in Early Childhood Education at Highline Community college. I am a young mother of three children and I have learned to see things from both the perspective of a teacher and the perspective of a parent. I  bring my energy, knowledge, skills, care and love to the little ones at Interlake.

Our Food Program Coordinator:

brookie (2)

Brooke Foss, Food Program Coordinator

I have several college classes in Early Childhood Education and Nutrition science from North Seattle College and completed an AAS in Accounting in 2013 from Kaplan University; I spent 6 years working in all classrooms as teaching staff while attending night classes. My interest in cooking and baking began with a child’s cookbook and peanut butter cookies. My mother remembers losing her shelled peanuts because I decided to unshell them all and put them in the blender to make peanut butter (without asking!).As a young adult, I developed a vegetarian cooking hobby after being introduced to the cuisine at Interlake. I take great delight in whole foods cooking and learning from others. When I’m not cooking, I love gardening and service work.