Our Wonderful Staff
Our staff is the heart and soul of our program, so we employ only highly motivated, loving and caring individuals. Many of our employees have been with us for over 5 years and several have been with us 10+ years.
Employees at our center are committed to life-long learning. Each individual:
- Receives at minimum 15 hours of training in early childhood education, every year
- Is certified in CPR and First Aid
- Is trained to recognize and report child abuse and neglect
- Holds a food handler’s card
- Has passed an Oregon criminal history background check
We help facilitate our staff in attaining necessary training and encourage them to continue to grow professionally, benefitting them selves while further developing Airport Learning Tree’s program.
Meet the team at Airport Learning Tree:
Penny founded Airport Learning Tree in August 1998 and continues to be involved in all aspects of the school. She also owns Orchards Childrens Village in Vancouver, WA, which has been in operation since 1999.
Penny says: “Being involved at Airport Learning Tree is a wonderful experience. No two days are ever the same. The children renew my spirit everyday with their honesty and fresh outlook on the world. I believe strongly in service and hope that we help make young parent’s lives just a little easier.”
Prior to Airport Learning Tree, Penny coached track and taught at Gladstone High School. She also loves to sing and dance.
Jan is a Wobblers teacher. She has worked with Airport Learning Tree since 2000. She enjoys watching the children change and grow every day. She also loves photography and art and is a member of an online art gallery.
Debbi Alger (Sparkle)
Debbi is likely the first person to great you in the morning at ALT. Debbi has been with Airport Learning Tree since 2001. She loves spending time with children and seeing their cute little faces every day. Something you might not know about Debbi is that she worked and lived on a crab processing ship in Alaska for two years. Wow!
Deby teaches our preschoolers and can be found at the front desk in the afternoons, as she is the Assistant Director. She has been with Airport Learning Tree since 2001. Deby loves the funny things children say. Outside of ALT, she loves horses and gardening, and likes to collect sticks and rocks.
Shayna floats from room to room happy to help out wherever she is needed. She has been with ALT for 10 years off and on as she has gone through school. Shayna likes seeing the kids grow and learn new things everyday. She is in the process of becoming a registered nurse. Go Shayna!
Shirley is a Jill of all trades. She is a floater and gets to work in all the classes. She probably spends the most time teaching the infants and school age kids. She also drives the vans on van runs and field trips, and cleans and fixes things around the center. Shirley has been at ALT since 2007 and loves every day here.
She has been with some children from infants to school-agers. And says: “What a reward it is to see all the children grow and change. My love keeps growing for all of our ‘gang.’ I love helping the children to learn. Playing with them keeps me young.” Something you might not know about Shirley is that she sponsors a 9 ½ year old girl in Ethiopia. This is her second one.
Chela is a teacher in the Toddlers I classroom. She worked with ALT for 6 years, then took a hiatus and we are happy to have herback again since 2014. Chela likes everything about teaching at Airport Learning Tree. She has a house in Mexico that she is almost done building. Fantástico!
Ru teaches Kindergarten in the morning and then spends her afternoons managing the office as ALT’s new Director. She can also be found out on field trips with the school-agers during the summer. She has been with ALT since 2011.
Ru loves teaching her kindergarten class. The growth she sees throughout the year in all her kids is phenomenal and exciting to be a part of. She is also very proud of the relationships she has built with the children and families over the years at ALT. One thing you might not know about Ru: her mom’s side of the family is Tahitian.
Stacy is a Preschool teacher. She has worked with Airport Learning Tree since 2012. What she loves about ALT are the kids! One thing you might not know about Stacey is that she is a boxing and martial arts fan.
Reanna teaches the Toddlers I class. She has recently returned after a hiatus and worked with ALT for 3 years before. Reanna loves seeing the kids grow and learn how to explore their new world. She is passionate about her Warm Springs Horses and volunteering for the Warm Springs Horse Network. Reanna fosters orphan foals as well as contributing her time to fundraising and training.
Denae is the lead teacher in the Infant room. She has worked with ALT since 2013. For Denae, the kids are the best part about coming to work everyday. She tends to be shy about her opinions, so draw her out if you have questions.
Robin teaches in the Kindergarten and School age classes. She has been with ALT since 2014. What she likes best about teaching at Airport Learning Tree is that she feels appreciated. What you might not know about Robin is she can ride a motorcycle. Vroom. Vroom.
Jessie is the center’s cook, but also fills in in the Toddler classrooms or anywhere else she is needed. She joined ALT in 2015. Jessie’s favorite things about Airport Learning Tree are the kids. Even when you are having a hard day, the love and energy of our kids can cure anything. Jessie doesn’t have kids of her own, so she especially delights ALT’s fun and always fascinating children.
Kierra is the main teacher in the Preschool classroom. She has been with ALT since 2015. Kierra loves working with all the children and is constantly learning new and wonderful things from them. One thing you might not know about Kierra is that she plays the flute. She has played for eight years and is in the advanced band.
Hanna is the lead teacher in Jr. Kindergarten. She joined ALT in early 2016. Hanna loves meeting new faces and making it the best experience for a child entering their classroom for the first time. She loves gathering together as a class each time they transition to a new, exciting activity.
Hanna also loves to cook! She is always looking for new recipes to try out. And can sometimes be found cooking for us if Jessi is gone.
Courtney is a teacher’s assistant in the Infants room. She began at ALT in September 2016. Courtney says: “I adore my babies. I definitely love my room.” She loves setting up all the cool crafts. Courtney comes from a big family. As one of seven kids, she has been raising kids since she was 9 years old.
Abby is the head teacher in the Toddlers II class. She started with ALT in October 2016. Abby loves playing and laughing with all the little ones! Outside of ALT, she loves to surf.
Deena floats around, but spends most of her time in the younger classes. She started at ALT in November 2016. Deena enjoys watching children learn and grow. She says: “I love their never ending curiosity and watching their beautiful imaginations at play!”
Deena loves nature – hiking, camping, and exploring. She is very arts and crafty and always learning something new. Her newest endeavors are making dream catchers, crocheting, and baking.