Kathleen M. Westover, ma
Kathleen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a specialty in children and family. Her undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education with a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Science. She taught children in a preschool classroom and adults in a community college setting in the areas of Early Childhood Education, behavior management, foster parenting and adopting older children. As a clinician in community mental health for 10 years and private practice for over 20 years she worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in outpatient and residential settings. She consulted to school districts, early learning, daycare homes, daycare centers and Head Start programs. She works with divorcing parents and the legal community to develop parenting plans that are sensitive to the needs of children.
Kimberlee Peterson, ba
program supervisor – education director
Kimberlee Peterson has 40 years experience teaching and caring for young children. She earned her BA Degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Western Washington University. Through her career she has worked as a nanny, co-op teacher, toddler and preschool teacher, and paraeducator in the Bellingham School District. She has “5 great kids”.
In her role as Education Director she brings her extensive knowledge of educational models and theories in a variety of systems. As supervisor of the teaching staff she enjoys empowering the growth and development of less experienced teaching staff.
In her role as Infant Lead Teacher she delights in being a part of the incredible growth that children experience during their first year of life. She has a particular interest in the area of infant attachment and works closely with the parents and the children to support and strengthen that bond.
Linden Warner, ba
program supervisor – administrative. lead preschool teacher
Linden has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education from Western Washington University. She has been at James’ Place since June, 2015. From the time she started as a part time assistant teacher while in college, to her current full time lead teacher and supervisory role Linden gained experience in every aspect of the program. Upon her graduations from college, rather than seeking a job in a public school setting, she found she enjoys the intimacy and flexibility associated with a small, private educational program and moved into a full time Lead Teacher role. Her leadership in education, child development and the administrative aspects of licensed child care is invaluable.
KARIMA TORRES, STARS CERTIFIED
LEAD TEACHER – TODDLER PROGRAM
Karima, who describes herself as sheltered, having grown up in Hawaii and attended Catholic schools, received her ECE Certification and began her career in 2016. She worked as a Toddler Lead Teacher in a larger program, but experienced frustration due to the large class size and limited ability to provide the kind of individual attention she knows that children deserve. She joined the staff of James’ Place in January 2019 and loves the small class size and ability to form relationships with all the children in her class. She reports growing up observing her mother, a teacher as well, until her mother passed away. Karima notes, “Being where I am now, I try to emulate the grace, humor and love that she carried, with children now in my care.”
Gina has an AA Degree from Whatcom Community College. Through her college career she interned in a variety of early learning centers.
linda carter, rn
Linda is an RN recently retired from Peace Health, St. Joseph Medical Center where she worked for 46 years in Critical-care, ER, Cardiac care, Flight nurse and Imaging. During her nursing career she cared for hundreds of pediatric patients. After retirement she was seeking something to do that would keep her active and continuing to make a difference in the world. Her grandson was at James’ Place many years ago and she reports being quite impressed with his care and the program. Given that positive association and her love of children of all ages James’ Place seemed like a great fit for her and for the program. She now offers her knowledge, skills, talents and experience in an assistant teacher role at James’ Place.
ROBERTA (BOBBI) CARTER, BA
Bobbi has a BA Degree in Social Work, a black belt in karate and “lots of people experience”. As the adoptive parent of her step-grandson, a child with significant special behavioral needs, she discovered James’ Place in 2011 after her 2 1/2 year old grandson was expelled from another childcare setting. He remained at James’ Place until starting kindergarten. She state she “is forever grateful for the care and direction” her grandson received at James’ Place and credits his time here for the “great guy” he is today. She also has grown children and grandchildren.
Bobbi helped us out as a substitute teacher for years while working in the insurance industry. In 2017 she decided to end her career in insurance but wanted to remain active on a part time basis. She asked if James’ Place could use her help. The answer was a resounding “Yes.” She works the opening shift sharing her love, warmth and wisdom with children and parents during the difficult separation experience at the start of the day. She loves horseback riding and “working with the great people at James’ Place.”
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