Susan Swank- Director
Welcome! My name is Susan Swank and I am the Director of Bethany Early Childhood Center. I have been involved in early childhood education and administration for over twenty years. I believe that early childhood is the optimal time to engage children as learners as they have a natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Our role is to teach, nurture, encourage and support young children in our care.
I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education and have worked as a preschool, kindergarten and elementary teacher. I earned my Masters degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to my current position, I taught kindergarten and first grade in Littleton and I spent several years as the director of Washington Park United Methodist Preschool in Denver.
I am passionate about providing an excellent early childhood education for children. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead a ministry that values high quality preschool education and believes in nurturing our precious gifts from God. If you are a new visitor to our our website, I hope you will contact us and visit our school soon!
Jean Jonasson – Administration/Substitute Director
I have been working with children for 24 years. I have been an in-home child care provider, a volunteer at my daughters’ schools, a Girl Scout leader for 12 years, a Mopettes teacher here at Bethany, and finally a teacher at BECC for 13 years. I truly enjoy working with young children. I obtained my Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Arapahoe Community College and I have my director’s certificate from the State of Colorado. When I am not teaching, I enjoy working in the BECC offfice and substituting for the director as needed. I am married to David and have two grown daughters. In my spare time I enjoy Book Club, Bunko and traveling, especially cruises.
Zuly Halter – Whales teacher- 2-1/2 year old class
I have been a teacher for 16 years and have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Ecuador (my native country). I love working with preschoolers. The children are so much fun! My family is still in Ecuador so I try to visit them once a year. Growing up in Ecuador was wonderful because I love sunny days and the ocean. I was blessed to have a loving family that encouraged me to become a teacher.
I came to Colorado when I got married, over 20 years ago. I am the mother of two wonderful boys who were born in Denver and raised in Arvada. They are amazing sons and are currently completing their degrees at Colorado State University and Metro State College of Denver. I am so proud of them.
I also enjoy teaching a Spanish class on Thursdays from 3:00-3:30 for our Preschool children.
Kari Bratagar – Pre- Kindergarten Teacher
I have been working with young children for nearly 18 years in both volunteer and paid positions. I spent five years working at Cornerstone Montessori School in Golden as a teachers assistant, and then transferred to Bethany Early Childhood Center in the Fall of 2006.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and in Theatre from Colorado Christian University which I used in working for a local children’s theatre company for four years. I have also recently completed my master’s degree in Counseling for Licensure from Denver Seminary, where I took classes in assessment and diagnosis with children, and had some training in play therapy. This included an extensive internship in which I focused on working with survivors of abuse, and recognizing the symptoms of abuse. I also have training in Educational Kinesiology, Montessori basics, and group dynamics.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends, reading, and being involved in theatre. It has been a joy to be involved at Bethany, and I look forward to working with your children.
Chris Charron – Chef
Chris Charron is our chef and makes all the nutritious and DELICIOUS meals for the children.