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Our Teachers and Parent Educators

Capitol Hill Co-op teachers and parent educators embrace the cooperative, play-based preschool model and are attuned to the developmental needs and stages of each age group. They all possess a “can do” spirit and a desire to build community within the classroom, the teaching team, and the CHCP community as a whole. See some of their suggested reading on the Parent Ed Resource page.

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Our Teacher:

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Elizabeth de Forest

2022-23 Classes:  Preschool

Elizabeth has been an early childhood educator since 1988. For over 15 years she taught at St. Mark’s Cathedral Preschool across the street from CHCP. Before moving to the Puget Sound, she taught at a parent co-op in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She earned her BA in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an early childhood teaching certificate from Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA and a Master's degree in Child Development and Early Childhood education from Wheelock College in Boston. Her teaching interests include play theory, early literacy, reflective teaching and social justice awareness. Elizabeth lives in Kirkland .

Our Parent Educator:

Jane Schmidt

2022-23 Classes:  Preschool

Jane’s first experience with working in a cooperative preschool was when her twin daughters (who are now 16) attended Lakewood Cooperative Preschool (LCP) when they were 19-months-5 years old.  Jane was a working parent and was very involved on the Board, in the classroom and in the LCP community throughout their time there.  Six years ago, Jane was hired by Seattle Central College and was assigned to LCP as their Parent Educator.  For Jane, it was like coming “home” when she stepped back into the classroom and community at LCP.  This year Jane is delighted to have the opportunity to also work as Parent Educator for our beloved Capitol Hill Cooperative community, supporting and educating parents in their journey with their kids.


Jane earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Washington and completed her graduate-level training at the Parent Coaching Institute through Seattle Pacific University.  She is a Certified Parent Coach and Parent Educator and in private practice, and the founder of Parent Coaching Northwest, LLC. Prior to having children, Jane was a Peace Corps Volunteer at an orphanage in Bolivia – this is where Jane developed a deep love and passion for the importance of early childhood development and became a huge proponent of a play-based curriculum – giving kids an opportunity to simply play. 


When Jane isn’t working you will usually find her exploring the mountains or another country with her husband and twin daughters, on a mountain or road bike, in her favorite chair reading a good book, or in her kitchen creating something for her family, extended family or friends. 

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