University Cooperative School

(206) 524-0653

5601 University Way NE

Seattle, WA 98105

Faculty & Staff

Exceptional Teaching

Our teachers are the bomb.

At the heart of University Cooperative School, a staff of dedicated, professional teachers work together to craft innovative, project-based curriculum.

A team-teaching approach means that concepts are integrated across subject matter and grade level. It also means that each child – and family – is understood and supported by the team over the full course of their journey at the school.

Our teachers take the long view, using what we know about the way children learn best to plant seeds of deep understanding and set the stage for lasting academic and social success.  They know their students intimately, celebrating their emergence as confident, passionate learners and compassionate human beings.


Jim Riley
Education Director
Jeanne Garland
Business Director
Jenny Curtis
Financial Manager
Elyse DeVries
Admissions Manager

Pod-Based, Multi-Age Learning

Our school is organized into two, multi-grade pods.

PK-2 and 3-5 pods each have their own dedicated core teachers, traditions, and daily structure. We come together for all-school curriculum, events and activities, and share specialist teachers in the arts.

PK-2 Pod (Pre-K through Second Grade)

Christi Cruz
Pre-K Teacher
Randi Hutchins
K-2 Teacher, Kindergarten
Emily Varner Nesmith
K-2 Teacher, Math
Josie Warner
K-2 Teacher, Literacy
Claire Piper
K-2 Teacher

3-5 Pod (Third through Fifth Grade)

Kyra Canfield, 3-5 Teacher, Literacy Specialist
Kyra Canfield
3-5 Teacher, Literacy
John Ervin
3-5 Teacher, Science
Carolyn Aguilar
3-5 Teacher, Math

Specialists and Teaching Assistants

Susanne Donaldson
Assistant Teacher, Pre-K
Megan Sandico
Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten
Lexi Szymaszek
Assistant Teacher, 1st Grade
Aquillah White
Assistant Teacher, 3rd Grade
Haley Bates
Assistant Teacher
Claire Heineman
Art Specialist
Molly Hall
K-5 Drama & Dance Specialist
Sandy Buchner
Music Specialist
Mary K. McNeill
Music Specialist
Judy Aks
Pre-K Parent Educator
Lily Anderson
Extended Day Program