Steve from Willett CDC has worked as a Master Teacher with our agency since 2001. He has a degree in Psychology and a developmental psychology emphasis from UC Santa Cruz. Top that off with a multiple subject teaching credential from University of San Diego. His background includes over 30 years of experience in child development and working as a preschool teacher in elementary education. He is originally from Santa Barbara where he attended a NAEYC conference and first discovered our organization. He was excited by our company culture and has been with us for over 16 years. Steve has since completed 25 internal training and professional development classes as well as health and safety trainings. He currently works with School Age children in our before and after school programs. He has subbed at nearly every CDC in the Davis area and spent 4-5 years at Cesar Chavez CDC prior to coming to Willett. Before he came to us, he worked at a lab school on the campus of UC Davis.
In our after school program, Steve loves working with the School Age children on physics projects and watching them learn how science works. Some of his Science Club favorites were building volcanoes with paper mache, baking soda and vinegar. They experimented with other items like lemon juice and baking powder that were discovered to be a great alternative to baking soda and vinegar. Another fun physics activity he enjoyed was helping children build race tracks and bridges with newspaper and tape. The children helped come up with all sorts of things to add to it on their own, like strings and paint to make it unique. Steve also led the Sports Club and was fascinated by the children’s abilities to come up with variations of capture the flag.
During camp, Steve loves teaching the different weekly themes. His favorite was Survivor week, in which children learned valuable life skills in various scenarios. The children learned about building shelter and finding essentials like water and food. On one of the camp field trips this year, he went with the children to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and liked watching the children explore all the different displays. Since going on that type of field trips is not something he often does, he really looks forward to it. Steve got his camp nickname “Tigger” from the famous Winnie the Pooh cartoon character, Tigger. He believes his personality is very similar to the well-loved cartoon character.
In his many years of teaching, one of Steve’s most memorable moments and challenges was working with a child who had some emotional issues. He worked to help this child 1×1 and felt how rewarding it was to see the child’s emotional development and progress.
Our philosophy is why Steve has stayed with us for so long. He loves the people he works with, our values, teaching methods and the freedom to bring new ideas to the table.