• Meet Our Staff

    Judy Adams, K-2nd Grade

    JudyJudy joined Paideia staff in 2010, but has been teaching in elementary and special education for over 30 years.  After raising 3 children, Judy and her husband Ray decided to fulfill their dream of relocating from Southern California and moving to San Juan Island.  Judy has a Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood, along with holding two teaching credentials: elementary education and special education/ learning handicapped specialist.  She also tutored children with special learning needs at an after school educational therapy center.  In 2005 she was awarded “Teacher Of The Year” for the San Marino School District, which is consistently ranked among the top three school districts in California.  She enjoys gardening, music, hiking the trails of San Juan Island, and cooking great meals with friends.  Judy brings a “hands-on” and creative approach to her K-2 classroom.  Children are introduced to curriculum and concepts through a variety of modalities, including music, movement, art, and cooking. A child’s ability to process and master information is considered individually, and adaptations are made to suit their learning style.  A visit to the classroom may include the class practicing addition skills in small group centers that may have them adding “spiders” to a “web” during the fall or adding mini-marshmallows to a hot cocoa mug to practice counting sets of 10 to 100 during the winter months.

    Jill Urbach, 3rd & 4th Grade

    044_JillJill earned her BA at California Lutheran University and continued her graduate studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  She moved with her family from Southern California to Friday Harbor in 2004.  Jill home-schooled her own children for several years before enrolling them in Paideia Classical School.  She joined the Paideia Classical School staff in 2012 after four years as an involved parent.  Her additional teaching experience ranges from developing Sunday school and independent learning curricula, to teaching specialized programs in Illinois public high schools.  Jill brings a hands-on, creative approach to the classroom.  Having worked professionally as a writer, singer, and actress, in her spare time Jill can be found onstage at the Community Theatre, singing with a jazz band, or working on her latest novel.

     Kori Mapstead, 5th-6th Grade

    042_KoriKori studied at Long Beach State, then moved to the Island from Southern California in 1990. Both of her daughters, Kimberly & MacKenzie, started at Paideia Classical School in 2001 when the school first opened.  Kimberly has graduated from Seattle Pacific University, after completing running start at Skagit Valley College for her high school years.  MacKenzie is attending Skagit Valley College. Kori’s son also graduated from Paideia and is a sophomore at FHHS.  One of her daughters was diagnosed with Math and Reading Dyslexia when she was in fifth grade and Kori has worked extensively with specialists to help her daughter work her way through her learning disabilities.  Having this knowledge & experience enables her to help other students who struggle and encourage the families who support them.  Kori has a passion for helping students and loves seeing the growth of each student’s skills as time progresses.  She has furthered her teaching skills by attending Logos Classical’s Teachers Training during two different summers.

     Autumn Hallock, 7th-8th Grade

    034_AutumnAutumn began teaching at Paideia Classical School in February of 2016. She brings a hands-on, nature inspired energy to her classroom. She enjoys developing creative lessons to compliment her teaching, especially in literature and history. Her goal is to make history and literature “come to life” for her students.  She moved to San Juan Island from Alaska in 1992. Autumn has worked with children for many years. An avid babysitter from the age of 12 to a live in nanny at age 18. Twelve years ago Autumn began teaching preschool at Alphabet Soup and later Lighthouse Preschool. During this time, she attended many training and college courses to support her career. Autumn has also been a leader for her children and others in 4-H clubs, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and coached cheerleading for 11 years. Currently, Autumn is active as a middle school youth leader.  Autumn’s son began attending Paideia in 2009 and graduated from Paideia in the spring of 2016. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the classroom for students struggling with attention and learning issues as she has been actively involved in her own son’s education and diagnosis of ADHD. His academic and behavioral challenges have worked to prepare her for helping students and encouraging families. Autumn’s desire for continued education is evident as she continues her studies at Skagit Valley College and University level. When she’s not pouring over a textbook Autumn can be found gardening, cooking, hiking, fishing, & playing board games with her family on lazy afternoons.

    Jodi VanderYacht, Administrator

     010_jodiJodi has been an active parent and board member at Paideia for several years.  Both of her daughters have attended Paideia since Kindergarten and her family enjoys being involved in every aspect of their education.  She brings a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Accounting along with years of business experience to her Administrator role at Paideia.

     Alicia Gislason, Latin Teacher

     012_aliciaAlicia teaches Latin 2 days a week for our 3rd – 6th grade students.  Studying Latin gives you a greater understanding and appreciation for history, literature and art.  Latin trains you to think in an orderly manner. It is very systematic & requires you to be precise, training your mind to pay attention to detail.  Latin improves your English skills. Half of English vocabulary and its grammatical structure are based on Latin. Many who master Latin score highly on standardized tests.  Latin prepares you for learning other foreign languages. French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese evolved from Latin.  Latin can prepare you to study ‘Latin saturated’ professions. Law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, and literature use many Latin words or English words derived from Latin.

    Callie McKay, P.E. Teacher

    028_callieCallie has a degree in Recreation Management.  She helps our students stay healthy & active while learning through teamwork during P.E. classes two days each week.