Meet our ALE Team
Principal Susie Richards, our ALE and SWES ITK-5 Principal is a long time South Whidbey resident who (along with her husband Chris) went through the South Whidbey Schools, as did their two children Daniel (32) and Hope (30.)
Susie began as a para educator in the SWSD in the early 1990s, then returned to school to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and her Master's Degree and teaching certification with a focus on community based learning and community partnerships. She taught at Langley Middle School, supporting coordination of the service-learning and adventure education programs. She co-founded the marine education non profit Service, Education & Adventure (SEA), providing boat based marine education to students throughout the Puget Sound Region. She worked as faculty for Western Governors University, supporting teacher education for 10 years. She completed her administration credential in 2017 and is thrilled to return to the South Whidbey School District in her role as principal.
Kymy Johnson (ALE Secretary)
Kymy Johnson has been the ALE team secretary since the first year the program started. Kymy helps support our teachers, students, families and our ALE goals and mission. In addition, Kymy does everything from managing the family resource room and ALE office, providing ice and bandages for boo-boos, to assisting our ALE staff and students with technology troubleshooting.
Kymy is a SWHS graduate and has five kids in South Whidbey Schools. In 2010, after her years as a stay at home mom, she began volunteering in the community including the elementary PTA and coaching youth soccer. She spent six years on the SWEPTA board including two years as SWEPTA president. From a very young age her Grandma Irene taught her that community matters, and you can help make a difference. Kymy has been honoring her grandma’s words with all her volunteering and community service.
During her years of PTA service, she developed a passion for understanding our state’s public school system and learning more about how to get involved and support local families. As her own kids got older, she started substituting in district offices on several school campuses before getting hired part time for ALE. Kymy is passionate about public education and recognizes every student no matter their learning style, school success or accommodations needed, has the opportunity to flourish. Her commitment to our community and students is why she loves supporting the ALE program and mission. Kymy Johnson - ALE Secretary
Caris Tucker (Grades 1-2, 6-8)
Caris's career as an educator has taken on many forms. She now joins us on Whidbey Island in the ALE program.
Caris's undergraduate from Pacific Lutheran University led her to pursue environmental research in Ecuador, Peru, and Bhutan. Following her studies, Caris left her home state of Washington to work in horticultural research for NC State University. In addition to this work, Caris supported farmer education programs in the southeast through various non-profit organizations.
Caris returned to Washington state to complete her Master's in Teaching, which led her to work in several districts before settling on Whidbey Island. Caris has a passion for content rich learning opportunities that are interdisciplinary in their scope. She advocates for students to have a knowledge of how to benefit their local community as well as have a strong sense of their role as global citizens through student-led learning opportunities.
Andrea Mitchell (Grades 3-5, 6-8)
Andrea wore many hats before getting her Masters in Teaching and embarking on her journey as an educator in the United States.
Andrea has worked as a site manager for disaster relief in Louisiana, taught English in South Korea, led community organizing in both Seattle and Spokane for a non-profit that works towards social, racial, and economic justice, and made a living in construction of residential homes.
Andrea has a passion for building relationships with students and families and building community. She believes in breaking down the barrier between school and "the real world" and strives to create experiences for students that allow them to make a positive difference in their communities and the broader world.
SW ALE Volunteer Coordinator and Environmental Education Assistant
Amanda’s career began in early childhood development, teaching preschool and working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students. As her family grew, raising and homeschooling her four children became her full-time focus. This led to other educational opportunities as Amanda began organizing and leading outdoor co-op learning experiences on the beaches and trails of Whidbey Island. Amanda loves teaching and helping students appreciate the beautiful natural environment we live in. She has keen attention to detail, having owned and operated a home organization and maintenance business. Amanda is currently taking courses to further her career in education. Amanda’s depth of experience is utilized in the ALE program through her role as Volunteer Coordinator and Environmental Education Assistant.