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Brother and sister Sawyer (left) and Skylar Angelidas ride the horses "pulling" the recently acquired covered wagon in the large play area outside the Ruth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School.
Westside Pioneer photo

Washburn Nursery School hires new director for 2014-15

       Assistant director for three years, Jen Filonowich will take over as director of the Ruth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School in the 2014-15 year.
       The recently announced hiring decision culminated a search process by a committee of Washburn's governing board.
       A nonprofit organization, the school on two acres at 914 N. 19th St. is in its 54th year, and has operated on the Westside since 1973. Filonowich has previously been a high school and college teacher. But her career interest is in early childhood education, and Washburn's long-established “play-based” program with strong parental involvement are what attracted her to come there in the first place. “There's a huge body of evidence about how children learn through play,” she said. “It's not a 'free-for-all,' but a well thought-out environment that embeds academics into those play activities.”
       Filonowich (pronounced Fil-ON-o-wich) will replace four-year director Sukie Jackson. Jackson had taught at the school before becoming director and will go back to teaching there. “I'm ecstatic about that,” she said.

Washburn Director-to-be Jen Filonowich stands by a playhouse inside the school while siblings Maya and Arlo Harris stop playing for a moment to look on.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Filonowich praised Jackson for stepping into the administrative role at a time when the school needed that kind of stability. “I plan to be here long-term,” pledged Filonowich, a 23-year Colorado Springs resident.
       Named after a mid-20th-century early-education specialist, Washburn Nursery School has traditionally been open to ages 2 ˝ to 5, with normal hours from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and a partial program on Fridays. In recent years, extended care has been made available, as well as a program for children from 18 months to 2 ˝.
       The school charges a tuition, although scholarships are available.
       Washburn's annual fundraiser, the Fork & Bottle Auction, will be at Colorado College's Cornerstone Arts Building Saturday, March 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. The public is welcome For more information, go to rwcns.org.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/9/14 - Schools: Other than District 11)

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