Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Vicki Willette retires from St. James Family Center

Cathlamet preschool teacher Vicki Willette retires after thirty-one years in the classroom. Vicki grew up in rural Cathlamet, Washington and with the exception of a few years living out of state, she and her high school sweetheart Mike have always considered Cathlamet home.

Vicki began working at St. James Family Center in 1993. The Family Center is the only licensed preschool and childcare facility in Wahkiakum County. Over the past thirty-one years she has come to know most of the young children and families in the community. Vicki has been on the frontlines of the many changes in early childhood education and has played an integral role in teaching and preparing local children for both Kindergarten and life.

When St. James Family Center became a designated ECEAP provider Willette was instrumental in the early success of the program. The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program funded by Washington State for children 3 and 4 years old and, in some locations, infants or toddlers. Children enrolled in ECEAP at St. James Family Center learn to manage their feelings, get along with others, and follow classroom procedures. Students also gain the beginning skills needed for reading, math, and science. This vital program works closely with parents to support their children’s health and education and to meet family goals.

Willette also helped provide services during the COVID Pandemic by instructing preschool aged children through home visits and online instruction. In recent years, she has taught children of some of her former students, and now currently works alongside a preschool teacher she once had as a student.

Vicki’s dedication to early childhood education and the wellbeing and success of young children and their families is inspiring! She will officially retire at the end of the month and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and students.


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