Rachel Jefferson

Executive Director

As a child, my family moved a lot. I became quite adaptable, but I also realized that there were certain schools and teachers that helped me thrive as a learner, and those that stifled my joy and creativity. In college I got my degree in Elementary Education & Early Childhood and then with my sweetheart Josh, headed towards the adventures awaiting us in Eugene, Oregon! In 2002, I found my home at Co-op Family Center because of the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy that I had learned about in an Art for Children class in college. I was ready to spread my wings as a teacher!

I began as the School-age Lead Teacher and four years later, I was granted my request to work with the younger children at our center. I enjoyed the next twelve years learning from the children and staff in the infant through toddler classrooms, before jumping at the chance to be the Pedagogical Coordinator in the summer of 2019. This new role satisfied not only my growing passion for advocating for the rights and potential of young children, but also for supporting teachers as they strive to bring an exciting and thoughtful emergent curriculum to the school experience. Therefore, when the opportunity arose in the fall of 2021 to broaden the scope of my potential impact and grow my skill set as the Executive Director at the Co-op, I knew it was the perfect next step.

The Co-op has helped to raise both of my children and has been our extended family for many years. I celebrate that each day we get to work alongside the children and their families, forming loving relationships and nurturing the children’s growing sense of themselves and the world. This research and discovery happens in ways that are meaningful and collaborative involving infinite joy, challenge and possibility. I am forever motivated by the great impact and responsibility that the field of education has on the future and feel blessed to play a role in helping to raise citizens who will want to serve the world in diverse and compassionate ways

Administration Staff