WHAT IS A COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL?
Altadena Nursery School (ANS) is a licensed, non-profit, non-sectarian, interracial, cooperative nursery school in which each family shares in the school's planning and operations. ANS was started in 1950 by a small group of Caltech parents as a babysitting co-op and has grown into a nursery school that operates daily for up to 45 children from the ages of two to six years. Our school is currently located on a church campus however has no religious affiliation. Since its beginning, ANS has made a unique and profound contribution to children and families of the greater Pasadena community.
Conveying the history of our school would not be complete without referring to the significant contributions of our former Director, Patricia Hedlund. “Miss Pat’ has been intimately connected to our school for over fifty years; first as a parent, then as a teacher, and for many years as our Director. The knowledge and experience she generously imparted to the families of ANS, the staff and to our overall philosophy will never be lost and we are immensely grateful for her profound influence on our community. To continue good works in her name we maintain the Patricia Hedlund Scholarship Fund which we use to support families financially during difficult times.
Janet Ann Young, M.A.
As Director, Miss Janet Ann guides Altadena Nursery School with the same respect and care she shows children each day on the playground. Inspired by childhood education philosophies that emphasize empathy, respect for children, and creativity, Janet Ann serves in her position as director as a coach and mentor, guiding the devoted community of teachers at ANS with an enthusiasm in fostering the well-being of children. She is passionate about the co-op model of early childhood education and sees parent involvement and education as a vital way of nurturing healthy and respectful families and communities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and, before coming to ANS, was a Director and Teacher at Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School in Silver Lake for nine years.
Janet Ann is a Los Angeles native and grew up in the hills and valleys that surround L.A.. She credits her ability to play, explore, and connect with nature as a result of growing up unfettered by unnecessary adult intervention. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, traveling, and geocaching. Her son, Ryder, is studying at Humboldt State University. She lives in Glassell Park with her sister, Dawn, their two cats, and a flock of chickens. She enjoys spending time with her sister, visiting yard sales to add to her music and teacup collection.
Art Corner Studio
Miss Milly joined Altadena Nursery School nearly 30 years ago, first as a parent when her two boys were young. The warm, creative environment at ANS, plus encouragement from then-director Pat Hedlund, convinced her that teaching was her calling. She left behind a high-pressure career in banking and enrolled in UCLA’s Early Childhood Development Program. In 1993 she came to work at ANS and never looked back. Since then, Miss Milly has been an invaluable mentor, preserving and sharing the school’s core philosophies from one teacher to the next. Today, you can usually find Miss Milly with paintbrush in hand, inspiring ANS’s young artists to make their next masterpieces.
Miss Milly was born on a cattle ranch in Utah, but, lucky for us, moved to Pasadena in the 1960s. When not teaching, you can find her hanging out with her husband, Rick, a fly-fishing enthusiast, and her two sons (now quite grown and pursuing careers in medicine), Michael and Kevin. She’s a book lover at heart and a self-professed audio book addict. She also enjoys baking and the neverending quest to make the perfect pie crust.
Block & Doll Room / 4 & 5 year olds
As a mother of three, Miss Dianna understands how important it is to have support from peers, teachers, and family. She believes being a part of a co-op offers all of these support systems. In her own experience, the more one becomes involved with a co-op, the more like a family the community becomes. Miss Dianna became involved with Sierra Madre Community Nursery School when her oldest son was young. Not only were her parenting needs met, but her son was nurtured in ways she hadn’t imagined. Her next two children also attended SMCNS, and they found that they all had completely different things to learn and love and that the co-op environment provided the freedom to nurture their very different needs and curiosities. During her time there as a parent, Miss Dianna became involved as a member of the board, serving twice as one of their two major fundraising chairs and working on the Capital Campaign Committee. Miss Dianna went on to earn an Early Childhood Education teaching certificate UCLA Extension and soon began working as a substitute at SMCNS and later at Cottage Co-op Nursery School. She taught at Cottage as a long-term substitute before arriving at Altadena Nursery School in 2010.
In the classroom, Miss Dianna inspires children with her creativity, her vocal range, and her empathy for children. In her own words, Miss Dianna says that Altadena Nursery School “is truly a place that offers vital support to all systems and does it with love and a sense of fun. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful community. I love helping to shape how families connect, grow and flourish here. I know what a precious time this is.”
Art Room / 3 & 4 year olds
Many years ago Miss Joan’s two daughters attended ANS, an experience she also enjoyed very much. But before having children, Miss Joan had earned her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and worked with preschoolers who had communication disorders. Joan and her husband Oscar were drawn to ANS because of it’s focus on a child’s social and emotional development. After her time at ANS Joan dedicated her time to volunteering at her daughters’ schools and at her church. Fortunately for ANS she returned in 2013 as an Associate Teacher and has been a creative and solid addition to our team of teachers. Miss Joan’s warm smile and welcoming presence makes the children feel right at home. Miss Joan always has a spot for the kids, especially new ones who are finding their way.
Art Room / 3 & 4 year olds
Miss Melissa teaches by the motto that’s been instilled in her by Miss Milly: “At Altadena Nursery School, we respect children.” This sense of respect and generosity indeed permeates her classroom. Though most of her formal experience has been teaching elementary school children in both English and Spanish, having kids of her own (Ellie and Nick, both ANS kids) inspired her to turn her career toward educating the little ones. She completed a master’s degree in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College, and has brought this wealth of experience to ANS. As she put it, “I have worked in numerous educational establishments and have never before come across a community that is so dedicated to the development of each and every child.”
Miss Melissa’s family is very passionate about soccer and each of them plays competitively. Her husband Sam is an architect by day and home project extraordinaire in his spare time. Miss Melissa, too, is a home project wiz, in addition to keeping up with her hobbies of reading, running, and hiking.
Discovery Room / 2 & 3 year olds
Miss Jill’s son Jack graduated from ANS in 2011, and it was his journey that sparked her passion for connecting with and, ultimately, teaching young children. She and her husband Alan were active and thoughtful participants in the school community, and, by the time Jack graduated, she was hooked. She enrolled in UCLA’s Early Childhood Education program and came back to ANS to teach full-time.
Miss Jill is a kind and patient guide to the children as they make their way through the world of ANS. She considers their time together an extraordinary adventure, and her enthusiasm is contagious. During her free time, Miss Jill is often hanging out with friends, gardening, baking, sewing, reading, playing word games, playing with pets, or just plain dawdling. She is also very active in Jack’s school and activities.
Discovery Room / 2 & 3 year olds
The beauty of the co-op model is that parents become so involved with the day-to-day activities of the school. It was by working alongside her two daughters, Alex and Illeana, while they were at ANS that Miss Stefanie realized how passionate she felt about being involved in teaching the very young. The experience was life changing, and she soon began her education toward becoming a teacher. In her words, “I just couldn’t get enough of ANS!” Each year at the school, she learns from the children, the families, and her colleagues, which in turn enriches her teaching. She is an immensely fun and creative presence in the classroom.
When she finds--or makes—free time, she enjoys reading voraciously, knitting, photography, trying to make cheese, baking, and sitting on the back porch with her husband, Henning, glass of wine in hand, watching the sunlight play through the leaves of the trees.
"ANS is a wonderful environment for children to explore and develop important life skills."
“From the creative theme learning to the wise and experienced staff who clearly love children... ANS is a very special place.”
“The staff at ANS is warm and welcoming. I look forward to working in my son's class each month!”
789 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, CA. 91107
Proudly powered by Weebly