Meet Our Director!
Kristen Argow-Heaton is the Founder, Owner, and Director of Active Louisville Kids, and a mother of two children.
“The school [was] started from scratch with the ideas my dad (a forester) and mom (a world traveler) had taught me about the importance of being outside and in nature, and how to, and why we need to appreciate and respect cultural diversity.”
I was born in Blacksburg Virginia and raised outside of Washington DC in Vienna Virginia. I moved to (Boulder) Colorado in January of 2004.
I’ve worked with children for more than 20 years. In this time I have worked in both public and private schools as well as for Boulder Valley School District. I started my first Play/Nature based Early Learning Center, Active Boulder Kids (ABK) Preschool (2008-2018) in Boulder. I expanded to Louisville (ALK) after I moved from Boulder to Louisville (2013) finally settling in Lafayette in 2015. I live in Lafayette now with my husband, dog and 2 sons. Both Active Louisville Kids!
I am passionate about being a mom to two active young boys. Motherhood is both a challenge and reward every day. I enjoy skiing and served on the National Ski Patrol in Virginia for 5 years before moving to Colorado. I LOVE the great outdoors and nature. I am at home in a forest and I am passionate about sharing my love for nature with future generations. It is essential to the future survival of our planet that young children learn to respect and appreciate nature. It is amazing to be able to be living my lifelong dream to be able to combine my two passions: Nature and Children
Why I Teach: Young children are born ready to learn about the world and how to interact in it. It is important to teach young children the importance of their role in preserving nature, caring for the environment, and respecting all life. Love and acceptance of different cultures, races and species is taught. I consider it an honor to be able to participate in each child’s start to their lifelong journey of learning. I also believe that all children should have the same opportunities to this early start to education. Starting a school that welcomes all children is a dream and passion.
Unique Detail: I am passionate about learning about different cultures and countries. I have traveled to all 50 states (Alaska and Hawaii being my final ones) and several countries. Some of the places I’ve enjoyed traveling through include Italy, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Bolivia, Iceland, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Canada.
I followed my dream of working with children in Colorado after pursuing a less rewarding (for me) career in Office Management and administration in Northern Virginia and DC. I worked just blocks from the White House in DC just before moving to Colorado. The after effects of 9/11 effected my enjoyment of riding on the metro each day, leading me to look for new places to grow. Washington DC, Virginia and North Carolina stay close to me in my heart.
Education (Licenses, Certifications, Experience and Memberships)
Bachelors of Science: Psychology, Sociology; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Early Childhood Education, Front Range Community College
Certificate in Early Childhood Education Director and
Colorado State Director’s Qualification Letter
Boulder County District Group of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children (BCAEYC) Board Member (Past President 2012-2013)
BCAYEC Board Member (President 2011-2012)
BCAYEC Board Member (Treasurer 2008-2011)
Certificate of Appreciation by Boulder County District Group of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Member
20 years of verified work hours completed with children ages 0-5 years in an early care and learning program.
Teaching Philosophy: Children learn best through ACTIVE play and exploration of their environment. Active bodies and active minds! Children need fresh air, NATURE, movement and positive guidance and modeling from adults. I believe in relationship based learning and encourage all teachers to start the learning process by building trust and a secure attachment with each child. I believe in the power of learning through PLAY. During play, children learn about their world as they explore, create, imagine and figure things out!
I have also been influenced by several early childhood education philosophies along the way, in particular Play Based -Playing to Learn/Learning to Play, Nature and Place Based, Montessori and Waldorf philosophies and the Reggio Emilia Approach.
What is Unique to You and Your Teaching?
ABK and ALK teaching Philosophies came about with the lessons my dad (a forester) and mom (world traveler) taught me about the importance of being outside and in nature and to how and why we need to appreciate and respect cultural diversity.
My mom (Marylou Argow MEd, LMFT, LPC) taught me the importance of respecting and embracing cultural differences. She has traveled the world embracing new cultures and people along the way. Every child is unique and brings new and different family traditions, cultures, abilities, and languages into our community. Teaching tolerance, kindness and acceptance through play, books, modeling and activities is essential. We can promote human respect and equality through education and advocacy. We all have so much to learn from each other and I am grateful we have a diverse community at ALK for us all to grow and learn in.
My dad (Dr. Keith Argow) is a Forester (PhD in forestry and political science) as well as a business and land owner. He passed on to me the love of nature and the importance of promoting the value of forestry. I was always outside in nature on our family lands and park lands across the country as a kid. I learned to respect, love and appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature. I was taught to work the land and the importance of developing conservation practices. There is no better place to experience hands on active learning then in the woods where a child’s imagination and play has no boundaries.
Butterfly Room, Pre-K Teacher
Where are you from: Originally I’m from India (Delhi), I moved to Boulder 20+ years ago with my husband and two daughters.
Why I teach: I am extremely passionate about working with children to help them reach their goals, and understand just how intelligent and capable they can be. I love to incorporate patience and playfulness into my classroom. I believe that children need to be encouraged in a nurturing and gentle environment in order to grow towards their fullest potential.
What are some hobbies/passions of yours: Shopping, Reading, trying new recipes, teaching and landscaping my backyard!
Education: (Licenses, Certifications)
Education: BA in art side from CCWU, India.
Front Range Community College – ECE Courses
CPR Medical Administration Certified
Pyramid Plus (Positive Approach) Certified
Teaching Philosophy: I believe in hands-on activities to encourage children to be as independent as possible. When needed, I offer encouragement and guidance, but mostly direct my students towards becoming more self-sufficient. The most fulfilling moments in the classroom to me are when students realize just how capable they are of achieving their goals on their own.
What is Unique to Your Teaching? I am a very mindful person and an ambitious teacher. I started teaching early childhood education almost 20 years ago.
Special SKills? I’ve been cooking since I was 16, and I love to cool new dishes. I also speak 2 languages – Hindi and English.
What is Unique to You and Your Teaching?I believe it is extremely important to help my students build a healthy self esteem, and gain more confidence. A confident student with good self esteem is a high achieving student that will have the most fulfilling preschool experience. I am blessed enough to be working with such impressionable minds, and it is super important to make sure that I give them the adequate tools to work with. I believe in providing meaningful learning in a nurturing and gentle environment. My goal is to enrich my student’s minds by providing hands-on activities and intentional learning experiences, so that they can grow into strong and independent individuals.
Caterpillar Room, Preschool Teachers
Alexis Sanera is one of our Caterpillar Lead Teachers and our Assistant Director.
Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, we are happy to say she now calls Colorado, home. In her free time, you can find Miss Alexis painting, cooking, reading, or working through a puzzle.
Why I teach: To provide a foundation for lifelong skills, a love of learning, creativity, and (especially), relationships with the goal that these things will influence young lives and families beyond preschool.
Education: Elementary Education with a minor in Speech Pathology, Northern Arizona University & Metropolitan State University in Denver
Teaching Philosophy: Play based (structured & unstructured periods – purposeful play as well as individual processes encouraged). Some “cognitive based” philosophy meaning opportunities to problem solve & negotiate with others. Respect for everyone is emphasized.
What is Unique to Your Teaching? I implement a variety of teaching techniques and recognize students as individuals with individual learning styles. I believe that personal connections (between both teacher/student & student/student ) are key to a successful learning environment.
Lil' Hopper Room, Toddler Teachers
Makayla Morton is our Toddler Two/Lil Hoppers Lead Teacher. Born and raised in Colorado, she loves hiking, sports (especially volleyball!), and spending time outside in her spare time.
Why I teach:I love to watch them smile and see how much they learn in no time! It’s amazing!
Unique Detail: I’m the oldest of three!
Education: Level 1 Colorado Shines Assistant Qualified
I can speak some spanish and know a little bit of sign language!
Teaching Philosophy: respect our toys/things and of respecting our friends! while having a fun, safe time!
What is Unique to Your Teaching? I truly cherish the bond with every child! Knowing they feel safe and having an amazing time in the class when we’re all together!
Eileen was born and raised in Boulder. She started working at an infant center out of high school and has since been a lead teacher for toddler and preschool classes, as well. She is still in touch with some of the kids she taught in the early 90s! Eileen is married and has a 20-year-old son, a dog, and 2 cats. She loves animals and spending time in the mountains, so someday she’d love to have a piece of property to start a small rescue.
Why you teach: “I have always loved being around children and enjoy watching them explore the world around them. I love teaching them new things and getting to be part of their excitement. It really is the most rewarding profession.”
Education: Front Range Community College- ECE courses
Colorado Shines Level 2
Teaching Philosophy: “I believe a child learns best from doing and trying new things. With the right encouragement, trust, guidance, and care, their learning is endless.”
What is unique to your teaching: “I’m big on talking things out and explaining what’s going on and why. Children understand so much more than what we give them credit for. Leading the way and letting them know why, how, when, and where is so important to their learning adventure.”
Chickadee Room, Toddler Teachers
Mariah Slepicka is our Chickadee Room Lead Teacher. Colorado born and raised, Mariah embraces the beautiful Colorado outdoors as much as possible, and works on her painting in between.
Why I teach: Teaching has been the perfect fit since high school: I love helping young minds connect the dots of the world. There is so much to learn, see, and discover, especially at a young age, and it’s amazing to be able to be a part of it.
Education: Level 2 Colorado Shines Lead Qualified
CPR, First Aid, FEMA Certified
Teaching Philosophy: Children best learn through experiences. It’s important to let them explore their environment and try new things. I work to make everything as fun a learning opportunity as possible.
What is Unique to Your Teaching? Art and creativity are always promoted in my classrooms. Whenever possible, I connect our current subjects to the art projects I bring in to keep learning as fun and engaging as possible.
Bumble Babee Room, Infant Room Teachers
Liz Brant is our Lead Infant Room/Bumble Babee Room Teacher. Originally from a small town south of Colorado Springs, Liz grew up as the youngest in the family, but always wanted to care for children. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga as well as photography specifically of nature and her nieces.
Why I teach: Teachers have been the primary role models in my life. Without their influence, my life would not be what it is today. Ever since I was younger I dreamed of being a teacher. There is so much to discover, learn, and see especially at such a young age. I have never had a bad day working in the infant room, their smiles and laughter always brightens my day!
Unique Detail: No matter what challenges I face, I always find a way to stay positive and have a smile on my face.
Education, Qualifications, Skills: Colorado Shines Certified
Expanding Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers, Course
- Lead Qualification, & Infant Room Supervisor qualifications in the works!
Teaching Philosophy: I believe you are never too young to learn. Learning should be fun and I feel all ages should be welcomed to new experiences. I make each child feel welcomed, loved and safe. Even at a young age, I believe it is important to get outside by going on walks or reading a book/playing under a shady area.
What is Unique to Your Teaching? I always look at the bright side of every situation, and make sure each child feels safe and loved. I also love to get on the child’s level, learning from their point of view. Sign language has been a useful tool to help the infants communicate their wants and needs.
Chelsea is a Colorado native whose hobbies include hiking, camping, star gazing, and enjoying time with her two beautiful children. She strives to make her classroom a warm, safe, and happy learning environment for all. She has experience in all age groups, from birth to 12 years. She also has 2 years experience as an assistant director. Although she loves working with children of all ages, infants are her absolute favorite!
Why you teach: “I teach because I am passionate about helping young children learn and grow as well as to provide a solid foundation in their social/emotional and cognitive development.”
Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
Level 6 Colorado Shines
Infant Nursery Supervisor for 5+ years
Over 10 years experience in the field (specifically with infants)
Teaching Philosophy: “I believe all children are unique and should be given all opportunities to be provided a safe enriching environment that supports their individuality.”
What is unique to your teaching? “My teaching is unique because I can observe and identify developmental milestones and maintain strong communication with all the parents and guardians of any child in my care.”