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New ECFE director, educator finds position a good fit for her

Alicia Beste is the new director and parent educator for the Glencoe-Silver Lake Early Childhood Family Education program, bringing her experience as a parent and background in pyschology and Spanish to the position. She replaced Jan Mackenthun, previous ECFE director, and Mary Jo Schimelpfenig, previous parent educator, who both retired in June.

Alicia Beste, 38, is the new director and parent educator in the Glencoe-Silver Lake (GSL) Early Childhood Family Education program, replacing Jan Mackenthun, previous ECFE director, and Mary Jo Schimelpfenig, previous parent educator, who both retired last June.
“For the last eight years, I’ve stayed at home, caring for my four children, and working part time at the library. I’ve come to ECFE events before with my children, so when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up,” Beste said.
Beste said she originally applied for the parent educator position, hoping to use her skills as a parent and her background in pyschology to assist other parents in the program.
“But then Chris (Sonju, GSL superintendent) came back to me and said the position had changed a bit,” Beste said. She explained she spends her full-time employment as the director, a half-time ECFE teacher and as a parent educator.
“Jan (Mackenthun) used to be the full-time ECFE teacher, and the district hired Becky Shogren to teach a section of the preschool,” Beste said.
Beste, a GSL graduate, earned two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Spanish from Valparaiso University in Indiana.
“Then I came back home to be closer to family and earned my teaching license from St. Cloud State University. I’m certified to teach K-12 Spanish,” Beste said.

For more, see the Nov. 26 print edition of The Chronicle.