Staff Corner: Mari Rico Promotion to Director of Cedar Crossing JMCDC

We are excited to announce that long time El Centro de la Raza teacher Mari Rico was promoted to Director of our new Jose Marti Child Development Center at Cedar Crossing! This year marks Mari’s 25th year with us! The new 6,443 SF multi-cultural, bilingual affordable child development center will serve 68 children at Cedar Crossing. Congratulations to Mari for this well deserved honor!

While working full-time, Mari obtained her Child Developmental Associate’s (CDA) degree at Seattle Central Community College, and her Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) with a specialization in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Shoreline Community College. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Education from the Praxis Institute, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master’s Degree from Goddard College.

Under Mari’s supervision, the Luis Alfonso Velásquez Afterschool Program achieved accreditation from the National Afterschool Association in 2008. In 2018, School’s Out Washington recognized Mari with its Champion Award. As a STARS state-approved trainer and Early Childhood Education coach, she also trains other teachers in the field.

When asked how she manages to teach and find time to learn, innovate, and contribute to her field, she said it makes her job easier. Teaching as a profession is constantly evolving; everything from toys to technology is continually changing, and staying ahead of the curve is important to meet students where they are.