Welcome New Staff Member Valerie Heikes
Valerie Heikes was born in Alabama and lived in numerous places as she was growing up. After her birth, Valerie and her family moved to Louisiana and then Ecuador, South America (where she learned Spanish). While in elementary school, they returned to the United States and moved to Florida, California, and then settled in West Virginia. Valerie later moved to New Mexico in the middle of her junior year in high school. Valerie states, "I kind of had a gypsy-like childhood which helped me appreciate different cultures. I learned that home was a place but more the people that you are with...and I was very fortunate to be part of a very loving, supportive family."
Valerie attended the University of New Mexico. She spent a year in Guatemala working in an orphanage during her college years, which she feels ultimately had a big impact on her life. Valerie earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Health Education. She worked in the public health field until she became a mother and was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
While her children were in school, Valerie had several part-time jobs. She was a substitute teacher in her children's schools and started teaching preschool about 10 years ago. Most recently Valerie has been working with Wee Create at the Apex Community Center. She provides art, nature and fun camps for children ages 3-6. Currently, Valerie also volunteers with Interact in Raleigh and Habitat for Humanity in the Cary area.
Valerie and her husband live in Apex and have two college-aged children -- a daughter at Appalachian State and a son at the University of South Carolina.
In her spare time, Valerie loves to read, travel, spend time with family and friends, and be outside gardening, hiking, kayaking, or paddle boarding. She has recently discovered that she finds Zumba to be very fun. Valerie is very excited to start teaching at our preschool.
We welcome Valerie Heikes to the staff of GFCC as a co-teacher in the Leap Frogs class and a 2's Floater.