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Now in retirement, Beatrice McLoed focuses on creating mosaic art in her studio

Beatrice (Teenie) McLoed received two honors — the Parent Cooperative Preschool International (PCPI) District Award and Robin Garthright Bunster Award for Excellence in Teaching — just after her May retirement from her lifelong career as a preschool teacher.

McLoed, whose career as an early childhood educator amounted to 41 years — including nine years at Lake Oswego's Oswego Playschool — said the awards were a big honor. COURTESY PHOTO: BEATRICE MCLOED - Beatrice McLoed, now retired, spends her time in her art studio

"It was a big surprise; I didn't know about it," she said. "It was very, very sweet."

Due to COVID restrictions a formal ceremony was out of the question, but a teacher from Oswego Playschool dropped the awards off at McLoed's home in August.

McLoed said she was especially touched by the Robin Garthright Bunster Award.

"I had the honor of working with Robin for one year at the school. We became fast friends. She was easy to love and so caring and creative with the children," McLoed said in an email.

After Garthright Bunster's sudden passing due to cancer, Parent Cooperative Preschool Organization, the local cooperative organization, named an award in her honor.

"Just hearing her name again is a gift," McLoed said.

McLoed said she enjoyed her time at Oswego Playschool and parent cooperative preschools in general.

As opposed to a traditional preschool where parents would drop off their kids for the day, cooperative preschools involve the parents.

"In general, what happens is professional teachers are hired and then the parents are sort of the assistant," she said.

She said the teachers are in charge of the classrooms while the parents sit on committees and boards to help run the school.

At Oswego Playschool, McLoed said, all parents take background checks once a year and receive training on being in the classroom.

McLoed said the strength of the co-op is in the community it creates.

It involves a commitment on the parents' end as well as by the teachers.

Since kids learn by doing, parent co-ops have a big emphasis on play, she noted.

McLoed called herself lucky. "I found something I was really passionate about," she said.

"She has touched so many hearts of families in the community," said Amber Batchelder of Oswego Playschool.

Now in retirement, McLoed spends her time creating art in her studio.

"Retirement's a weird word for me," she said, adding that the word feels too much like withdrawal and she prefers just to say things have changed.

"I love working with glass … I do glass mosaics," she said.

She majored in art in college and she worked primarily with watercolors.

"Working with glass, it's sort of like working with the colors of watercolor, but it's like frozen watercolor … It's like doing a puzzle except it's a puzzle that's in my own head," McLoed said.

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