Tag Archives: Small Faces

Small Faces to Celebrate Kathy Brockman’s 25 years of Service

Small Faces’ Assistant Director, Kathy Brockman Completes her 25th year of Purposeful Play

by Lynn Wirta (Director Emeritus, Small Faces Child Development Center)

Kathy Brockman
Kathy Brockman

It’s time to celebrate 25 years of Kathy’s dedication, devotion and commitment to the children, families and staff of Small Faces and the greater Crown Hill community! Kathy began her work here in the fall of 1978 after she graduated from the University of Washington where she majored in History and earned her Elementary Education teaching credential. Kathy heard about Small Faces from a friend so she applied for work as a substitute.  In those days, Small Faces was located across from Ballard High School on 14th NW in an old church.  Early in 1979, a regular position became available so Kathy gave up subbing for Seattle Schools and launched her career at Small Faces.  In early 80s, accreditation was unheard of and licensing of child care was pretty lax.  The class size was 12-15 four year olds and Kathy was THE teacher!  (Today, our rooms have 3 staff for 16-18 children).  Including the director and a part time cook, there were 5 staff and an enrollment around 55 children.

In January 1980, Small Faces moved to the former Crown Hill Elementary School.  Kathy’s classroom was in the current Kangaroo Room though it was called by the teacher’s name at the time. A few years went by and the community expressed a need for a program for children who turned 5 in late summer or early fall but could not attend public school.  The school year 82-83 inaugurated the Challenge Class for children whose birthdays fell between September 1 and October 31. Kathy taught that program for 7 years though it wasn’t named Challenge until a few years later when all classroom names were changed.  One year, there were 22 children enrolled in Challenge! Fees in 1984 ranged between $120 and $270/ month.  As the Center grew in the late 80s, Kathy became the Assistant Director with administrative duties in the afternoon.  By 1993, she had one son, Luke, born in 1985 and was about to have the twins, Steve and Joe, so she said farewell in December.  During the next 7 years, while raising the her own children, Kathy did childcare in her home for staff members.  In 1999, the Center needed a Challenge teacher so she agreed to return.  In 2000, the Assistant Director position became available and Kathy moved back into her old administrative job full time.

A favorite “kid story” that Kathy likes to recall is about the time the 5 year old asked her, “What part of you is ‘the bride’?”  Kathy asked what did he mean?  The child said, “I was at a wedding and the man said ‘You may now kiss the bride’.  Is the bride part your lips?”  Another time, a child asked Kathy what a ‘widget stand’ was.  Again, Kathy asked for more clarification. The child said, “You know, when we pledge allegiance to the flag for ‘widget stand’. What is a widget stand?”

Here we are today, celebrating over 25 years of Kathy, an institution at Small Faces!  We estimate that Kathy has interacted with at least 2500 children and 150  co-workers; taken first aid/CPR class 10 times, taken the food handlers class 6 times and completed a minimum of  300 hours of Early Learning workshops. Kathy is always quick with a smile and a laugh; can see the bright side of any situation; never looks overwhelmed from too much paperwork; sometimes can’t find her glasses but will get right back to you when she does; can remember the names of current and alumni children AND their parents; rarely gets sick and if she does, she will get 3 more tasks done before she goes home all while raising 3 boys and a husband.  Small Faces is blessed to have Kathy in its family.

This year’s Fall Family BBQ on September 22nd will be in Kathy’s honor.  Past and present families, staff and her family are invited to celebrate Kathy’s dynamic personality, character, and the many other gifts she has given to the success of Small Faces.


Crown Hill Park Construction Begins!

"We decorated the fence so the construction crew would have something pretty to look at while they worked" (Photo courtesy of Small Faces Child Development Center)

On Wednesday, August 10th construction began on the soon to be Crown Hill Park.  The Paul Brothers of Oregon were awarded the construction contract for the park a few weeks ago. On Wednesday children at Small Faces decorated the fences with ribbons so the workers “would have something pretty to look at while they worked.”

Behind Former Home Plate
Behind Former Home Plate


John Deere and Blacktop Mountains
John Deere and Blacktop Mountains
Concrete Culverts Removed
Concrete Culverts Removed

Our new park will include a renovated ball field, open lawn areas, a skate dot, a pathway and much improved landscaping. The two large sycamores, south of the old ball field will be retained. Small Faces and the community began work to secure the historic Crown Hill School Site for community use many years ago. Seattle Parks held community meetings in 2005, 2007, and 2010.  Crown Hill Neighbors was formed in 2007 to act as a community voice in this effort. Initially it was thought the School District would enter into a long-term lease (50-year) with Small Faces, and Seattle Parks and Recreation would construct the park on the leased land while Small Faces operated the old school building. An opportunity presented itself one year later when the School District decided to surplus the school and land. Seattle Parks purchased the land for the park using the Opportunity Fund from the Parks & Green Space Levy, and Small Faces purchased the building to become the future Crown Hill Center.

Final Site Plan
Final Site Plan (click to enlarge)

Volunteers at Work at Crown Hill Center

On Saturday, May 14th, a group of 10 volunteers working under the direction of Catherine Weatbrook spent several hours working on the grounds of and inside the Crown Hill Center. Catherine reports substantial progress on the following projects:

  • Playground landscape improvements
  • Spreading wood chips around the oak tree at 13th and 95th. This project effort is ongoing and was started by Doug Gresham and several other volunteers.
  • Back-filling behind the repaired brick wall on the side of the property facing 14th Ave NW
  • Assembling the new cabinetry for use inside the building to address earthquake safety concerns

Thanks to all the volunteers for their efforts. If you are interesting in volunteering on the next volunteer party, please contact Catherine at catherine.weatbrook@gmail.com

Crown Hill Center Playground Survey

Recently Small Faces completed work on a grant to install a new play structure in the playground area. This is Phase 1 of a plan to revitalize the playground area. The playground and new structure are open to the public when Small Faces is not using them.  Crown Hill Center/Small Faces are asking folk to complete a survey to be sure that the new Crown Hill Center Playground reflects the interests and needs of the Crown Hill Community at large. Please take a few moments to answer the four question survey here.  Thanks!

The Big Dig: Asphalt Missing from Small Faces Playground

Missing Pavement
Missing Pavement: Scene of the Crime


It has been recently reported that asphalt pavement has been removed from the playground area at Small Faces (on the east side of the building). Some neighbors reported the perpetrators were operating “a trencher or maybe a backhoe and a dump truck.”

Seizing the moment, retired Small Faces director, Lynn Wirta indicated the now missing pavement fits perfectly with the Crown Hill Center’s plans to renovate the playground. Wirta indicates volunteers are needed to help filling in the hole and proceeding with the playground 2.0 renovation plans. If you are available on Saturday, July 10, please contact Small Faces (206) 782-2611 or johnny@smallfaces.org. Food, tools and  child care provided.  No experience necessary!

The pavement removal and hole creation were accomplished with generously donated labor. 😉