Director of Religious Exploration
Betsy’s professional background includes several years as a special education teacher, a facilitator of the school reform program, “Success for All,” and 15 years teaching at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Education, rising to Assistant Dean: 1995-2010. She was also Instructor and Associate Director of the Center for Technology in Education, Johns Hopkins: 1996-2010. Betsy’s doctoral degree is in Teacher Development and Leadership from Johns Hopkins University. Her master’s degree is also from Johns Hopkins, in Educational Administration and Supervision; her undergraduate degree is in special education, with a minor in music. In Northern Virginia, Betsy was very involved in the Religious Education program at her UU church, as a teacher, consultant, musician and chair of the Religious Education Committee. Most recently here at Westside, before being appointed RE Director, she was co-chair of our Children/Youth Religious Exploration Council.
Bert comes to us with an extensive background in choral conducting and voice coaching. Bert earned a Bachelor of Music from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, and a Master of Music from the University of Colorado, Boulder but he says “my real education has come since earning those degrees.”
He is a voice technique expert and has been a private studio voice instructor since 1984.
An experienced performer, Bert has an extensive choral and jazz ensemble background, and has presented numerous recitals of art song, standards, and show tunes. He enjoys a broad range of experience with music genres: classical, opera, jazz, sacred, blues, pop, musical theater, rock, gospel, rhythm and blues, and folk music. He also holds the position of bass section leader with the Seattle Jewish Chorale.
As Westside UU’s music director, Bert conducts the Chorale and Chalice Singers as well as The Earthrise Chamber Choir. Past positions include conducting The Seattle Women’s Glee Club, The Olio Players Musical Theater Company and The Offbeats Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Nursery Care Teacher
Julie Vance is our Infant/Toddler Teacher. She has been working with Westside Congregation since 2005. Julie has a beautiful gift for connecting with our youngest ones; helping them feel safe and cared for so their parents can attend the service. She has a partner, Michael and a son, Dexter. Julie worked at Community School of West Seattle for five years. Julie sees working with children is such a gift—always renewing and inspiring her.
Carie is a contract bookkeeper who began work with Westside in the fall of 2011. She has owned and operated a bookkeeping service in West Seattle for 10 years. Carie provides bookkeeping services to numerous churches, other non-profit organizations and for-profit small businesses. She and her husband live in West Seattle and have one adult daughter.
Laurie Radin has served as a church office administrator for over ten years. She has been our Administrative Assistant since 2006. In this part time position she produces our orders of service and brochures, keeps our events calendar and room reservation system up to date, manages our website, and maintains our membership database.