Roaring Mouse was founded by Lassie Webster, who envisioned a place where all people could learn about the joy, freedom and power of embracing the creative spirit. A cornerstone of our philosophy is the link between creativity and play. Our studio provides connected art and play areas which allow for a free flow of ideas, from play to art, and art to play. Through creative exploration, we encourage our students to follow their thoughts and curiosities into other forms of expression, and to experiment with combining ideas in new ways.
At Roaring Mouse, we respect and understand different learning styles, and support the unique process and growth of each student. Our mission is to provide opportunities to develop self confidence and awareness through artistic and creative experiences, and to enhance communication and understanding between people. All of the teachers at Roaring Mouse are committed to giving our students the best chance to discover and develop their own creative potential and to find ways to share those gifts with the world.
Lassie Webster, Founder and Director
Lassie has devoted her life to working with people of all ages in the creative arts. In addition to developing and leading several programs in Seattle and California, Lassie has acted as a consultant to parents, teachers, counselors, and school districts for her expertise in the arts and social emotional development. Lassie received her training at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where she studied with Anna Deveare Smith. She went on to study the visual arts, music, dance, and childhood development, and has her B.A. in Arts and Literature from Antioch University. She taught an arts- and social-emotional development-based kindergarten program in the Seattle Public Schools for 19 years, and opened Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio in 1997.
Cheryl Carder, Program Director and Teacher
Cheryl has spent her years at Roaring Mouse developing and refining the early childhood classes, creating a comprehensive program that is both supportive and exciting to her young students. She is one of those rare teachers who magically creates a learning environment that fosters a sense of adventure, cooperation, love and creativity. In recent years, Cheryl has turned her attention to developing new classes for older students, all with the same thoughtful approach. Like her early childhood art classes, these classes give her students an opportunity to continue to explore and develop their creative interests. In addition to her work at Roaring Mouse, Cheryl has spent several years studying the Montessori philosophy, as well as emergent curriculum at North Seattle Community College. She has focused her studies on building communication skills and teaching art and drama to young children. Cheryl is the mother of one inspiring daughter, Ellie. Being at Roaring Mouse has opened up another form of facilitating children’s needs and skill building for Cheryl and she looks forward to continuing to provide a valuable, growing experience for all.
Deidre Behrend, Teacher
Deidre recently completed a degree in Human Development and Family Studies at UW Madison. Prior to earning her degree, Deidre interned with both Roaring Mouse and the arts department at her local children's museum. These experiences, combined with four years of formal arts training, inspired her to incorporate the arts and creative expression in her teaching.
Deidre has also worked as an autism therapist focused on developing creativity skills. She has found that teaching art not only helps develop fine motor skills, but also is a catalyst for teaching critical thinking, emotional regulation, and scientific reasoning, as well as developing the ability to take risks and learn from failure. She loves challenging kids to think outside the box by using unique materials and involving multiple subjects, such as math, geology, physics, and history in her art lessons.
Ellie Carder-Landers, Teacher
Ellie has been part of the Roaring Mouse family since she was a preschooler herself. She has assisted in several of RM’s camps and classes over the years, training with one of the best, her mom, Cheryl Carder. In addition to running the birthday parties on the weekends, she assists in several other classes as well. She has a lot of fun working at the “Mouse” and thinks it’s really cool getting to work with kids and art, two things she loves! Ellie is currently a student at Shoreline Community College.
Ellie Cross, Arts Specialist and Teacher
Ellie has a lifelong love of the arts, including years as a student and a teacher at Roaring Mouse. She graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in Studio Art, and pursued a keen interest in using art as a problem-solving tool to create a more just world. Originally from Seattle, she has painted murals designed to engage with and delight residents in Malaysia, Thailand, Guatemala, Panama, and the U.S. Ellie has researched art activism and education in Ghana, as well as among Tibetan exile communities in Nepal, India, and Tibet. She has shared her love of art in educational settings with kids around the world, including most recently in India, where she lived for XXXX years. Her teaching philosophy is centered on honoring each child's unique artistic process, and she delights in the unexpected creations that emerge when she collaborates with young artists. She also illustrates and paints watercolors in a whimsical style that inspires the natural curiosity and creativity of children's imaginations.
Jessica Lord, Teacher
Jessica is an early childhood educator with over 15 years experience working with diverse populations of young children and families. Her Reggio-inspired classes are always child-centered, with a strong emphasis on the creative process, child development and, of course, good old-fashioned silly fun! In addition to art, Jessica also teaches Nurturing Pathways® Creative Dance and hosts Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds in the community. She lives in Broadview with her husband and two young children.
Karen Knutson, Administrative Manager and Registrar
Karen has been with Roaring Mouse since 1999. She loves her role in connecting children and families with our teachers and programs. Being part of the Roaring Mouse community has encouraged her to remain creative: she makes semi-precious stone jewelry, which she sells at local craft fairs. Karen grew up in Tacoma and studied English Literature at the University of Washington. She has two beautiful daughters, Marit and Anna, who are both in graduate school. Karen and her husband recently moved to Bellingham, and we’re thrilled that she is continuing to work with us remotely.