Administrative an...

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Administrative and Lead Staff

Mrs. Shelley Palmer, Owner

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Our owner, Shelley Palmer, has been working with kids in a variety of ways over a span of 23 years.  Although her college experience was focused on business, she has a passion for health and fitness, and ran children’s fitness programs at the Clearwater Wellness Center where she led volunteers to raise over $375,000 for its renovation and opening. She has worked with preschoolers at the Clearwater Library, coached soccer,  and was  a Girl Scout Leader for five years. “I love being physically active with the kids and teaching them life-long learning skills which will enable them to be healthy and active,” she says. “My specialty is in fitness and nutrition.” Shelley is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer  and has studied both nutrition and childhood fitness.  Her commitment to nutrition is just one of the ways that Peachwood stands out from other centers. She is the mastermind behind all of our creative menus which feature items such as: Chicken, Spinach and Cheese mini-sliders, Ham and Cheese mini-quiches, Salmon Patties, and made from scratch Popsicle, Cheez- Its and graham crackers (which all make the center smell heavenly!!).   Shelley manages the finances of the center, is one of our substitute teachers, occasionally cooks and sets up the classroom and playgrounds for physical activities.

Mrs. Janet Dickerson, Program Director 

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Janet Dickerson is Peachwood’s Program Director.   Her college experience has had an emphasis in Early Childhood, and she is currently going back to college to expand  that knowledge to include business.   She has experience as the Program Director at All God’s Children Preschool in Newton, and as an Assistant to the Director at Sunshine Community Child Care in Newton.  Additional experience includes teaching preschool in both of the previously mentioned centers as well as the Wichita Friends School and for Head Start.   Janet has experience in implementing the Conscious Discipline Program and works to train staff in its methods.  ”My goal is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels safe, loved and respected-kids, staff, and parents-and where we are all valued for what we each bring to our school family.”  Janet is a mom of three daughters, ages 22, 21 and 18.  ”My girls are nearly grown and they don’t need me “mothering” them as much anymore,” she says.  ”It makes me happy to know that I can give that to the children in our school family throughout the day, until their moms and dads pick them up.  The best moments are those times when a mom or dad tells me that they KNOW I love their child, and that they don’t worry at all about them when they are in my care.”  In her spare time, Janet sings with the Wichita Chorus of Sweet Adelines, Intl., enjoys swimming and improving her health, spends time with her family-and loves to enjoy a really, really strong cup of coffee (just ask Shelley!).

Mrs. Danielle Unruh, Administrative Assistant

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Danielle Unruh is a mother of two who  has worked in the field of Early Childhood for over five years.  She has experience as a teacher, building and grounds keeper and office assistant at Sunshine Community Child Care in Newton, Ks and has worked as a volunteer with Halstead Head Start.  Danielle has seven years of training in Conscious Discipline and is a valuable resource for our staff who may need some advice on a variety of situations with our children.  Danielle also changes out the bulletin board in our front office so that it actually changes with the season (thank you, Danielle) and decorates our front office!

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her children, volunteering for Girl Scouts, traveling, art and music.

 Mrs. Jesi Norris, Nutrition Specialist and Administrative Assistant

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Ms. Jesi oversees the day-to-day management of the kitchen as well as the creation of menus that are healthy, diverse and kid-approved!  You won’t find Jesi simply serving cereal for breakfast,  re-heating frozen entrees or serving the standard “goldfish” and “cheeze-its” in our center, oh no.  You WILL find Jesi making banana pancakes from scratch, making home-made breads and muffins, hand-making salmon patties for lunch and making home-made pudding or graham crackers.  Each menu is made with seasonal favorites in mind-fresh fruit pops in summer, pumpkin bread and muffins in the fall, and chili in the winter.  When Ms. Jesi is not in the kitchen, you will find her searching the internet for new kid-friendly and healthy menu ideas.

Jesi holds an Associates Degree in Applied Science from Butler CC as well as a Kansas CNA license, and is continuing her education in the field of nutrition.     Jesi is not only crucial to the success of our nutrition program and the smooth running of our kitchen,  but is also able to assist office staff and manage administrative duties as well.  Ms. Jesi is KDHE certified to teach or substitute in any classroom and has 15 years combined experience working with children in both licensed facilities and as a private nanny.

Ms. Jesi has been on staff at Peachwood since it’s opening in November of 2013.  Fun fact about Jesi:  She is hilarious.  Just wait for it…

 Miss Bethany Barnaby-Preschool Older 3′s and 4′s Lead Teacher (Green Room)

15Miss Bethany has been an awesome member of our staff since February of 2015, and is  a college student, studying Art Therapy.  One thing we all love about Miss Bethany is her sweet demeanor and her willingness to always help out in whatever way she can.  When Miss Bethany is in the room, the children are always in for a treat.  She brings in a variety of activities for the children in the afternoon-from coffee play dough to bubble and science activities-our kids are active and learning even in the afternoon.  She even taught our kids the “Cha-Cha Slide” to keep them moving and active!   We have to brag on her:  our center has actually received calls from parents viewing our web came because they were so impressed with her, they had to let us know!   Miss Bethany also substitutes in all of our other classrooms when needed.  Where ever Miss Bethany is in our center-you will find smiles and fun along with her!

Ms. Dana Watkins, Lead Preschool Teacher- 3 Year Olds (Sage Room)IMG_3358-001

Ms. Dana is one of our original staff members, joining Peachwood in June of 2014.  Miss Dana holds an AA in Early Childhood and has ten years of experience in Early Childhood teaching preschool.  Ms. Dana has one of the most positive can-do attitudes we have seen-and in her time here has had nearly perfect attendance!  She can ALWAYS be counted on to be a consistent, loving and positive caregiver and teacher for the children in her care.  ”I love teaching kids in all areas-especially language arts,” she says.  ”It’s so neat to see how fast they learn and to know I taught them that!”  When a child enters Ms. Dana’s room, she wants them to feel welcome, loved and excited to learn.  ”I always have fun things to do…and lots of hugs!”  Ms. Dana is an awesome aunt to three nieces and one nephew and has a sweet chiweenie dog named Zoe.  Miss Dana is currently spending her free time planning her July 2016 wedding to her fiance, Matt.

 

 

Mrs. Jamie Martin, Lead Toddler Teacher, 2-3 year old room (Orange Room)

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Ms. Jamie Martin is the Lead Teacher in our Toddler 2 year old room-and we are LUCKY to have her!! She has been on staff with Peachwood since February of 2014.  Jamie is a trusted staff member who is a leader in the center and is able to train new staff.  “I have worked in childcare for eighteen years, mostly with preschoolers, and now I am working with toddlers!” Jamie is married, and is a mother of five children: two in high school, one in middle school and two in grade school.  What is Jamie’s favorite thing to teach children? “Letters, recognizing their names, and how to become independent.” As a member of the Peachwood staff Jamie’s goal is to be here everyday for the children, “so they can be safe with someone they can trust. When children come into my room I want them to feel happy and excited-and to feel welcomed with smiles and hugs.”  Jamie currently has college-level classes under her belt and as her kids grow and she finds herself with some time, she plans on finishing her AA in Early Childhood.

*Fun Fact: Jamie knows pretty much every 80′s song ever made and will beat anyone at Name that 80′s tune!

Miss Bernadette Love, Lead-Qualified Toddler Assistant Teacher (Orange Room)

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This year we have been fortunate enough to add Miss Bernie to our staff!  Miss Bernie has a degree in Family Studies and Human Services and loves working with young kids.  She is most passionate about teaching children about physical fitness and showing them how to stretch and exercise.   Her sweet and positive attitude and her loving personality make her a perfect fit for our toddlers!

In her spare time, Miss Bernie enjoys playing cards, spending time with her family, and loves to quilt with her grandma, who has hand-made a quilt for each grandchild in her family.  Bernie also loves to play cards.

 

Mrs. Karie Leonhardt, Lead Teacher, Toddler 12mos-2 years 20150715_133037

Ms. Karie is one of our newest staff members.  She is the Lead Teacher  in our toddler room and loves our babies!  Ms. Karie’s positive attitude and boundless energy make her a perfect fit for our toddlers.   She has experience with babies as a mom of three beautiful children.  ”My favorite thing to do with the children is art.  I love to get on Pintrest and find all kinds of new art ideas for the toddlers.”  Karie’s favorite book to read to HER children was, Bubbles Bubbles.  “They are too old for it now,”  she says, “So I brought it in to work with me to share with the toddlers!”

 

 

“Grandma Judy” Jones

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“Grandma Judy” is a favorite around the center.  Years of experience as a mom and grandma make her the perfect substitute “grandma” for all of our kids!  Grandma Judy is KDHE certified to teach in any of our classrooms-and when she comes in, she is always ready to give our a hug and a smile.   She is also awesome at bringing in projects for our kids to do-from art to making homemade ice cream!   Our favorite day is any day that she comes in to make chili and cinnamon rolls for our center.  Fun fact about Judy:  She loves to go to garage sales and always has awesome finds for our center.  In fact…we may need to add on just to store all of our goodies!