Meet our Staff! 

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Ciera Rill 

Lead Teacher & Licensing Director

My name is Ciera Rill. I have been one of Learning Tree's Lead Teachers since 2021. Before that, I was their assistant teacher. I earned my CDA (Child Development Accreditation) in October 2021, while continuing to earn my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Development at Central Michigan University. I have been working with preschool children since 2018 in many different forms. 

 

My teaching philosophy is based on social & emotional development first. As the child's teacher, my number one job is to gain a trusting relationship with the children at the start of the school year. That is all based on my greeting, introducing them to feelings & letting me know how they feel each day before they enter school. This gains the child's trust. When they are with me, they understand that I'm a safe place while their grown up isn't there. Once that is established, the true academic challenges can begin. As lead teacher, I strive everyday to connect with the children through their own love language, music each day, helping them to understand what feelings are, and how to properly communicate how they feel. 

 

Preschool is the first place a child learns to love learning. I truly believe Learning Tree is a school that allows children to be themselves while learning through creative and active play each day. 

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Megan Kalich

Lead Teacher

My name is Megan Kalich and I have been a teacher at Learning Tree since 2021. I am finishing my degree in early childhood education, and I have always been passionate about this field. I feel that it is really important to build connections with children and that through a trusting relationship these children become confident in their ability to learn and grow. I have worked with children from ages 0 to 5, and while I have not decided on which age group I enjoy working with the most, I have found that being the first teacher figure in a child's life has given me the unique opportunity to get them set up for success and a love of learning.

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Colleen McCarthy

Assistant Teacher

My name is Colleen McCarthy this will be my third year at the Learning Tree Cooperative Preschool. I have taught at preschools in Oregon, California, and Michigan. I also had a home daycare in Florida for five years. Besides working in Early Childhood Education, I also followed my other love of books and worked in a school library for twelve years. I have two young adult children and a thirteen-year-old daughter. In my free time, I like exploring Michigan with my family, listening to music, and reading. I am thrilled to be back in a preschool classroom helping children develop a love of learning.

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Holly Shouse

Twos and You Teacher

My name is Holly Shouse and I just joined the Learning Tree team. I feel that it is important to build relationships and trust with children through play. I allow them to be their truest self and give them the tools to learn and grow. I have always had a passion to create fun and unique ways for children to work on important skills like; fine motor, social, gross motor, colors, shapes and emotions.