Meet our Staff!
Lead Teacher & Program Director
My name is Ciera Rill. I have been Learning Tree’s lead teacher since 2021. I earned my CDA (Child Development Accreditation) in October 2021, while continuing to earn my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development at Central Michigan University. I’ve worked as a personal Nanny since 2014 for multiple families. Before that, I would babysit for families that I knew and grew up with. Children have always been the center of my life, and I’m so proud to be the start of their educational careers.
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 every day to connect with the children by one-on-one time and, 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 early childhood is where children can be themselves while learning through creativity and active play each day.
My name is Jenni Stoll. I have been working with children in some form since 2007. I earned an Associates degree in General Education from Delta College and am continuing to earn my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Development at Central Michigan University. Preschool is a wonderful place where the love of learning should be nourished. Learning through play allows children to make sense of the world around them while enjoying the experience. As a mother of three, I believe preschool should not only be a place to learn and grow, but a place to feel safe and loved, as well.
My name is Colleen McCarthy. I have been with Learning Tree Cooperative Preschool since 2019. 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 daughter in high school. 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.
My name is Candi Carpenter I am excited to be joining The Learning Tree Family as an
assistant teacher. I moved to Midland two years ago to be closer to my grandchildren. I am a proud mother of three grown daughters and have five beautiful grandchildren. I love to read, listen to music, and explore our beautiful state as well as spend time with my family. I have worked in early education for many years, I ran my own home-based daycare as well as being a preschool teacher for many years. I hope to bring compassion and watch your children grow and learn to their full potential.
Twos and You Teacher
My name is Holly Shouse, and I joined the LTCP team in January of 2022. 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.