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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Faculty & Staff

Page address: http://ed.mnsu.edu/tch/staff.html

Jodi Malecha

Director

Educational Background, Credentials, and professional affiliations

  • B.S. Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1985, Major: Family Life and Child Development; Minor: Business Administration.
  • M.S. Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2010, Educational Leadership
  • Teaching license pre-K
  • CPR and first aid certified.
  • trained in SIDS, Shaken Baby,Safe Sleep
  • member National Association of the Education of Young Children, MN Association for the Education of Young Children, MN Valley Association
  • 2010 Midwest Women's Leadership Institute

 Additional Experience:

  • Preschool Teacher, The Children’s House, Mankato MN
  • Director, Children’s World Learning Center, Eden PrairieMN
  • Toddler Teacher, Children’s World LC, Eden Prairie MN
  • ECFE teacher, Mankato MN

 Started at The Children's House Early Learning Center in September 1990.

 

Stephani Kenward

Infant Room Lead Teacher

Educational background, credentials, and professional affiliations

 

  • B.S. in Business Management from Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minor in Family Consumer Science with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education
  • Pre-Kindergarten Teaching License:  Minnesota Department of Education
  • CPR and First-Aid Certified
  • Trained in SIDS, Shaken Baby, and Safe Sleep
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) member since 2000.

Additional Experience

 

  • Worked in the toddler room here at The Children's House for 12 years
  • Worked in the preschool component at Golden Heart Child Care Center, North Mankato, MN
  • Worked in the infant component at St. Paul Companies Corporate Child Care Center, St. Paul, MN

Inspirations:

There are so many reasons I work in early childhood education but one of the biggest reasons is to defend the importance of play as the best way for children to learn.  I want to provide the same environment I had as a child, where I could play for hours and engage in the very things that I was interested in, where adults nurtured and valued the interests I had, where I could run and explore and play outside, where there was no pressure for me to learn things that my brain wasn't ready to learn.  Over the years, I have learned that the time and energy that I give to helping children learn and grow, comes back to me in amazing rewards, such as the gift of perspective.  Every day the children remind me to view the world through a lens of wonder and excitement - to delight in the small things!  Some of my favorite words out of a child's mouth are "I wonder..."  Now that is where the love of learning begins and is my greatest aspiration in life - helping children to develop a love of learning!

 

Started at The Children's House Early Learning Center: 1999

 

Katlyn Schnitzler

Toddler Room Lead Teacher

Educational background, credentials, and professional affiliations:

  • B.S. Child Development and Family Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2014
  • CPR and First Aid certified
  • SUIDS and AHT trained
  • Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Additional Experience:

  • Assistant Teacher at The Children's House, 2012-2014
  • Lead Preschool Teacher at Pitter Patters in Madison Lake, MN, 2015-2017

Inspirations:

I have always enjoyed working with young children and building relationships with them. My goal is to provide children an opportunity to learn through creative, hands-on, and engaging activities while developing cognitive and social skills. I believe children learn through playing and interacting with others and I encourage them to work on problem-solving skills and conflict resolution.


Started at the Children's House Early Learning Center: 2017
 

 

Melissa Allen

Preschool I Lead Teacher

Educational background, credentials, and professional affiliations:

 
  • B.S. Elementary Education with a specialty in pre primary education in 2002 from Minnesota State University, Mankato. 
  • Teaching license 3 years old to 6th grade
  •  First aid and CPR certified (infant-adult)
  • Trained in SIDS, shaken baby, and safe sleep
  •  Member of the National Association of the Education of Young Children 

Additional Experience:

  •    Elementary teacher, Mankato MN
  •   Elementary teacher, Madison Lake, MN
  •    Preschool Teacher, North Mankato, MN

Inspirations:

The opportunity to join a team of amazing staff has been a blessing for me. The love for "play" and to teach the importance of "play" in early childhood was very clear when walking through these doors. I am happy I can work in an enviroment where "play" is the center of our day and I can teach children communication, life skills, self help skills, and problem sovling skills while we play! I enjoy working with young children and families. They always bring a smile to my face. I love the look of curiosity and excitement that I see on their faces as we explore new topics, read new books, and play games.  One of my favorites spots with the children is our garden where we grow and eat many vegetables each year.

I also enjoy getting to know the college students that I have working with me.

 

Started at The Children’s House Early Learning Center: 2008

 

Heather Heisse

Preschool II Lead Teacher

Educational background, credentials, and professional affiliations

  • B.A. in Educational Studies from Webster University, St. Louis, MO, 2014
  • CPR and First-Aid Certified
  • Trained in SIDS, Shaken Baby, and Safe Sleep
  • Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Additional Experience

  • Worked at Youth In Need: Head Start as a substitute teacher, mandate teacher, and eventually Lead Preschool teacher, 2011-2017

Inspirations:

I have always loved children and often found myself being able to connect with them better than adults. Young children are so eager to learn and explore new things. After several years of watching and working with my previous manager/co-teacher, she taught me more about early childhood education than any textbook or college course could. I go through life listening to her adivce:  "If everything else fails, just sit down and play with the kids." - Whiteny Raddatz

 

Started at The Children's House Early Learning Center in 2017