Our Staff

DIRECTOR & ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Director Chrissy McKiddie has been with Gretchen’s House since 1998.  Chrissy has worked in a variety of positions.   She was the Lead Infant/Toddler teacher at the Traver Rd location and Preschool/Young Fives teacher at Mt. Vernon. She was also the Program Director at the Dhu Varren center for eight years before taking on the role of Center Director at our Mt. Pleasant center. In 2016 Chrissy was welcomed back to our Dhu Varren location as Center Director before settling in at Mt. Vernon.  Chrissy has a bachelor’s degree of Science in Preschool/Family Life Studies from Northern Michigan University. At home Chrissy is wife to David and mother to Emily and Cameron. Chrissy enjoys reading and vacationing “up north” in her spare time, which is very limited with two kids in sports. Chrissy is a swim, baseball, football, and marching band mom!
Assistant Director & Lead Preschool Teacher Andrea Turner has been teaching at GH-Mt Vernon since 2007. She earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Monroe County Community College and has been working in early childhood for more than 10 years. Andrea lives in Milan with her husband Jeff, daughter Lilly and two dogs, Mac and Ace. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking the dogs, sewing and crocheting, and traveling; especially camping in Michigan, visiting Traverse City, and her family cabin on Lake Huron.
SUPPORT STAFF 
COOK
Trevon Tucker cooks for us here at the “Big House”
BUILDING RESOURCE TEACHER
BRT Amelia Armstrong-Grant previously worked at our Dhu Varren Rd. center back in 2018.  She plans to work as a Child Behavioral Psychologist.  Amelia graduated from Eastern Michigan University with honors in 2020 where she also swam on the varsity swim team.  Amelia has worked with children for the past three years and plans to attend grad school at EMU in 2021.  She has 1 dog & 2 cats that she enjoys spending time with.
AFTERNOON TEACHERS
Afternoon teacher Amy Spillers says, “Hello, my name is Amy Spillers and I am so happy to be a part of the amazing team here at Gretchen’s House! I love getting to spend my days teaching, playing, laughing, and interacting with children. I have four amazing kids of my own and have always enjoyed working with children. I have held positions as a nanny, volunteered in multiple preschool and elementary schools, and worked as an instructional aide in a Montessori elementary school. I am currently working toward my bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a major in early childhood education. In my spare time I love to read, explore new places, paint furniture, and play games with my kids.”
Afternoon teacher Jess Black is thrilled to be joining the Gretchen’s House team! Jess attended Michigan State University where she got her BA in Arts & Humanities and she is currently attending Washtenaw Community College to receive her Childhood Development Associate credential. She has worked with children in a variety of settings such as a babysitter, camp counselor, teaching artist, and educator. Most recently, Jess worked as a teaching artist for a non-profit performing arts center where she taught children of all ages in public schools literacy and social/emotional skills through theatre techniques. Teaching is one of her many passions! In her free time, Jess enjoys performing improv comedy and listening to musical theatre.

 

PRESCHOOL 

Lead Preschool Teacher Lauren Cusack first joined Gretchen’s House Oak Valley in August 2016 as a BRT before moving to an Infant/Toddler Family Group Teacher.  She joined the Mt. Pleasant team in August 2018.  She is originally from New Jersey, and moved to the Midwest for undergrad.  Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Miami University, received her CDA through West Shore Community College and is TEFL certified.  She graduated Eastern Michigan University with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, reading, attending UofM sports games, and traveling.
Preschool Teacher Erin Dixon started at Gretchen’s House as a BRT for Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Vernon. In 2005, she became a preschool teacher at Mt. Vernon. Prior to becoming a teacher at Gretchen’s House, Erin operated a licensed childcare in her home. In May 2011, she earned an associate’s Degree in Child Development from Washtenaw Community College. Erin and her husband have two adult children. Jill is an assistant Field Hockey Coach at Smith College and works for the USDA tracking an invasive bug species. Kenny is an active Young Life volunteer who’s working as a school bus driver as he attends Arkansas Community College. Erin’s husband is a Boy Scout Leader. In her spare time, Erin enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, field hockey and U of M football. Erin Dixon 2
Assistant Director & Lead Preschool Teacher Andrea Turner has been teaching at GH-Mt Vernon since 2007. She earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Monroe County Community College and has been working in early childhood for more than 10 years. Andrea lives in Milan with her husband Jeff, daughter Lilly and two dogs, Mac and Ace. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking the dogs, sewing and crocheting, and traveling; especially camping in Michigan, visiting Traverse City, and her family cabin on Lake Huron.
Preschool Teacher Whitney Wallen is excited to be joining the preschool staff at Mt. Vernon.  Whitney graduated in December of 2017 from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education.  She taught at a few school in Ann Arbor before coming to GH.  Outside of her work at GH she teaches, works and trains at PKSA Karate Ann Arbor where she is the Director of the Little Ninjas classes.  In her free time, Whitney likes to read and spend time with her family, fiance and two cats.
My name is Cera Deisler, and I will be a preschool teacher at Gretchen’s House this year! I just recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University with my bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education! I am from a VERY small town in Michigan called Owosso but have lived in the Ann Arbor area since 2013. I like to read, travel to various places, and make crafts in my spare time. I am also an aunt to 5 little nieces and nephews and have so much fun with them when I go to Owosso to visit. I am so excited to work with your children and get to know them and your family. We will have a very fun and exciting year together!