Our Staff

DIRECTOR

Director Sara Guoan graduated from Central Michigan with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2003 and started working at Gretchen’s House shortly thereafter. Sara worked as a lead teacher for nine years, giving her experience with children of all ages including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, young fives, and school age children.  She also worked as an Assistant Director for 2 years prior to taking on the role of Director at Gretchen’s House Stadium.  Sara is married to Mt. Pleasant Director, Brad Guoan.  She and Brad have 2 children that currently attend the Stadium location.  In their spare time they enjoy cooking, going to farmers markets, swimming and doing anything outdoors.

 

SUPPORT STAFF

Assistant Director and PM Infant Teacher, Heidi Hochrein earned her Elementary Education Degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  She is a HighScope Certified teacher and a mentor teacher in the  Gretchen’s House Mentor Teacher Program.  She has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education since 2001.  Heidi lives in Dexter with her husband, Kurt and daughter Veronica.  Heidi loves spending time with her family and friends.    Heidi is an avid reader, loves musical theater, and traveling.   Heidi also enjoys vacationing on Lake Michigan and  being  anywhere near the water.
BRT Jenna Boehlke graduated in 2020 from Jackson College with an Associates degree in Arts. She is currently attending Eastern Michigan University working toward a Bachelors degree in Elementary & Early Education and double minoring in Science and Language Arts. Jenna has been babysitting and  around children for about 15 years and previously worked with the Nutty Scientists of Southeast Michigan where she worked teaching/performing science experiments for School-Aged children. In her spare time she loves to play with her two cats and go for walks!
BRT Nancy Fajardo is a welcome addition to the Gretchen’s House Stadium team.  She has 5 years of experience working as a childcare provider and 6 additional years as a care giver. Before that, Nancy taught physical education for 9 years and coached track and field, volleyball, cheerleading/dance and badminton.
BRT Caitlin Holdern
Infant/Toddler – Lilac Lane, Rose Ridge & Buttercup Boulevard
Lead Teacher Misty Wesney joined our Stadium team in 2021 but first started working at Gretchen’s House in 2003.  Misty has an Associates degree in Science from Monroe County Community College.  In 2019 Misty was awarded the coveted Gretchen’s House Teacher of the Year Award  for her outstanding care and commitment.  Misty currently resides in Milan with her teenage daughter, Elise.  They enjoy going to concerts together, camping, and hanging out.  Misty is very artistic, and she is an excellent painter and loves to crochet.   Misty’s years of experience in the classroom shine through in the patient and caring interactions that she has with children and families.
Teacher Hala Hilmi has a current Child Development Associate Credential from Washtenaw Community College and she is a HighScope Certified Teacher. She also has a degree in Accounting from Iraq. Hala had worked with infants and toddlers for 6 years before joining Gretchen’s House in March 2007. In her spare time, Hala enjoys being with her family, which includes her two grandchildren.  She also enjoys traveling, especially to visit family in Ontario and England.  Hala’s calm demeanor and experience with infants and toddlers make her a valued asset to the Buttercup Blvd. team.
Teacher Allison Tomecek graduated from Milan High School in 2013 where she was dual enrolled in an early college program at Eastern Michigan University. She began coursework in Social Work, quickly realizing that her real passion involved working with children, and is currently close to completing her CDA.  Allison has experience working with both preschool and infant/toddler age children and  has spent time being an in home nanny. Allison has her own son, who was born in 2019.  He helps keep mom busy and always smiling.  Allison’s attention to detail and close bond with the children in her care are great assets to her teaching team.
Afternoon Teacher Sabiha Vaid has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Education from the University of Karachi, in Pakistan.  She taught kindergarten through fifth grade in Pakistan for ten years.  She later earned her Associates degree in Early Childhood from Washtenaw Community College in 2016.  She has a wealth of experience working in Early Childhood and Special Education classrooms.  In her spare time, Sabiha enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.  Sabiha is a favorite teacher to many of the children in Buttercup Blvd.  Her compassion and kindness are noticed in every interaction she has with the children.
Lead Teacher Jordan Scavone has his Masters of Arts in Children’s Literature from Eastern Michigan University.  He has worked in the Lilac Lane classroom as a Family Group teacher for 6 years and was promoted to Lead Teacher in 2021.  Jordan has published five children’s books and in 2020, he was excited to debut his first young adult novel, as well as welcome his son, Felix to the world.  Jordan loves to bring fresh and new books into the classroom. Jordan’s experience with infants and toddlers shows in his comforting and caring interactions that he has with the children every day.
Teacher Julia Lovejoy has worked in Early Childhood for over ten years.  She first started as a swim instructor at the YMCA for all ages, but quickly discovered that she enjoys working with younger children.  Julia has been working to complete her CDA and is in the final stages of that process.  Julia first started at Gretchen’s House as a Building Resource Teacher and quickly moved into a Family Group position in December of 2020.  Julia’s excitement and enthusiasm for working with infants and toddlers is noticeable in all of her interactions with them.

Afternoon teacher Chona Vincent is from the Philippines, where she worked as a second grade teacher for 20 years.  Prior to joining our Stadium team in 2020, she worked at the Gretchen’s House WISD location for 2 1/2 years.  The children are always excited when Chona arrives for the day!  Her calm and loving demeanor makes her a fan favorite for infants and toddlers alike. Chona’s hobbies include reading, playing guitar, and going on hikes with her husband.

Classroom Support Teacher Erin Joffe lives in  Dexter with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 13.    Some of Erin’s favorite past times include water sports and boating.  She also enjoys walking her sweet dog, Elsa.   In the classroom, Erin can be observed actively engaging with the children.  She is drawn to the infants, where her patience and warmth shine through.  Erin’s bright and bubby personality are a welcome addition to the Lilac Lane team.

Lead Teacher Tabby Tyler earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Washtenaw Community College in 2016.  Tabby is both a HighScope Certified Teacher and a Gretchen’s House Mentor Teacher.  Tabby has been awarded as a HighScope Hero  in 2019 and awarded the Gretchen’s House Louise  Kersey Teacher of the Year in 2016.   Before Tabby joined Gretchen’s House in February of 2013, she had been teaching Infant/Toddler classes for Pittsfield Township as well as working with and teaching classes for School Aged Children. In her spare time, Tabby enjoys art and spending time with her family and friends.  Tabby’s young son, Russell, along with her 2 dogs and 2 cats keep both Tabby and her husband busy. 
Teacher Rachael Anderson earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Sociology from Western Michigan University in 2017.  Prior to joining Gretchen’s House, Rachael worked as a K-3 Reading Interventionist.  From September of 2020-August of 2021 Rachael worked at Gretchen’s House WISD at UU in their school age program, at which point, she joined the Stadium team. Rachael’s attention to detail and her ability to relate to and understand the children’s emotions are some of her strengths as an infant-toddler teacher.   In her spare time, Rachael enjoys cooking, singing, and going on long walks with her dog, Sugar.
Teacher Mingmin Zhu earned her Child Care Professional Associates Degree from Washtenaw Community College in 2018.  She has been working as a childcare teacher for more than eight years.  Since 2014, she has spent her weekends teaching Chinese to young children at a local Chinese school.  Mingmin is a very attentive and compassionate caregiver to the children in Rose Ridge.  Mingmin has two daughters and in her spare time she enjoys cooking and reading.

PRESCHOOL – TULIP TRAIL

Lead Teacher Joyce Rayburn has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University. She first started working in the toddler room at GH Oak Valley in 2015. She then transitioned to the Chelsea GH location where she worked as the lead preschool teacher for 2 years. Joyce and her husband welcomed their first child, Wyatt, to the world in December of 2021. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and spending as much time as possible outside.
Teacher Jeremy Tyler first started working at Gretchen’s House as a substitute teacher in July 2015.  He gained experience working as the afternoon teacher in our Rose Ridge Toddler room before becoming a family group teacher in Tulip Trail. Jeremy has coursework in Early Childhood from Washtenaw Community College.  his calm manor has helped solidify his role as our resident “Mr. Rogers”.  In his spare time Jeremy enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies and television, and analyzing them for the benefits of children.
Teacher Diana (Dee) Jensen comes to us with a CDA and a plethora of experience working with children.  She was a soccer and T-ball coach, a Cub Scout Leader as well as volunteer paraprofessional.  Dee has also worked in a self-contained special needs room and has 8 years of experience teaching preschool. Dee’s wealth of experience and gentle demeanor help to create such a welcoming environment in Tulip Trail.  Dee has two college age sons and lives in Blissfield with her husband.
Afternoon PS Teacher Yunyen Chiang  is from Taiwan, she came to the United States in 1992 to earn her Master’s degree in German at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That’ is also where she met her husband. After they both graduated and decided to stay in America, she went back to school for another degree.  Two years later she graduated from University at Buffalo with a Computer Science degree.  In 2010, we had to move back to Taiwan due to some family matters.  Her son was 7 years old at that time.  In 2021, her son got admitted to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. She took the opportunity to move back to the US. She enjoys working with children and hopes one day she can incorporate her programming skills into children’s education.
 PRESCHOOL – DAISY DRIVE
Lead Teacher Autumn Jervis earned her CDA from Washtenaw Community College in April 2017.  Autumn has 4 years of experience working with children prior to joining the Gretchen’s House team in March of 2014. Autumn is a HighScope Certified teacher. Autumn’s leadership and empathy help the kiddos in her class learn to tackle the big emotions they go through as preschoolers.  Autumn has a daughter, Emery, who helps keep Autumn very busy.  In Autumn’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

Teacher Hannah Lozovoj started as a substitute teacher at Gretchen’s House in November of 2020.  She quickly became a BRT (Building Resource Teacher) in January of 2021 and is now a Family Group Teacher in Daisy Drive.  Hannah’s ability to remain calm during a hectic preschool day is admirable, she seems unflappable!  Hannah has experience working with the future educators and Sunday school programs. She enjoys working on crafts, baking and gathering with friends and family. She recently moved to Ann Arbor from Macomb, MI.

Teacher Ileana Macias De Ramos has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in Spanish Language and Literature from Escuela Normal Superior de Yucatán, Mexico obtained in 2002.  She has over 18 years of experience in a variety of contexts and countries, 8 of which being within Early Childhood Education.  Ileana started working at Gretchen’s House Chelsea in January 2019 and moved to Gretchen’s House Stadium in September of 2020.  Ileana is always searching for new ideas and ways to engage the children in her class in meaningful ways.   In her spare time she enjoys reading, sewing, gardening and being with her two children and husband.

 

Afternoon Teacher Emily Ljungman was born in Stockholm, Sweden but grew up in the States. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Geology in 2013. For the past 4 ½ years she has been a swim instructor and lifeguard at Goldfish Swim School. She looks forward to pursuing her love of teaching children at Gretchen’s House and is planning on starting her associate degree in Child Development at WCC in the fall.