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 aged children.  She also worked as Program Director for 2 years prior to taking on the role of Director at GH Stadium.  Sara is married to Mt. Vernon Older Preschool Head Teacher and 2015 GH teacher of the year, Brad Guoan.  She and Brad live in Brighton and just welcomed a baby girl to their family.  In her spare time Sara enjoys doing anything outdoors; boating, camping, kayaking, bird watching, bike riding and spending time with her family and friends.

 

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 who 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 and loves music.  Heidi also enjoys spending time in the yard, either working or playing.  She loves coffee  and is always in search of that “perfect cup.”

 

BRT Maria Anaya Ramos.  I was born and raised in Madrid (Spain), I consider myself very lucky since working with children is my passion. I have been working with children since I received my Associate Degree in 2015. I have international experience teaching infants, toddlers, preschoolers and schooled aged children given that I have worked in Germany, The Netherlands and Chile before arriving to Michigan. I arrived to Ann Arbor in October 2017, where I live with my husband. In my spare time I love to travel, in my opinion there is no way better to spend time.
 

BRT Lydia Burtt is excited to join the team at Gretchen’s House.  She has been a nanny for the past 6 years.  Over the past few years, Lydia has taught different children’s classes at her local church, and also worked in a preschool classroom as an assistant.  Her favorite part about Early Childhood Education is being able to see the students learn and grow.

 

 

 

Infant/Toddler – Lilac Lane, Rose Ridge & Buttercup Boulevard

Lead Teacher Kathryn Chinavare is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. There, she worked in the lab school for nearly three years.  Kathryn also has 5 years of experience nannying and also coached the Ladywood High School varsity volleyball team to the state final four in 2016.
 

I/T Teacher Banu Bostanci earned her Child Development Associate certificate in 2009 and graduated with a Child Care Professional Associate in Applied Science from Washtenaw Community College in May 2015. Banu has worked in the early childhood field for over 5 years as a private nanny, infant/toddler teacher and assistant teacher.  She believes in developing age appropriate curriculum that supports children’s individual needs and interests. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors, going for walks and exploring nature with her husband and daughter.

 

 

Teacher Hala Hilmi has a Child Development Associate Credential from Washtenaw Community College. 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 and traveling.

 

 

 

Infant Support Teacher Nazrin Abdullah was born and raised in India.  She has a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Information Technology degree.  Nazrin has a five year old daughter and very much enjoys working with children   Nazrin says that she is excited to be a part of Gretchen’s House and to get to know your family.

 

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 who 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 and loves music.  Heidi also enjoys spending time in the yard, either working or playing.  She loves coffee  and is always in search of that “perfect cup.”

 

 

 

Lead Teacher Amanda Stolpe graduated from Central Michigan University in August 2015.  She has prior experience caring for children in Montessori school, preschool, and after-school programs.  Amanda also enjoys helping care for the children of her friends and family.  Amanda’s spare time consists of shopping, watching movies and spending time outdoors with friends and family.  Amanda is also a sports fan and roots for Redwings hockey, U of M football, and of course, Detroit Tigers baseball!

 

 

Teacher Jordan Scavone received his Master’s Degree in May of 2016 from Eastern Michigan University in Children’s Literature and Theater for the Young.  In his free time he runs an audio drama production company where he writes, directs, produces and does voice-acting.  Jordan also enjoys writing children’s picture books.  His debut picture book “Might-E” released in October 2015!

 
 

Teacher Allison Tomecek studied at Washtenaw Community College as a human services major before becoming a nanny to 3 young girls.  In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities and playing with her dogs.

 

 

Afternoon teacher Kaytlyn Bean spent 4 years in Florida in a Leadership program where she focused on working with children.  Kaytlyn is in the process of working towards her certification.  She loves to read and do puzzles as well as enjoying traveling and hanging out with her family.

 

 

Lead Teacher Tabby Tyler earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Washtenaw Community College in 2016 and is planning on transferring her credits to Eastern Michigan University to complete her Bachelor’s Degree. 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.
I/T Teacher Carson Cekola graduated from Washtenaw Technical Middle College when she was 18 with both a GED and an Associate’s Degree in Secondary Education with Primary Ed. classes as well. She has been helping out in child care centers as well as babysitting for friends and family since middle school. She was a Girl Scout from Kindergarten until High School. In her spare time, she read graphic novels and snuggle with her one-eyed kitten, Tater.
Afternoon Teacher Joe Enos lives in  Saline, where he was raised.  He is a proud Saline High School Graduate and  is currently a student at Washtenaw Community College.  Joe has worked in Early Childhood for about 3 years and has helped out with the children’s ministry and small groups at his church since he was in the 8th grade.  Joe enjoys listening to music, spending time with his friends and family.  His favorite food is Mexican and his favorite candy is dots.

 

 

PRESCHOOL – TULIP TRAIL

Lead Preschool Teacher Kim Tiemann has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Heartland Community College in Illinois and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.  Kim comes to Gretchen’s House with 7 years of teaching experience.  She taught in a child care center in college, working with infants through school age.  Kim taught in a preschool classroom for 4 1/2 years before coming to GH.  In her spare time, Kim enjoys spending time with family, crafting, and watching/playing sports. Kim Tiemann
Teacher Autumn Jervis graduated from Saline High School in 2012. She gained hands on experience working with children through taking 2 years of Early Child Care Education and participating in 2 years of Cadet Teaching, volunteering in K-3rd grade classrooms and a Special Needs classroom. Autumn worked at another local childcare center before joining Gretchen’s House in March 2014. She is currently pursuing a degree from WCC in Child Care Professional. In her spare time, Autumn enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and gardening, and spending time with her family and friends. Autumn Jervis
Teacher Jeremy Tyler attended Washtenaw Community College and is currently working to obtain his Elementary Education degree with an Early Childhood minor at Eastern Michigan University.  Jeremy has been working as a substitutes teacher at GH since July 2015.  In his spare time Jeremy enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies and television, and analyzing them for the benefits of children.  Jeremy Tyler
PM PS teacher Ajneet Sandhanwalia has worked with Gretchen’s House since early 2018 and joined us at the Stadium Blvd location in September of 2018.  She comes to Gretchen’s House-Stadium after working at the Dhu-Varren center as a Building Resource Teacher (BRT).  Ajneet has a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and worked as a teacher in India.  She is the mother of two young boys, Karman and Arnaav, they are 11 and 6 years old.  In her free time, Ajneet likes to spend time with her family and she loves to paint.

 

 

 PRESCHOOL – DAISY DRIVE
Lead Teacher Lindsey Chandler first started working at Gretchen’s House in January of 2016.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ferris State University. Lindsey worked at the Chelsea location Gretchen’s House for a year and a half as a family group teacher and temporary lead teacher before moving into a Building Resource Teacher role here at GH Stadium. She has experience working with infants and toddlers but has spent most of her time working preschool aged children.  In her spare time, she loves to paint and draw. She likes going to concerts, traveling, and road tripping on spur of the moment adventures!
Paula Steffen earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in May 2015 from Washtenaw Community College.  Paula has over 30 years of experience working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers prior to joining our Gretchen’s House team in February of 2014.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their three grown children and new baby granddaughter.

 

Paula
Morning Support and Afternoon Teacher Afraa Zaybak has studied English Literature for 3 years and is currently pursuing her CDA. She had worked with infants and toddlers for 3 years prior joining Gretchen’s House in November 2014. In her spare time she enjoys visiting with her husband and her two children, 5.5 and 7 year olds. Afraa also likes going to the library and taking classes  Afraa
Afternoon Preschool teacher Ann Schafenacker has a Master’s in Nursing from Yale University and over 25 years of experience as a nurse. Her nursing career included a variety of positions from research at UM to recently providing case management to complex patients at an internal medicine office. Ann remembered the happy times her daughter (now 23 years old) had at HighScope’s demonstration preschool and at Gretchen’s House, so she decided to pursue working with children after retiring from nursing. Ann looks forward to being a caregiver to young people and being able to enjoy stories, songs, playdoh and playground time with the children. Ann’s hobbies include her dog (Lady), yoga, and reading.