Our Staff

DIRECTOR

Interim Director Laura Griswold  has been with Gretchen’s House since 1992 and during her professional journey has been a teacher and director before taking on the teacher support role at our administration office. Laura is typically responsible for the Great Start Readiness Program classrooms that are housed at Gretchen’s House as well as supporting teachers when challenges arise in the classroom. Laura and her husband, Giovanni are the proud parents of two boys; Grant and Aidan who grew up as GH kids. With adolescent boys, life is busy with sporting events, band/jazz concerts and grocery shopping!  In 2019 Laura earned a master degree in Early Childhood Education from Walden University. While we look for a new permanent director, Laura will be supporting our WISD team and families.

INFANTS AND TODDLERS

Stacey Marshall is the Lead Teacher at Gretchen’s House WISD Infant/Toddler classroom. Stacey began teaching at GH in August, 2000. She says this center feels like a second home. Stacey earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Baker College.  In her spare time she enjoys bike rides around town and exploring the outdoors with her son, Rowein. New Picture (1)
I/T Teacher Kelly Lahnala graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed her student teaching experience in our Preschool room, and continued on as a substitute teacher and student support aid. In her spare time she likes to read, go shopping, run, yoga and stay busy.
I/T Teacher Sarah Gallagher

PRESCHOOL, KINDERGARTEN & SCHOOL-AGE

PRESCHOOL
Lead Preschool Teacher Alex Mierzejewski has experience working with preschool child and spent some time as a nanny for 3 children.  She is currently working on her Child Development Associates (CDA) at Washtenaw Community College.  Alex feels lucky that that she is able to work with your children and loves getting to know them and watch them learn and grow!  When she is not in the classroom, she loves traveling, trying new restaurants, spending time with her family, cooking healthy meals with her fiance, and going to pure barre classes.
Preschool Teacher Sarah Austermiller has an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from WCC. I was blessed with three children; Jack, Carter and Teddi. On my time off I enjoy playing softball, all kinds of music and being outside with my kids.
KINDERGARTEN
Kindergarten Teacher 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.
SCHOOL-AGE
Candice Schlager says, “My family comes from Costa Rica, although Enzo is an american boy born in Michigan. We moved 7 years ago and recently got our residence here. I have a smart teenager – Emma- and so my active boy Enzo! My background has always been business oriented ( I used to work as a customer service manager for Bank Of America) , but since we came here , things dramatically changed since my options were more “flexible n open” and I started with my two favorite hobbies which are physical training & taking care of children. I took a Montessori certification through AMI – Montessori Stopanni- which is worldwide accreditation and my next goal is to start my formal education in early childhood.  I believe children are everyone’s responsibility, these are the people who are going to change our world and the main thing we – as adults- have to do is to teach them love. Love for themselves, for others and for the planet. Make them understand using love, the value of people and things.  I feel humble and blessed for the opportunity to work here and my commitment is to show that love to them !”
Rachael Anderson says, Hello Parents/guardians of Gretchen’s Child Care Center! My name is Rachael Anderson and I am so excited to be part of a team that focuses on child education and the development of children and making their educational needs a priority. Growing up I’ve always known that I wanted to work with kids. During my endeavors at Western Michigan University, I was able to student teach and be apart of the growth and success of children’s everyday life. After graduating in 2017, I then taught reading interventions to students who were in need of a strong support system and help them strengthen the skills they already had to become even better readers. Teaching is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I am so happy I’ve been given the opportunity to share the knowledge I’ve acquired and learn new skills and receive lots of hugs, giggles and love.  Hobbies- Cooking, Singing, going for long walks, Favorite foods-Pizza, Favorite Colors- Pink, Orange, Purple.  We are all working together to learn new methods of teaching which is the perfect opportunity to grow, thank you for coming on this wonderful journey with me, and welcome!
Rochelle Belton