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 the “baby house” and the “BIG house.”

 

 

 

BUILDING RESOURCE TEACHER
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 !”
Autumn Heaton graduated from Calvin University (formerly college) in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and Philosophy. She realized after graduation my real passion is working with children. Since high school she has babysat, nannied, worked at a daycare, and volunteered in the nursery at my church.

 

AFTERNOON TEACHERS
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.
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.
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!