Learn More About Our Preschool

  • Why Choose First Presbyterian Preschool

    Embarking on its 55th year in early childhood education, First Presbyterian Preschool continues to embrace its strong reputation for initiating a lifetime love of learning for young children. With five developmentally appropriate class options, children leave well-prepared for kindergarten. We make sure of it!

  • We Have...

  • Low Student-Teacher Ratios

    Explorers 4:1
    Discovery 4:1
    Voyager 6:1
    Odyssey 6:1

  • TWO Full-Time Teachers Per Class

    In addition to a teaching assistant

  • Odyssey

    A true pre-kindergarten class uniquely built for children who either miss the age cut-off for kindergarten or have summer birthdays

  • Outstanding Facilities

    Three engaging classrooms and an outdoor playground equipped with resilient surface, climbers and riding toys

  • Car-Loading

    Teachers assist with loading or unloading students from vehicles making parents’ lives easier

  • Extended Day Programs

    First Presbyterian Preschool facilitates an Extended Day program with Snack and Play and STEM/STEAM Enrichment Classes

  • Real-Time Parent-Teacher Communication

    New this year, the Bloomz app showcases real-time photos of children learning inside the classroom. FPP is proud to be one of few preschools in town with this offering.

  • DCFS Licensing

    Ensuring safety is our top priority

  • Our Philosophy

    Our philosophy is to appropriately engage children in their own learning. At the benefit of our low teacher to student ratio, children work co-operatively in small groups.

     

  • Our Curriculum

    Overall, our curriculum focuses upon horizontal enrichment through the development of:

    • Social competence
    • Personal empowerment
    • Independence
    • Creativity and intellectual curiosity
    • Inductive and deductive reasoning strategies

    Literacy, math, and science are skillfully embedded in all activities using developmentally appropriate approaches. For example, the Zoophonics program we teach uses animals to introduce the alphabet with its sounds and symbols in a fun-filled format.

  • Faculty & Staff

    • Kristina Mills
      Preschool Director

      Kristina Mills

      Preschool Director
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        9

      Southern Connecticut State University – B.S. Elementary Education
      MidAmerica Nazarene University – M.Ed

      Why I like to teach:

      “I look forward to having the opportunity to be part of the positive learning environment at First Presbyterian.”

    • Kathie Brady
      Explorers Teacher Assistant

      Kathie Brady

      Explorers Teacher Assistant
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        12

      National Louis University – B.A. &  M.Ed.

      Why I like to teach:

      “I enjoy the creativity and spontaneity of the children.

    • Suzanne Carberry
      Voyager & Voyager 5-Day Teacher Assistant, Enrollment Manager

      Suzanne Carberry

      Voyager & Voyager 5-Day Teacher Assistant, Enrollment Manager
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        5

      Roosevelt University

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love working with children and encouraging them to experience new challenges.”

    • Ami Crawford
      Music

      Ami Crawford

      Music
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        9

      Lake Forest College – B.A. Music, B.A. Communications

      Meets weekly with each class for music.

      Why I like to teach:

      “Witnessing the joy and enthusiasm radiating from the youngsters as they sing and dance to music they’ve learned in class is rewarding beyond measure. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to share my passion, while helping to build a foundation for a lifelong love of music!”

    • Kate Hanson
      Voyager

      Kate Hanson

      Voyager
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First

      Central Michigan University – Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
      Northeastern Illinois University – Masters of Science in Reading

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love watching the children’s eyes light up when they discover something new or realize they can do something all by themselves.  I also love the opportunity for my creative side to come out in the planning processes.”

    • Molly Jones
      Voyager

      Molly Jones

      Voyager
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        7

      Stephens College
      Saint Michael’s College-B.A. Psychology

      Why I like to teach:

      “I teach because I love seeing the children enter the classroom everyday with smiles on their faces.  Their willingness to explore new environments, build new relationships, and develop a love for learning at such a young age keeps me loving what I do every day!”

    • Michele Marx
      Financial Manager

      Michele Marx

      Financial Manager
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        9

      Northwestern Kellogg School of Management – MBA

    • Deb Moore
      Explorers

      Deb Moore

      Explorers
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        10

      Calvin College, Grand Rapids – B.A. Business Economics

      Why I like to teach:

      “I feel blessed to be part of the caring, nurturing, learning environment at First Presbyterian and look forward to sharing many wonderful new experiences with the children. I love children!”

    • Sue Peecher
      Odyssey

      Sue Peecher

      Odyssey
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        21

      Michigan State University – B.S. Multi-Disciplinary Studies
      Early Childhood Education courses at C.L.C.

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love the personal connections you make with children and their excitement as they learn.”

    • Emily Prager
      Discovery Assistant

      Emily Prager

      Discovery Assistant
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First

      University of Dayton – B.A. Women and Gender Studies, Social Work Minor

      Why I like to teach:

      “I like to teach because I love to watch kids learn and grow in fun and creative ways!”

    • Jen Redding
      Discovery

      Jen Redding

      Discovery
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First

      Ohio University – Bachelor of Science in Education
      National Louis University – Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love teaching and grew up knowing I always wanted to be a teacher. I love listening to my students and learning how their minds work. Watching them explore and nurturing their creativity is the best part of our time together!  ”

    • Lindy Rubin
      Art Appreciation

      Lindy Rubin

      Art Appreciation
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        9

      University of Chicago – M.Ed. Education

      Lindy teaches monthly Art Appreciation to the Voyager and Odyssey classes. Lindy was raised and taught in South Africa. She earned a M.Ed. from the University of Chicago writing her thesis: Teaching Literacy through Art. Lindy highlights the end of each school year with a tour of the year’s presented art work at the Art Institute. All Voyager and Odyssey children with parents are invited to attend.

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love to teach our young ones because I am so interested in their fresh, suitable ideas – also they often make me laugh!”

    • Kelly Stell
      Voyager & Voyager 5-Day

      Kelly Stell

      Voyager & Voyager 5-Day
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First
      Denison University-Bachelor of Arts
      National Louis University-Masters of Arts in Teaching

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love teaching because to be apart of a child’s growth is a true gift.  I love the process of a child discovering something new.  I am very grateful to be a part of this wonderful community at First Presbyterian Preschool.”

    • Penny Strang
      Explorers & Discovery

      Penny Strang

      Explorers & Discovery
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        13

      Lake Forest College – B.A. Psychology

      Why I like to teach:

      “Seeing the children’s curiosity about learning new things. They are like little sponges!”

    • Marianne Stride
      Odyssey Teacher Assistant

      Marianne Stride

      Odyssey Teacher Assistant
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First
      The College of St. Benedict – Liberal Arts/Social Work

      Why I like to teach:

      “After raising four children of my own and serving as a room parent for many years, I know how much I like to actively work with young children on a daily basis.”

    • Katie Thomson
      Odyssey

      Katie Thomson

      Odyssey
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        First

      Ohio University – Early Childhood/Primary Education

      Why I like to teach:

      “I love teaching because children are so curious and excited to explore! I especially love the preschool age group because you get to watch them discover so much for the first time. Their pure happiness and joy is really something special to experience each day!”

    • Sarah Seccombe
      Director of Children’s Faith Formation

      Sarah Seccombe

      Director of Children’s Faith Formation
      • Years at First Presbyterian Church:
        11
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        2

      National Louis University – B.A. Behavioral Sciences

    • Alisa Steady
      Administrative Assistant

      Alisa Steady

      Administrative Assistant
      • Years at First Presbyterian Preschool:
        1

      Trinity International University – B.A. Organizational Leadership