Passionate. Dedicated. Caring.
In Child Care Since: 2006
At Hidden Valley Since: 2010
In 2002, Katie moved from Minneapolis to attend college at St. Scholastica and has happily called Duluth home ever since. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education and a math specialty, Katie substitute taught in the Duluth Public School District until she helped open Hidden Valley Preschool in 2010. In 2018, Katie took over as Director and moved the school to its current location. She absolutely loves her job and can't imagine doing anything else!
It is clear that she has an innate talent in working with the preschool age group and realizing each of their individual potentials. The children are always engaged and excited to learn with her fun, hands-on activities and ever-changing lesson plans.
Katie lives with her husband, Jeff, their daughter Grace, baby boy Ethan, and 2 kittens, Oreo and Cookie.
Miss Katie's favorites:
Author: Mo Willems
Dessert: Dark chocolate anything
Fall activity: Hikes to see fall colors while searching for acorns
Winter activity: Downhill skiing
Spring activity: Puddle jumping and watching the preschoolers make mud creations
Summer activity: Bare feet in sand and cabin time with family
Quote: "Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
In Child Care Since: 2011
At Hidden Valley Since: 2011
Tara is a lifelong Duluth resident. Before working at Hidden Valley, she worked as a summer nanny, assisted at a daycare, trained in early childhood, and raised her own children.
Tara has a gift for working with young children. Her positive energy and love for our preschoolers shines the minute she walks through the door each day. They literally chant, "Miss Ta-ra! Miss Ta-ra!" when they see her arrive every day. Every. Single. Day. Her patience, kindness, and encouragement brings comfort to the students, and inspires them to learn, grow, and explore.
Tara loves spending quality time with her 3 kids Dominik, Alexa, and Amaya. They enjoy doing arts and crafts, reading, family bike rides, playing at the park or just watching movies together. Tara also prides herself on being a dance/gymnastics/soccer mom!
Miss Tara's Favorites:
Restaurant: Mexico Lindo
Children’s Book: Elephant and Piggie's Let’s Go For a Drive by Mo Willems
Song to sing at school: Mr. Sun
Winter Activity: Watching Bulldogs hockey games
Quote: “You are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, and smarter than you think you are.” - Winnie The Pooh
In Child Care Since: 2018
At Hidden Valley Since: 2021
Jenna is originally from North St. Paul, MN. She said she decided to join the Bulldog Country, aka crazy, cold Duluth in the beginning of 2019. She is a UMD student majoring in Integrated Elementary and Special Education with a minor in Psychology. Before working at Hidden Valley, she was a student teacher in North St. Paul, and has been a family nanny. She is currently working as a YMCA youth specialist, as well as a student monitor at North Star Academy here in Duluth.
Jenna has been a fabulous addition to Hidden Valley. As the older sister to a set of triplets, she’s essentially been taking care of littles her whole life! This is evident in her unending patience and kindness with the students. Her energy and enthusiasm for working with children is undeniable. The students value how she takes the time to get down on their level to really listen to them as they explain what they’re doing and how they’re feeling.
Miss Jenna's Favorites:
Children's Book Author: Mo Willems
Restaurant: Sir Bens or Duluth Grill
Duluth activity: Bulldog hockey games
Hobby: Cooking and baking things that aren't good for me
Movie: The Incredibles
Drink: Anything with coffee in the name ;)
Quote: "It takes a big heart to shape little minds!" -Abby Burke
Season: Easy! Any season that snow isn't involved in
In Child Care Since: 2017
At Hidden Valley Since: 2020
DeAhna grew up in the Esko/Cloquet area and moved to Duluth shortly after high school graduation. In 2017 she worked for Holy Rosary (Stella Maris Academy) at its after-school program, working with children ranging from PreK to sixth grade. She obtained her Associate's Degree from Fon du Lac Tribal and Community College in 2018 and began working for Building Blocks Learning Center in Hermantown. At BBLC she started as a lead infant teacher, then worked as the lead preschool teacher. She is currently majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
DeAhna is pure sunshine. The students feed off of her positive energy and she inspires them to play and explore. She listens intently when they talk and helps them build problem-solving skills as they learn to solve conflicts on their own. DeAhna is already a fabulous teacher, and she is so excited to student teach in the fall and start her journey as a licensed educator.
DeAhna's family is a very important part of her life. She has a younger brother who has started a new career near Washington D.C and a younger sister who is in junior high. They are her absolute favorite people!
Meal: Shrimp Tacos
TV shows: New Girl and Parks and Rec
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Drink: Iced Coffee
Fall activity: Hiking and bonfires
Summer activity: Camping, Hiking, Kayaking
Duluth hiking spot: Lester Park
Quote: “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel."― Maya Angelou
In Child Care Since: 2002
At Hidden Valley Since: 2014
Rachel grew up on a farm next to a tiny town in Rural North Dakota and has loved making music her whole life. She holds a BA in music education and English education from the University of Jamestown, is a Kindermusik trained teacher, and has been teaching early childhood music since 2001. For the past 15 years, Rachel has been bringing her early childhood music curriculum to assisted living centers. This unique environment has brought toddlers, preschoolers, their parents, and elderly residents together to make music.
Rachel teaches at HVP most Thursday mornings. Her lessons are nothing short of magical as she is able to hold 12 preschoolers’ attention for 45 minutes! She uses movement along with bins and bins of preschool instruments and other hands-on tools to keep her lessons exciting and fresh.
With 5 kids of her own and a noisy crazy house, Rachel still finds time to sing in the Arrowhead Chorale, and plays numerous instruments (piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, a little flute, French horn, and cello). She also has a large private piano and voice studio, and is also a lifestyle photographer who loves to naturally document the experiences of families and children. She loves Lake Superior, reading, and writing.
Miss Rachel's Favorites:
Fall activity: Hiking
Summer activity: Visiting Lake Superior
Vegetable: Green Beans
Thing to bake: Bread and cookies