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 Gracie (7), 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 kids, Dominik (16), Alexa (13), and Amaya (7), 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: 2013
At Hidden Valley Since: 2018
Amanda graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth specializing in Unified Early Childhood Education in the spring of 2014. Before coming to Hidden Valley Preschool, she was an early childhood special education teacher for the Superior School District from 2015-2018. During this time, she had her own
classroom of students with a variety of special needs ranging from severe autism to emotional
behavioral disorders. She also supported other preschool teachers in creating a classroom environment that was appropriate for students of all abilities.
Because of her background in special education, she has a toolkit full of strategies that she has found work well for all children. Her philosophy has blended seamlessly into Hidden Valley's focus on learning through play, fostering positive social relationships, and encouraging child-led problem solving. The students love "Miss Amanda days" as she guides them to think a little deeper, play a little longer, and let out a few more wiggles and sillies.
Amanda and her husband, Holden, love to travel and spend time at home with their puppy, Rali.
Miss Amanda's Favorites:
Meal: Carbs on carbs
Ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip
Author: Jodi Picoult
Children's book: Press Here by Herve Tullet
Day of the week: Tuesdays, when I work at Hidden Valley!
Drink: Pumpkin Spiced Lattes
Coffee shop: Yellow Bike Coffee
Restaurants: Duluth Grill & Sara's Table
Thing to bake: Pie of any kind
Fall activity: Rides in the car to see the changing leaves
Sports team: Green Bay Packers
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 the fifth grade. 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 4 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