Biographies

Teachers

Emily Erickson – Little Lambs (Infants)

Emily comes to us from Lodi Wisconsin. Emily attended the University of Minnesota and in 2013 earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. Emily has been employed as a part-time employee/substitute teacher at MetroKids since June 2013. Emily enjoys reading, coffee shops, spending time her new husband Cody and most importantly LOVES the infant children!

egavinski@metrokids.org

612-332-5437, ext. 3093

Leap Frogs (Toddlers)

MetroKids is currently interviewing and hiring for this position.

612-332-5437, ext. 3091

Chelsea Vaaglica –  Busy Bears (Preschool)

Chelsea began work at MetroKids in April 2017. Chelsea earned a BS in Youth and Family studies from Northwestern College. When not at MetroKids, you will find Chelsea outside running, hiking or just enjoying the great outdoors.

cvaglica@metrokids.org

612-332-5437, ext. 3090

Terry Brown – Rockin’ Robins (Preschool)

Terry Brown earned his Teacher Licensure from the University of Minnesota and has two year’s experience as a preschool teacher. Terry shared that the most important attributes that he would bring to MetroKids are, “A passion and joy for with working with young children. Preschool sets a child’s tone for their school career and life”.

tbrown@metrokids.org

612-332-5437, ext. 3092

Staff

Our staff is here to help! Our goal is to be an invaluable partner in your child’s education and nurturing.

Charice Deegan (Executive Director)

Charice Deegan began her role as the Executive Director of MetroKids in the summer of 2010.

Charice has always had a passion for working with children. Before MetroKids, she was Principal at Minnehaha Academy, South Campus (Minneapolis) and felt that God was preparing her for a role working with urban, early childhood education. She believes that every child deserves a foundation of strong early childhood education.

Charice is married to Sean and they have two children, Charlotte and Christopher. Their children are both in college, so Sean and Charice are learning what it is like to be “empty nesters.” In her spare time, Charice enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her favorite activity is Sunday afternoon Scrabble games with Sean.

cdeegan@metrokids.org

Susie Jones (Office and Food Service Manager)

Susie started with MetroKids in September 2010. She has thirty-five years experience in the field of early childhood education. Susie has spent twenty-two years as a preschool teacher, one year as a program coordinator, one year writing curriculum, and eleven years in administrating early childhood programs (including over six years as a director).

Susie enjoys scrapbooking, reading, organic gardening, and writing. She is currently in the editing stage of a book she has been writing for the last three years. Her pride and joy, however, lies in her daughter, Shawna, who also is an accomplished teacher.

sjones@metrokids.org

Gretchen Gubbins (Meal Coordinator)

Gretchen Gubbins has the important role of Meal Coordinator. Gretchen prepares breakfast and snack and heats and serves our catered lunches. With a smile, Gretchen makes sure we have everything we need including the correct portion sizes!

Other Staff

 

Jazmine Randle (Little Lambs Assistant Teacher)

Jazmine joined MetroKids in January 2012 and is the assistant teacher in Little Lambs.

 

Gidget Thomas (Experienced Aide)

Gidget has many years in the early childhood field starting her work with MetroKids in January 2001.

Miranda Traxler-Flint (Assistant Teacher)

Miranda joined MetroKids in August 2017, as a assistant teacher in the Leap Frog room.

MetroKids Board

Mark Schoenrock, Chair

Mark is currently responsible for Human Resources for Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits. Previously he was Vice President, Photography of Lifetouch National School Studios, where he led the strategic repositioning of photography as a competitive point of difference. He joined Lifetouch Portrait Studios in 1990, establishing the training function & later serving as VP Human Resources. During that time he oversaw the start-up of the customer service function & temporarily led the Marketing, R&D deptartments. and a production facility.  Mark is a member of several Photography and Human Resources industry groups. He has served on boards & committees of several non-profit organizations including MetroKids, and has consulted with church administrators and leaders on strategic, administrative, human resource & operational issues.

Kathy Anderson

Kathy has been a preschool teacher for the past 19 years at Minnehaha Academy, one of two original teachers to establish the school’s program.  She earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University and her MA in Education from Saint Mary’s University.  She has been on the board of MetroKids for four years.  Kathy has been married to Del for 43 years, and has three sons and two granddaughters.  In her spare time she enjoys gardening spending time with family, and at their cabin in Wisconsin.

Todd Bratulich

Todd Bratulich is the Pastor for Community and Mission Engagement at First Covenant Church where MetroKids is located. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Jenni, and their children Solveigh, Edwin, and Ayla. As a former Metrokids parent, Todd knows the value of affordable, high-quality, faith-based early childhood education, and believes in Metrokids mission. When he’s not hanging out with his family or doing church stuff, you will likely find him on his bike or at a coffee shop, preferably one that has good donuts.

Todd has been serving in ministry and non-profits for over 20 years. He received both his B.A. and M.A. from Bethel University, and is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church. In addition roll his role at church, he serves on the equity & justice committee for the Friends School of MN, and as the chair of the steering committee for the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH). Todd has a passion to serve those who are most vulnerable among us, and works to see the church become a more just, generous, and humble presence in our city and the world.

Wendy Watson, JD

Wendy is a Programs and Services Supervisor at The Arc Greater Twin Cities.  Her focus is on educational advocacy for children from kindergarten through transition age. Wendy is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association.  She provides pro bono legal assistance to the Children’s Law Center.  She serves on the boards of Friends of Children and Metrokids and is a member of the Lutheran Special Education Ministry’s Regional Support Council. In 2010, she was appointed to the Hamline University Board of Trustees. Prior to joining The Arc, Wendy was a special education teacher and family attorney. Wendy has a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology and Communication Disorders and a master’s degree in psychoeducational studies from the University of Minnesota.  She received her Juris Doctor degree from Hamline University.

Jessica Kasper

Jessica has worked in the public sector for nine years, with a focus on finance and administration.  She currently works for the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office as an Administrative Analyst.  She has worked at both the federal and municipal levels of government and for International Justice Mission, a human rights nonprofit in the Washington DC Area.  Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and her Master’s in Public Administration.  Jessica has been married to Isaac for eight years, and has one daughter, Daphne.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, being outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family.

Bob Weidman

I have owned my own business, Digital Illusion, since 1996. I retouch pictures on computer out of my home studio. I wear many hats as a small business owner including accountant, tax preparer and customer service person. I was the general contractor, electrician, painter, and insulation installer when we built our house in Maple Grove in 1989. I am a pragmatic person who will research a problem and do whatever is needed to solve it. Question asking is one of my strong points I could bring to the board. My wife Deb and I have been members of 1st Covenant since 2012. We have two girls, ages 25 and 26.