Each of our staff members attends at least 10 hours of continuing education classes each year. They have all studied child development, signs and symptoms of illness, and are mandated reporters in child abuse and head trauma. They also receive training and certification in pediatric first and CPR every two years, and we have an AED kit on site for our program's use. We have varied levels of education and experience, some degreed and some not, but only the most skilled and trusted staff are offered positions at our school. Our preschool teachers are degreed in elementary or early childhood education.
Jamie Sink, Program Director
The 2016/17 school year will mark the start of my fourth year as Director of the Leawood Baptist Preschool and Parent's Day Out Program. I have loved every minute of being a part of this wonderful program, especially getting to know the families and staff.
Prior to coming to Leawood Baptist, I worked in the classroom as a four-year-old preschool teacher for six years. The energy the children brought to the classroom really solidified my love of working in the early childhood field. My degree is actually in Elementary Education, and my initial classroom experience was in teaching first and second grade.
Jan Akin, Toddler Teacher
Education: Johnson County Community College and Baylor University
34 years of childcare experience
22 years at Leawood Baptist Parent's Day Out
I'm a woman of faith, a wife, a mom, and a GMa.
A day with a child is full of laughter, adventure, learning, hope, and love.
Dawn Branstetter, Infant Teacher
My husband, Henry, and I have four children — our oldest son 38, son and daughter twins 33, and youngest daughter 31. We have four grandchildren. They are such a blessing.
I have worked at LBC since 2002 and have worked in the infant room most of that time, with some time in the 2-year-old room.
I Armour Heights Baptist Church and enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, family, and friends. I also enjoy gardening, camping, music, and music festivals.
Michele Watters, Infant Teacher
14 years of school, with an Associate's Degree in Applied Science
25 years experience and continuing education courses in early childhood
25 years at LBC
I have been married 40 years and have three children. I enjoy watching children become excited about learning new things and seeing their wonder in God's world.
Jessy Miller, 3-year-old Preschool Teacher
I am excited to teach with the Leawood Baptist staff for the third year.
I grew up in Valley Falls, Kansas with two older sisters. My dad is an attorney in town and my mom a first-grade teacher. I graduated from Kansas State University in 2003 with my B.S. in Elementary Education. Since graduation, I have been a nanny for three families, a 4-year-old preschool teacher, and a kindergarten teacher.
My husband, Trevor, and I were married in December 2011 and welcomed our son, Morgan, in May 2013, and our son, Lincoln, in October 2014
Kaley Miller, 3-year-old Preschool Assistant Teacher
Hi my name is Kaley. My family and I live in Kansas City, Missouri. I graduated from Emporia State University with a bachelors in Health Promotion. I was a Corporate wellness coordinator for almost 6 years then decided to spend more time at home with my two kids. I joined the LBC family in October of 2016 as assistant teacher in the purple room and I have enjoyed every minute. Being the oldest of 4 children I have always loved kids and enjoyed helping them learn. In my free time I enjoy being active outside with the family and spending time at sporting events.
Juli Belk, 3-year-old Preschool Teacher
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis. I’ve worked with 2’s, 3’s and Pre-K. I also have experience with special needs children. One of our son’s has special needs.
My husband, Steve and I have 4 boys. Tyler is 25, Austin is 23, Dylan is 21 and Kyle is 18.
We also have a dog named Caitlin, a rat named Dwyer and a gecko. I enjoy reading, baking, Jazzercise and watching my boys play sports.
Mia McClanahan, Toddler Teacher
Education: Johnson County Schools
20 years of experience in childcare
12 years at Leawood Baptist
Being in childcare is rewarding and an exciting adventure. It feels nice to know you've touched so many lives.
Diane Fleming, 3-year-old Preschool Teacher
I graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelors degree in Speech/Language Pathology and then from Wichita State University with my masters. After working as a Pre-K Special Ed Para for the past seven years, I was excited to join the staff at Leawood Baptist Preschool.
My husband, Bob, and I have been married for 33 years and are very proud of our three daughters: Kara, Jenna and Chelsea. We have been members of Blue Valley Baptist Church for the past 12 years. We enjoy walking our 2 dogs, traveling, and cheering on several sports teams
Cheryl Miller, Toddler and Infant Teacher
I worked at Leawood Baptist in the early 2000s for quite a few years and then left to see if the grass was greener on the other side...and found out it wasn't. I was fortunate to be able to return and bring my grandbabies.
I have raised four amazing children and now have been blessed with grandchildren. My daughter Kaley, 28, graduated from ESU and now works at St. Luke's. Ryan, 23, graduate from Arkansas and is now getting his Master's in Sports Science. Anthony, 20, just finished his second year at JCCC and was drafted to play in the minor leagues for the Cleveland Indians. And my youngest daughter, Kobi, 18, gust graduated from Blue Valley Southwest and is going to FIT in New York.
My husband and I are very active and enjoy our free time. We love to travel, root for the Royals, and support our family in any way we can. I enjoy working with kids and my coworkers here at LBC.
Taralyn Haley, Toddler Teacher
My name is Taralyn Haley. I grew up in Kansas City and have also lived off and on in Colorado for 6 years. I have 2 kiddos, Sophia who is 3 and Jack who is 2. We also have 3 pets we consider family 1 dog named pig, and 2 cats Snowball and Butters. I have a wide variety of work experience from childcare, nursing, and veterinary school. I can't wait to get to know each and every child and family that will be a part of our Leawood Baptist family.
Shawndra Kusiak, Toddler Teacher
I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with most of my background spent working with severely emotionally disturbed youth & adolescents. My husband & I have been married for 5 years & have two boys: Kyler (3) & Colin (1). After the birth of our boys, I transitioned from full-time work to part-time. I heard about LBC through a friend & was lucky enough to join this amazing staff this past January. I absolutely love working here. I am excited to come to work every day & feel honored & privileged to be a part of these children’s lives. In my free time, I enjoy baking, running & spending time with my very active family & friends.
Christyn Zins, Preschool Assistant Teacher, Floater
I grew up in Overland Park and graduated from Kansas State University in 2004 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have 9 years of teaching experience, but my most recent job is being a mom. My husband and I have a son, Andrew (3 ½) and a daughter, Claire (1 ½). We enjoy spending time with our family and friends, trying new restaurants, and cheering for our favorite sports teams.
Whitney Holloway, Toddler Teacher
My name is Whitney Holloway. I grew up in Louisiana & was the second youngest of six kids. When I was 22, I moved to Dallas where I met my husband. We have 3 kids, Flash, our high energy 4 & a half year old & 2 year old twin girls, Ollie & Brody. We were relocated here just after the twins were born, due to my husbands job & we know this is exactly where we should be. We love how family oriented this area is & I love exploring our new surroundings. I can't wait to get to know all of the staff and families.
Betsi Cobb, Toddler Teacher
Betsi earned her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development from Kansas State University, her Master of Science in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Kansas, and her Master of Science in School Leadership Administration from Baker University. Betsi worked full time from 2006 to 2014 in the Shawnee Mission School District as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher both in the classroom and in the community. She was the assigned teacher on the Leadership team while completing the districts Career Advancement Program.
"I have two children; Parker, age 6 and Ivy, age 2. We have a small dog, Bella, who we consider part of the family too! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, gardening, and working out."