Penny Miller, EEC Director
I taught at Holy Cross Preschool for nine years. I began teaching here when I enrolled my youngest daughter in Holy Cross Preschool. I had a friend recommend this preschool for my daughter because she just loved the feeling she got from everyone at the preschool. It was the family atmosphere that brought me to Holy Cross and the same atmosphere that has kept me here for all these years! I began working at Holy Cross EEC as the director in 2009. I am excited to be working in a different capacity in a place that is so close to my heart. I love Holy Cross Early Education Center, the fabulous teachers and all the wonderful families that walk through our doors.
I have my degree in Elementary Education with emphasis on Early Childhood Education. I taught preschool, kindergarten and first grade for 6 years before I had my three daughters. After being a stay at home mom for nine years, I began teaching at Holy Cross. I truly enjoy working with preschool age children. I always feel that this is my calling. Teaching has always allowed me to be creative and caring. As the director, I can use my teaching experiences, creativity and my knowledge of what makes the little ones smile to help me provide the children and the families with a safe, fun, and nurturing environment.
Stefanie Bridges, EEC Assistant Director
This is my 5th year at Holy Cross Early Education Center. I have been part of the Holy Cross Community since I was 5 years old as I went to school here. I started working here at Holy Cross 8 years ago for the Summer Camp and After School Care, then 6 years ago as a teacher’s aide and paraprofessional. Then I finally made it down to the preschool and have enjoyed every minute of it. I love working at Holy Cross because the community is like a big family and everyone is very welcoming. I love being with the preschoolers, they are always willing to learn and discover new things. I enjoy being part of their early learning years and being able to help prepare them for their future.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of St. Mary and an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with Specialization in Special Needs from Johnson County Community College.
Lynn Zaenger – 3 Year-olds teacher, Monday/Wednesday/Friday AM classes, Tuesday/Thursday AM classes, Tuesday/Thursday PM PALs(Nappers) and Monday/Wednesday/ Friday PM classes
I have been teaching preschoolers since 1981 and at Holy Cross since 1992. I teach the three year-olds. They are my favorite. They REALLY come in so young and grow and mature so much in their year with me. I love watching them gain self-confidence and independence, through the many activities that I plan for them. I really like finger-painting!
There is nothing more rewarding than helping a three year-old accomplish a task that they thought they could not do. The look of pride on their little face always brings a smile and “job well done” from me. It also gives me pride when I hear of their accomplishments at Holy Cross Grade School. I know it is because we gave them a loving and secure experience at our Preschool.
Suzanne Dvorsky – T-K assistant teacher, Lunch, and Play A Little (PALs) Teacher, Monday-Friday PM
This is my 4th year at Holy Cross Early Education Center. I have been a part of the Holy Cross community for 14 years starting when my daughter began preschool and then moved on to the school. My boys also attended Holy Cross School. I am currently the assistant teacher for the Transitional kindergarten class and I work with the 4 and 5 year olds in the afternoon childcare class. I am so thankful to have a job I love!
Brittany Thurman – Pre-K Teacher, Monday – Friday AM and Monday/Wednesday/Friday PM.
This is my third year teaching and I am excited to start it at Holy Cross Early Education Center. In May 2011, I graduated from UMKC with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am thrilled to be in the classroom working with the children! I look forward to a fun and exciting year at Holy Cross EEC.
Nataly Ramirez- Miss Nataly is the morning childcare teacher in the yellow room. She was on staff with us a few years ago and we are excited to have us join the staff again! Miss Nataly began working with children at a public preschool in Dallas, TX as part of her high school child development classes. She came to work at Holy Cross in 2008 to 2012. Miss Nataly most recently worked at a Montessori school. She also gains experience from her own little treasure at home! Miss Nataly is looking forward to working with all our little treasures and helping them grow with love and affection. Our staff is also blessed to have Miss Nataly's bilingual abilities in Spanish and English.
Debbie Stoerman –3 year olds Teacher Tuesday/Thursday AM, Play A Little (PALs) Teacher, Monday-Friday PM
This is my third year with Holy Cross EEC, but I'm certainly not new to the Holy Cross Community. I grew up in the Holy Cross Parish and even attended the preschool. I have two children who attended Holy Cross EEC and now go to the grade school. I'm excited to be a part of the HCEEC staff that truly care, teach, and love the children. I feel so fortunate to work with your children and look forward to putting a smile on their face every day!
JuJu Johnson – PALs PM (Nappers) Teacher Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Monday-Friday SNP Teacher
I started with Holy Cross in 2012. Previously, I was an Executive/Administrative Assistant, most recently at Andrews McMeel Publishing where I was employed for 16 years. After being laid off from my job approximately a few years ago, I decided to switch gears and work with children. That was when the journey began into the land of the “wee ones”! It feels so wonderful to walk into work and hear the welcoming sounds of “Hi Miss JuJu” and look into the faces of such innocence.
Diane Keltner – M-F Lunch Teacher, PALs PM (Nappers) Tuesday/Thursday PM , SNP Teacher Tuesday/Thursday PM
I came to Holy Cross in 2010 as a part-time aide after 13 years in the book publishing industry. I love working with children and as a grandma, I have had plenty of firsthand experience. The staff is awesome and fun to boot!