Julie Henes Picano – “Ms. Julie, are you the ‘Principal’ of this school?”
That’s the most popular question that I hear from the kids at FKS. It’s important to them to know who is at the top of the hierarchy, but they are often taken by surprise by the answer. My answer to them…“No, I’m not the principal…I’m a teacher that has some other jobs to do too.” While I did create the policies, program descriptions, handbooks, and I did secure a space for us to work out of, I still see myself as one of the teachers.
FKS has a very talented staff that depend on each other’s strengths to make a well-rounded team. These professionals not only care for each child as an individual, but they can also explain our programs, share our philosophy of caring for the whole family, and welcome friends into ours safe and loving environment that we all work hard to make fun and educational.
Josie Hoisington, Pre-school Teacher – Josie has been the Pre-school Teacher at FKS since June 2006. Josie teaches our 4-5 year-old pre-school kids. She and her husband Joe live in Commerce and have four children of their own. Josie’s background includes 13 years of running an in-home childcare and working for L.E.S.A. (Livingston Educational Service Agency) assisting in Pinckney’s Head Start Program. Josie is passionate about everything she does! She has written a children’s song in Spanish, “Abre La Puerta Por Favor,” that has been published by The Mailbox, a popular teachers’ monthly magazine. A FKS parent recently said this about Josie: “Ms. Josie has some kind of spell over them, no matter the number of kids, they listen to her, they wait to see what she’ll do next…she’s amazing.” Although Josie is well respected by co-workers for her strength and leadership, she is probably most loved for her own personal rendition of the “ABC Rap” that she refuses to be filmed performing with the kids. Let’s just say that we are often entertained by Josie’s rapping abilities. Josie is committed to furthering her knowledge and skills when it comes to teaching the kids here at FKS.
Amanda Hall, Infant/Toddler Teacher – Amanda is a founding teacher at FKS, caring for our children since 2005. If you ask co-workers to describe Amanda, they would say that she is an unbelievably positive team player, and a master of redirection and patience with her infants/toddlers age 0-2 year-old group. Most don’t know that Amanda is musically talented in violin and piano. Amanda lives in Howell with her husband Daniel, 11 year-old daughter Isabel, 5 year-old son Liam and a new baby to join our FKS family during March of 2018. They also have 2 dogs to round out the family. Amanda enjoys dinners at Big Boy, time with parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and friends, and quiet family time with Daniel in their new home. Amanda would like parents to remember her as someone who has a deep commitment to the happiness and well-being of their child.
Kiera Pearce, Assistant Teacher – Kiera is an assistant teacher with our 2.5-3.5 year olds since April 2014. Kiera has 20 years of experience in the child care industry. She has worked as an assistant in pre-school, toddler and school age programs for a variety of child care centers. She was born and raised in Mt Clemens and lives in Pinckney with her fiance James & 4 children, Bryce, Leeland, Kelsea and Addasyn. Kiera’s favorite place to eat is Olive Garden or anyplace Mexican. Kiera would like children to remember her as kind, loving and helpful to everyone.
Isabel Cashin, Infant/Toddler Teacher – Isabel was born in Jackson, Michigan. She was raised by her adoptive parents since the age of three. She also gained a brother and sister. Isabel, along with her husband Dave and her daughter Heather, are Pinckney locals. Isabel has been able to be found in the Infant/Toddler room at FKS since Jan of 2009. Isabel had her first professional experience with children while working years for LESA (Livingston Educational Service Agency) in their Pinckney Head Start Program which just happened to be in the same building as FKS at one time. Kids could be heard through the halls yelling, “”Hi Ms. Isabel.”. Boy did we know that she was good then because the kids loved her so much. Since January of 2009, our FKS kids have grown to love and depend on her. Isabel would like for parents to remember her for her kindness to the kids, honesty to parents, and for giving parents a reassured feeling that their kids are safe, loved, and happy in her care.
Lisa Ashba – Lisa Ashba lives in Pinckney. She is married to her husband, Mark, and they have 4 children (Jessica 32, Brianna 29, Ashlee 12, & Nathaniel 10). Lisa is a long time veteran of childcare working with Infants and Toddlers and their families for 24 years and at FKS since March 2011. You might find it interesting that 3 years of her experience was spent with the teen moms program in the Oxford School System. In that program, she not only cared for children, but she also guided young and inexperienced mothers trying to finish school. If Lisa had to pick her favorite time of the day at FKS it would be cuddling with our youngest friends and visiting with their parents.
Nichole Warren – Nichole is another welcomed addition the our FKS Family since August of 2014. Nichole is our 3 yr old pre-school teacher. She was born in Sandusky, Michigan (no theme park!). She recently moved to Pinckney from Belleville with her husband Dale, 12 year-old son and 6 year-old daughter. In her free time, Nichole enjoys bike riding and camping. Her favorite place to eat is at Outback. Nichole’s education began when she served 4 years in the United Stated Navy as a Gas Turbine Mechanic. Next, she graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. Nichole would like for the kids to remember her as a kind and gentle teacher who helped them through the early years.
Heather Cashin – Heather has been a friend in the circles of FKS all of our almost 13 years. During that time she graduated from high school and has visited enough to be one of the children’s favorite visitor. Heather is excited now to officially be joining our FKS team as a fill-in teacher.This is a tricky position which requires a teacher to acknowledge lots of different personalities, schedules and stages of development. With a soft spoken tone and a smile on her face, she floats through the ages and days with ease and confidence. Heather was born in Howell and lives in Pinckney with her fiance Justin and their baby Camille. She is an only child but enjoys pets, friends, family and eating out at Red Robin. Children will see Heather as a caring and fun person that they can count on and parents will notice that she is always happy and she genuinely loves their kids. We are looking forward to the days to come when Heather will begin formal training toward her Child Development Associates Degree and hopes to own her own child care center someday.
Laura Harrison – Laura is a new smiling face at FKS since Dec of 2016. She was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, and now lives in Pinckney with her husband David and 3 year-old son, George. In her spare time, Laura enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, boating and camping. She has a soft heart for animals and looks forward to gatherings with friends and family. Her favorite restaurants are Knights & Black Rock. Laura has worked in childcare settings for the past 10 years and is excited to get specific training at FKS and at Child Connect for Family Success in the days to come. She feels like kids will remember her as the one with the big smile, the one that will happily read them a book, and the one that will gladly be there to brighten their day! Laura would like parents to recognize that she is is dependable, loving and will dedicate her time and attention at FKS to their children. You can look for Laura mostly in the afternoons, sharing time with many different age groups.
Taylor Feeman – Office Administrator & Floater
Zach Feeman – School-Age Teacher
Kara is an Assistant Pre-school teacher at FKS since March of 2018. She was born in Ann Arbor, MI and has been a lifetime resident of the area. Kara has 1 sibling, a brother. She also has a 2 year old little guy at home and a soon to be husband. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is to swim which makes total sense since educationally, Kara has been a lifeguard for 10 years. She hopes to continue her education and peruse classes in Physical Therapy as an Assistant and specialize in pediatrics. Kara would like for kids and parents to remember her as a person that is friendly, kind, fun & happy to be a part of their day