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.

Isabel CashinInfant/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.

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

Teacher Born in: Ann Arbor, MI
About my family: I have 5 siblings that live at home with me (2 sisters & 3 brothers) and 3 step-siblings that do not (2 brothers and a sister). I have lots of pets!
What I like to do for fun: I love photography, spending time with animals and scuba diving.
My favorite place to eat: Asian Fusion & Culvers
Education & Experience: While my educational focus is not in early childhood I regularly participate in Early Childhood training through FKS and on a college level I have taken Child Psychology, Children & Self esteem & Positive discipline. . I have worked at FKS since 2011.
How do you want children to remember me: I want the kids to remember me as safe, fun and reliable.
How do I want parents to remember me: I want parents to remember me as someone who was always happy to see their kids and vice versa.  I would also like for parents to see me as approachable and always willing to help.

Zach Feeman – School-Age Teacher

Born in: Ann Arbor, MI
About my family: I have 6 younger siblings and 2 older siblings. Although things can get hectic and confusing, there is never a dull moment.
What I like to do for fun: I love playing most sports and I watch them pretty religiously (especially U of M). I also enjoy being outdoors and spending time with family.
Favorite place to eat: Panera bread or Mongolian BBQ
Education & Experience: I have worked at FKS since march of 2010 (primarily with the school age group/summer camp program). I have an associates degree in science from WCC and a Bachelors Degree in Knesiology from Eastern Michigan University.  I also work in a physical therapy clinic and plan to continue my education to become a physicians assistant in 2018
How do I want the children to remember me: I want the children to remember me as a fun, energetic, and positive person.
How do you want the parents to remember me: I want parents to remember me as someone who was never in a bad mood and who they can trust to carry that consistency and positivity onto their children in order to create a trustworthy and safe environment.

Emily Colvia

Emily is new to our FKS Staff in 2019.  While she may be new to our pre-school staff, she is not new to FKS.  Emily was a student at FKS from 5 yrs old to school age.  She was born in Ann Arbor, MI and has a younger sister, Abby who also came to FKS.  They both live at home with mom (Michelle) & dad (Pat) and their black lab named Wembley.  For fun, Emily enjoys going for walks and going to apple orchards in the fall.  Her favorite places to eat are Olive Garden or Buffalo Wild Wings.  Educationally, Emily is a high school graduate that is looking forward to getting her Child Development Associates Degree in the near future.  Emily would like for kids to remember her as a super friendly, caring and fun teacher.  She would like parents to recognize her as trustworthy and loving when caring for their children.

Kim McKenzie

Kim has been spending time in our Infant/Toddler program since July of 2019. She was born in Ann Arbor, MI and she lives locally now with her partner and 2 sons. Their 5 year-old spent a fun summer at ZANT Zone Summer Camp and just started school at Farley Hill Elementary School.  And their 3 year-old enjoys his pre-school days at FKS.  They are busy parents for sure!  In her down time, Kim enjoys watching football (GO BLUE), spending time with family & cooking. Her favorite place to eat is at home with Julia & the boys.
Educationally, Kim earned her Masters Degree in Social Work in 2009 from EMU. Soon she will be sharing time working at Brighton Center for Recovery. She is also in school to become a Firefighter/EMR and will graduate in June of 2020.
Kim would like for children to remember her as kind, gentle, encouraging, and fun.  As a safe person who will always do her best to make their days the best that they can be. She would like parents to recognize that she is professional, caring, safe and always aware of their children’s wants & needs.

Jill Hegarty-Afternoon Pre-school Teacher

Jill is another welcomed addition the our FKS Family since March of 2019. Jill was born in Lincoln Park, MI, has been married for 31 years has a son and daughter that have both graduated from Pinckney. For fun, Jill enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite place to eat is Outback Steakhouse.

Educationally, Jill majored in Early Childhood Education and has worked locally for the last 30+ years with pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Jill would like for children to remember her as loving, fun & comforting.  And she would like parents to think of her as welcoming, knowledgeable, approachable & caring. Please feel free to say hello and welcome her to our FKS family.

 

 

Olivia Irwin  

Olivia has been a teacher at FKS since June of 2016. She was born in Ann Arbor, MI and lives with her fiance Chris & their fur baby Luna. In her spare time, Olivia likes to cook & play with her cat. Her favorite place to eat is at Outback Steakhouse.  Educationally, Olivia has a Bachelors of Social Work Degree with a minor in youth Services from Saginaw Valley State University. Currently, she is working on a Masters of Social Work at the University of Michigan. You might find it interesting to know that Olivia spent 3 weeks in Uganda tutoring students at the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project Primary School. Olivia would like for kids to see her as a good listener and someone who makes them laugh. She would like for parents to see her as someone that their child can trust and count on.

 

Kara Wolter

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

 

 

Micki Beckwith

Micki has been a Infant/Toddler teacher at FKS on & off since June of 2014. She was born in Southfield, MI and is a local Pinckney resident with her husband Rodney and 2 sons.  She enjoys reading, scrap booking and going out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Educationally, Micki has a Bachelors Degree in Education from Central Michigan University.  When asked how Micki would like for children to remember her, Micki says that she would like to be remembered as funny, kind, playful & caring.  When it comes to our FKS parents, she would like to be remembered as responsible, approachable, friendly & loving.

Kali Lechtanski

Kali is an Assistant Teacher that rotates through many of the pre-school classes.  She began her time at For Kids Sake in September of 2018. Kali was born in Ann Arbor, MI and lives locally.  She has an older sister and as a family they enjoy going to corn mazes together.  Kali is a competitive gymnast and enjoys practicing.  Her favorite place to eat is or Gus’s or El Patron. Educationally, Kali spent a summer working at an Ann Arbor Summer Camp program and is enrolled in Early Childhood Education Courses. Kali would like children to remember her as fun, reliable and easy to talk to as a friend in their class.  She would like parents to remember her as approachable and comfortable with their children.

Amanda Rinesmith 

Amanda was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has been the two-year-old  Pre-school Teacher at FKS since 2019. Her big happy home includes, herself, husband David, step sons David & Junior and little sister Hannah. She like to do just about anything with her family, but most of all to go to movies, to be in nature (walks or at the beach) and coloring/drawing. Amanda’s favorite place to eat is at Tomato Brothers.  Educationally Amanda has spent energy taking Early Childhood & Para-pro classes on line and is looking forward to the training opportunities that are sure to come at FKS. In the days to come, Amanda would like for the children at FKS to remember her as the teacher that always made them smile and feel better when they were sad.  And she would like parents to remember her as someone that parents could trust & rely on to love and care for their babies/children.

Sydney Jones 

Sydney is a Pre-school teacher that has been a mainstay at FKS since 2017. She lives locally at home with her mom, dad & brother. Sydney is very close to her two-year-old younger brother Nate and her mom is a Pre-school Lead Teacher in a neighboring city. For fun, Sydney most enjoys time out with friends and photography. Her favorite place to eat is Panara. Educationally, Sydney graduated from Kensington Woods High School and is a Sophomore at Washtenaw Community College studying Early Childhood Development. Sydney would like for kids to remember her as a fun-loving teacher. And she would like parents to recognize that she is hardworking and dedicated to the time spent with their children.

Heather Newberry 

Heather’s familiar smiling face has been a friend of FKS since she was in elementary school. Now, as a mom of Camille & Bentley and a wife to Justin, Heather is considered specially connected and has worked with all of the age groups at FKS since 2016. Heather likes to spend time with her husband and kids. In their spare time, they travel to do as many family fun activities as possible. Her favorite place to eat is El Patron in Howell. While Heather is mostly trained with young children by being so closely connected to FKS, her mom is also an early childhood veteran & she is a combat trained mom of 2 young children of her own. Formally, Heather is also attending training so that in the near future she will receive a Child Development Associates Degree. When Heather thinks of how she would like for children to remember her, she says, “I want children to remember me as fun & trustworthy.” Where parents are concerned, she says, “I would like parents to recognize that I’m welcoming and will be sure to show their children love.”