Alford,
Kari
Program Staff Team
Executive Director
Mrs. Alford began teaching at ECDC in August of 1996 after graduating from Saint Mary’s College. In 2000, she became the Program Director at ECDC-SMC, and then ECDC Executive Director beginning May of 2020. Mrs. Alford has her Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana University South Bend and is Adjunct Faculty in the Education Department there. In 2003, the IUSB School of Education presented her with the Excellence Award in Graduate Elementary Education. She has two daughters who both attended ECDC. When Mrs. Alford is not at ECDC, she likes to spend time with her family and read.
Wray,
Jennifer
Program Staff Team
ECDC-SMC Program Director
Mrs. Jennifer Wray began at ECDC-ND in January 2004 and became the Assistant Program Director after working as a Lead Teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood and a Master’s Degree from Indiana University South Bend in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. Mrs. Wray has one daughter, who attended ECDC. When Mrs. Wray is not at ECDC, she likes spend time with her family and bake.
Kramer,
Thayer
Program Staff Team
ECDC-ND Program Director
Mrs. Thayer Kramer began as the Program Director at ECDC-ND in 1994. She has a Ph. D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Maine and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Knox College. When Mrs. Kramer is not at ECDC, she likes to read and spend time with her husband and their sheltie, Phoenix.
Graybill,
Lauren
Program Staff Team
ECDC-SMC Assistant Program Director
Mrs. Graybill joined ECDC in January, 2016. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies from Ball State University. While at Ball State she worked at the early childhood development program on campus for three years. When Mrs. Graybill is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her family and being on the lake.
Kunz,
Tammi
Program Staff Team
ECDC-ND Assistant Program Director
Mrs. Kunz has worked at ECDC since 1994. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from Indiana University South Bend. Prior to her position as Assistant Program Director, Mrs. Kunz was a Co-Lead teacher in the 2's room. She has two sons, both attended ECDC. She is also mom to 3 adopted fur babies. Roxie, a Rottweiler/Shepherd mix; Payten is a Puggle; and, Bote is the newest addition to the family. He is a Black Lab.
Betson,
Elizabeth
Program Staff Team
ECDC-SMC Program Assistant
Ms. Betson is an alumnus of ECDC-SMC and has volunteered/worked at ECDC-SMC during the summer. She joined ECDC-SMC as the Program Assistant in February, 2018. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Ringling College of Art and Design. While at Ringling, during the summer, she came back to ECDCD-SMC to teach art to the older campers. When Ms. Betson is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her family, making art, and taking in the outdoors.
Kil,
Maria
Program Staff Team
ECDC-ND Program Assistant
Mrs. Kil joined ECDC in April 2021. She has a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University at South Bend. Mrs. Kil enjoys spending time with her husband and four children and loves to read, shop, bake, and take walks.
Czajkowski,
Basia
Program Staff Team
ECDC-ND Program Assistant
Ms. Basia Czajkowski is from St. Louis, MO and joined the ECDC Staff in May 2021. She graduated from Saint Mary's College in 2019 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Gerontology. Her previous experience includes multiple semesters at the University of Notre Dame as a Research Assistant in the Infant Studies Lab and the Cognition, Learning, and Development Lab. When not at ECDC, Ms. Czajkowski never misses a Notre Dame football or basketball home game, enjoys fitness, travel, running and spending time with her Australian Shepard, Kobe.
Zavada,
Nikki
Program Staff Team
Enrollment Specialist
Mrs. Zavada has been with ECDC since August 2004. She began as a Program Assistant at ECDC-ND, then was the Program Coordinator before moving into her current part time role. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tri-State University. When not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting National Parks, hiking and reading.
Anderson,
Danielle
ECDC-ND & ECDC-SMC
Shared Assistant Teacher
Ms. Anderson joined ECDC in January 2022 as a shared teacher across both sites. Previously, she was a registered behavior technician. She has a passion to serve children who have autism spectrum disorder and developmental conditions. Ms. Anderson loves to see children thrive and flourish. She is a mother of 4 children - three daughters, one son, and a cat. She is currently working towards getting her CDA certificate. When Ms. Anderson is not working, she enjoys spending time with her children; they love to travel to different museums. She also enjoys filming and photography, meditation, being in prayer, and watching her favorite TV show.
Ball,
Ashlyn
ECDC-ND SY 4's & SU 4/5's
Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Ashlyn Ball joined the ECDC teaching team in January 2022! She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice. Ms. Ball moved to Florida for two years and found her passion for early childhood education. She became a co-teacher at Kids R Kids (now called Kids Academy of Lakewood Ranch) in the 4-year-old classroom. Shortly after starting this new career path, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in early childhood education. She achieved this degree in December 2021 from Indiana State University. When Ms. Ball is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her fur babies, collecting crystals/minerals, and watching The Office and Friends!
Bevacqua,
Stephanie
ECDC-ND SY Kindergarten & SU 6/7's
Lead Teacher
Ms. Bevacqua has been with ECDC since 1999. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood from Indiana University South Bend. She received the IAEYC Indiana Early Care and Education Award in the Hoosier Educator, Preschool/Early Elementary category. This award is presented to an educator whose exemplary practices embody the practical application of IAEYC standards and who shares those methods to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families. When Mrs. Bevacqua is not at ECDC, she likes to read, run, garden, and cook with family. She has 4 daughters, 2 attended ECDC, and one grandchild.
Bychko,
Svitlana
ECDC-ND SY 3's & SU 3's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Svitlana Bychko joined the ECDC teaching team in April 2021. She graduated from Kharkiv State Pedagogical University, Ukraine, in 2001 with a Master’s Degree in Pedagogy and Methodology of School Education and Biology. She got her PhD in Cryobiology from Poultry Research Institute of Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences in 2007. Prior to becoming an Associate Teacher at ECDC, she worked as an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Department of Ecology of Kharkiv National Automobile and Highway University. She also has experience of work in elementary and middle school. When Mrs. Bychko is not at ECDC, she enjoys reading, making bread and outdoor activities with her family.
Byrne,
Hazel
ECDC-ND SY 3/4's & SU 3/4's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Hazel Joy Byrne joined the ECDC teaching team in August 2021. She graduated from Misamis University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Prior to becoming a Teacher at ECDC, she worked as a teacher at Misamis University Grade School Department in her home country, the Philippines, for 3 years. In August 2017 she moved to Indiana and beginning in 2018 worked as a Preschool Aide at Queen of Peace Catholic School for 3 years. Mrs. Byrne enjoys cooking and trying out some new recipes, watching movies with her husband David, and hanging out with friends.
Casper,
Jennifer
ECDC-SMC SY 3's & SU 3/4's
Associate Teacher
Mrs. Jennifer Casper joined the ECDC team in August of 2022 after staying home for several years with her two daughters, who both attended ECDC. She received her Bachelor's degree from Ball State University in Family and Child Studies with a minor in Business. She also received her Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from BSU. While finishing her Master's she worked at ECDC before moving to Cincinnati and working at The Goddard School. Some of her previous work experience includes The Child Study Center at BSU, PHM Kids Club, East Bank Daycare, and Huffer Memorial Children's Center. When Mrs. Casper is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters by playing games and being outside, attending their daughters' sports events and activities, biking, and reading together. She enjoys walking their dog and treating their Calico cat. She likes exercising, gardening, reading, music, movies, and hanging with family and friends!
Cheney,
Christina
ECDC-SMC SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Cheney grew up in South Bend and attended ECDC-ND as a child. She attended Saint Mary's College and graduated with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Psychology with a focus in children and families. She worked as an assistant and associate teacher at ECDC-SMC while attending college and as an ECDC administrative assistant for a short time after graduating. Ms. Cheney then moved to Florida for a little over 3 years where she was the lead teacher in the 3's room at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Early Learning Center in St. Johns. After having her first child in 2021, she moved back to South Bend to be closer to family and returned to ECDC-SMC in July 2022. When not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Amelia and fiance, taking her dog Rocco for walks at St Patrick's park, watching movies, and reading her horoscope daily.
Davis,
Bridget
ECDC-ND SY 4's & SU 4/5's
Associate Teacher
Ms. Bridget Davis was born in Tennessee but raised in Michigan. She has an Associate's degree in Business Administration from Suomi College. Ms. Davis started in the early childhood education field at a migrant Head Start program in 2001. During her time there, she completed the CDA certificates for Infants and Toddlers and for Preschoolers. She joined ECDC in November, 2020. Contributing to the growth and development of children holds a special place in her heart. Ms. Davis enjoys spending time with family and enjoys reading various articles and children's books.
Dvorak,
Kaylie
ECDC-ND SY 3/4's & SU 3/4's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Kaylie Dvorak joined the ECDC teaching team in May 2022. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education. While at IU, she worked at the early childhood development program on campus. After college, she went on to teach 1st grade for 3 years, 3rd grade for a year, and preschool in a 4/5s classroom for 2 years. Prior to becoming a teacher at ECDC, she was a parent representative on the school board for ECDC-SMC. When she is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, their dog, family and friends! Mrs. Dvorak is excited to be joining the ECDC team!
Edmonson,
Helen
ECDC-SMC SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Helen Edmonson graduated from IUSB in 2014 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a concentration in Early childhood. She first joined the ECDC teaching team in January 2015 until taking time to stay home with her children. Prior to rejoining ECDC in March 2021, she cared for young children in her home and then worked as an Education Director at an early childhood center in Granger. Mrs. Edmonson has four boys. Two have previously attended ECDC and her youngest currently attends ECDC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, and gardening.
Elkins,
Amy
ECDC-ND SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Elkins has her Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University in Elementary Education and has been with ECDC since August, 1997. During her time at ECDC she has taught children in the 4’s, 4/5’s and Kindergarten classrooms. Mrs. Elkins has one daughter who attended ECDC. When Mrs. Elkins is not at ECDC, she likes to spend time with her family watching movies, tend to her flower garden, and work on craft projects.
Forslund,
Chris
ECDC-ND SY Kindergarten & SU 6/7's
Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Forslund has been with ECDC since November, 1997. She has a Child Development Associate Credential and an Early Childhood Certificate from Indiana University South Bend. Mrs. Forslund is married and has a son who attended ECDC. When Mrs. Forslund is not at ECDC, she likes to scrapbook and spend time with family.
Garcia,
Mayra
ECDC-ND SY 2's & SU 2/3's
Associate Teacher
Ms. Garcia joined ECDC-ND in the summer of 2021. She has experience working with a wide range of age groups throughout her time at two other childcare centers. Ms. Garcia graduated from IUSB with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. When not at ECDC, she enjoys painting and going on road trips with friends and family.
Gearhart,
Melissa
ECDC-SMC SY 3's & SU 3/4's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Melissa Gearhart joined the ECDC teaching team as a part time co-lead in August 2022. She graduated from Knox College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and received her CDA certification in 2016. Mrs. Gearhart worked previously in the 2’s and 3’s rooms at ECDC-ND, before taking several years off to stay home with her children. When she is not at ECDC, Mrs. Gearhart enjoys reading, playing and listening to music, spending time outdoors, and being with her husband and two little girls.
Greenwood,
Loree
ECDC-SMC SY 4's & SU 7/8/9's
Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Greenwood began working during summers at ECDC-SMC in the 7/8/9’s before joining us full time in August, 2015. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Saint Mary’s College. Prior to ECDC, she was a Lead Teacher for Head Start. When Ms. Greenwood is not at ECDC, she is often found enjoying coffee with friends, reading, or in the middle of a messy art project.
Havner,
Sarah
ECDC-ND SY 4's & SU 4/5's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Havner has been at ECDC since 2000. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education; she also has a Child Development Associate Credential. Mrs. Havner received the IAEYC Christine L. Fisher Early Childhood Professional Award; awarded to an early childhood educator whose exemplary practices embody the application of physical movement, literacy and art with young children. When not at ECDC, she likes to crochet and spend time with family.
Heredia,
Emiliana
ECDC-ND SY 2's & SU 2/3's
Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Emiliana Heredia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Education and Concentration of Early Childhood from Indiana University of South Bend. She student taught at ECDC-ND in 2019 and also completed her practicum here. She joined ECDC-ND as the Program Assistant in October 2020 before moving into the 2’s room. When Ms. Emiliana is not at ECDC-ND, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and enjoying the outdoors.
Hollingsworth,
Emily
ECDC-SMC SY 3's & SU 3/4's
Associate Teacher
Ms. Hollingsworth joined the ECDC teaching team in September 2022. She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies and a Psychology Minor. Prior to becoming an Associate Teacher at ECDC, she worked as a college student teacher assistant at ULL. When Ms. Hollingsworth is not at ECDC, she enjoys baking, reading, or walking in the park.
Ingram,
Kim
ECDC-ND SY 3/4's & SU 3/4's
Associate Teacher
Mrs. Ingram started at ECDC in August, 1994. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Taylor University of Fort Wayne. Mrs. Ingram has four children and two grandchildren. Three of her children attended ECDC. When Mrs. Ingram is not at ECDC, she likes to go to garage sales, go shopping, and scrapbook.
Jones,
Dorothea
ECDC-ND SY 2's & SU 2/3's
Interim Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Jones has been working at ECDC since 1994. She has her Child Development Associate Certificate. Mrs. Jones has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. When Mrs. Jones is not at ECDC, she likes to work in her church ministry, “On Angels’ Wings”, feeding and clothing people in our community who are in need. She also enjoys singing in choir and listening to music.
Kajzer,
Jennifer
ECDC-ND SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Jennifer Kajzer joined the ECDC team in June 2022. Prior to ECDC, she worked for the South Bend Community School Corporation for ten years as an instructional assistant in kindergarten. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children. She also has two grandchildren that she loves spending time with.
Mawhorter,
Devin
ECDC-SMC SY 4's & SU 7/8/9's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Mawhorter is known as “Mrs. D”. She began at ECDC in August of 2007 and has worked in the 4/5’s, 5/6’s, and 7/8/9’s rooms. Mrs. D has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Indiana University South Bend. Mrs. D is also our Yoga and Recreational Games teacher in the summer. When Mrs. D is not at ECDC, she likes to read and watch movies.
Maxwell,
Adriana
ECDC-SMC SY 4's & SU 7/8/9's
Associate Teacher
Miss Maxwell joined ECDC in June 2021 after spending three years working one-on-one with elementary children with developmental needs in Niles and PHM schools. Before that, she taught second grade in Shanghai, China and taught at a rural school in Honduras, including creating her own art curriculum. When she is not at ECDC, she is working as a freelance artist and writer, finding and creating beautiful things.
McGill,
Bethany
ECDC-SMC SY 3's & SU 3/4's
Associate Teacher
Ms. McGill spent time at ECDC-SMC while completing a practicum in Summer 2018. She began working at ECDC-SMC in Summer 2019 as a Teacher Assistant before joining the 3's as an Associate Teacher in the fall. She graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and holds a Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education. When not teaching, Ms. McGill enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening.
Miller,
Kallie
ECDC-ND SY Kindergarten & SU 6/7's
Associate Teacher
Ms. Kallie Miller joined the ECDC teaching team in August of 2022. She graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. Prior to becoming an Associate Teacher at ECDC, she worked as a Kindergarten Instructional Assistant gaining experience in an early childhood setting at Darden Elementary. She is currently heading back to school at Bethel University to earn a teaching degree in the Transition to Teaching Program. When Ms. Miller is not at ECDC, she enjoys watching Youtube, relaxing at home, and spending time with friends and family.
Okeley,
Erica
ECDC-SMC SY 3/4's & SU 4/5's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Okeley began at ECDC in January, 2007. Mrs. Okeley has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Southwestern Michigan College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Service and Family Systems. She has two children; both attended ECDC-SMC. When Mrs. Okeley is not at ECDC, she likes to spend time with her family at the lake.
Oswald,
Charlotte
ECDC-ND SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Oswald joined ECDC in October, 2019. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy from Elizabethtown College in PA. She also has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Elementary Education from IUSB. Mrs. Oswald taught kindergarten for 23 years and second grade for 5 years in the Fairfield School District. She is married and has two grown sons. When not at ECDC, she enjoys reading, traveling, and trying out new restaurants.
Salazar,
Ady
ECDC-SMC SY 3/4's & SU 4/5's
Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Salazar is an Assistant Shared Teacher in the 3/4's. She began at ECDC in the summer of 2014. Mrs. Salazar is pursuing an Early Childhood Education Degree at Ivy Tech. When she is not at ECDC, she likes to spend time with her daughter and family watching movies or playing outside.
Watters,
Anne-Marie
ECDC-SMC SY 3/4's & SU 4/5's
Co-Lead Teacher
Mrs. Watters joined ECDC in September, 2017. She graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies and a minor in reading. She moved to the South Bend area recently from Evansville, Indiana. When Mrs. Watters is not at ECDC, she enjoys spending time friends and family, exercising, and watching movies!
Woolwine,
Nicole
ECDC-ND SY 3's & SU 3's
Co-Lead Teacher
Nicole Woolwine joined the ECDC team in June 2021 after graduating from Bethel University. She has a major in early childhood and a minor in special education. Ms. Woolwine is looking forward to working with the ECDC staff and children to learn and grow as a new teacher. When not at ECDC, she enjoys kayaking and seeking new adventures with her boyfriend and puppy.
Yasko,
Amanda
ECDC-SMC SY 4/5's & SU 5/6's
Associate Teacher
Mrs. Amanda Yasko joined the ECDC teaching team in August 2022. She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. After college, she worked for the South Bend Community School Corporation as a school sub and assistant teacher until taking a job with the South Bend Parks Department and working there for several years. Prior to becoming an Associate Teacher at ECDC, she worked at Growing Kids Learning Center. When Mrs. Yasko is not at ECDC she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising and reading.
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