Our Preschool Team

Meet our Preschool Team
  • TODDLERS

  • TWOS

  • THREES

    • Andrea Briggs
      LEAP 4's Teacher / 3's Teacher Assistant

      Andrea Briggs

      LEAP 4's Teacher / 3's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 4
      Years at DKH Academy: 4
      Education: BS degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Women’s University, Certified EC-6th Grade
      Experience: Mrs. Briggs worked for the federal government before becoming a stay-at-home mom. During that time, Mrs. Briggs volunteered for many positions in her children’s elementary, middle, and high schools.
      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Briggs is married and has a daughter in college and a teenage son. She enjoys decorating, sporting events, gardening and time spent with family and friends.

      Email: briggs@dkhacademy.org

    • Melanie Brissette
      2's Teacher

      Melanie Brissette

      2's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 21
      Years at DKH Academy: 7
      Education: BS from Florida State, MS degree in Social Work from UTA.
      Experience: Mrs. Brissette’s began her professional career in Florida where she was a liaison between the NICU and the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program in Jacksonville, Florida. She was also responsible for providing assessments to children birth to three and facilitating service coordination. Once in Texas, she began employment with the ECI program in Plano, TX as an Early Intervention Specialist and provided therapy to children birth to three who were identified as having developmental delays and disabilities. Clinical experience includes behavior modification, developmentally appropriate practices for 0-3, cognitive and behavioral techniques, play based early intervention methods, infant mental health, parent support, and social emotional development.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Brissette is married and has 2 children. Her youngest son attended DKH academy from 2 yrs of age through kindergarten. She enjoys a committed yoga practice and taking care of her small zoo, which includes a dog, bearded dragon and a horse!

      Favorite Quote: “I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”- Fred Rogers

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I truly believe children will thrive when loved. I want every child in my class to feel safe and secure and it is through play, routines, boundaries, respect and a learning rich environment where this can be achieved. My job is to make a child’s first school experience successful while also supporting the family through open and honest communication. I believe in developmentally appropriate practices and classroom environments that promote success for each child. School should be fun!

      Email: brissette@dkhacademy.org

    • Elissa Brown
      2's Teacher

      Elissa Brown

      2's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 12
      Years at DKH Academy: 10
      Education: BS in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development from Texas A&M Commerce
      Experience: Before starting at DKH, Mrs. Brown worked at Exploration Preparatory School as the Pre-K Assistant.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Brown is married and has 4 young children, 3 of which are DKH graduates, and 1 more who will be attending DKH soon. She loves reading, baking, crafting and spending time with my family.

      Favorite Quote: “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

      Email: brown@dkhacademy.org

    • Diana Carrete-Montes
      Toddler's Teacher Assistant

      Diana Carrete-Montes

      Toddler's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 8
      Years at DKH Academy: 2
      Education: Accounting degree from Universidad Iberoamericana at Torreon, Mexico
      Experience: English teacher in Mexico and the last 2 years as a Teacher Assistant

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Carrete-Montes has been married for 13 years and we has 4 very sweet and active girls. She likes to exercise, cook, watch movies and enjoy watching my daughters sporting events, plays, concerts, etc.

      Favorite Quote: Practice makes perfect.

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I love receiving our little ones with a big hug and making them feel loved. I also believe the need to use age appropriate rules & routines to encourage the kids to have good discipline.

    • Kimberly Clay
      3's Teacher

      Kimberly Clay

      3's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 9
      Years at DKH Academy: 7
      Education: Bachelor of Social Work, Texas State University
      Experience: Volunteer and Paraprofessional in PPCD at CISD for two years. Six years as the 3’s Teacher and a year as Nature Explore Teacher

      Hobbies and Family: Married 27 years, one daughter and one Grandson attending DKH this year. Mrs. Clay enjoys the outdoors, animals, exercise and spending time with her Grandson.

      Favorite Quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I am FUN!

    • Amy Drost
      3's Teacher Assistant

      Amy Drost

      3's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 3
      Years at DKH Academy: 3
      Education: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at Indiana University
      Experience: Mrs. Amy was an Operations Director for a Newspaper in Phoenix, AZ where she worked for over 15 years. When her husband’s job moved them to Texas in early 2014, they decided it was best for her to stay home and raise their 2 young children. Mrs. Amy became a part of the DKH family in 2016. She served on the PTO for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 school year. She has also been a substitute teacher since 2016. Now that her sons are in school full time, WORKING for DKH as a Teacher Assistant is her new passion.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Amy and her husband, Nick, have been married since 2009 and have 2 young boys who have both attended DKH. Her family loves to travel, go on new adventures, have family date nights, and watch/play sports. In her spare time, Mrs. Amy loves to run with their dog Rudy, hike and garden.

      Favorite Quote: It doesn’t get easier, you get better!

    • Kathleen Goff
      2's Teacher Assistant

      Kathleen Goff

      2's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 13
      Years at DKH Academy: 4
      Education: Bachelor of Arts from The University of North Texas
      Experience: Mrs. Goff spent her college years teaching at 2 local childcare facilities, and was a Substitute Teacher for LISD for 7 years.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Goff is married and has two children, Austin and Abigail. They both attended DKH in the past.  She loves to run and participate in local races. She also enjoys swimming, designing anything on her Cricut, and spending time with her friends & family.

      Favorite Quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

    • Noelle Griffith
      2's Teacher/ 2's & 3's Leap Teacher

      Noelle Griffith

      2's Teacher/ 2's & 3's Leap Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 25
      Years at DKH Academy: 13
      Education: B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Kent State, Certified EC-6th
      Experience: Mrs. Griffith taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades in both public schools and a private catholic school in Ohio before becoming involved in the curriculum and development of a Multi-Age Program. She went on to be one of the first teachers in the district to instruct students in a 1st/2nd grade classroom. Before leaving the district, Mrs. Griffith also spent time teaching a classroom of 3rd/4th graders.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Griffith is married and has two grown sons and a daughter who attended DKH Academy. When she toured DKH as a prospective preschool for her daughter, she knew it felt like him from the moment she stepped through the doors. Mrs. Griffith enjoys walking/running, reading, spending time with her children, Netflix marathons with her husband, and snuggling with her dog.

      Favorite Quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  – Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I am big believer in fostering kindness, acceptance, and positive self perception. I have adapted my favorite quote for use in my neighborhood (classroom). “You are KIND. You are SMART. You are IMPORTANT. You are LOVED.” These four phrases now serve as what we refer to as “our special words.” At the end of every day, we gather on the carpet, hold hands, and say these special words to ourselves and each other, from our hearts. It makes my heart happy to watch the children as these words start to take root in them.  It becomes a mini hug fest among friends. It truly is one of the best parts of our day!

      Email: griffith@dkhacademy.org

    • Audrey Heckmann
      2's Teacher

      Audrey Heckmann

      2's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 10
      Years at DKH Academy: 3
      Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Oklahoma State University
      Experience: Ms. Heckmann has an EC-8 and English as a Second Language (ESL) certification in Texas and Oklahoma. She’s had years of experience teaching all levels of English Language Learners both in the United States and in Costa Rica. Her experience teaching early childhood ages and toddlers ranges from college to present. She has also taught 5th grade math/science and 1st grade in the public school setting before becoming a stay at home mom with her oldest daughter in 2012. Ms. Heckmann joined DKH in 2017 as a 2s teacher. She also has been an ESL teacher for adults for the past 3 years and now serves and an Instructional Coach for the Denton ISD Adult Education department.

      Hobbies and Family: Ms. Heckmann and her husband Mark have 2 daughters, one graduate of DKH and one current attendee. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys going on outings with her daughters and husband. She can’t resist watching a good movie or favorite TV show! You can also find her working in her garden or enjoying the fresh evening air as the sun sets. Traveling to new places is always one of her favorite things!

      Favorite Quotes:

      “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

      “When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” -Fred Rogers

      “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -A.A. Milne

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Ms. Heckmann believes that when connections are formed with children, a special relationship forms. The bond between teacher and student is a special one, and is one that Ms. Heckmann cherishes. She loves teaching 2 year olds because she loves seeing their excitement when they learn new things and believes that every day is a wonderful day when you are having fun! Young children learn best through play. Ms. Heckmann loves finding new and exciting ways for her students to learn while playing. In her classroom, you will find a loving and nurturing environment where students are given choices, actively engaged, and discovering new things!

      Email: heckmann@dkhacademy.org

    • Adrienne Howell
      2's Teacher Assistant

      Adrienne Howell

      2's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: Since 2002, took a break to raise our children
      Years at DKH Academy: 3
      Education:  Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY College at Oneonta and Master of Science in Special Education from Mount Saint Mary College
      Experience: Mrs. Howell taught 3 years as a middle/high school math teacher at New York Military Academy and 8 years for LISD at Degan Elementary school.

      Hobbies and Family: My husband Jared and I have been married for 10 years and are blessed with 3 amazing children Leora 9, Gianna 7 and Jared 5.

      Favorite Quote: A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: To love and nurture as if they were my own children and use every window as a learning opportunity.

    • Laura Hudson
      2's Teacher

      Laura Hudson

      2's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 6
      Years at DKH: 4
      Education: Bachelor of Science from Indiana University
      Experience: 4’s assistant at Trietsch Enrichment Center 2 years, Toddlers teacher at DKH Academy 2 years, 2’s teacher at DKH Academy 2 years

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Hudson has 1 daughter and twin boys.  She has been married for 25 years. Mrs. Hudson enjoys working out and crafting.

      Favorite Quote: “Treat your family like friends and your friends like family”

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I love to incorporated science in my classroom.  I try to have a science experiment as well as an engineering activity every week.  I believe it stimulates the brain and promotes a critical and creative thinking process.

      Email: hudson@dkhacademy.org

    • Robin Jones
      2's Teacher Assistant

      Robin Jones

      2's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 25
      Years at DKH Academy: 10
      Education: Attended Lamar University
      Experience: Ms. Robin volunteered many years at her children’s elementary and middle schools before coming to assist at DKH Academy. She spearheads DKH Academy’s Spirit Wear sale and is instrumental in planning the semi-annual Scholastic Book Fair.

      Hobbies and Family: Ms. Robin is married and has three grown children who all attended DKH Academy. She enjoys sewing, art, and cooking.

      Favorite Quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  – Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Lot’s of love, hugs and patience.

    • Julia Lockhart
      3's Teacher

      Julia Lockhart

      3's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 3
      Years at DKH Academy: 1st year
      Education: BS from Texas A&M University in Interdisciplinary Studies with Early Childhood emphasis
      Experience: 3 years teaching Kindergarten and 2 years in Pre-K.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Lockhart has been married for 22 years and has 3 children, ages 16, 14, and 12.  She enjoys hiking, crafting and anything outdoors.

      Favorite Quote: “Adults are just outdated children.” – Dr. Seuss and “For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good tings he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10

       

    • Julie McGovern
      Toddler's Assistant

      Julie McGovern

      Toddler's Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 8
      Years at DKH Academy: 8
      Education: Bachelor Degree for UNT
      Experience: 2’s Teacher / Assistant

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. McGovern has been married to her husband Matt married for 19 years. They have 3 children Jack 16, Kate 13, Hank 11.

      Favorite Quote: Simple words of a child can change everything.

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Having fun and keeping the students happy is a strong goal I have for the classroom.

    • Amy Medina
      3's Teacher

      Amy Medina

      3's Teacher

      Years of Experience in Education/Early Childhood: 9
      Years at DKH Academy: 1
      Education: B.A. in Psychology from Dallas Baptist University, M.S. in Child Development from Texas Woman’s University
      Experience: Seven years teaching in Lewisville Independent School District. Six years in fourth grade and one year in first grade-both as a bilingual teacher.

      Hobbies and Family: I love to read, run, cook and travel with my family. My family includes my husband, Emanuel Medina, and three kids, Caleb, Natalee, and Lucas. 

      Favorite QuoteEveryone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. James 1:19

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I have worked with children long enough to know that one size definitely does not fit all. Every child comes with their own unique personality and is capable of making meaningful contributions to the classroom. As an educator, my role is to make children excited about learning, whether it be a lesson on magnets or on being kind to others. Thankfully, with children, learning can take place through many means including play, songs, literature, movement and art. There is no greater job than helping a child feel confident about themselves and their place in the world!

      Email: medina@dkhacademy.org

    • Stephanie Ranieri
      2's Teacher Assistant

      Stephanie Ranieri

      2's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 27
      Years at DKH Academy: 10
      Education: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science with an emphasis on Occupational Training and Development
      Experience: After college, Stephanie worked several years as a curriculum developer, instructor and director of training.  Her curriculum has been implemented campus wide for faculty and staff at major universities as well as corporate education institutions within the DFW Metroplex.  In addition, she has held positions on accreditation teams responsible for upholding the highest standards of educational quality through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She led a training team which helped to develop and implement student software systems at Southern Methodist University.   Before becoming a wife and mother, she was the corporate director of training and development for a national restaurant business with over 130 stores.

      Hobbies and Family: Ms. Stephanie is married and has two multi-talented teenagers.  She enjoys sports, music, and outdoor activities.

      Favorite Quote: The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Hands down, I have the best job on the planet!  On any given day I am a dinosaur, a kitty cat, a taster of various cuisines, an auto mechanic, a builder of sky scrapers, and anything else a child can come up with.  Most importantly, I am a listener, a negotiator, a feelings validator, a communication coordinator, and a trusted friend to your children.  If they can dream it, they can be it, and I am 100% on board with them every step of the way.  You’ll find me in the school by listening for the sound of laughter because we do our fair share of that in the classroom. Allowing your child to bloom is my number one job.  I believe in meeting a child where they are, how they are, socially, emotionally, and academically.  We emphasize listening, communicating feelings and respect for not just other people, but for themselves and the world around us.

    • Amanda Renter
      3's Teacher

      Amanda Renter

      3's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: updating . . .
      Years at DKH Academy: updating . . .
      Education: BS degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University, Certified EC-3rd Grade
      Experience: Mrs. Renter taught 3rd grade in Lewisville ISD before joining DKH Academy. She was a stay-at-home-mom while her children were young and attended DKH Academy.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Renter is married and has a son and daughter. She loves spending time with her husband and two children. Mrs. Renter enjoys cooking and decorating her home.

      Email: renter@dkhacademy.org

    • Alisha Rodriguez
      3's Teacher Assistant

      Alisha Rodriguez

      3's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 7
      Years at DKH Academy: 1st year
      Education: Mrs. Rodriguez attended University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She received her Bachelors of Science in Education with certifications in General Education grades 1-6 and Special Education grades PK-12 working with students with a Cognitive Disability.  She also got her Masters Degree in Education & Special Education Certification changed to include students with Emotional and Learning Disabilities.
      Experience: Mrs. Rodriguez taught Middle School special education in Wisconsin for 8 years.  She was also an assistant working with middle school aged students who were in special education and taught students in Kindergarten who had moderate to severe cognitive impairments.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Rodriguez has been married for 7 years to Mike.  Mike and I have 5 children together. Her 2 youngest kids will be attending DKH this school year.

      Favorite Quote: “Don’t compare your child to others.  There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon.  They shine when its their time.”

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: My unique teaching style is to teach each child at their level and with activities that are engaging and fun. If playing can be made educational, then all the better. I also like to switch up the way I teach concepts using a variety of teaching methods. I like to have the students guide how and what I teach.

    • Ralonda Russell
      3's Teacher

      Ralonda Russell

      3's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 25
      Years at DKH Academy: 2
      Education: I’m currently a student at TWU finishing my EC-6th with ESL certification, I am very excited to be able to bring new and upcoming strategies to our classroom.
      Experience: Mrs. Russell has 25 years of experience and is excited to bring positive experiences to all students in her classroom. She has had many roles in early education that have included classroom teacher, education coordinator and trainer, assistant director as well as a center director. Mrs. Russell is ready to meet your little ones and to begin this education journey together. She feels her experience in a classroom, as an administer and now as even a college student can bring many new perspectives to her classroom learning styles. Mrs. Russell has had the privilege and challenge of being a part of a NAEYC accredited school in several different roles as a teacher and administrator.

      Hobbies and Family: Mrs. Russell has been married to my favorite man, Leon for almost 19 years and they have a 13 year old daughter, Bre. She keeps telling herself, the days are long but the years are short…..teenage years aren’t for the weak!

      Favorite Quote: “If anyone tells you your hair is too big, get rid of them. You dont’t need that kind of negativity in your life.” Dolly Parton

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: I feel it takes a big heart to shape little minds. I truly believe, “tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, but involve me and I’ll learn.” In our class we will get messy, we will create, problem solve and be challenged to express, learn explore and imagine together.

      Email: russell@dkhacademy.org

    • Kristin Silverman
      2's Teacher Assistant

      Kristin Silverman

      2's Teacher Assistant

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 3
      Years at DKH: 3
      Education: Attended MidEast Ohio Technical College- Graduated Licensed Practical Nurse
      Experience: Worked in geriatrics as an LPN for 15 years.

      Hobbies/Family info: Hobbies include sewing, crafts, antique shopping and watching my kids play sports. Family included Husband Eric, Children-12 year old daughter and 8 year old twin boys. All three kids attended DKH.

      Favorite Quote: If you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

    • Sarah Kay Whitmore
      Toddler's Teacher

      Sarah Kay Whitmore

      Toddler's Teacher

      Years in Education/Early Childhood: 11
      Years at DKH Academy: 1st year
      Education: Early Childhood Degree – Birth- 5th grade
      Experience: Preschool, Elementary, Family Ministry

      Hobbies and Family: I really enjoy being outside hiking and camping

      Favorite Quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent questions is, What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.

      Teaching Style/Unique Quality: Every child deserves the best start to create the brightest future.