Our Preschool Staff

Pauline Jackson, Director

Pauline Jackson holds a BS in Child Development and Teaching from Michigan State University and a Masters in Child Development from Erikson Institute in Chicago, one of the leading graduate schools in child development in the country. She taught for 8 years in both private and public preschools in Chicago, where she won the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award in 1996, an award that recognizes teachers for their dedication, innovation, leadership, and relationships with children and families. She served as Parent Educator for a school district in Connecticut, where she also designed early childhood documental panels that were hung in the state capitol. She has presented workshops on early literacy and art, and served on numerous early childhood committees over the years.  She is currently a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Pauline was born in Melrose, Scotland, home of Melrose Abbey, which the Kirk was modeled after. This is one of the many reasons she feels Kirk in the Hills Preschool has been a perfect fit for her since she began serving as director in 2001.

Katie Belliotti

Katie is excited to be our Parent/Tot teacher as of fall of 2018.  She comes to us with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Rochester College and over twelve years experience working in childcare settings as a toddler and preschool teacher.  Her former supervisors and colleagues describe her as warm, caring, open and “a natural” with young children.  She enjoys building relationships with both parents and children and feels her skills and experience make her well suited to her position at the Kirk Preschool.  She is the proud mother of a toddler which makes her especially in tune with this age group!

Robin Brinks

Robin Brinks has a B.A. in psychology and business administration from Hope College and a M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. Her work experience includes 10 years as a director of child care centers including the Community House Early Childhood Center in Birmingham. She has served Kirk in the Hills Preschool in many capacities, including Chair and Treasurer of the Preschool Board of Directors when her children attended the school, interim director and currently as assistant director and teacher of 3- and 4-year olds since 2007. Robin loves being one of the first influences on the children outside of their families. She hopes to instill a wonder for learning, and the feeling of being loved unconditionally by their teachers and by God.

Kristin Donoghue

Kristin Donoghue holds a B.S. in psychology and employee relations from Michigan State University and a Masters in early childhood education from Oakland University. Before coming to Kirk in the Hills Preschool in 2010, she taught preschool at several area preschools, including Country Day and St. Hugo of the Hills. Kristin loves to bring new and creative ideas to the classroom, and enjoys finding ways to make every moment a “teachable moment.”

Cathy Geraghty

Cathy Geraghty has an AA degree in early childhood education from Oakland Community College.  Before coming to Kirk in the Hills Preschool in 2009 she was the lead teacher and assistant director at the Community House Early Childhood Center in Birmingham. Cathy is a mother of 4 who grew up in the area and now lives in Bloomfield.  She is currently a teacher of 4-year-olds. She feels that it’s a privilege to be able to teach at Kirk in the Hills Preschool, and believes in providing a warm, loving atmosphere for all children so that they may have an exceptional learning experience.

Terri Hanpeter

Terri Hanpeter has a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, both from the University of Michigan.   She taught many years in a pre-primary special ed environment and continued to volunteer at all levels of education once her son arrived in 1998.  She spent many years teaching Sunday School at Kirk in the Hills before becoming a substitute teacher for the Kirk’s preschool program.  She is now a teacher in both the 2 1/2-year-old class and the 3 day 3-year-old class.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Kirk Preschool staff and loves working with the staff, kids and parents alike.  Terri feels that teaching in such a loving, supportive, Christian-based learning environment is truly a blessing!

Mary Ann Holmes

Mary Ann Holmes received in B.S. in elementary education from Central Michigan University. Her work experience includes being the lead teacher at First Congregational Church Co-op Preschool in Royal Oak for 7 years before coming to Kirk in the Hills Preschool in 2001. Mary Ann taught our 3- and 4-year-old classes for several years and has been preschool’s Jr. Kindergarten teacher since 2009. The favorite part of Mary Ann’s teaching day is watching the smiles on the children’s faces and the spark in their eyes, as all of our ideas take shape in their busy, curious minds!

Meghan Lorang

Meghan Lorang received her B.S. in Family Community Services (Child Development) from Michigan State University. She also received a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University. Meghan has many years of teaching experience in preschool and early elementary classrooms. In addition to her degrees, Meghan also has earned her Montessori certification in Pre-primary education (3-6 year olds).  Meghan has been a teacher in the 2 1/2-year-old class since the fall of 2016.  Meghan has known from a young age that she wanted to work with children. She loves the children’s energy and watching them grow, and also enjoys reading and singing with them.

Mark Modich

Mark Modich holds a Masters in elementary education from Wayne State University. He served as an elementary school teacher in the Royal Oak Public Schools for over 30 years before joining Kirk in the Hills Preschool’s staff in 2010. He is delighted to have discovered the joys of teaching preschool children in our Before School Care program while partnering  with his wife, Pat Modich, the Kirk’s veteran preschool teacher.

Pat Modich

Pat Modich has completed a wide array of courses in early childhood development and education. Pat has many years of teaching experience, and has taught preschool at Kirk in the Hills since 1995. While at the preschool, she has served as 3-year-old teacher, 4-year-old teacher, Parent/Tot teacher and Administrative Assistant to the director. She is currently teaching the the 3 day 3-year-old class. She is also thrilled to be teaching the Before School Care program with her husband, “Mr. Mark.” Pat loves to celebrate and embrace each child’s individuality, and to see their confidence soar as a result.

Anita Pinson

Anita is thrilled to join our staff as Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher as of Fall 2018.  She has a Masters in Music Education from University of Michigan and taught music in the Bloomfield Schools for many years.  She has been an adjunct professor at both Marygrove and Rochester Colleges.  She is currently very active at Kirk in the Hills Church and is an executive team member for its Accent Pontiac outreach project. Anita has 2 grown children who live out of state.  In her spare time, Anita loves to knit, read, LEARN, garden, bake and do yoga.

Tracey Stinebaugh

Tracey Stinebaugh received her B.S. in Merchandise Management from Michigan State University and has completed all of her course work towards a Masters in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. While raising her three children, Tracey taught Kindergarten and then decided to stay home with her children. During this time she was a substitute preschool teacher, taught Sunday school and volunteered and chaired numerous events and committees at her children’s schools. She has been a 4-year-old teacher at the preschool since 2007. Tracey loves the enthusiasm the children bring to school each day, and the way their faces light up as they are introduced to new ideas and experiences.

Rev. Angela Ryo

Rev. Angela Ryo is Assistant Pastor for Christian Formation at Kirk in the Hills.  She has her Masters in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary and a Masters in Teaching from National Louis University.  Her experience includes being a Lilly Resident Minister, an adjunct faculty member at McCormick Theological Seminary and teaching high school English. Angela and her husband, David, live in Bloomfield Hills with their two children.   One of the highlights of Angela’s month is sharing Bible stories and prayers with the Kirk Preschool’s classes.

Nancy Corbeille

Nancy Corbeille, the preschool’s music teacher, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a licensed Kindermusik educator who has over twenty years of experience teaching music to children. She has been our music teacher here at the Kirk Preschool since 2004, and is instrumental in overseeing the Christmas program and end of the year program.

Erin Durren

Erin Durren, the preschool’s science teacher, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University in Oxford, OH.  She specialized in science and math, and she is thrilled to explore science concepts with young minds.  Erin has over fifteen years of teaching experience working with kids of all ages.  She loves being a part of the Kirk in the Hills Preschool as a mother, science teacher, and board member.

A preschool student's night sky painting.
Painting from preschool class.
A preschool student's artwork from class.