Our Faculty and Staff bring to UCCC their education, expertise, enthusiasm, and a love for children and teaching. They are committed to helping young children and their families grow and learn. Each teacher is responsible primarily for her own classroom of children, although there is collaboration and continuity between/among classes. Teachers keep families informed about their child and the child’s classroom through newsletters and calendars, spontaneous and planned conversations and meetings, and twice-yearly conferences where on-going informal and formal assessments and portfolios are shared. Our administrator facilitates communication and the work among families, teachers, and the Preschool Board of Directors.

Monkey Teacher (4/5 Tues & Thurs)

Monkey Teacher (4/5 Tues & Thurs)

Robin abeshaus

Robin joined the “Monkey” class as a teacher in 2005.  She and her husband, Stephen Kalm, are former UCCC parents.  Robin tries not to count how many years it has been since her son, Evan, (now 19 and working for Jackson Construction) was in the 4/5’s class!  Robin and Stephen moved to Missoula from New York City in 1994.  Both their children, Anna and Evan, were born in Missoula.  Anna has since moved to NYC where she attends Barnard College and enjoys eating real bagels.  Robin started her teaching career in NYC as a 1st/2nd grade teacher at Bank Street School for Children.  She was thrilled to become a preschool teacher upon moving to Missoula, where she began teaching 3–5 year olds at Clark Fork School.  She has a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  Robin enjoys learning with and from the children she teaches.  She also enjoys supporting the social justice issues embodied in the preschool’s mission statement and University Congregational Church.  When she is not at school, Robin enjoys knitting, reading, attempting to garden, taking walks and naps, and volunteering with Missoula Food Bank.

Dinosaur Teacher (4/5 Mon, Wed, Fri)

Dinosaur Teacher (4/5 Mon, Wed, Fri)

Meagan Barkley

Meagan happily joined the UCCC team in 2013 to teach the “Dinosaurs”. Meagan and her husband Sam also joined UCCC as parents that same year, with the enrollment of their oldest daughter in the Bumblebee class! Meagan grew up in the Seattle area and taught there, after graduating in 2003 from Washington State University with a B.A. in Human Development: Early Childhood Education. She also lived and taught in Fresno, CA before moving to Missoula in 2009. Prior to becoming a teacher at UCCC, Meagan co-owned and operated Art and Garden Childcare and Preschool here in Missoula, and treasured the opportunity to spend time with her two young daughters. In the classroom, Meagan is passionate about helping young children gain a lifelong love of school and fostering meaningful and long-lasting relationships between all children, families, and teachers. Some of her favorite activities to do with children are in the sensory, block building, reading/language/literacy, and creative art centers. In her spare time, Meagan enjoys reading books and magazines, taking naps, sewing, hiking and camping, playing tennis, exploring Montana, and, most importantly, making memories with her family.

Ladybug Teacher (3/4 Tues & Thurs)

Ladybug Teacher (3/4 Tues & Thurs)

ANNIE DAVIS

Annie is delighted to be joining the UCCC Preschool teaching staff. Her knowledge and passion for early learning led her to complete degrees in both Elementary Education (B.A. from University of Montana) and Early Childhood Education (A.A. from University of Montana Western). In 2015, after 10 years of teaching at Missoula’s Head Start preschool program, Annie took time off to raise her son, Rowan. She eagerly awaited the day Rowan would enter preschool himself and she and her husband Ryan were thrilled to join UCCC as parents when their son enrolled in the Ladybug class in 2018. They are looking forward to another great year as UCCC parents when Rowan joins the Monkey class this Fall. Annie feels confident this is the program to bring her back to the profession she adores! Working alongside families to help children deepen their learning through meaningful, purposeful play is a cornerstone of her teaching style. She strives to create a warm and welcoming learning environment that allows children to explore their creativity, develop friendships, and learn new skills and levels of independence. She loves incorporating music into her teaching and has a song for just about every occasion! During her free time, you are sure to find her at a local coffee shop or bookstore, on a trail with her loyal cocker spaniel, Lucy, or at a park playing with her family.

 
Bumblebee Teacher (3/4 Mon, Wed, Fri)

Bumblebee Teacher (3/4 Mon, Wed, Fri)

Neva Hickman

Neva is excited to be teaching the “Bumblebee” class. She’s been involved with UCCC since 2014 when her son attended UCCC and she served as the Council Co-Chair. Subsequently, Neva served as Preschool Board Secretary, parent of a second UCCC-attending son, Lunch Bunch Assistant, and long-term substitute in the Ladybug class. Neva grew up on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Michigan. She has a BA in Psychology from University of Michigan, an MA in Northern History from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a life-long commitment to volunteering in schools and for educational opportunity programs.  Before moving to Missoula in 2011, Neva worked as an historian and PhD candidate in Fairbanks, Alaska. An avid reader with a deeply-rooted love of learning and an abiding curiosity, Neva endeavors to provide a stimulating and safe school environment, instilling that same love of learning through play and nurturing creativity and self-expression. She is delighted to be a part of UCCC and to have the opportunity to help young children develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually in their preschool journey.

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Rhett Hoff- Preschool Administrator

Rhett is the Administrator at UCCC. Rhett is a former UCCC parent and was previously President of the Paxson Elementary PTA. She is a native of South Carolina and the mother to two sons. Prior to motherhood and moving to Montana, she was the Operations Manager of a whitewater rafting company on the Chattooga River. Rhett has a B.A. in Biology from the College of Charleston and enjoys hiking, birding, gardening, cooking, and all things involving rivers. Rhett is excited to be back at UCCC working with such a great team of teachers and parents.

Preschool Board of Directors 2018-19

President & Church Liaison: Paige Judnich 406-360-1020 paigepatricia@gmail.com

Vice President: Ashley Corbally 406-396-3653 ashleycorbally@gmail.com

Secretary Kolleen Burreson 425-49-2328 kolleenburreson@gmail.com

Distribution Treasurer: Laci Rathbun 406-240-7420 ccrmtrentals@gmail.com

Income Treasurer: Katie Halloran 406-498-7838 kmj.halloran@gmail.com

Registrar: Kelsey Gauthier 406-690-7366 kelseygauthier@gmail.com

Outreach: Kirsten McGlynn 406-270-0108 mslaflute@gmail.com

Maintenance: Whitney Connell 406-370-7423 whitneyjoconnell@gmail.com

Purchaser: Rae Ellen 406-529-9852 r.youngellen@gmail.com