Diana Baker: Lead Classroom Teacher
Diana was originally drawn to SouthSide because of the unique history and mission of the center. Diana’s favorite part of working at SouthSide is the diversity that you find within each and every classroom. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Autonomous University of Tamaulipas and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at Missouri Baptist University. Fun Fact: Both of Diana’s children were born ON their due dates- something Diana is very proud of!
Lynn Carroll: Lead Classroom Teacher
Lynn chose to work at SouthSide because she loved the whole-child approach to development. Lynn has her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Fontbonne University. Lynn’s favorite part about working at SouthSide is the play based curriculum and the kindness of the staff! Fun Fact: Lynn’s dream is to live in a tiny house.
Sandy Eidel: Lead Classroom Teacher
Sandy chose to work at SouthSide because she missed working with children and families and likes the support that Southside offers teachers, parents and the children. Sandy has her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Ed and two classes from Masters in Elementary Ed. Sandy’s favorite part about working at SouthSide is that everybody is friendly and helpful. Fun Fact: Sandy is a Huge Steelers fan and I want to go to Australia someday.
Kiana Fleming: Teacher Assistant
Kiana chose to work at SouthSide because she is inspired to be a part of initiatives that are focused on social equity and inclusion. She believes that it is important to be a part of a place that attempts to break down boundaries and support sustainable collaborations and work that can lead to great change in our community. Kiana has her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Spelman College. Kiana’s favorite part about working at SouthSide is watching the children develop intellectually, emotionally and socially. Fun Fact: Kiana could eat pizza every day!
Shelley Fleming: Teacher Assistant
Shelly knew when she saw SouthSide that it was for her. She loves the friendly environment and SouthSide mission to nurture, educate and inspire children of all abilities. Shelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and originally heard about SouthSide through a class assignment. Fun Fact: Shelly is a lifetime Girl Scout and a troop leader!
Tristin Gumble: Lead Classroom Teacher
Tristin graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and is certified to teach Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has lived in St. Louis for two years and enjoys drawing anime, baking, and spending time with friends and family. Fun Fact: Tristin holds a Black Belt in Karate!
Nora Hackmann: Lead Classroom Teacher
Nora received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders and Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Truman State University. Nora chose SouthSide because she believes in the value of high quality education for all children. SouthSide gives her the opportunity to be a part of students’ first experiences in the classroom and to help them develop a positive mindset about learning. She especially loves the way everyone at SouthSide works collaboratively to provide students with a great education and care. Fun Fact: Nora grew up on a dairy farm in rural Missouri as the youngest of six children!
Kristin Hauser: Lead Classroom Teacher
Kristin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Missouri in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Kristin chose SouthSide because of the quality learning experiences for the children and the support network for their families. Outside of work and school, Kristin lvoes to play sports! Fun Fact: Kristin plays Ultimate Frisbee on a competitive co-ed team called pARCHd!
Claire Heckenkamp: Lead Classroom Teacher
Claire received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Childhood Special Education from Lindenwood University. Claire says SouthSide was an easy choice because of the welcoming and supportive environment. Her goal is to help shape the children of her community and her favorite part of her job is her students! Fun Fact: Claire loves sno-cones and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Jasmine Kille: Lead Classroom Teacher
Jasmine has been working in the early education field for over 14 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Webster University and is currently working her Master’s Degree in both Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from Southeast Missouri State University. Jasmine says that she chose SouthSide because the educational philosophy aligns with her personal teaching philosophy. Her favorite thing about working at SouthSide is that both the teachers and children love to learn together every single day. Fun Fact: Jasmine has travelled to Mexico, Canada, Ireland and England!
Miros Lopez: Lead Classroom Teacher
Miros is originally from Venezuela and has two wonderful children. She graduated from nursing school in 1977 and worked in a pediatric emergency department for ten years. After moving to the United States in 1985 Miros worked with children with autism and as a teacher assistant in a dual language learning program. Miros moved to St. Louis and started working at SouthSide, and is continuing her studies in early childhood education. Fun Fact: Miros likes music and loves to dance.
Amy Merzweiler: Lead Classroom Teacher
Amy loves working with young children and first learned about SouthSide when her oldest son completed service hours in a SouthSide classroom. Amy’s hobbies include spending quality time with her family, chilling out on the beach and practicing her photography skills. Fun Fact: Amy loves dogs and would like to be a dog show judge!
Stephanie McKinney: Lead Classroom Teacher
Stephanie graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Development. She was raised in Kansas City and has been living in St. Louis for the last two years in the Benton Park neighborhood. She loves to ride bikes, explore the city and cook for family and friends. Fun Fact: Stephanie swam with wild dolphins while living in Florida for a summer.
Andrea Richardson: Assistant Teacher
Andrea wanted to become a part of the team at SouthSide because she loves helping children reach toward and meet their academic goals. Her favorite part of working at SouthSide is listening to all of the intriguing things that pop into the children’s minds. Andrea is currently working toward her degree in Early Childhood Education. Fun Fact: Andrea loves to bake!
Ashley Ross: Lead Classroom Teacher
Upon returning to early childhood education, Ashley chose SouthSide because of the inclusion of parents in the learning experience. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing cards and going to the lake. Fun Fact: Ashley is Canadian and moved to St. Louis when she was 13! Most of her family still lives in Ontario!
Cathy Tanney: Lead Classroom Teacher
Cathy chose to become a part of the SouthSide family because she wanted to be a part of a quality early childhood program serving the families of South St. Louis. Cathy holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and her Master’s of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from InterAmerican University in Puerto Rico. Fun Fact: Cathy lived in Venezuela for thirteen years and Puerto Rico for six before moving to St. Louis!
Meaghan Wolfe: Lead Classroom Teacher
Meaghan received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Learning from the University of Memphis, and her Master of Arts, Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Bethel University. Meaghan chose SouthSide because our philosophy and approach to teaching and learning is something she loves and believes in. She says her favorite part of SouthSide are all the people she’s met here, the parents, the students, and the staff. Fun Fact: Meaghan lived in Boston and Memphis before moving to St. Louis.