KATHY DUNCAN  Director   The preschool team is anchored by Kathy Duncan, who brings 35 years of experience to the program. Not only has she taught all five of her own grandchildren in preschool, she now has as students the children of her former preschoolers!  Mrs. Duncan, as the children call her, enjoys following the successes of preschool graduates. “I love to watch the little ones grow into their own beings,” she says. “To watch how their little minds gather what we teach them.”  Mrs. Duncan and her husband, Stan, live in Reserve Township and have two grown children, five grandchildren and one “grand-dog.” She counts  The Sound of Music, Grease, Flashdance  and  Ghost  among her favorite movies and can’t resist watching  The Price is Right, Dancing with the Stars  and  Big Brother  on TV. Someday she’d like to go to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person.  “The children want to come to school – to laugh, learn and enjoy their teachers, “ she says. “I look forward to that. The children keep us happy with their smiles.”

KATHY DUNCAN
Director

The preschool team is anchored by Kathy Duncan, who brings 35 years of experience to the program. Not only has she taught all five of her own grandchildren in preschool, she now has as students the children of her former preschoolers!

Mrs. Duncan, as the children call her, enjoys following the successes of preschool graduates. “I love to watch the little ones grow into their own beings,” she says. “To watch how their little minds gather what we teach them.”

Mrs. Duncan and her husband, Stan, live in Reserve Township and have two grown children, five grandchildren and one “grand-dog.” She counts The Sound of Music, Grease, Flashdance and Ghost among her favorite movies and can’t resist watching The Price is Right, Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother on TV. Someday she’d like to go to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person.

“The children want to come to school – to laugh, learn and enjoy their teachers, “ she says. “I look forward to that. The children keep us happy with their smiles.”

LAURIE MERWIN  Teacher   Ms. Merwin has so thoroughly embraced preschool culture that she loves dressing up just as much as the children do. She has a silly hat or clever costume for virtually every celebration throughout the year and keeps tabs on the shows, movies and characters that are popular with the preschoolers.   "I am a kid at heart," she says. "Since a young age, I always wanted to work with children."  When she's not teaching, Ms. Merwin enjoys catching her favorite TV shows, making birthday hats for her students, collecting fun pop culture items and spending time with her nephews and niece. She brings into the classroom with her the influence of two aunts who helped to raise her after the death of her parents at a young age. "My aunts have influenced me in many life decisions -- easy ones and, as of late, the more important, difficult ones."  After 14 years as a preschool teacher, Ms. Merwin still looks forward to the start of each term. "I enjoy meeting new children and new parents," she says. "We have an abundance of new adventures and experiences in our classrooms."

LAURIE MERWIN
Teacher

Ms. Merwin has so thoroughly embraced preschool culture that she loves dressing up just as much as the children do. She has a silly hat or clever costume for virtually every celebration throughout the year and keeps tabs on the shows, movies and characters that are popular with the preschoolers.

"I am a kid at heart," she says. "Since a young age, I always wanted to work with children."

When she's not teaching, Ms. Merwin enjoys catching her favorite TV shows, making birthday hats for her students, collecting fun pop culture items and spending time with her nephews and niece. She brings into the classroom with her the influence of two aunts who helped to raise her after the death of her parents at a young age. "My aunts have influenced me in many life decisions -- easy ones and, as of late, the more important, difficult ones."

After 14 years as a preschool teacher, Ms. Merwin still looks forward to the start of each term. "I enjoy meeting new children and new parents," she says. "We have an abundance of new adventures and experiences in our classrooms."

MELISSA NEIDHARDT  Teacher   Amazing Scholar is delighted to have Mrs. Neidhardt as part of its teaching team. The Ross Township resident holds a degree in elementary education and has a decade of experience in childcare. She brings enthusiasm to her work with the 3- and 4-year-old classes.  "I love learning the special qualities of each child," she says.  Married for 17 years, Mrs. Neidhardt is mom to four active boys, including twins, and a dog named Bella. She loves to cook and watch movies with her family and admits to a weakness for shopping at Target. Her entertainment favorites are the TV show  Gotham , the movie  Sweet Home Alabama  and country music. Her idea of vacation is "any place with clear, blue water and white sand."  She looks forward to sharing her hidden talents or fun quirks with the kids each year as she gets to know them. "I love how much little ones can learn," she says. "I want to be part of their learning."

MELISSA NEIDHARDT
Teacher

Amazing Scholar is delighted to have Mrs. Neidhardt as part of its teaching team. The Ross Township resident holds a degree in elementary education and has a decade of experience in childcare. She brings enthusiasm to her work with the 3- and 4-year-old classes.

"I love learning the special qualities of each child," she says.

Married for 17 years, Mrs. Neidhardt is mom to four active boys, including twins, and a dog named Bella. She loves to cook and watch movies with her family and admits to a weakness for shopping at Target. Her entertainment favorites are the TV show Gotham, the movie Sweet Home Alabama and country music. Her idea of vacation is "any place with clear, blue water and white sand."

She looks forward to sharing her hidden talents or fun quirks with the kids each year as she gets to know them. "I love how much little ones can learn," she says. "I want to be part of their learning."

 
DENEEN ASTURI  Teacher   Mrs. Asturi has been with our program in a teaching role since 2017, but her ties to the program date back to 2011 when her eldest child enrolled. All of her five boys are in elementary school now, freeing up time for their mom to work at the preschool.  "I have loved children since I was young," she says. "Growing up I only wanted to be a mother. So working with children is my passion."  Mrs. Asturi comes from a very large family so she's had plenty of personal experience in caring for youngsters, including working as a nanny. She also holds an associate's degree in teacher education and is a trained cosmetologist.   With a husband and five children at home in Reserve Township, Mrs. Asturi doesn't have much free time, but she does enjoy following ice hockey, doing hair and makeup and generally running her boys around to their activities. She says preschool boys are often surprised to learn she played ice hockey growing up, while the girls think it's neat that she's skilled with hair and makeup. She loves all the little things about them. "I look forward to each child being able to do something exciting that they may not have been able to do the year before."

DENEEN ASTURI
Teacher

Mrs. Asturi has been with our program in a teaching role since 2017, but her ties to the program date back to 2011 when her eldest child enrolled. All of her five boys are in elementary school now, freeing up time for their mom to work at the preschool.

"I have loved children since I was young," she says. "Growing up I only wanted to be a mother. So working with children is my passion."

Mrs. Asturi comes from a very large family so she's had plenty of personal experience in caring for youngsters, including working as a nanny. She also holds an associate's degree in teacher education and is a trained cosmetologist.

With a husband and five children at home in Reserve Township, Mrs. Asturi doesn't have much free time, but she does enjoy following ice hockey, doing hair and makeup and generally running her boys around to their activities. She says preschool boys are often surprised to learn she played ice hockey growing up, while the girls think it's neat that she's skilled with hair and makeup. She loves all the little things about them. "I look forward to each child being able to do something exciting that they may not have been able to do the year before."

MEGAN HOERSTER  Teacher's Aide   Bio coming soon!

MEGAN HOERSTER
Teacher's Aide

Bio coming soon!

MIKAELA KNUPSKY  Teacher's Aide   Miss Mikaela may be the youngest member of the teaching team, but her ties to the program are long. She and her younger brother were taught by Mrs. Duncan at Mount Assisi Academy Preschool. Over the years, she remained involved in the program as a volunteer before joining our staff in 2017. She works primarily with our 4-year-old classes.  A history major and research assistant at Carlow University, Miss Mikaela is fascinated by the World War II era, and hopes to someday visit Amsterdam and the home of one of her heroes, Anne Frank. She also counts former first lady Michelle Obama and musician Jenna McDougall among her greatest influences. In her free time, Miss Mikaela enjoys listening to music, reading and volunteering. She spent this past summer working as a camp counselor.  Miss Mikaela has two brothers who drive her crazy and a dog she can't resist. She also loves to share her funny faces with the preschoolers and humbly admits she is a bad dancer. She brings to the classroom a boatload of enthusiasm. "I just love to see their personalities take shape!"

MIKAELA KNUPSKY
Teacher's Aide

Miss Mikaela may be the youngest member of the teaching team, but her ties to the program are long. She and her younger brother were taught by Mrs. Duncan at Mount Assisi Academy Preschool. Over the years, she remained involved in the program as a volunteer before joining our staff in 2017. She works primarily with our 4-year-old classes.

A history major and research assistant at Carlow University, Miss Mikaela is fascinated by the World War II era, and hopes to someday visit Amsterdam and the home of one of her heroes, Anne Frank. She also counts former first lady Michelle Obama and musician Jenna McDougall among her greatest influences. In her free time, Miss Mikaela enjoys listening to music, reading and volunteering. She spent this past summer working as a camp counselor.

Miss Mikaela has two brothers who drive her crazy and a dog she can't resist. She also loves to share her funny faces with the preschoolers and humbly admits she is a bad dancer. She brings to the classroom a boatload of enthusiasm. "I just love to see their personalities take shape!"