Staff

Jennifer Finch  

Director

Jennifer has been with Faith Academy since March 6, 2012, after working as a teacher, an Assistant Director, and a Director at another child care center.  Jennifer has her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  She also has taken most of the Administrative Credential courses from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Jennifer is also a certified trainer for Shaken Baby Syndrome, Professional Development Approval System Trainer, and a Children’s Vision Screener.  She has obtained an Inclusion Credential through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  Jennifer is also learning American Sign Language.

Jennifer is the youngest of seven children and grew up in northern Wisconsin.  Jennifer is married to her college sweetheart, Chris.  She has a daughter, Lauren, and a son, Aiden, who also attend Faith Academy.

During her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and spending time with family.

 

 

Ebony Johnson

Assistant Director

Ebony has been with Faith Academy since September 2008. She currently has ECI & II, Infant/Toddler, CPR/First Aid, shaken baby, Administrator Supervision, and a CDA credential. She has obtained an Inclusion Credential through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Ebony is also learning American Sign Language.

Ebony looks forward to teaching every day and spending time with the children.  The children are the highlight of her day and it brings her great pleasure to be a part of their lives!

Ebony has been married to her best friend, Manteese, since 2000.  They have two boys named, Manteese and Armani.

 

Tracy Laverdure

Educational Coordinator

Registry Level:  12

Tracy has been working in early childhood since August 2001 with almost 10 years of directing experience.  She worked at Faith Academy from November 2010 to March 2016 and returned in November 2016.  She graduated in

May 2014 with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Tracy believes children are a precious gift from God and should be loved unconditionally.  She truly enjoys helping and seeing children learn and grow and is committed to providing the best in quality care for children and families.

Tracy lives with her fiancé and has two children of her own and two step-children.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, watching movies and relaxing with their dog.

 

 

 

Charella Powell

Infant Teacher

Became a team member:  June 2008

Education:  ECI, ECII, Infant/Toddler, Infant & Toddler Credential

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS, SEFEL, Strengthening Families

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  9

Charella’s goal as an Early Childhood teacher, is to do her best to develop and maintain an open, friendly, and cooperative relationship with the parents and children.    She wants to promote feelings of security and trust and to provide opportunities that allow them to develop curiosity, initiative, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

Charella has a husband and three children of her own, whom she loves dearly.

 

 

Ivory Strong

Infant Teacher

Became a team member:  May 2011

Education:  Inclusion Credential, ECI, ECII, Infant/Toddler, School Age

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS, Strengthening Families

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  9

Ivory has been working with children for over 13 years.  She believes that children are a special blessing from God, and they bring her such happiness.  In 2017, Ivory acquired an Inclusion Credential through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

In her spare time, Ivory enjoys shopping and traveling.  She especially enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Her Family is very important to Ivory.  She is the second oldest of her four siblings.  Ivory also has two sons, named Jayden and Zaire.  For Ivory, her sons are her everything.

 

 

Dima Abuhatoum

Toddler Teacher

Became a team member: February 2016

Education:  Bachelor’s degree in physical education, ECI, ECII,

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  14

Dima has experience at several child care centers in the Milwaukee area.  She also was a physical education teacher for 14 years in an elementary school.

Dima enjoys working with children and seeing them learn and grow up.

In her spare time, Dima enjoys:  walking, reading, and playing tennis.

Dima moved to the United States in 2006.  She is married and has two daughters of her own.

 

 

Ashley Tate

Toddler Teacher

Became a team member:  July 2017

Education:  ECI

YoungStar Trainings:  In Process

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  In process

Ashley is currently a senior at Nathan Hale High School.  Ashley has taken her child care courses at the high school, so she is just starting her career in the early childhood field.

Ashley loves each child unconditionally and loves working with them because each day is different.  She loves watching the kids grow and loves their endless energy!

During her spare time, Ashley enjoys babysitting, working out at the gym, hanging out with friends and family, and she loves to shop.

Ashley is very thankful for her Mom, Dad, Grandma, and her brothers and sisters.

 

 

Carmen Gely

Two-Year-Old Teacher

Became a team member: February 2018

Education:  Infant & Toddler Credential, Preschool Credential

YoungStar Trainings:  SEFEL

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  11

Carmen has completed an Infant and Toddler Credential, as well as a Preschool Credential. She is currently working on obtaining a Human Servies Degree and she hopes to finish it soon. She has been working with children for 7 years. She started at a Head Start program that her daughter was attending. Carmen has spent some time with school-aged children and infants. She most recently worked as an Early Head Start Resouce Teacher, where she worked with a mixed age group from 6 weeks through 3 years.

She loves working with 2-year old’s!  They say the funniest things and their brains are like sponges.

Carmen is a mother to a beautiful daughter named, Aviana.  Together, they take care of their 2 pets:  a turtle named Squirt, and their new kitten, Nalavicia Shakira (Nala).  They spend most of the summer going to Six Flags riding all the roller coasters.  They love going to water parks all year long.  On her downtime, Carmen loves making her daughter watch all the 90’s TGIF shows she grew up watching.  A special talent of hers is making up new songs to familiar tunes, and her students love it.

 

 

Kara Steele

Two-Year-Old Teacher

Became a team member:  February 2018

Education:  Infant & Toddler Credential

YoungStar Trainings:  In process

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  11

Kara has completed an Infant and Toddler Credential and she is still working towards an Early Childhood Education Degree. She has been working with children for four years.  She started out as a Lead Teacher for a one- the one-and-a-half-year-old classroom for two years.  After that, she worked with three to six-year-olds and then became a Floater and Extended day teacher at a Head Start.  She was previously promoted to an Early Head Start Teacher and was working with children 6 weeks to 3 years of age before starting at Faith Academy.

Kara has two kids: a son named, Jordan, and a daughter named, Aaliyah.  Her son is a huge sports fan so they are always doing something sports related: going to games, playing them outside or watching him play a certain sport.  They love the warm weather and being able to be outside. They also enjoy going to the beach, water parks, going to her parent’s lake house and visiting them throughout the year. Being a mother keeps her busy, but when she gets time to herself, she enjoys: catching up on TV shows, going shopping, or taking a long nap.

 

 

 Secelia Concepcion

Preschool Teacher

Became a team member:  March 2016

Education:   Inclusion Credential, ECI, ECII, Infant/Toddler

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS, Strengthening Families

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  3

Secelia has worked in several child care centers in the Milwaukee area.  She has worked with children since 2010 and she doesn’t see herself doing anything else.  Secelia loves teaching, aside from being a mother; it is one of her greatest accomplishments.  She loves teaching because there is never a dull moment in her classroom.  She truly feels “the messier, the better” is part of the fun of a child care classroom.  Secelia earned her Inclusion Credential in 2018.

In her spare time, Secelia enjoys taking her kids to the park and the library.  She loves to camp, get dirty, and spend time with her family.

Secelia is a mother to two beautiful children; a son, Xavier, and a daughter, Isabella. She married her husband, Justin, in July 2018.

 

 

Janelle Hagen

Preschool  Teacher

Became a team member: March 2016

Education: ECI, ECII, Infant, and Toddler

YoungStar Trainings: In process, Strengthening Families

State Training: SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level: 2

Janelle has been working in childcare since 2011.

She loves working with children because it has always been her passion since she was little!  She loves that not every day is a different adventure.  Janelle learns from the children every single day.  She admires their creativity and endless energy.  She feels the children motivate her to become a better person and more knowledgeable because, children by nature, are very curious.  Janelle also loves to watch the children reach their milestones and knowing she played a part in that makes her feel so proud!

In her spare time, she loves taking her daughter to different places, such as: to the zoo or even target.  Janelle also sells Usborne Books and in October she works at a haunted house!

Janelle has a daughter that was born on December 3, 2015, named Paisleigh and she is also engaged!

 

 

DeAnna Mageski

Prekindergarten Teacher

Became a team member:  August 2016

Education:  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (81 credits in Early Childhood Special Education)

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

YoungStar Trainings:  In process, Strengthening Families

DeAnna has been teaching preschool since 2007, and she loves it!  She has taught 3K-4K and Kindergarten but loves each one.  She loves to have the privilege of teaching young children and she looks forward to getting to know each family.

In her spare time, DeAnna loves to garden, mission work travel-Guatemala, exercise, and hanging out with her family.  DeAnna enjoys wildlife and taking photographs.  She also loves a good cup of coffee!  Although most of her time is taking care of her family, their schedules and being a taxi, DeAnna is a proud orchestra band, color guard, and dance and swim mom.

DeAnna is a mother of two beautiful busy teenagers as well as a wife to her hard-working husband of 17 years.  She also has some lovely animals in her family: a cat named Peanut, and a 5 lb. Yorkshire Terrier named, Tank!

 

 

Lisa Pipp

PreKindergarten Teacher

Became a team member: March 2015

Education:  Associates Degree in ECE, 3 years at Carthage in Elementary Education. Currently attending UW-Whitewater.

YoungStar Trainings:  Inclusion, WMELS, Strengthening Families

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  12

Lisa likes working with children because she loves how they embrace and enjoy the little things in life, the things adults take for granted.  She loves helping and educating children, seeing them grow, and knowing she helped them grow.  Lisa loves to make a difference, big or small.

Here’s a little more information about Ms. Lisa!  She loves:  Disney, her favorite holiday is Christmas, scrapbooking, dogs, watching Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family, and anything on Pinterest!

Lisa married in May 2016, and she has 2 stepchildren.  She also has a Cocker Spaniel named, Buster.  Lisa has a younger sister.

 

 

Shannon Knapp

Assistant Teacher / Floater

Became a team member:  October 2014

Education:  ECI, ECII, Infant and Toddler, additional college-related credits

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  11

Shannon has previous experience with children with special needs.  She has also been a VBS teacher, Sunday school teacher, and a Boy and Girl Scout’s leader.  Shannon feels that doing all these different activities have helped her to be in contact and care for all different types of children.  Shannon would love to go back to school to finish up her Early Childhood education.

During her spare time, she enjoys:  going to the movies, camping, cooking, baking, and being with her family and friends.

Shannon is a mother of three children and they keep her very busy as they are all becoming teenagers!  Shannon is an only child but has a very big extended family that she is very close with which has been a big support in her life.

 

 

Alisha Tate

Assistant Teacher

Became a team member:  June 2016

Education:  ECI, Currently attending WCTC

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  Level 9

Alisha is currently attending Waukesha County Technical College majoring in Early Childhood Education.  Alisha enjoys working with children because she loves giving them extra love, show them right from wrong.  She loves that the kids learn something new every day.  She prides herself in going her best to instill positivity and good values into the children she cares for.

During her spare time, Alisha enjoys hanging out with her friends and family.  She tries her best to live life to the absolute fullest.

Alisha has 3 sisters and 2 brothers that she would do absolutely anything for.  She is so thankful for her Mom, Dad, and Grandma.  She says without them, she doesn’t think she is where she is today.

 

 

Sonya Dantzler

Cook / Floater

Became a team member:  September 2010

Education:  ECI, ECII, Infant/Toddler

YoungStar Trainings:  WMELS, SEFEL

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  In process

Sonya enjoys working with children because they are fun and pure.  The children remind her of how much she misses being a child and it is also preparing her for children of her own since she does not have a child of her own yet.  She is the youngest of 4 girls and her parents have been married for many years.  She has 6 nephews and 1 niece.

In her spare time, Sonya enjoys: reading, spending time with family or friends and relaxing, watching her favorite sitcoms or movies.

Every Saturday, she attends praise dance rehearsal and church on Sundays.  Some weekends she goes out shopping or out to eat with friends.  Sonya loves listening to music, R&B, and gospel being her favorite.

 

 

Krista Lichterman

Support Staff

Became a team member:  September 2016

Education: Bachelor’s Degree

YoungStar Trainings:  In Process

State Training:  SIDS, Shaken Baby, First Aid/CPR, Child Abuse and Neglect

Registry Level:  In process

Krista has a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.  Krista was able to be a stay home mom for 14 years raising her 4 children.  She likes working with children because she loves to see each child grow and develop!  From when children are babies learning how to roll over, to crawling, and then finally walking.  She likes to watch them navigate their world and learn so many new things.

In her spare time, Krista likes to travel, bake and cook with her daughter.

Krista has four beautiful children of her own with her husband, Kevin who she has been married to for 20 years!  Her oldest, Sammy, is a sophomore at Franklin High School.  Alexis is in the 7th grade and is on the Franklin Poms team.  Charlie is in the 3rd grade at Ben Franklin.  He loves school and is a Cub Scout.  Finally, Jessica is the baby of their family.  She is 3 years old and she loves dinosaurs!  They also have two cats named Luke and Leia.