Meet Our Preschool Team
All members of our teaching staff are life-long learners and have a passion for teaching preschoolers! Teachers attend regular trainings on best practices in the field of Early Childhood Education.
My name is Breanna Cleeves and I am the Director of the Little Comets Preschool Programs. Preschool is such an exciting, impressionable time in a child’s life. It is a special time when children develop a love for learning. I am always amazed at the developments that occur over the school year within each child. Watching our students grow is a favorite part of my job! They are not only learning letters, numbers, and how to write, but are also developing positive attitudes toward independence, exploration, cooperation, motivation, and creativity. I feel very fortunate to be working amongst a group of supportive, inspiring, early childhood professionals. What an amazing team I have!
In 2008, I graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I then obtained my Master’s Degree in Instruction and Curriculum in Early Childhood Education from Grand Valley State University. Prior to re-opening Holbrook, I enjoyed teaching preschool in Atlanta and in the Lansing area. I also taught full-day Kindergarten for four years. I love that our program has grown and expanded over the years, creating a need for our Delta Mills location in West Lansing! When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, boating, shopping, and down-hill skiing. I have a passion for interior design and enjoy decorating and re-decorating my home in Grand Ledge. My husband and I have two beautiful children who bring so much joy to our lives!
Hi! My name is Maria Dionise-Kurdunowicz. I am the Assistant Director at Delta Mills. I graduated from Michigan State University in 2012. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Letters with a minor in Education and Spanish. I also have a ZA endorsement in Early Childhood. I have always worked in preschool! During college, I was a preschool aide and in years prior I was a lead teacher at Little Shamrock’s Preschool. I was a Lead Teacher at Holbrook Early Childhood Center location from 2013-2017. I transferred to Delta Mills as the building opened in 2017 and I am enjoying my role as Assistant Director. I love sharing my knowledge and excitement for preschool with the early childhood staff. My husband and I welcome our sweet baby girl, June is October 2021. We are so in love! A few of my favorite things include spending time with my family and friends, MSU football and traveling to new places with my husband/daughter!
Hello! My name is Carmen Palmer and I am the Lead Teacher for the half-day program at Delta Mills Early Childhood Center. I worked at Holbrook Early Childhood Center for a year and a half as a Teacher’s Assistant in both full and half day classrooms. I was thrilled to come to Delta Mills to teach in my own classroom! I graduated from Olivet College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I absolutely love working with preschoolers, it is my passion! I believe each child has the right to learn at their own pace and I am passionate about finding what learning techniques work best for each individual child. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my own children. Hannah, is my oldest and she works at Auto Owners and just purchased her own condo. Cameron is a Junior at Western University and is studying Education. My youngest, Isabella, is a Junior at GLHS. I also have two fur babies, Delilah and Lily . I love reading and working on crafts. I am very fortunate to be working for such a wonderful preschool program. It is a pleasure and a joy to teach here!
Hello, my name is Janna Sherwood and I’m so excited to be starting my third school year as a full time Lead Teacher in one of Delta Mills three/four classrooms. I joined the Little Comets Preschool staff in 2017, when our Delta Mills location opened and it has been an incredible experience watching the growth of the program over the past four years. While I’ve learned countless things, the biggest one is that my love for teaching and positively impacting young minds only gets greater!
I graduated from Michigan State University in 2008 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. A few years later, I felt as though I was meant to be in the classroom, surrounded by children and began a whole different path in Education. I am currently working on finishing up my second Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with an English Minor and a Social Studies Endorsement from Michigan State University. Being able to contribute to my student’s educational journey is such a fulfilling thing! I feel so fortunate to have found where my passion truly lies and feel that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be!
While teaching is a big part of my world, my family and friends make up the rest! My husband, Dan and I will be celebrating our 8th Wedding Anniversary this fall. We have a son, Gannon, who turned four this past July and he attends Delta Mills as well. I am amazed by him each and every day and feel so blessed to be his Momma. I love adventure, camping, traveling and making memories!
Hello! My name is Cathy Starr, and this is my third-year teaching three/four-year-old Full Day Preschool at Delta Mills. I received my Bachelor’s in Education from Central Michigan University and my Master’s in Literacy Instruction from Michigan State University. I taught Kindergarten and First Grade in Lansing for over twenty years before making the move to early childhood in the Little Comets Preschool Program.
I have always enjoyed helping, teaching, and working with young children. They bring so much joy and life into the teaching process. I believe in creating a positive, engaging, and play based learning environment in order to meet the needs of each child.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband Scott and our four children. Our daughter, Abbie is also a preschool teacher in the area. Our sons, Nick and Gabe are in college, and our youngest daughter Chrissy is in seventh grade. I also enjoy reading, playing cards with friends, spending time Up North, and cheering on the MSU Spartans.
Hello! My name is Rachelle Parmelee, and I am one of the Full-Day Lead Teachers in a three/four year old classroom at Delta Mills. This will be my third school year working for the Little Comets Preschool Program. Prior to Delta Mills, I worked with preschool aged children for several years at other childcare facilities in the area! I have an Associates Degree from Lansing Community College and furthered my education by obtaining my Bachelors in Elementary Education. I also have a Child Development Associates Degree.
A little more about me, I have two boys, a four-year-old and a one year old. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with them! I am excited for this upcoming school year! Thank you for sharing your children with me!
Hello! My name is Selina Cortez, and I am the Co-Lead Teacher for the Young Two’s Classroom at Delta Mills. For the past four years, I’ve been an Assistant Teacher in various classrooms in the county. I was a Teacher Assistant in a toddler classroom at Weymouth Childhood Center and a Teacher Assistant in an infant classroom at Gilden Woods. Those jobs led me to the Little Comets Preschool Program at Holbrook Early Childhood Center for the 2019-2020 school year, in a full day three- and four-year-old classroom, before working as a Teacher Assistant at Delta Mills for Summer Camp 2020. This will be my second year as the Co-Lead Teacher in the Young Two’s Classroom, I started in this role during the 2020-2021 school year. I majored in Psychology at Lansing Community College and studied Early Childhood Development at Bay Mills Community College. I’ve always had a passion for teaching! I believe the first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important and I love playing a role in their everyday explorations. Preschool is the foundation that begins to shape our children’s future health, happiness, growth, development, and learning achievement. I gave birth to my second daughter named Daisy in June 2021. Aside from teaching, I enjoy spending time with my daughters Vera and Daisy, shopping at Target and enjoying iced coffee! I am so fortunate to have a role in such an amazing program! It is a pleasure to work with an extraordinary group of early childhood professionals at Neff and Delta Mills!
Hello! My name is Kaitlyn Hagadus, and I am one of the full day lead teachers in the Young Preschool Room at Delta Mills. This is my first school year teaching at Delta Mills. Prior to this position, I worked at Gilden Woods as a lead teacher. My favorite part of teaching is watching how the students progress throughout the year. I am working on obtaining my Child Development Associate's Degree from Lansing Community College. I have a four year old daughter named Paisley. She attends Neff Early Childhood Center. We have a baby boy on the way and is due July 20th, 2022. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and go out on adventures together. I am excited to spend this school year with your amazing children!