Staff

staffMost of our teachers have a two or a four year degree in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, psychology, sociology, or in another related field. We have found that there is simply no substitute for educated, dedicated teachers. We work very hard to maintain low staff turnover, and as a result we have a very low turnover of children. Twenty years of experience in the child care field has taught us that our staff makes all the difference! Nicole Robbins, Owner and Founder I started Peace of Mind in 1993, after graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Business Entrepreneurship. I knew more than anything that I wanted to be with children, and that by partnering with parents, we could create a unique place for children to grow and thrive. Peace of Mind has evolved over the years into a home away from home for so many children. I feel incredibly blessed to have this job that is truly amazing! To be given the opportunity to be a part of so many families lives in such a unique and personal way – is incredibly joyful. Our team is always looking for ways we can do more for parents, so that they can have what we aim to provide – Peace of Mind, while their kids are in our care.

Infant Staff


Olivia

Olivia

Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Olivia Baxter. I currently live in Woodbury, MN with my family. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Youth Studies, Communications, and Theater. I’ve worked with children ever since I’ve been able to babysit! I have worked in schools, community centers, theaters, and even as an assistant dance teacher! Fun facts about me are I danced for 15 years, I come from a family of 8, I love kayaking, and I collect rocks.

Annie

Annie

Teacher

Hi my name is Annie Goodwin. I currently live in Hudson, WI. I have worked in childcare since 2001. Some interesting facts about me are, I am very crafty and love to make things for my family and friends!

Caitlin

Caitlin

Teacher

Hi my name is Caitlin, I currently live in Plum City, Wisconsin. I have working in childcare since 2010. Some interesting facts about myself are I love horror movies, spicy food, and dancing!

Toddler Staff


 

Emily

Emily

Lead Teacher Toddlers

Hi my name is Emily Anderson. I currently live in Woodbury, Minnesota. I am also a CNA and I have a son and 2 dogs!

Amber

Amber

Lead Teacher Toddlers

Hi my name is Amber Peterson, I currently live in Baldwin WI with my husband. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I have a son named Ryker, and a dog named Sven!

Mikayla

Mikayla

Teacher

Hi, I am MiKayla Hamed. I live in Blaine with my husband and my daughter! I started working in childcare at 18. I worked with kids for 6 years then became a dental assistant and worked for a periodontist for a couple of years before coming back to work with children again! I enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Katy

Katy

Aide

Hi my name is Katy Robbins. I currently live in Hudson, WI. I have worked in childcare since 2017. Some facts about me are that I like to play soccer and my mom and dad own Peace of Mind!

Preschool Teachers


Malvika

Malvika

Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Malvika I was born in India and moved to the USA in 2011. I have completed my diploma in Electronics and Communication from Ahmedabad in India. I finished my AMI primary training from Montessori Training of Minnesota in May 2017. I live in Lake Elmo with my husband and 7-year-old son. I have worked at different Montessori schools as Class Assistant and Co-teacher. In her free time, she likes to cook different Indian food, play chess, spend time with family and friends and do gardening.

Lindsay

Lindsay

Lead Teacher

Hi there! My name is Lindsay Brinkman, I have been a teacher for over 5 years now. I graduated from WITC in New Richmond with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, and I also have a Bachelor’s Degree from UW-River Falls in Early Childhood Education. I grew up in Maple Grove Minnesota but have been living in Hudson, Wisconsin for 7 years. I have a fiancé named Kellen, and a fluffy cat names Furrell. I enjoy going on hikes and visiting our family’s cabin in my spare time! I love being a Red Fish teacher!

Kayanna

Kayanna

Teacher

Hi my name is Kayanna Stricklen. I currently live in Maplewood, MN. I am a childcare aide. I love working with kids and spending time with them! In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends!

Pre K Teachers


Leah

Leah

Lead Teacher Pre K

My name is Leah Serna and I have been working with children for over 36 years. My husband and I have a beautiful blended family of 7 and an amazing grandson who calls me Memaw. Fun facts about me are I like to golf, quilt, see movies or Broadway plays, spend time with my family, and enjoy the changing seasons of the Midwest. I am an ordained minister and I am very involved in my church teaching confirmation and supporting our community outreach projects.

Madelyn

Madelyn

Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Madelyn Pennaz. I am so excited to learn while also getting to know all of the kiddos! I have a Bachelors degree in Zoology from North Dakota State University where I studied French. I currently live in Owatonna, MN. I live with my husband, Zach, our 2 cats, Perry and Merle, and our dog, Hank. In my free time I enjoy sewing and doing various craft projects.

Jackie

Jackie

Lead Teacher

Hi my name is Jackie. I currently live in Inver Grove Heights. I have a black cat named Obi. I have been working in childcare since 2009. My favorite TV show is Friends. In my free time I love spending time with my family and nieces.

Jody

Jody

Teacher

Hi my name is Jody Ballantine, I currently live in Oakdale, MN. I have worked in childcare since 1994. Some interesting facts about me are, I have 4 grandchildren. Two of my grandchildren were born on the same day! (not twins!) I am the owner of a lake. I am a born and raised Packer fan!

Kindergarten Teacher


 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Hello, my name is Mary Lenore Smith and I am looking forward to teaching your child this year at Peace of Mind. I have fifteen years of experience teaching both preschool and early elementary students.

I live in Hudson, Wisconsin with my husband Quentin. We have one daughter (Abbi) who is in her first year of medical school. We also have a son (Jerritt) who is a junior in college majoring in Product Design. In addition, we have a very big, yellow labrador retriever named Kato Duke.

During my free time, I enjoy reading, camping, gardening, doing arts and crafts, sewing, and taking longs walks with my dog. However, my favorite activity is playing with and teaching children.

I am looking forward to working with you and your child over the course of the year. This year, your child will obtain the necessary skills needed for future academic success. We will be cutting, pasting, drawing, reading, graphing, observing, singing, dancing, printing, predicting, and so much more.

Ms. Mary

Management Team


Nikki

Nikki

Owner and Founder

Hi my name is Nikki Robbins, I currently live in Hudson, WI. Some interesting facts about me are, I met my husband Gary at Dominos Pizza where we worked together this year, we celebrate 30 years of marriage! We have 3 children, Jordan, Mady, and Katy. We have 2 dogs, Montana and Bailey, and a cat Simba!

Gary

Gary

CFO

Hi my name is Gary Robbins, I currently live in Hudson, WI. I have worked in childcare since 1993. I love to snowmobile, ATV, boat, camp, and coach soccer. I have 3 kids, Jordan, Mady, and Katy.

Melissa

Melissa

Assistant Director

Hi my name is Melissa Mcneal. I currently live in Cottage Grove. I have two wonderful children, Zayden who attends Peace of Mind, and my daughter Ayria who works here as well. I also have a dog named Cato. I have worked in childcare since 1997. I was born in Germany and moved to Minnesota when I was two years old.

Mady

Mady

Assistant Director

Hi my name is Mady Robbins. I currently live in Hudson, Wisconsin with my family, 2 dogs, and cat. I am going to school for my business degree at Devry. I have worked in childcare since I was 16 and I love working with kids and plan to work with them my whole life! In my free time I enjoy boating and being outdoors!

Floaters


Michele

Michele

Teacher

Hi my name is Michele Hietpas, I currently live in Woodbury, MN. I have worked in childcare since 1991. I have 5 children. I love dogs and outdoor activities!

Blakely

Blakely

Teacher

Hi my name is Blakely, I currently live in Eagan. I’ve worked with “talking” bonobos (apes). I studied in London, UK and Cork, Ireland. I LOVE anything Disney!

Meghan

Meghan

Teacher/Safety Coordinator

Hi my name is Meghan, I currently live in Woodbury, MN. I have worked in childcare since 1999. I am a mom to three kids and have two dogs a St. Bernard 7 Boston Terrier. I love to travel and try to see as much live music as possible! a!

Sammi

Sammi

Teacher

Hi my name is Sammi. I just recently moved to St. Paul after living in the Chippewa Valley for the last 27 years. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, I became an intern at a local news station. I worked my way into a morning producer position, then to reporter, then finally the evening producer. I set out on a new career path bringing me here to Peace of Mind. In Eau Claire, I was a skater with the local roller derby league. Other activities I enjoy are watching movies and writing poetry.

Samantha

Samantha

Chef

My name is Samantha Jean. I have 3 years of cook experience, cooking healthy food is a passion of mine because I believe in the importance of healthy eating and enjoy making people happy and healthy with my cooking skills! I have 3 kids, one girl and two boys! They are the loves of my life! We reside in Inver Grove Heights, Go Spartans!

Specialty Teachers


Michelle

Michelle

Chinese and Music Teacher

Hi, my name is Michelle Veracka. I currently live in Woodbury, Minnesota. I work as the Chinese and Music teacher here at Peace of Mind. I have worked in childcare since 2009. Some interesting facts about me are, I love to travel, play music, and I like to smile! I was born in Taiwan and speak 3 different languages!

Kathy

Kathy

Dance Teacher

Hi my name is Kathy Mueller, I live in Oakdale. I have worked in childcare since 1985. I have taught dance here since Peace of Mind opened in 1993. I have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Resource Links


SIDS/SUIDS Training Videos (3 – click links below)

 

AHT Video (3 – click links below)

 

T.E.A.C.H. – Opportunity for those seeking degrees.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA, a project of Child Care Aware of Minnesota, is a scholarship program intended to help early childhood and school-age care professionals increase their levels of education, compensation and commitment to the field. T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) has a history of helping Minnesota child care professionals earn college credits, degrees and credentials. Benefits vary depending on scholarship type, but for most scholarship recipients, T.E.A.C.H. covers the majority of tuition and textbook purchases while also providing a travel stipend and paid release time. After increasing their education, T.E.A.C.H. recipients often see their wages, opportunities and professional recognition grow. Here is our link for more information: http://childcareawaremn.org/professionals-caregivers/grants-scholarships/teach-scholarships

For students who are interested: information inquiry please email teachmail@childcareawaremn.org or call our hotline number at 888-291-9811.

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