NLC STAFF




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You can find an overview of our programs and more here.

  • Michelle Lundquist – Director

    Michelle came to Northminster as a lead teacher in Discovery Preschool in August of 2004. She then became Associate Director in July 2013.  In 2020, Michelle became the Director of Northminster Preschool and Kindergarten. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Illinois College. She received her certification in Deaf Education from MacMurrray College. Michelle has been trained in Project Work, Work Sampling, Documentation, Second Step, and Godly Play. She has presented at NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) among other conferences. Michelle completed her Master’s Degree in Teaching and Leadership at St. Xavier University in 2010.  Michelle married her husband Tyler in 2010. She has a son, Nolan  and a daughter, Mia.

  • Jessica Stanton – Associate Director

    Jessica holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bradley University, which includes Special Education Approval, and has been in the early childhood field for over 26 years. She has been trained in The Project Approach by Dr. Judy Harris Helm and is passionate about promoting active inquiry in the classroom. She has taught at Northminster Learning Center since 2005 in classrooms serving toddlers, mixed age preschool, and kindergarten.  In 2020, she became the Associate Director at Northminster. Jessica shares her commitment to lifelong learning by sharing with others in the education field as a presenter at local, state and national education conferences on topics which include supporting emergent writers, children and nature, early childhood environments, and documenting children's work. She lives in Peoria with her husband of 25 years, Scott and her two college aged sons.

  • Samantha Auch - Associate Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Samantha a graduate of Midstate College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  She first joined Northminster as a parent at Northminster Learning Center where her children attended for 3 years where she helped with weekly library duty and class field trips. Samantha accepted the role of an Associate Teacher in 2021. She has a husband named Rick and two children, Allison and Benjamin.  In her free time she is an Independent Travel Planner and LOVES all things Disney!

  • Doree Bonn – Full-Day Preschool/Summer Camp

    Doree has over 13 years of early childhood experience in both Missouri and Illinois. Doree joined the Northminster staff in June 2011 and worked at our Summer Camp. She has three years of ministry training. She is also trained in Documentation as well as the Work Sampling system. She has been an associate for Curiosity Corner and Multi-Age Kindergarten at Northminster and is currently an associate for Full-day Preschool as well as a Summer Camp instructor. Doree is married to Chris, and they have three boys.

  • Patti Budds – Lead Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Patti is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan with a Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education. Before coming to Northminster, she worked in Childcare/Preschool for ten years. She started at Northminister in 2013 as support staff. She was then a substitute teacher for a couple of years becoming a lead Teacher of Discovery Preschool in 2015. She has a husband, James, and two sons Sean and Alex.  

  • Sulagna Chivukula- Associate Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Sulagna joined Northminster in 2016 as a substitute teacher and lunch support staff.  In the fall of 2018, she became the Associate Teacher in the 3-day preschool classroom. She is now the Associate Teacher in a half day preschool classroom. Sulagna has her Master's Degree in English Literature and a post graduate diploma in advertising and public relations as well as a diploma in management.  Prior to Northminster, Sulagna worked with preschoolers in India.  She lives with her husband and two sons in Dunlap.  

  • Lori Hirth – Associate Teacher, Full Day Discovery Preschool   

    Lori Hirth joined Northminster Learning Center in the Fall of 2013, serving first as a Lunchroom Assistant and then as a staff support person with a wide range of responsibilities. She has now joined the Early Childhood Staff as an Associate Teacher. She has four children and resides in Dunlap. She absolutely loves working with each and every child.

  • Mary HurtAssociate Teacher, Curiosity Corner

    Mary joined the Northminster Learning Center team in the summer of 2012, as a teacher for our Summer Camp program. Mary has over 30 years of experience working with toddlers and preschool age children and came to us from Head Start.  She has her associates degree in Child Development. Mary has received training in Project Approach, Conscious Discipline, and Documentation. She enjoys her time with the 2 year old learners at Northminster as the Associate Teacher for Curiosity Corner.  Mary enjoys spending time with her family and friends.   

  • Janet Kelch- Lead Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Janet  graduated from North  Central College with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She worked as a Preschool Teacher and Assistant Director after graduating. She then worked in District 150 for 13 years in 3 different buildings in various positions including 1st grade, 3rd grade and 4th grade. After taking a break from full time teaching, Janet stayed at home for a couple of years and then became a part time Title 1 tutor in different Peoria schools. She started as Full Day Pre-k Lead teacher at Northminster in August 2019. Janet and her husband Mike have two children. She enjoys knitting, watching baseball and football and is an avid runner.  She is blessed to be a part of the NLC family.  

  • Janhavi Khadke - Associate Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Janhavi joined Northminster as an associate teacher at the Discovery Preschool in 2021. She completed her Master's in Business Administration and has worked in the finance industry for 4 years. She has been a parent at NLC for 7 years and worked with young kids as a Yoga conductor and library helper over the years. She adores working with preschoolers and is committed to help children learn and value diversity. Janhavi lives with her husband,  Kiran and  two children, Saee and Riya.


  • Jennifer Loer- Office Manager

    Jennifer joined NLC as a lunch helper/substitute teacher in 2016 for two years and then joined Kim in the office in May of 2019. She was employed full time at the Illinois Air National Guard in Peoria for 7 years before becoming a stay at home mom. Jennifer has also been a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church for over 20 years and enjoys working part time as their Nursery Coordinator. Along with spending her time volunteering, drinking coffee, camping and reading, Jennifer’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband Dan and their adult children Jordan, Kaylin and Jacob and their grade school aged son, Will. 

  • Bethany Lundquist – Lead Teacher, Curiosity Corner/Discovery Preschool

    Bethany has been working in the child care field for over 18 years.  During those 18 years, she has worked with toddlers, two year olds, and Preschoolers.  She attended ICC in East Peoria and took Elementary education courses.  Bethany was previously a part of Northminster Learning center as a parent when three of her four children attended preschool at Northminster.  Bethany teaches in the Curiosity Corner program as well as 3-day Preschool.  

  • Pamella Morris – Lead Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Pam began at Northmnster in 2013 as an Associate Teacher.  She then became a lead teacher in 2018.  Pam has been teaching preschool for over 30 years. She holds an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and Child Development from Illinois Central College. She and her husband, Dan, have two children, Jacob and Danielle.  She is the proud grandma of one granddaughter.   She enjoys playing guitar, running and going for walks with her husband when she has free time. She says she feels most blessed to be a part of the NLC family.

  • Sarah Ritscher - Lead Teacher, Kindergarten

    Sarah is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with Reading and Special Education Endorsements. She worked at Northminster Learning Center starting as a lead teacher for the Curiosity Corner program in 2012 and additionally as lead teacher for the 3 day Discovery Preschool program in 2013.  She continued for six years until moving with her family to Rockford, Illinois where she taught Kindergarten at Rockford Lutheran Academy for two years.  She then rejoined Northminster as Kindergarten teacher in 2020.  She lives with her husband, Christopher, and two children, Gwendolyn and Gabriel.

  • Marisa Tilly - Lead Teacher, Discovery Preschool

    Marisa has over 20 years of early childhood experience, having worked with toddlers and preschool age children.  She studied Early Childhood Education at Bradley University and ICC.  She came to Northminster in August of 2020 and is Lead Teacher in Discovery Preschool. She loves to spend time with her family and friends. Marisa and her husband Keith have a son, Gianni and live in Peoria.