Meet Our Staff
Gina Whittington - Teacher
A little about me: I have a wonderful husband and son. Together we like to play family board games and spend time together.
Thoughts on ECE: I love what I do. I feel it is a privilege and I honor the trust that parents have in me to care for their children.
Joe Policky - Teacher
A little about me: I graduated from Creighton in May 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish. I have an older and younger brother and am an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts.
Thoughts on ECE: I've worked at RCDC as a student since 2009. I had never seen myself working with kids, but I've had lots of fun with it and enjoy it. I imagine being a Boy Scout helped as I had to take care and be a model for the younger ones. My favorite quote is: "Change is the law of life. And those who only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." --John F. Kennedy
Christine Jackson - Teacher
A little about me: I completed my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and graduated from Creighton University in December of 2013. I have also had the opportunity to work as a teacher aide/student employee at the Russell Child Development Center for two years. It's a tremendous blessing to continue my employment as an Assistant Teacher. The Center is like a second family whom I can depend on, trust, and continuously learn from to grow as a person and as an educator. During my free time I love to read and spend as much time as I can with my family and friends.
Thoughts on ECE: In the words of Dirk Wittenborn, "We are the sum of all the people we have ever met." I am the person I am today and will become in the future because of everyone that I have encountered in my life. Children are my deepest influence, and I have come to understand that we are also theirs. Each laugh, cry, smile of accomplishment, and surprising moment of humor of children fuels my passion for education even more.
Laura Clarke - Senior Teacher
A little about me: I am the mother of five and the grandmother of four. I have worked with children in some capacity personally and professionally all of my adult life. I love my job! Beyond that I love to read, cook and go out to hear local, live music. In the warmer months, Jazz on the Green and the Farmer's Market are two of my favorite places to be.
Thoughts on ECE: "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carol Buchner. My goal is always about building strong relationships and making positive connections. It lays the foundation for healthy brain development.
DuRell Strathman - Senior Teacher
A little about me: I have a Bachelor's in Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I am married with three children and two grandsons. I enjoy doing genealogy research and am a member of the Omaha chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (William Tell is my 21st great grandfather).
Thoughts on ECE: I love sharing my enjoyment of art and books with children. Toddlers are never judgmental and they enjoy anything you do!
Mallory Bolduan - Teacher
A little about me: I graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in Secondary Education: Social Sciences. I spent a year teaching fifth grade at Santee Community Schools. I am thrilled to be at RCDC and am so grateful for this opportunity to be a positive role model for your children.
Thoughts on ECE: My favorite thing about working with children is watching them grow, smile, interact and watching them learn right in front of my eyes. It is truly a blessing getting to know each child and their unique abilities.
Chaz Jones - Teacher
A little about me: I am currently completing my bachelor's degree in Spanish. I love spending time with family and friends, reading and trying new recipes.
Thoughts on ECE: My favorite thing about working with children is that I get to watch as they learn and grow and that I get to be a part of this fundamental time in the life of a child.
Annie Ryle - Senior Teacher
A little about me: I have been working with preschoolers for 13 years. I have a very full house with a son (2), a daughter (5) a stepdaughter (13) and two foster children (13 and 15). I love photography and reading in my "spare" time.
Thoughts on ECE: "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Angela Schwindt
Danielle Turner - Senior Teacher
A little about me: I graduated from Creighton in May 2013 with a degree in Spanish and Secondary Education. My hobbies include singing, writing poetry, cooking and hiking. I'm also great at doing accents and funny voice impersonations.
Thoughts on ECE: I've worked at RCDC as a student for four years and am very excited to experience things on another level. I love getting to know each child as an individual and witnessing their natural-born talents and gifts shine forth. Favorite quote: "We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." Stacia Tauschez.
Nicole Evezic - Teacher
A little about me: I graduated from Creighton in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. I love to dance, read, and be with friends and family.
Thoughts about ECE: "A child's smile is one of life's greatest blessings." I love listening and getting to know each child. I enjoy watching them grow and learn new things each day.
Stacey Williams - Teacher
A little about me: I am a mother of 3 and a nawnie of 3. I spend every other weekend with my grandkids (2 boys, ages 6 & 3 and 1 girl, 8 months). When I am not with them, you will find me outside (in warm weather) or cuddled on the sofa reading a great book (in cold weather). I am an avid runner who loves to run along the river. I have worked with preschool aged children for 20 years. I was a state licensed child care provider for 10 years and then went to work outside the home for Head Start for 10 years. I have also worked with middle school students within the Missouri public school district for 7 years before relocating to Nebraska and having the opportunity to work for Creighton University. My life has truly been blessed because of this move and I am grateful for the dedication of each staff member I get the privilege to work with.
Thoughts on ECE:"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela
Shanna Harald - Assistant Director
A little about me: I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Elementary Education and an emphasis in Special Education. I am married and have a son in college. We keep ourselves busy following our son in his music activities. I am a Creighton fan and a die-hard Iowa Hawkeye fan.
Thoughts on ECE: Working with young children brings a smile to my face. My favorite early childhood quote is: "Play is our brain's favorite way of learning." - Diane Ackerman
Carol Houser - Director
A little about me: I am a passionate early childhood educator committed to high quality early learning experiences for children and their families. I have been blessed to teach children and adults of all ages throughout my career, but truly love the early years! I am currently working on my M.S. in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood emphasis.
Thoughts on ECE: Play and learning are beautifully intertwined. I am inspired by Loris Malaguzzi, a pioneer in early childhood education, who coined the phrase, "nothing without joy." Early learning experiences should be filled with play, laughter, and joy!