Meet Our Staff
Gina Whittington - Lead 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.
Trang Hoang - Assistant Teacher
A little about me: I graduated from Creighton with a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science. Two years ago I went to Boston to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for a year of volunteering. It was a year filled with blessings. I enjoy being active by exercising and participating in adventurous outdoor activities. I also enjoy silent retreats, long walks and quality time spent in meaningful conversations. A quote that inspires me is "Pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on us."
Thoughts on ECE: When people would say "I look forward to going to work every day!", I didn't really believe them until I came to work at RCDC. The children's silly laughs, and even their sad cries made the work worthwhile. I know my work gives love and care that will set their development on the right path.
Christine Jackson - Assistant 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 - Lead 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 - Lead 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 - Assistant 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 - Assistant 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 - Lead Teacher
A little about me: I have been working with preschoolers for 13 years. I have a very full house with an infant son, a daughter (4) a stepdaughter (12) and two foster children (12 and 14). 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 - Lead 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 - Assistant 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.
Ella McDonald - Assistant Teacher
A little about me: I am originall from Brazil and started to learn English when I was seven. I started teaching ESL when I was 18 for toddlers and preschoolers. I love read, learn new languages and to travel.
Thoughts on ECE: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela My favorite thing about kids is their ability to learn and explore new things every day. I love having the chance to participate in their development and am grateful to work with such a great team at RCDC!
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
Katie Miller - Director
A little about me: I started my career in business, with a BSBA in Marketing and International Business from Creighton, then switched directions and completed a Master's degree in Education specializing in Early Childhood. I never imagined I would find a career that could use both my passions so well, but being a director has done that and I enjoy it every day. In my time outside work, I love sports and play ultimate frisbee, basketball, volleyball and softball. I love challenges like the Lincoln Half Marathon, Warrior Dash and the Trek up the Tower and I even convince my family and friends to join me in them sometimes! I also love to sing with my church's gospel choir and play with my three nephews and one niece.
Thoughts on ECE: I truly believe that a child's experiences in early childhood set the foundation for the rest of their lives. I am proud to be a part of such a high quality child development center that supports children and families during this vital time of life. It is such a joy to work with the children and adults at RCDC and I am so glad that my path in life has led me here!