More than 200 years of
We have the know-how you need.
Meet The Team
I am a certified teacher with a degree in Psychology and Special Education from St. Louis University. After working in Special School District and starting a family, I began teaching at Union Preschool where each of my children had attended. That was 1987. From the beginning, I have loved the preschool and here I’ve stayed. It has always been a warm, vibrant, happy place perfect for young families and children starting out. After becoming the director in 1997, I have strived to keep the supportive environment that honors the children’s sense of wonder and allows them to grow and learn through discovery and the wise guidance of my fantastic staff.
This is my 16th year at Union Preschool. I began as a substitute teacher and later took over the Lunch Bunch Program. Two years ago I moved into the office as secretary. I thrive within nature and have always had a passion for exploring nature and sharing those experiences with children. I was fortunate to be part of the beginning of the Union Preschool Outside Nature Garden. It is pleasing to have now moved into the office where I get to keep all things organized
I am a certified teacher with over a decade of classroom experience. I took several years off to stay at home with my son. He attended Union Preschool and loved it! When he started Kindergarten, an opportunity arose for me to join the Union Preschool staff and I couldn’t be happier. It is an absolute pleasure to work with your children. Guiding them to make discoveries about the world around them and become independent learners is my goal. It is a privilege to be a part of your child’s first school experience! In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my family.
I am a 1998 graduate of Fontbonne University with a B.A. in Communication Studies. I worked in PR and Advertising for 10 years before switching career paths to allow for more time with my family. I started at Union Preschool as a substitute teacher in 2009 and joined the staff as Office Secretary in 2011. After several years, in the Preschool office, I moved to the classroom - and I LOVE it! As the first stop for children on their educational journey, I strive for a warm, welcoming, hands on classroom. If we have mastered walking in a straight line and sharing with our classmates, I consider it a successful semester! I am a wife and mother of 3 beautiful Union Preschool graduates, ages 16, 123 and 10.
My love for preschool began when I taught junior kindergarten for the Kirkwood School District. When my oldest son was born, I had the opportunity to stay home while raising my three boys. All my children were lucky enough to attend Union! I entered back into education through subbing and running cooking camps for ages 3-14. When offered the opportunity to teach junior kindergarten at Union, I happily agreed. I'm so excited to be entering my fourth year here, and look forward to seeing all these fantastic kids enter our doors.
I've been working with children for the past twelve years in multiple capacities. In 2011 my family & I volunteered in Belize for a year, where I began working in a classroom setting. Since then, I've worked in classrooms with children of all ages and backgrounds. As a mother of 5, some with special needs, I've learned to adapt situations to the needs of each individual and I enjoy celebrating each child's uniqueness. I love all things creative and enjoy exploring the outdoors with young inquisitive minds. It's a joy working with young children because of their creativity, imagination, and eagerness to explore like no other.
This year marks my fourth year of teaching at Union. Preschool. I've had the opportunity to experience all that Union has to offer as both a parent and a teacher. I am really enjoying juggling work and home since it all involves kids...4 of my own and 18 little ones at school. It is such a gift to be able to work with your children and see the world through the eyes of a child!
Mary Kay Kirchner
Teaching is my third career! After graduating from SLU with a BA in mathematics, I worked as a computer programmer, during the time my husband was completing his medical training. When our children were born, I became a stay-at-home mom. It was during these years that I discovered how much I enjoyed working with children. As my children went off to college, I took Early Childhood Education classes at junior college. Happily, I started working at Union Preschool. I taught Jr Kindergarten for 12 wonderful years. Then I started my 4th career.......Grandma! I continued here at Union as Ready to Write teacher. This is a handwriting program for the four year old & jr kindergarten classes. Now, however, I just step in as a substitute and still love my time at Union.
My name is Rita Visintine. I have been a teacher in the 3's, 4's, and Jr. Kindergarten classes at Union Preschool since 2006. Before coming to Union, I babysat nieces and nephews in my home. I regularly volunteered at St. Joan of Arc Parish and School. I spearheaded many fundraisers and activity days involving children of all ages.
My Children attended Union over 20 years ago. Their experience is what drew me back to be a part of a staff dedicated to nurturing the preschool child. I look forward to each day and the joy, the learning and the fun that it brings to me and my class.
Kathy is an experienced educator who has been teaching at Union Preschool for 16 years. She strives to instill her own passion for reading in her students, and seamlessly integrates science, math, and other subjects into the daily activities and projects in her classroom. She believes in the value of developing personal relationships with each child in order to help them grow throughout the year, and fosters a sense of community among her students so they learn from each other. She wants her students to come away with a lifelong love of learning, and you can find her playing games, reading, and singing with her class.
Hi! I’m Mrs. Lauren Farrell, this is my second year as a teacher at Union Preschool. I subbed here previously and have worked at other children’s programs throughout the years. I was a stay at home Mom when I became interested in early childhood education, so I started taking ECE courses through the community college. Not only did the program help me grow as a Mom but it was then that I found my passion, teaching preschoolers! Not only do I love the process of child development but being a preschool teacher gives me an outlet for my creative side. I have three children, ranging from two to teen. My favorite things to do with them include; going to parks, riding bikes and swimming. One of our favorite “Saint Louis” places to visit is the Botanical Gardens. Things I like to do for myself are refinishing furniture, taking photos and reading.
Hi, I'm Joan Landholt! I'm a graduate of Cor Jesu Academy and St. Louis University. I've been teaching at Union Preschool for 11 years and I love it! It's so fun seeing and hearing about the world from the children's points of view. In my free time, I enjoy participating in Community Theater.
I received my BA and BFA from Southeast Missouri State University. Since then, I’ve taught children in several educational environments. I began teaching at Union Preschool four years ago and have truly appreciated the dedication everyone has for the children at the school. This is one of the reasons all three of my children went here. I believe that art is as an important part of a well-rounded education. Because of this, I incorporate different types of art into many of our lessons. This not only creates a sensory learning experience but it also allows the kids to explore different connections with what they’re learning. And it's just plain fun.
My name is Nina Fresta. I have been joyfully a part of the Union Preschool Family since 1997, teaching at the three and four year old levels; threes the last few years. Prior to re-entering the work force I was a stay at home mom raising three boys, who also attended Union Preschool. Having had the experience of being a parent and teacher at Union is invaluable. We are continually exploring new and exciting activities and methods of teaching but many things have remained the same over the years; love, acceptance, respect and success of the children who pass through the Big Red Doors. This year I am glad to be a part of the new look and the Big Blue Doors.