Teachers

Director – Chelsey Loper

Chelsey has been in the early childhood field for over 10 years. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Spring Arbor University in Family Life Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood. She has taught inclusion preschool in diverse settings and has started preschool programs. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Education, Instruction, and Curriculum (Early Childhood Education Emphasis) from Grand Valley State University. She is married and has two daughters.

Lead Teacher, Infants Room – Eden Hayes

My name is Eden Hayes and I am the Lead Infant Teacher at FELC. I graduated from Purdue University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I loved learning about child development through college, and was eager to put what I had learned in to practice when I accepted my job at FELC in March 2018. I live in Hudsonville with my husband and golden retriever, and we love exploring parks and the lakeshore in our free time.

Lead Teacher, Toddler 1 – Sarah Essenburg

Sarah has been in the early childhood field since 2016. She obtained her CDA in 2020, and plans to further her education. Sarah enjoys teaching and watching them grow both physically and social emotionally. She spends her free time with her family, friends, and her dog Bailey.

Lead Teacher, Toddler 2 – Holly Schnooberger

Holly lives in Hudsonville, and has 5 children of her own. She has been at FELC for over 10 years. She loves working with toddlers because they are at such a cute age and they love to learn, and have fun! She graduated from South Haven High School in 2000. After high school she attended GRCC, and received her CDA specializing in infants and toddlers.

Lead Teacher, Toddler 3 – Nicole Van Zee

Nicole grew up in Hamilton, MI and graduated from Hamilton High in 2011. After high school she attended GRCC and then transferred to Western Michigan University where she is currently studying Early Elementary Education with minors in Social Studies and Language Arts. Teaching has always been a passion of hers and hopes to have her own classroom someday!

Lead Teacher, Early Preschool – Melissa Rotzell

Melissa is a mother of four amazing boys, who has a passion for caring for children at home and in the work place. She was a stay at home mom for 11 years and considered it a privilege and a blessing. She has worked in the early childhood field for over 6 years. Melissa continued her education after high school and worked towards her child development completion. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, at the pool, going to parks and just enjoying the fresh air. She looks forward to teaching and nurturing your precious little ones.

Lead Teacher, Preschool – Joy Riekena

My name is Joy Riekena, I live in the Kenowa Hills area with my husband and 3 children. My favorite things to do are playing board games with my family and reading. I grew up in Iowa and attended parochial school all the way through high school. I went on to Hawkeye Community College where I received my A.S. in Early Childhood Education in 2008. After graduating I started working at a local center as a lead teacher. I spent 8 years there before moving to Michigan due to my husbands job. In 2016 I started a job teaching in the Great Start Readiness Program at a local community based organization where I taught until 2020. I truly love helping and seeing children grow, and I am also looking forward to help children grow their faith in God as well!

Lead Teacher, Pre-K – Geraldine Brusseau

Geraldine has been teaching children since 2015. She has her Child Development Associates and is working on her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Geradline is also the mother of two. She enjoys teaching 4-5 year olds and believes that learning should be fun and it’s her goal to make that happen!

Lead Teacher, School Age – Aida Valdez

Aida enjoys working with children very much. She has had the pleasure of working with children of different ages for more than 20 years and has worked at FELC since 2009. Aida completed her studies in Mexico, where she obtained the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the Universidad Autonoma del Noreste. She is also a mother of two young ladies. She enjoys music, reading, painting, and spending time with her family.

Spanish Program Director – Aida Valdez

Aida enjoys working with children very much. She has had the pleasure of working with children of different ages for more than 20 years and has worked at FELC since 2009. Aida completed her studies in Mexico, where she obtained the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the Universidad Autonoma del Noreste. She is also a mother of two young ladies. She enjoys music, reading, painting, and spending time with her family.