Our Staff

Our Staff is All About Giving Your Child the Care They Need

We, at The Children's Place, are proud of our friendly, caring, nurturing staff.

All full time staff members have received training in early childhood education and development. While the amount of formal education varies, THE STAFF COMBINES FOR OVER 200 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. All full time staff members must receive a minimum of 12 hours of ongoing in-service training in the field of childcare and early childcare education each year by attending classes, workshops, seminars and conferences. Part time employees are typically students at Lincoln colleges and universities majoring in education, psychology and/or human services. The Children's Place is enrolled in Step Up to Quality where they continue to better themselves and the learning environment for each child.

The Children's Place Staff Biographies

Chris Bruner: Director

Chris began her career in child care 35 years ago at The Children's Place after attending UNL. She has been the Director for the past 22 years and prior to that was the toddler teacher and assistant director. As Director, Chris has a keen sense for managing the business aspect of The Children's Place. She is responsible for monitoring Title XX child care assistance for families and works with the Child Care Food Program. Chris monitors all of the records for children and staff, works to assure that licensing regulations are met and has a passion for organizational details. Under Chris's watchful eye, parents can be assured that all paperwork is handled with the utmost care and respect, and Chris's keen sense of responsibility gives a secure feeling to the families enrolled. Chris loves the honesty of young children, their simple thinking and loving hugs! She enjoys reading fun stories and singing to them and engaging them in conversations. Since those early years are the most impressionable, Chris firmly believes that quality childcare and an early childhood education is an important first step. Chris maintains that an experienced staff can also be a support network to help parents raise their children in these precious early years, and the staff at The Children's Place is dedicated to helping not only the children, but their families as well, in any way they can. Chris strives to foster team work with the staff as well as consistency, compassion and love for what they do together. Chris has been an active member of The Nebraska Child Care Director's Association for 22 years. According to Chris, the center's motto sums it up best: "There is no place like home but here." Chris is married to John and has a 20 year old son, Alexander. She has a Dachshund named Breezer.

Kathy Ras: Assistant Director/PreK and School Age Teacher

Kathy has 33 years of experience in child care, 33 of them at The Children's Place. Kathy is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in Elementary Education and Child Development. She holds her elementary teacher's certificate and has done graduate work in special education. As Assistant Director for the past 19 years, Kathy has assumed a wide range of teaching administrative and managerial responsibilities and duties. Miss Kathy's greatest strength lies in her relational skills. She quickly establishes a good rapport with parents, can easily start conversations with them, making them feel comfortable and welcome. She believes in maintaining positive, effective communication with parents on a day to day basis concerning both their learning activities and their behavior and parents quickly come to rely on her to be friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. She has encouraged, modeled and fostered a "parents as partners" attitude in all of the staff. Kathy is also the School-Age (K-5) teacher. When this older group is in school, she co-teaches the 4-5 year old prekindergarten class. One of the things Kathy loves most about working with children is that each day is a new day, because children are so full of love, don't hold grudges and are excited by everything. She enjoys planning holiday parties and activities and says the ideas are endless! She also loves to hang out with the kids and listen to their stories or "tall-tales". Kathy loves to listen and help, whether it is with children, their parents or other staff. She strives to be the best person, role model and teacher she can be. Kathy is dedicated to early childhood education because being a teacher has been her dream since she was a little girl. She is continually looking for new activities to keep her program fresh, exciting and educational. Kathy is the mother of a 19 year old son, Shane, and as a mother as well as a teacher, realizes even more the importance of quality childcare and the impact it makes on all our lives.

Miss Carrie: PreK Teacher

Miss Carrie has 37 years in child care, 30 of them at The Children's Place. Carrie has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Southeast Community College. Carrie is a pre- kindergarten teacher and prepares four and five year olds to enter kindergarten. Her greatest enjoyment is watching children grow and develop new skills. She strives to foster a love of learning in each child while giving them a variety of experiences and information about the world around them. She is always eager to share information about each child's progress with their parents and partner with them in this important developmental year prior to kindergarten. Reading is the passion she enjoys sharing the most with the children, and books are an integral part of Miss Carrie's daily program. Carrie strives to be calm, easy going, punctual, dependable, flexible and organized, confident that the children in her class are always feeling secure, happy and safe. She has dedicated her life to early childhood education and quality child care because of her love of children and working with their families as well as the joy of seeing young children develop in every areas. As a preschool teacher, Carrie's goal is to start each child on the right path to learning and a bright future. Carrie is married and has three grown children and six grandchildren.

Miss Joy: Preschool Teacher

Miss Joy has 31 years of experience in the child care field, 21 of them at The Children's Place. She attended Hutch Community College in Early Childhood Development and is a full time preschool teacher with 3-4 year olds. Joy loves working with children because they give unconditional love and are always forgiving of the mistakes of others, but their hugs are the best! She enjoys group time and creative art activities with the children. Joy also enjoys all of the seasonal activities and especially teaching the children about God's love through the Christmas and Easter stories. Joy strives to be helpful to parents and coworkers and is flexible in helping in any classroom as needed and loves to promote peace and harmony on staff. Joy is dedicated to early childhood education and quality child care because "many children today lack a good stable environment to grow in. They spend long hours in child care away from their families. That is why it is critical that their child care center and staff feel like a second family for them. A safe place to grow happy and healthy with lots of love is something every child deserves." Joy is the mother of an 18 year old son, Johnny.

Miss Jennifer: Cook

Jen has been the cook for 6 1/2 yrs at The Children's Place. She enjoys preparing delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for the children. She is always looking for new recipes and ways to make mealtime fun. The children tell her she is the "bestest" cook!! Jen has 5 children ranging from ages of 18 to 5 1/2.

 

Miss Janelle: Toddler Teacher

Miss Janelle has 25 yrs experience in the childcare field. She has rejoined the staff in 2017 after moving back to Lincoln from Arizona where she was the assistant director and taught infants and toddlers for the past 3 years. Janelle attended Southeast Community College studying in the Early Childhood Development field. Miss Janelle has worked with all ages of children; she has been a director, assistant director and a cook. Her favorite job of all is teaching. She loves the unconditional love that children give. She enjoys singing, reading and doing art projects with the children. Miss Janelle has a big caring heart when it comes to children. She believes all children have a voice and loves listening to stories the children will tell. She is a mother of two grown daughters and has one grandson, and two dogs Jedi and Peanut.

Miss Connie: Toddler Teacher

Miss Connie may be new to the staff but when it comes to caring for and teaching two year olds...she is a veteran! Connie Rosno began her first childcare center experience here at The Children's Place 35 years ago! She was the toddler teacher in the Happy Face room for 15 years until she got married and moved away to Atlantic, Iowa. There, she was an assistant to the teachers at Wee Care Child Care Center for one year. Her husband then got a job in Sioux City, Iowa and that is when Connie decided to open up her home and take care of children for another 15 years!.. "I loved the fact that I could be at home with my own children and at the same time and be available for hard working moms and give "mommy like" child care to their infants and small children." Eighteen years later, Miss Connie moved back to Lincoln, is back on staff and working alongside her director, co-teachers and friends. She felt that with the wonderful longevity of the staff and reputation of The Children's Place, there was no other place that she would want to be but here, caring for and teaching toddlers once again in the Happy Face room! "Someone wise once told me that it takes a special person to work with two year olds and believed that I belonged in the Happy Face room. It was my niche!" Every morning Miss Connie will greet your toddler with a warm smile, big hug and a readiness to take on everything and anything that a 2 yr old will throw her way...literally!! She loves to watch the toddlers grow in all aspects of learning: vocabulary, large and small motor skills, number, shapes and color recognition, art, music and yes, even potty training! Miss Connie believes that having a good parent/teacher relationship is very important to help make coming to The Children's Place a positive experience for the child, parents and teachers. Somewhere, between 18 months and 3 yrs of age, when a child starts to show a little bit of their independence, throws temper tantrums, makes ginormous messes, has a hard time sharing, gives out "boo-boos" and gets "boo-boos", somewhere in that little person, there is a very curious and inquisitive, sweet and innocent child who is eager to learn and deserves to feel loved and secure. When Miss Connie returned in 2016, she stated, "I always thought of this place as my second home and that's how the children who come here should feel." Connie is married to her husband Mark of 21 years. They have three daughters and one son; Lydia, 19, is a sophomore at UNL; Helena, 18, a senior and Greta, 16, a sophomore both at Pius X, and Titus, 13, and is a 7 th grader at St. Teresa's. They also have a much loved pet dog named Milo.

Miss Cindy: Preschool Teacher

Miss Cindy comes to the Children's Place, after working for the past 23 years, as an elementary paraprofessional educator for Lincoln Public Schools. For the majority of her years with LPS, Cindy taught children of special needs. She closely collaborated with the resource teachers as well as the speech, occupational,and physical therapists, to design ideas, plans, techniques, and lessons to help students learn, overcome, and achieve. Cindy continually attends classes to keep current on methods to help her students. She has been trained in The ABLLS, Verbal Behavior, Handwriting Without Tears, and PECS programs. She's been certified in the MANDT and BIST Behavior Support Systems, and recently did coursework with The Deaf-Blind Institute. Many of Cindy's classes have had an emphasis on children with Autism.

She's kind, compassionate, and enthusiastic about creating a stimulating environment for her students needs and interests. She motivates and encourages the children with challenging tasks to achieve both their academic and personal goals. Cindy loves to research and create a broad range of ideas, instructional techniques, and creative lessons to retain her students interest, maximize their learning, and make learning fun. She enjoys seeing how excited children become as they experience new things, learn from them, and accomplish their goals. You'll see Cindy often playing and pretending with the children, while using that fun loving time, of imagination, and adventurous play to actually teach the children lessons, they aren't even aware they are learning.

When working with young children, she feels, it's important to be structured and consistent, yet flexible at the same time,and to be firm, yet loving and patient . She believes in early preparation to education, in literacy, math, and science, yet likes to teach it, through the form of music, art, pretend, play, and exploration. She also feels preschool is the time to focus on fine motor, life, and social skills.

Establishing positive relationships with the families of our students is very important to Cindy. She knows how crucial family involvement and communication is for a child's well being and development.. Families need to know what the student is learning about and experiencing each day, and given any ideas or suggestions that might be used at home. They need to hear how their day went physically and emotionally as well as academically. It's just as important for the teacher/caregiver to be prepared each day with the knowledge of what the child is physically and emotionally experiencing at home, and receive any ideas/suggestions to help the child and teacher's day run smoothly.

Faith, family, and friends are extremely important to Cindy. She has two beautiful grown daughters, she is extremely proud of, and she feels truly blessed to be surrounded by the most supportive and loving family and friends ever!

Miss Lydia: Teacher

Miss Lydia is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska majoring in History. Lydia grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, but her family moved back to Lincoln one year ago. She has lots of experience working with children because her mom, Miss Connie, did in home childcare for many years. Lydia also volunteered at the preschool that was connected to her high school, and she worked at the UNL Children’s Center before starting at The Children’s Place. Miss Lydia enjoys working with the toddlers and watching them grow and learn so much in just months. Lydia is also very involved with her heritage and is currently the 2018 Queen for the Nebraska Czechs of Prague.

Miss Shelbi: Teacher

Miss Shelbi has worked for The Children's Place for 3 yrs and attends SCC's Early Childhood Education program. She is 100% sure she wants to work with children in the future hoping to become a lead toddler teacher. She enjoys working with children because every day is different and she wants to make a difference in a child's life.