Kathleen M. LacQuay/ Executive Director
Kathy LacQuay is the Executive Director and owner of Little Puzzlers, as well as 2 other Centers. She received her CEA through Ridgewater College, and earned her Director Credential.
Kathy has 14 years experience as an Early Childhood Special Education Paraprofessional at
Childhood Center, and
is an Adaptive Communication Specialist with 8 years experience in constructing communication systems for children who have limited or non-verbal abilities. She has presented to fellow educators on the creation and utilization of Picture Communication Systems for all students with various developmental delays, as well as typically developing peers. Kathy also speaks to college students on various subjects including Challenging Behaviors in Children.
She attends many workshops and seminars regarding Early Childhood Education including The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, Authentic Assessment, and Curriculum Implementation. She is also trained in SUIDS and AHT and is certified in CPR and First Aid. Kathy brings her parenting skills to the company as well. She and her husband, Dennis, have been married for 41years and are the proud parents of two wonderful, grown children and grandparents of two beautiful grandchildren.
Stephanie LacQuay/ Director/ Lead Toddler Teacher
Stephanie LacQuay received her BA degree in Psychology from Saint Cloud State University and has been lead Toddler Teacher for 12 years. Stephanie is also the Director of Little Puzzlers and has her Director Credential. Stephanie thoroughly enjoys working with the toddler age group and has a comprehensive, structured curriculum in her room but includes lots of free play. She is very musical and enjoys teaching the toddlers new songs and finger plays. Her love of art is evident as the children explore different mediums and techniques in their art projects. She lovingly cares for each child and loves the hugs she receives! Stephanie has received training in Infant and Toddler Mental Health, she is certified in CPR, First Aid, and has received training in SUIDS and AHT. She continues to further her knowledge in Early Childhood Education and Child Development by attending various workshops and seminars including The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, Authentic Assessment, and Curriculum Implementation. Stephanie is the daughter of Kathy and Dennis LacQuay.
Saria Parent/ Lead Preschool Teacher/ Assistant Director
Saria officially joined Little Puzzlers in September of 2011 after starting her Internship, in Special Education, with us earlier in the year. Saria received her AAS degree in Early Childhood from Rasmussen College and also graduated with a second AAS Degree in Special Education, as well as her CDA. With her caring and nurturing manner, her experience as a mother to her son Ricky, and her knowledge of children with Special Needs, Saria is a definite asset as the Lead Teacher in our Preschool Room. Using the Creative Curriculum and Parent Aware best practice, Saria teaches our Preschoolers social skills, concepts, and the cognitive skills necessary for school readiness. Saria is trained in SUIDS and AHT and is certified in CPR and First Aid. In addition to her College courses, Saria attends many workshops and seminars regarding Early Childhood Education including The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, Authentic Assessment, and Curriculum Implementation. Saria enjoys spending time with her son, Ricky, and playing Sudoku.
Jennifer Miller/ Preschool Teacher
Jennifer joined Little Puzzlers in October of 2017 and comes to Little Puzzlers with several years of experience working in Norway and Minnesota childcare centers. She is a master storyteller, using props and dramatization, to engage the children. Using the Creative Curriculum and Parent Aware best practice, she and Saria teach our Preschoolers social skills, concepts, and the cognitive skills necessary for school readiness. Jennifer is trained in SUIDS and AHT and is certified in CPR and First Aid.
Amanda Kope/ Assistant Toddler Teacher
Amanda joined the Little Puzzlers Team as an Assistant Toddler Teacher in 2017. Amanda assists Stephanie in promoting the social emotional, cognitive, and motor development of our toddlers as well as working in preschool and infants on occasion. She was previously a nanny for a client of Little Puzzlers. Amanda was a student at St. Cloud State and is now pursuing her CDA. She is trained AHT and SUIDS and is certified in CPR and First Aid. Amanda loves to make things from Calligraphy to building with wood. She enjoys reading mysteries and crime novels and is a self proclaimed child at heart who get excited when new Disney movies are released. Amanda was recently married, and when she is not working, loves spending time with her family.
Desirae Mathiowetz/ Infant Experienced Aide
Desirae joined Little Puzzlers in December of 2016 assisting in our infant room, and has several years of experience as an Aide in a childcare center. Desirae attends to each baby with gentle and nurturing attention; applying visual, auditory, and sensory stimulating activities to aid in the development of your infant. Babies are read to, learn sign language, take part in art projects, and listen to a variety of music. Desirae is pursuing her CDA, and furthers her knowledge in Early Childhood Education and Child Development by attending various workshops and seminars. She is trained in SUIDS and AHT, and is certified in CPR and First Aid.
Mia Cleveland/ Infant Teacher
Mia joined Little Puzzlers in May of 2017 and had several years of experience with Teachers On Call, traveling to different child care centers to sub. She started in our toddler room as an Assistant Teacher. Currently, Mia works part time as a Teacher, and is a valuable asset in our Infant room. Mia attends to each baby with gentle and nurturing attention; applying visual, auditory, and sensory stimulating activities to aid in the development of your infant. Babies are read to, learn sign language, take part in art projects, and listen to a variety of music. Mia is pursuing her Bachelor Degree at St. Cloud State University, and furthers her knowledge in Early Childhood Education, and Child Development, by attending various workshops and seminars. She is trained in SUIDS and AHT, and is certified in CPR and First Aid.
Dennis LacQuay/ CFO
Dennis is the co-owner and CFO of Little Puzzlers, as well as our licensed kitchen manager, General Contractor,Director of HR, and maintenance. Dennis is an endless souce of entertainment for tehe children at Little Puzzlers! They delight in his visits, often reading to them, and the teachers are often asked where he is if he has been absent from the Center for any lenght of time. He makes it a point to say "hi" to all of the children and is frequently seen on one knee having a conversation with a preschooler or toddler, or walking the hallway with an infant in his arms just to get his "grandpa fix". Dennis is a Commercial Insurance Consultant and owns DKL & Associates. Dennis has been in Insurance for 43 years and was the youngest Insurance Agent hired in the State of Minnesota. He attends continuing education workshops and seminars. Dennis facilitates workshops for our staff, brining his 40 years of managerial and adult teaching experience to his trainings which include civil rights,professionalism,HIPPA, CACFP, workplace safety, etc. When Dennis isn't working, he loves to fish, hunt, and camp. Dennis is married to Kathy LacQuay and they have two grown children, James and Stephanie, and two grandchildren.