Meet the Staff
KAREN BERNIER – OWNER/DIRECTOR
Follow the Child Montessori School has been serving the Lafayette community for 12 years. I started with one classroom and 7 children and quickly grew to a school serving children from 19 months to third grade in two buildings. In my growth I decided to follow my original goal and path in staying a small “home like” atmosphere where I knew each child and family well , so decided to downsize a few years ago. We currently enroll children from age 2-6 and are offering top quality teaching and one on one interactions with each family.
I come from a family of 12 children and grew up (from 5th) grade in Lafayette. I graduated from Jefferson High School and Purdue University. I have a BS in Accounting from the Krannert School of Management, AMS Certification from Seton Montessori School in Chicago for ages 0-6, and numerous childcare training certificates. Before opening my own Montessori school in Lafayette, I worked for Montessori School of Greater Lafayette for 7 years. I was the lead toddler teacher, afternoon assistant in 3-6 and accountant. I have been with Montessori for 19 years and had a daycare called Children Count Childcare for 2 years.
I have 4 children of my own: ages, 23, 20 year old twins, and a 14 year old. My husband, Larry and I have been married for 30 years!!! I have been active in the community through church, teaching and attending, and through the foster care/ adoption agencies. I continue to hold a foster care license and regularly attend meeting and workshops to help the youth in our area.
I am passionate about Montessori and feel that I am blessed to help children at the early , important stages of development to learn about their place in this world. Being part of teaching acceptance, kindness, peace and unity have been priorities since opening.
We are excited to start the year with our Montessori families and encourage you to become a part of their experience in any way that interest you.
KENDRA ROGERSON – MORNING LEAD TEACHER PREK-1
Hi, I’m Kendra Rogerson. My husband William, and I have five children. Johnny is thirteen; he enjoys playing football and tenor saxophone. Graham is six; we love to have dance parties. Scarlet is five and starting kindergarten this year. Anna is two. She is in Ms. Gina’s class and would love to greet you in the building. Elizabeth is six months and learning to walk so she can keep up with her siblings. In my spare time I enjoy sewing.
I have been at Follow the child for six years. In that time I have completed NAMC training as well as participated in other Montessori training conferences in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne Indiana. My favorite part of the Montessori philosophy is teaching through sensitive periods. Listening to the children and what their minds will absorb is so important at this age.
In class this year we will be work on academics as always and I would love to get the kids outside to do those things. During the winter months when we can’t get outside I hope to incorporate art into our academic studies. We see year after year our age loves to do art.
I’m looking forward to getting to know your children and watching them grow and learn.
GINA HULL– LEAD TEACHER PREPRIMARY
Hi and welcome to Follow the Child Montessori. My name is Ms. Gina and this is my 6th year of teaching. I received my BA in both Psychology and Sociology from Purdue University several years ago! I completed my Montessori Preprimary Education in 2017.
Prior to working the children , I worked for Wabash Valley with adults with mental illness as a social worker. When my older children were young I opened my home as an in home daycare. I did this for 5 years. Afterwards, I returned to Wabash Valley Riverbend Hospital as an inpatient social worker. However, after working with children for those 5 years, I felt it was time for a new path and it must be with children !
My youngest son attended Follow the Child for 3 years and the is when I felt inspired to become a Montessori teacher. I have 3 children; 20,18 and 10 and my husband Michael of 20 years.
I look forward to meeting my young students and our new families to Follow the Child.
Peace, Ms. Gina
CANDY BIXLER – ASSISTANT TEACHER PREK-1, LEAD TEACHER AFTERSCHOOL
Hi! My name is Candy. My 17 year old son and I live in our home on Robinwood Drive. We have a beagle and a tiger cat. My 23 year old daughter purchased a home by Columbian Park in January.
I studied Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology from 2006-2010. I owned and operated Candy Land Child Care for Lafayette Transitional Housing Center for 6 years. I have been teaching at Follow the Child for 4 years. I love how peaceful and kind the Montessori classrooms are.
I will be teaching with Ms. Kendra in the Prek-1 classroom in the morning and with Mr. Joseph in the afternoon. I will continue to be lead teacher in the Aftercare program this August.
I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know our new families. I am also extremely excited to continue my treasured relationship with our returning families.
LINDSAY LUCAS – Preprimary Assistant/ Lead Nap Room
My name is Lindsay. This is the beginning of my 3rd year teaching at Follow the Child but my 6th year as part of the FTC family! My twins, Alison and Audrey, attended school here 3 years before I started working at FTC. They are entering 2nd grade at Glen Acres. My husband Jonathon and I have been married for almost 11 years. My favorite things include coffee, camping, kayaking, swimming and reading.
JOSEPH BERNIER – MORNING AND AFTERSCHOOL ASSISTANT
I'm Joseph Bernier, a 23 year old recent graduate of Indiana University with Bachelor's Degrees in Spanish and Psychology. I just took the GRE and will be attending Grad school within the next year to get my PhD in School Counseling. In my gap year, I have worked for Child and Family Partners as a Case Worker, helping children and families in need of Social Services in the community. In my spare time, I enjoy playing musical instruments, trying new restaurants and picking up new hobbies, most recently yoga and plant care.
I have been a Montessorian nearly all of my life! I attended Montessori as a child from the age of 3 through first grade. I then volunteered at Follow the Child through grade school and middle school, helping with set up and cleaning, and in high school ran the afterschool program for the Elementary.
I will focus on teaching the children in the classroom the standard curriculum, and also bring unique and educational activities involving Spanish, Music, Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence, and Cooking.
MARY CONNER – AFTERSCHOOL ASSISTANT
Hello, my name is Mary Conner. I am a wife and mother to five kiddos ranging from 2 years old to 18 years old! This begins my 10th year of homeschooling.
Three of my children have attended Follow the Child in the past, and my youngest will begin her first year in August!
I have taken correspondence classes in the past, including a child care certificate. I also have my Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. I plan to continue my education this year or next. I will be working at Follow the Child part time this school year. My future plans also involve being involved with CASA.
I enjoy spending time with my family, field trips, traveling, and attending church.
I am looking forward to the school year and working with all of your kids!
SUMMER SPRY – AFTERSCHOOL ASSISTANT
I am an older sister to three. I serve in our church nursery. I also help in the 2/3's classroom. I once was a student at Follow the Child. I love helping with young children, and take any opportunity to play with and teach them. I am currently in my freshman year of school. When I go to college, I intend to study photography and culinary arts. While working at this school I would like to learn how to better take care of the children, and also how to better communicate with them.