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Our Teachers


Mrs. Deering
Young Fives

I love learning and teaching. I believe in using hands-on activities and everyday opportunities to enhance each child's natural curiosity. Every experience can provide a learning moment, and I search for the best ones. I also enjoy giving and receiving high-fives and hugs. In my classroom, we are family, and each of us is special and capable of doing amazing things. We believe in ourselves and each other. After graduating from Michigan State and working in advertising for a while, I realized quickly that, at the end of the day, I wasn’t fulfilled. I had implemented phenomenal ad campaigns, but I was not touching lives the way I wanted to. This led me to Oakland University where I started a master's program in Early Childhood Education. In the midst of that, I moved to Switzerland where I earned my certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Since moving back to the US, I have earned my elementary teaching certification and worked at both public and private schools. I live in Rochester Hills with my husband and my twin daughters, and we love hiking, swimming, biking and skiing. I am also a dedicated basketball coach. When you see me at school or around town, please say hi. • BA in Advertising from Michigan State • MA in Early Education from Oakland University (part-way) • Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Cambridge in Geneva, Switzerland


Mrs. Leighty

I knew as a teenager that my calling in life was to be a teacher of young children, and I am grateful that I have been able to fulfill my dream. For thirteen years, I taught preschool and kindergarten at Discovery Montessori in Grand Blanc. Then, for ten years, I was a teacher and program director at Creative Learning Academy in Flint. Finally, in 2016, I came to Eagle Creek. I think of learning as an adventure, full of opportunities to discover the world. One of my favorite things is to plan new challenges and help the children investigate, practice and master them. My hope is that each child will develop a true desire to learn as much as he can. Loving school is so important! In my spare time, my husband and I enjoy biking, watching our three children play sports, and having family movie nights. • Child Development at Central Michigan University Montessori Teaching • Certificate from Michigan Teacher Education Program


Mrs. Cattel

I began my teaching career in a parochial school in Royal Oak where I taught second grade for six years. I then stayed home to raise my own children. When my youngest started kindergarten, I became a substitute teacher and then took the leap and taught preschool for Rochester Community Schools, where I taught three- and four-year-old classes. When I first started teaching, preschool was not on my radar, but now I am hooked! I love the awe the children show when they make discoveries. Their joy makes me excited to come to school every day! In my spare time, my husband and I love being with our three children, watching their sports, and traveling. I'm happy to meet you soon! • BA in Elementary Education from Adrian College • MA in Education from Oakland University


Mrs. Martinez

I have been teaching young children since 2012. At first, I taught in Mexico where I grew up. Then, I moved to Ann Arbor where I taught at Glacier Hills, Squiggle Room, and Uno, Dos, Tres, a Spanish immersion school. I have a degree in divorce law from UNITEC College in Mexico and more recently, an associate degree in early childhood development. My husband and I have two children, and we are happy to now be in the area. I really enjoy teaching young children because they get so excited about their new experiences. They also keep me learning. One of the best parts of the day is pick-up time, when the children are eagerly telling their parents about their day and singing our songs on their way out. If I can do anything special for you or your family, please let me know. • BA in Divorce Law from UNITEC College, Mexico • Associate degree in Childhood Development from Childcare Education Institute


Miss Taylor

I have had the joy of working with preschoolers, toddlers, and first through third graders since 2011. Before coming to Eagle Creek, I taught at The Montessori School Rochester and Brookfield Academy. I love getting to know the children over the course of our time together and incorporating their interests into the curriculum. I am passionate about creating a joyful school experience where the children feel safe, loved, and excited to learn. In my free time, I love reading, arts and crafts, and traveling. The preschool years are such a special time, and I’m honored to be part of your child's journey! • Montessori Certificate from Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center • BA in Elementary Education from Hope College • MA in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University


Miss Ingoglia

I have been working in childcare for the past nine years. Before coming to Eagle Creek, I was a preschool teacher at several local childcare centers, and I tutored for elementary students. I am passionate about helping children reach their potential, and I love to challenge them to be curious and take chances when learning. I am so grateful that I am able to be part of your child's educational journey. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, skiing, fishing, and spending time with my friends and family! • BA in Psychology from Michigan State University • MA in Elementary Education from Oakland University (in progress)


Mrs. Monika

I ran an in-home daycare for children of all ages for over twenty years. After that, I spent three years at Sacred Heart Academy teaching at-risk youngsters. One of my strengths is in assessing children's development and planning next steps. I find great purpose and joy in helping children grow. I'm eager to meet you. Let the fun begin!


Mrs. Shail

Hello! I am a committed toddler teacher who loves to nurture young minds. After finishing my bachelor degree in Political Science and Psychology in 2003, I worked with small children in India and realized that was my future. When I moved to Michigan, I completed my Montessori certification from NAMC and my CDA in early childhood education, and then I returned to teaching children. Before coming to Eagle Creek, I taught children at Miss Dee Dee’s and Our Shepherd Lutheran School. I offer a gentle and engaging learning environment where young children may explore, play, and practice skills. Through hands-on experiences, I present a solid foundation for lifetime learning.


Mrs. Pinson

When I was a child, I would rush home from school and play teacher. In college, I tried to go the business route, but I couldn't see myself sitting at a desk all day. Changing my major to education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. For many years, I taught at Walton Charter Academy and Alpine Academy. I have been at Eagle Creek since 2005, teaching fourth grade and Kindergarten. I love coming to work every day. I am a big believer in active, hands-on learning, and I like finding new ways to get the children on their feet. My favorite part of teaching is seeing the children's growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I'm eager to meet your child and help him on his way! • BA in Education from Oakland University • MA in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University


Mrs. Minton
1st Grade

Before coming to Eagle Creek in 2012, I was an academic specialist, finding new ways to present challenging material to small groups of students. I have also worked in a clinic with students who are on the autism spectrum. That was very rewarding, because I was able to help them find ways to communicate and grow. One of my passions is building a classroom into a community. As a mother myself, I believe wholeheartedly in connecting and communicating with parents. I can’t wait to get to know you and your children! • BS in Earth Science from Michigan State University • Post-bachelors in Education from Saginaw Valley State University


Mrs. Passon
2nd Grade

When I was in fourth grade at St. Anne’s, I decided I was going to be a teacher. My teacher was an inspiration, because she made learning meaningful and enjoyable at the same time. Over the years, I have taught second, fourth, and fifth grades and special education. One highlight was implementing the new elementary science curriculum at Akiva Day School. Another was starting at Eagle Creek in 2011. One of my personal goals is to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and develop pride in their work. Another personal goal is to find unique ways to celebrate each child's family and heritage. Every year, I get excited about working with new students and their families. • BS in Education from Western Michigan University • Certification Teaching Learning Disabled from Saginaw Valley State University


Mrs. Kasal
3rd Grade

Many of you know me as the school principal for the past three years. You may not know that prior to becoming a school administrator, I taught grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 for twenty-four years, seven of them here at ECA. Although I have enjoyed leading the school community and getting to know all of you, I have decided to return to the classroom as the third-grade teacher here at Eagle Creek, and I couldn't be more excited! As a classroom teacher, one of my goals is to create a sense of purpose. To me, this means helping the children find their intrinsic motivation. I like guiding the children to set goals and become engaged in reaching them. I love it when they take ownership of their learning, and of course, I adore finding ways to celebrate their accomplishments. In my spare time, I enjoy motorcycling, playing golf, and traveling around the United States with my husband. I am very happy to be back in the classroom, and I look forward to partnering with you to ensure your child's success. MA in Teaching and Leadership - Saint Xavier University BA in Elementary Education Governors State University


Mrs. Chen
4th Grade

In second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. After learning all day, I would come home and read to my sister. Now, both of us are teachers. After getting my bachelor's degree, I went to Shanghai, China, where I taught children from all over the world for four years. It was a true growing experience for me. When I came home, I taught in Detroit for five years. One thing I have learned is that no matter where you are in the world, you can make a difference. In my free time, I love to travel, read, cook, take pictures, sing karaoke, and ride my bike. I am excited to meet you! • BS in Elementary Education from Oakland University • MA in International Studies from Concordia University


Mr. Dawley

Back in 2019, after teaching music for six years, I was excited to come to Eagle Creek. Now, I split my time between Eagle Creek and another local school. In addition to being a choir director, I have performed with choirs and theater companies across the United States. I have also directed, choreographed, produced, and acted professionally in fifty productions and been in several commercials and movies. In 2017, I was selected from thousands of nominees as a quarter-finalist for the 2017 Grammy Music Educator Award. Teaching music is unique, because music is all around you all the time. This makes it easy to relate what we are doing in the classroom to real life experiences, which helps the children gain deeper understanding. I also enjoy presenting music that is challenging, fun, and diverse. It's important to me that the children feel successful and proud of themselves when they perform. ​​ • MM in Choral Conducting from Oakland University (in progress) • BM in Music Education from Oakland University • BSA in Musical Theater from Oakland University


Mrs. Weigand

If you were to ask me what my favorite subject is, I would have to say all of them. Before coming to Eagle Creek, I taught nearly every subject in elementary, middle school and high school in Almont Community Schools. I especially enjoy planning hands-on projects. I just love the aha moments and smiles that come from helping children make connections between reading, writing, math, science, art, and technology! As a STEAM teacher, my goal is to deepen your children's thinking with fun and interesting challenges. I am also passionate about learning in the outdoor classroom. To that end, we spend time outdoors as often as we can. I'm eager to meet you and your child. Exciting learning ahead! • BA in Secondary Education from University of Michigan and Michigan State University • Post-Bachelor in Elementary Education from Saginaw Valley State University


Señora Balza

I am from Venezuela, and I have been living in the United States since 2003. Before joining Eagle Creek Academy in 2017, I worked at International Academy East for three years teaching and tutoring Spanish. I really enjoy working with children. Their smiles fill me every day with joy. I love what I do! I am also a synchronized swimming coach for Troy Synchro Sharkettes. I love swimming, running and spending time with my husband and twin daughters. Please stop by and say, "Hola!"


Mrs. Evie

Mommy & Me

I ran Evie's Childcare and Preschool in the Rochester area for 35 years. I have a strong background in Orton Gillingham, a program for teaching young children their sounds and letters. I love getting to know children’s families and becoming lifelong friends. I live in Rochester Hills and enjoy traveling with my husband.


Ms. Feld

With over 25 years of childcare experience, one of the things I enjoy most about my job is seeing the children's joy when they accomplish something new. I love reading to children and helping them develop a love for literature. I am the proud mother of two wonderful daughters, one in high school and one in college. I look forward to engaging with each child and getting to know them better.

Our Drop-in Babysitting Team


Mrs. Lutey

I aspired to be a teacher starting in elementary school, and I am fortunate to be able to live that dream every day. While pursuing my bachelor's degree, I worked for the Rochester Community Schools School-Age program for four years. After that, since 2011, I have been working at Eagle Creek Academy and Alpine Academy with a wonderful team of teachers and administrators. I love all age groups. It's so much fun to get to know the children and watch their personalities develop. • BA in Elementary Education from Oakland University


Mrs. Hall

I am so happy to be in the babysitting program at Eagle Creek. I have homeschooled all four of my children, and I'm always eager to share my knowledge and skills to help children learn and prosper. I am truly interested in developing relationships with you and your children, so I hope you visit us often. I stayed at my previous job for 24 years, and I hope to be nurturing your children for just as long. See you soon!


Ms. Murphy

Hello, everyone! I'm so excited to work with your children. Every child I have worked with has left a mark on my heart. They always remind me why I chose childcare as my career. My biggest goal is to get to know each child's strengths and needs, form goals to help them along, and incorporate those goals into a healthy, blooming class setting. Before coming to Alpine, I taught toddlers and preschool at Kiddie Club and Goddard. I've also been working on my degree in Child Development. When I'm not taking care of children, I like to go fishing and play with my cats and dogs.


Mrs. Klakulak

Hello, families. I am passionate about working with children and delighted to get to know you and your family. Before coming Eagle Creek and Alpine, I worked with infants and toddlers for several years, most recently in a preschool in Oxford. The youngest children hold a special place in my heart. The joy we bring each other keeps me going, and I'm eager to share that joy with you.


Ms. Martinez

I have been teaching young children since 2012. At first, I taught in Mexico where I grew up. Then, I moved to Ann Arbor where I taught at Glacier Hills, Squiggle Room, and Uno, Dos, Tres, a Spanish immersion school. I have a degree in divorce law from UNITEC College in Mexico and more recently, an associate degree in early childhood development. My husband and I have two children, and we are happy to now be in the area. I really enjoy teaching young children because they get so excited about their new experiences. They also keep me learning. One of the best parts of the day is pick-up time, when the children are eagerly telling their parents about their day and singing our songs on their way out. If I can do anything special for you or your family, please let me know. • BA in Divorce Law from UNITEC College, Mexico • Associate degree in Childhood Development from Childcare Education Institute

Our Administrators & Support Staff

Mrs. Hammond


Over the years, I have taught preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, GED classes, computer classes, French, English, and English as a Second Language. In 1995, I founded Cathy's Corner, which became Alpine Academy, an active preschool in Lake Orion, MI. As the preschool grew, we needed another building for the children in kindergarten and up, and Eagle Creek Academy was born. Now, Eagle Creek Academy, also in Lake Orion, offer programs for toddlers, preschool, young fives, K-5, homeschoolers, summer camp, tutoring, and more. I believe teaching and learning are the most important jobs in the world, and I am loving every minute of my time in education.


Mr. Vincler

I am excited to lead the Eagle Creek community. I attended Western Michigan University where I majored in Education and competed on the varsity tennis team. I have also received a master's degree from Oakland University in Educational Administration. For six years, I taught middle school, and since 2005, I have been an elementary school administrator. My wife Rachel is a fourth-grade teacher. We have a daughter who is at U of M and sons in middle school and high school. We enjoy watching our kids participate in their activities, and we love spending time up north. Eagle Creek's staff is amazing, and I am fortunate to be part the team.


Mrs. Lewicky
Assistant Principal 

I became passionate about education when I started working as a preschool teacher in an international school in Istanbul, Turkey, over twenty years ago. Since then, I have taught preschool through fifth grade. One of my favorite positions was working as a technology integration specialist for four years, modeling the use of instructional technology to enhance student learning. I am always looking for ways to make learning come alive. As assistant principal, I look forward to working with all students, parents, and teachers, and continue building our strong, supportive community. • BA in Marketing from American University in Washington, D.C


Mrs. Brown
Business Director

Before coming to Eagle Creek in 2016, I spent seventeen years working for and managing small businesses. I started out developing a small custom printing business while I was in college. After graduation, I ventured to Chicago to work in merchandising and project management. A few years later, I moved back to Michigan to be closer to my family and happened to meet the love of my life, Scott, whom I married at our favorite spot up north. At Eagle Creek, my focus is on accounting and business management. I truly believe that when you continue to learn and push yourself, endless opportunities will present themselves. • BS in Retail from Michigan State University


Mrs. Hay

I have been at Eagle Creek since 2020 working as a preschool teacher, a K-5 teacher, a co-manager of the babysitting program, and now as the school secretary. In addition to teaching for twelve years, I have also been a business supervisor for the Marriott Hotel brand for four years. I enjoy learning new things and am always eager to become a better asset to Eagle Creek. My philosophy has always been to do a little better today than I did yesterday; that’s how I know I am moving in the right direction. In my spare time, I am usually hiking or camping, attending a sporting or band event for my two boys, or enjoying the beauty of the day with Thai food and a good book. Please stop by and say hi. I am excited to help any way I can.


Mr. Knox
Facility Manager

I have been managing Eagle Creek's campus since 2007. I like keeping the building and grounds in tiptop shape, from the garbage disposals to the air conditioning units. I also own and manage Knox Lawn & Landscape, which is how I originally came to Eagle Creek. Originally from North Branch, I now live in Dryden with my wife and three children. I enjoy snowmobiling, boating, and spending time with family.


Mr. Smith

I have been the Eagle Creek custodian and handyman since 2016. It's a great job because I get to tinker with things and help people. I enjoy big projects such as refurbishing old lockers. I also own and manage Ronkote, which is a full-service painting and staining company and how I became a part of the ECA family. I spend my free time working on cars, collecting precious metals, and hanging out with my grandson. If you see me in the hallway, please say hello!

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