Meet our family!
One thing we hear over and over again is that Polliwogs feels like home. We believe that the reason for that is because of our staff. All teachers are interviewed and hired by the owner, Terri, herself. She prioritizies creating an environment of love and nurturing. You can feel the difference in this daycare facility that feels more like a second home.
Terri Hall - Co-owner/Director
Terri has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Florida, but when she discovered her passion for working with little ones she went back to school to be both a teacher and a director. She runs the center and is often at the front desk to greet parents and Polliwogs.
Maureen Gebhards - Co-owner
Mo has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Illinois and a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Bradley. She loves her involvement at Polliwogs, and is currently working mostly behind the scenes.
Rachel - Assistant Director
Born and raised in Peoria, Il, Rachel knew early on that she wanted to be in childcare. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Letter of Approval in Special Education from Illinois State University. What she enjoys most about working with children is the joy and laughter they bring!
Maya H. - Business Administrator
Maya is currently working on her degree in Early Childhood Education. She grew up in an in-home daycare, watching her mom turn that into a full fledged facility that has now taken care of hundreds of little ones in the Peoria area. Her favorite part of working at Polliwogs is saying hello to all the smiling faces in the morning!
Theresa - Lead Pre-K Teacher
Theresa has been Polliwogs' Pre-k teacher since 2012. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from ISU and has been working with children since 1976. Many of those years she was a kindergarten teacher in District 150. She is very committed to our Pre-K program and we can't think of anyone better to prepare the kids for kindergarten than someone who's been there!
Ginny - Lead Infant Teacher
Ginny is our longest-tenured team member at Polliwogs. She has been with us literally since the day we opened! She has more than three decades' experience caring for children and has a Bachelor's Degree from Illinois State University. Her natural loving and calm demeanor makes her a favorite for parents with new babies.
Mary - This lady does it all!
Ms. Mary has been at Polliwogs for several years and there is not a task presented that she is afraid to tackle. You might see her cooking lunch, organizing spare clothing, keeping us up to speed with fire codes, or keeping the peace in a classroom. EVERYONE, parents, kids and staff alike, are happy to see Ms. Mary! She has a special style and a nickname for everyone.
Amanda - Lead Tadpoles Teacher
Ms. Amanda received her teaching certificate from Illinois Central College. She is a natural when it comes to this challenging age group. She is not only in charge of keeping her polliwogs stimulated academically, but also in helping them socialize and potty-train. She understands the importance of communicating with parents on all activities and strives to make learning fun!
Rebecca - Lead Toddler Teacher
Rebecca grew up in Princeville, Il. She likes to paint, bake, shop, and hang out with friends. She has an Associates Degree in Cosmetology and has recently achieved her CDA in Early Childhood Development. When she was younger, she used to babysit neighborhood kids and this is what inspired her to work with young children. Her favorite thing about being in the classroom is watching the kids grow and seeing their personalities develop. She says it's fun to see them learn new things!
Michelle - Lead Infant Teacher
A Florida native, Michelle has a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has always loved working with young children and especially enjoys teaching them new things. The best part of working with little ones for Michelle is doing art projects with them and seeing their smiling faces!
Rachael - Teacher
Rachael loves the creativity, curiosity, and determination that the kids in her classroom show. She says this is when they are the happiest. According to Rachael, "There is never a dull moment!" Rachael is from East Peoria. She loves to spend time with her nieces and nephews, her dog, and go out to eat with her fiance.
Sydney - Teacher
"I feel like I was meant to take care of little ones," Sydney replied when asked what makes her want to work with children. She enjoys working with young children, remarking at how much they learn and grow within their first four years of life. Her favorite part of this job is guiding through different milestones and teaching them new skills. Sydney is a Peoria native who had also worked as a nanny before joining the Polliwogs team. When she is not nurturing the little ones she cares for, Sydney enjoys hiking, antiquing, and painting.
Kyleigh - Teacher
Born and raised in Peoria, Kyleigh likes to sing, listen to music, and watch Glee. She recalls loving to work with younger kids when she herself was just 9 years old. Kyleigh says it's always been a passion of hers and that she loves intracting with them and watching them grow. Her favorite part of working at Polliwogs is all the little funny moments that happen. No two days are the same and she loves it!
Sam - Lead Tykes Teacher
From Hanna City, Sam spends a lot of time with her family, taking her kids new places, as well as going on walks and to the movies. Growing up, her aunts and cousins also ran in-home daycares and she fell in love with childcare from this experience. Her favorite thing about working with little ones is the excitement in their eyes as they learn and grow.
Meaghan - Teacher
Meaghan is from Peoria and enjoys spending her free time with her family. She is currently working on becoming teacher-qualified. She has always wanted to work with children and focuses on building relationships with them. Her favorite part of working with little ones is watching their development over time.