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Teachers

Kathy Gilbert Kathy Gilbert
Director

Kathy Gilbert brings many strengths to her position as Coordinator of WMU Children's Place. She has been with the center since it opened in 1996, and her experience and educational background have helped shape the philosophy and organization of the center. Kathy graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and masters degrees in Educational Technology and Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University. Kathy has worked in the childcare profession for over 25 years.

Kathy says this about her role at the Children's Place, “The most important skill I can impart to children is a sense of competence. By allowing children to be an active part of the curriculum, children gain a comfort with their abilities. I work hard to provide a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere where children can experiment with new ideas and skills without the fear of failure. I encourage each child to stretch him or herself and develop new ways of thinking and new skills. The competence they gain here will help them succeed in school in the years to come.”

Jenny Fusciardi Jenny Fusciardi
Assistant Director and Head Preschool Teacher

Jenny Fusciardi graduated from WMU with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood endorsement as well as minors in Math, Science and English. Prior to her current position as Assistant Director and Head Preschool teacher, Jenny was the assistant teacher in the preschool room, head toddler teacher, and has taught preschool and Kindergarten for a school district in northern Michigan.  

Jenny has the belief that learning should be child-centerd and that kids should have as many choices as possible in their learning environment. Every child should feel safe, loved and cared for in the classroom as well as encouraged to develop at their own pace. Jenny is excited to partner with staff and parents to foster the growth and development of each child.


Kristin Harte Jenny Johnson
Head Toddler Teacher

Jenny Johnson is a graduate of Western Michigan University who is excited to be a part of the staff at the Children’s Place as the head toddler teacher.  Jenny graduated from WMU with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement and minors in Math, Science and English. Her four years of previous teaching experience at Hilltop Preschool have helped prepare her for the joys and challenges that working with young children brings. 

Jenny strives to create a classroom atmosphere that is welcoming and stimulating for young children. She believes that daily hands-on activities encourage children to explore in a natural way, and is essential to their development and individual growth. Jenny is committed to promoting creative thinking and self-expression in the classroom. She hopes to inspire children to be confident and genuine in all that they say and do.

Shari Glaser Shari Glaser
Off-site Administrator

Shari Glaser is the Off-site Administrator for WMU Children's Place Learning Center, a department in the Division of Student Affairs. Shari's office is located in the Faunce Student Services Building. Shari’s responsibilities at the Center include serving as the childcare center license designee and providing administrative oversight for the center.

Shari has worked at Western Michigan University since 1994 in several different capacities. In 2006 she became the Director of Parent and Family Programs, an office that serves parents and family members of prospective, incoming, and current WMU students. Shari graduated from Kalamazoo College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Music Education. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Communication and is an active member of the WMU community. Shari is devoted to ensuring the safety, quality and stability of the center and its staff for the families served.

Shari is always available to talk or meet with parents to discuss the Center and can be reached via email at shari.glaser@wmich.edu or phone at 387-4820.