Our Teachers

Please meet the heart of the Step Ahead family — our teachers!  

This group of warm, passionate and energetic professionals makes a solid team of experience. We are proud to note that most of our teachers have come to Step Ahead and never left!




Kim Erickimkson

Executive Director
BA, elementary education, Augustana College
MA, educational administration/leadership, Kent State University
Years at Step Ahead: 17

Miss Kim is the creator and leader of Step Ahead Learning Center. Her oldest children, now 16, were part of the first Bouncy Bear toddler class, and her two youngest also are Step Ahead graduates. One of her greatest commitments is fundraising for scholarships so that all families are afforded the opportunity to attend Step Ahead.

“I feel such passion about Step Ahead. I work with amazing families, children and teachers. We all gain strength and support from each other. It is such a blessing to get up each day and work in a happy place and do something you love.”


Miss Alison
Junior Preschool
Years at Step Ahead: 6

Miss Alison has had many roles at Step Ahead over the years: a mom, an auntie, a friend, a substitute and now a member of the Bouncy Bear team! She is excited to learn, to play, and to grow with the children.


anneMiss Anne
Junior Preschool
Years at Step Ahead: 14

Miss Anne, a mother of two sons who began their education here at Step Ahead, says that her favorite thing about working at Step Ahead is that the entire staff supports each other and works together to provide the best program possible. Miss Anne’s experience at Step Ahead began with volunteering as a parent, transitioned into substitute teaching, and has evolved into full-time teaching. An outdoor enthusiast, Miss Anne brings her passions into the classroom.

“Having the opportunity to be a part of a child’s growth from the toddler to the pre-K program is an amazing feeling!”


JeannieMiss Jeannie
Years at Step Ahead: 15

Miss Jeannie says that the teachers at Step Ahead are a family, which is what makes this school special. They share happy and sad times and bring strength to each other. She loves working with the 3- and 4-year-olds because of their energy, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

“I especially love the stories that kids share from home. If there were any family secrets, there aren’t anymore!”

She began at Step Ahead as a mom; her daughter was in the first Marvelous Monkeys class. The first class of pre-schoolers she taught are now in high school and still call her Miss Jeannie!


joanneMiss Joanne
Years at Step Ahead: 14

Miss Joanne, a mother of two sons, says that Step Ahead feels like home to her and it’s a joy to come to work every day. Her favorite thing about Step Ahead is the commitment of the entire staff to helping children grow and learn in a positive, warm, fun and safe environment.

“I love the fact that we have had so many families come through our programs with several children. We share a close bond for years at a time, and when their last child graduates, we all shed a tear!”


KayEllenMiss Kayellen
Junior Preschool
Years at Step Ahead: 17

Miss Kayellen has been at Step Ahead since Step Ahead first opened its doors. Being a toddler teacher has allowed her the opportunity to meet families as their child begins his/her first preschool experience. Miss Kayellen, a mother of three children, loves working with the Bouncy Bears. Favorite memories are created every day, and she loves the funny reaction children have when they realize that teachers don’t live at Step Ahead!


MariaMiss Maria
Years at Step Ahead: 11

Miss Maria, a mother of three children, says she enjoys working at Step Ahead because of the great families and staff. Any child who has been lucky enough to have Miss Maria as a Leaping Lizards teacher will remember her creative and engaging idea to wed the letters Q and U in a ceremony complete with crowns, wedding cake, dancing to “Going to the Chapel” and blowing wedding bubbles. She has taught every age group at Step Ahead: “It is so interesting to observe the behavior across these crucial developmental years!”