Misty Phillips, Director - MSW, MBA
Misty Phillips is an educator and social worker who is very involved in the community and has worked in education and service oriented agencies for over 18 years including working on assessments and research for pre-schools in Columbia, MO. She also oversaw the implementation of the first online developmental assessment tool, Ages and Stages for the state of Missouri. Her son has attended CDC since he was 2 years old and will graduate this spring. Misty is passionate about the integration of social-emotional behavior in early childhood and breaking down barriers to provide access to resources that will support higher education attainment. Misty loves being a mom and spending time with family and friends. She and her son are members of First Baptist Church and her hobbies include traveling, reading, writing, photography, swimming, hiking, bicycling, and yoga.
Marilyn Canole, Lead Teacher - Bears
Marilyn has been making an impact on children’s lives for over 34 years. She joined the team in 2007 and has been an integral part of the CDC family by teaching the Bear class and preparing them for Kindergarten. When she’s not at CDC, Marilyn enjoys traveling, taking cruises, and spending time with her husband.
Michelle Pons, Lead Teacher - Stars
Michelle Pons has worked in childcare for about 27 years. She is currently the lead teacher in the Stars Room, teaching 3 and 4 year old children. An avid lover of all living things, Michelle takes great pride in her classroom pets. Michelle’s extensive background in early childhood education brings top-notch pedagogical practices along with an innate ability to help children socialize.
Nicole Coffin, Lead Teacher - Trains
Nicole Coffin, our Train Room teacher, has been teaching in a preschool setting for 8 years. She has an Associate of Arts in Teaching from Moberly Area Community College, and a Montessori certification through the North American Montessori Center. Nicole is married to K.C. and they have two teenage daughters, Lilly and Daisy. When not teaching, Nicole enjoys exploring local nature trails, reading, journaling, practicing yoga and ballet, making vegan food and studying herbalism. She also enjoys spending time with family at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Alissa Shoemaker, Lead Teacher - Bees
Alissa joined the CDC team as the lead teacher for the Bee Room in June 2018 and has been loving every minute of it. Alissa first discovered her passion for teaching preschool at a Montessori school in early 2018 but has worked with kids for as long as she can remember. Alissa studied Social Work at University of Missouri and in addition to her passion for teaching, she has a strong interest in working with refugees and learning other cultures and languages.
Michelle Kasmann, Assistant Teacher
Michelle Kasmann is a graduate from Columbia College. She is currently a CASA volunteer and also serves the youth at her church. Michelle is married and has two children who have both attended the Child Development Center. She is passionate about helping children receive the support they need in order to thrive. Michelle provides assistants to all classrooms at CDC.
Katie Britton-Mehlisch, Assistant Teacher
Lee’s Summit native, Katie has always had an interest in working with children, but decided she wanted to become a teacher her senior year of high school. She is a student at Mizzou studying elementary education with a minor in psychology. Her favorite part of teaching is when a child’s face lights up when they finally grasp a concept. In her free time, Katie loves to travel. As an aid, Katie helps all the teachers in whatever they may need throughout the day.
Madison Ponciroli, Assistant Teacher
Madison came to Columbia from St. Louis and is studying math education at Mizzou. Madison was inspired to go into education from her love of working with children and watching them grow through the years. When not working or going to class, Madison enjoys working out and hanging with family and friends. As an aid, Madison works with the children in the morning, helping with parent drop off and breakfast.
Claire Hazelton, Classroom Aid
Claire came to CDC at the beginning of her college career as a classroom aid in 2018. She is a pre-nursing major at Mizzou but has loved working with kids since as long as she can remember. She started babysitting in middle school and every time she is home in St. Louis she continues to foster the relationships she has with the families and children she has known for so long. Claire helps with organizing and helping children learn and grow.
Frances Cheatum, Custodian
Frances started working at the Child Development Center during the 2018-2019 school year. She has had many years of prior experience working in daycares and preschools throughout Columbia. Her previous experiences make her the perfect person to help all the children at lunch and makes the center spotless for them every evening. She says she is so blessed to be able to work with the staff at children at the Child Development Center.
Mike Ide, Custodian
Mike Ide has been a custodian for 15 years. He began working for First Baptist Church in November 2018. Mike is married to Dee. Together they have a daughter, Bridget, and a grandson. In his free time, Mike enjoys riding 4-wheelers.
Colleen Ostercamp, Music
Colleen brings the gift of music to our young learners’ lives every week. Always a song in her heart, Colleen brings so much joy to the children at the Child Development Center.