Meet the Staff
My name is Alex Renyer and I am the Director of UCD. I have been with UCD for 7 years and have experience in every classroom. I went to Washburn Tech and received my Child Care Certificate in 2013. I received my CDA (Child Development Associate Credential) in February 2016. Outside of school and in my spare time I sell Thirty-one bags!
My name is Brianna Barrientos and I work in the Infant Room. I am a student at Washburn University and am currently in my fourth and final year studying elementary education with a minor in leadership studies. I have worked in a childcare setting for 5 years, and this will be my third year at UCD. A fun fact about myself is that I was born on New Year’s Day.
My name is Rachel Frakes. I am a sophomore at Washburn University studying elementary education and middle school mathematics. I started working at UCD in August 2018 and have been working in the toddler room. A fun fact about myself is that I am on the Washburn basketball team!
My name is Merika Pine. I currently work as an assistant and float teacher in all classrooms. I am a freshman at Washburn University working on pursuing a degree in elementary education. I have worked in childcare for the past 4 years and I have been with UCD since May of 2018. A fun fact about me is that not only do I love children, but I also love animals, which led me to follow a vegetarian diet.
My name is Sammy Strecker. I’m a nursing major graduating in May! I got married to Mr. Bruce last summer. I have a gecko, snake, and many fish at home. I have worked with children since I was 14 years old. This is my third year at UCD and I am looking forward to working in the toddler and infant rooms a couple days a week this school year. Fun fact about me… I love dogs and kiddos are cool too!
Hi, my name is Lauryn. I am 19 years old and I graduated from Hayden High School. I love what I do. I work at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka and UCD! I love kids, my friends, and my dog.
My name is Maria Vega. I have been with UCD for the last 9 years and have worked in each classroom. I have worked in childcare for 13 years. I am currently working as a substitute teacher because I have decided to further my education in the nursing field. I work full time at Stormont Vail and I have 3 wonderful children at home who keep me busy as well.
My name is Karlie Miller. I’m a junior at Washburn University and I’m double majoring. I’m hoping to graduate in 2021 with an Associates in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelors in Psychology. I absolutely love kids, which is why I’m working at UCD. I’m mostly in the toddler room, but I do bounce around to other rooms. After I graduate I’m hoping to work in a pediatric hospital to help kids learn and grow into amazing individuals.
My name is Rachel Johnson and I am the lead teacher in the Kindergarten Readiness room, as well as UCD’s Assistant Director. I have been working with children for 17 years and have been with UCD for 8. I attended Highland Community College and received my Child Development Associate Credential in 2015. Outside of school I have a wonderful husband, to whom I have been married for 18 years, and an ornery daughter named Aislynn who is attending Kindergarten this year. Fun fact about me… I love superheroes and Chuck Taylor shoes!
My name is Kaylie Collins and I work in the Infant and Toddler classrooms. I have been with UCD since December 2016. I am a senior at Washburn University studying Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Unified. Fun fact about me… I love wiener dogs!
My name is Mariah McKnight. I have worked in all classrooms at UCD and I am currently the lead teacher in the Preschool room. I have been with UCD for 3 years and I enjoy working with all of the children and staff.
My name is Larisse (Lara) Williams. I am the mother of 2 daughters, Jane 4 and Ally 8. Previously I had an in-home family daycare for 6-1/2 years. Recently I became a full time student at Washburn University attending the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. I love arts and crafts and hiking.
My name is D’Mya Valdivia. I have been with UCD since May of 2017 and I help out in all the classrooms. I am a third year student at WU. My current major is Anthropology and Communication, with a minor in Sociology. On campus I am Secretary of Washburn’s BSU and a Summer Orientation Counselor. I started working with children my junior year of High School and received my Lead Teacher Certification from Washburn Tech.
My name is Aunastasia Penny. I am 16 years old and a junior at Hayden Catholic High School. I just started here at UCD not that long ago and I really do enjoy being with kids every day I’m here. I have been working with kids since I was 14 years old babysitting for my sister. Fun fact about me… I used to be a pretty good athlete playing volleyball and basketball before my injury.
My name is Kerry Fessler and I’ve worked in education for over 10 years. I worked 9 years in Special Education prior to working at UCD. I have a husband named Jordan, 3 kids – Della, MJ and Mason, which both boys attend here with me. I am currently a float as I am attending college. My hope is to be an RN. I love working with your kiddos and seeing their smiling faces every day! My hobbies include watching KU basketball, cheering on my Oakland Raiders and spending time with my family! RCJH!!