Lee Wheeler - Executive Director
I have worked with non-profit education centers since 2006. I was raised in Osceola, Indiana and then went to Rhode Island to attend the University of Rhode Island. I graduated from URI in 2004 and left to start my career in Arizona. In Arizona I worked for a non-profit school for children with special needs. After 5 years at ACCEL I decided to work with inner city at risks students. This led me to RCB Medical Arts Academy. In 2012 I became the director of the school. There we were focused preparing under-supported students for life after high school through building skills in the medical arts field. I also serve on the AIBT board of directors which holds the charter for two high schools in Arizona. After my second child was born my wife and I decided to move back to Indiana and began working for Walnut Hill. I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
Jamie Pankoke - Center Director
I am originally from Harvard, Illinois. I attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois where I graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in science and a major in Elementary Education. I have been in the teaching field for about 9 years. I taught afternoon Kindergarten in Illinois and taught a school age class at a local child care facility for 1 1/2 years. Then my husband and I moved to Elkhart when he switched jobs, and I started teaching a three year old class in Granger. From there I went on to be the Kindergarten teacher at the YWCA in Elkhart. After teaching 2 1/2 years I had my first child and became a stay at home mom. I am now the mother of three lovely children; Hope, Rose and Adam. Hope is 13, Rose is 12 and Adam is 10. When Adam started Kindergarten I went back to teaching with Head Start where I taught 3 1/2 - 5 year olds. In June of 2013 I decided to join Walnut Hill as the Lead Teacher in the Middler Room. In 2015 I moved into the Family Services Coordinator position. I love working with children and watching them learn and grow and am blessed to have a position in a wonderful program with a wonderful staff.
Heather Schuetz - Lead Teacher in Bumblebee Classroom (6 weeks-2 year olds)
This is my 15th school year at Walnut Hill. I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I did my student teaching here at Walnut Hill with 4/5 year olds. I was then hired as the Lead Teacher where I taught for the next 5 years before moving to the 2/4 year old classroom. My heart has always been with children, especially the early childhood age. My dream has always been to work daily with infants and when we opened the new building my dream came true! I have 2 children with my husband, Kaden who is 12 years old and Hailey who is 8. I am excited for the future of Walnut Hill and can't wait to see what it holds!
Ms. Hailey- Lead Teacher in the Dragonfly Classroom
I am from Indianapolis, IN. I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Child Development from Ball State University in December of 2017. I then moved to Goshen, IN with my fiancé Devin and my cat Izzie. I started at Walnut Hill January of 2018 and I am excited to continue my time here in the Dragonfly classroom.
Rachel Wilson - Lead teacher in the Grasshopper Classroom.
This is my 5th year at Walnut Hill. I am currently enrolled in CDA classes. When I started at Walnut Hill I was an assistant in the Pre K room and I just became a lead this year. I have been married to my husband for 2 years I have a son Mason who would have been a year old, and I have 2 dogs Shay and Hunter. I enjoy working at Walnut hill and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Rachel Templeton - Lead teacher in the Ladybugs Classroom
This is my 12th year working at Walnut Hill. The first eight years, I was an assistant teacher in the Ladybug classroom. In 2015, I earned my CDA and became the lead teacher in the Caterpillar class with the four and five year olds. I was the lead in there for 3 years before I came back to the Ladybug class as the lead teacher. I love working with all ages but I have loved this opportunity to go back and work with the younger children. I have two children with my husband Mike: Curtis who is 9, and Xander who is 4.
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