Karen Jarvis is a certified K-8 teacher and has most recently been a long-term subsitute teacher in a kindergarten classroom at Hancock Elementary. In addition, Mrs. Jarvis has taken supplementary courses in early childhood education.
Brita Odegard has a degree in Elementary Education from St. Olaf College. She taught preschool through fifth grade while living in Colorado and has lived in Houghton since 2004. Mrs. Odegard has regularly volunteered at the preschool since her oldest son attended. She is on sabbatical during the Winter term in 2013.
Our Teacher's Aide, Patricia Fezzey, spent five years as a children's librarian before joining Michigan Tech Preschool in 1992. Mrs. Fezzey is a caring and patient instructor with a love for children and a desire to see them learn and grow.
Meet Mrs. Jarvis
"Hello! My name is Mrs. Karen Jarvis. My husband and I moved from lower Michigan to Hancock in 1998. We wanted to raise our family in a small community and we wanted snowy winters. I have 4 children, currently in grades 7, 9, 11 and a freshman at Northern Michigan University.
"My teaching experience goes back several years. I taught first through eighth grade in lower Michigan for 6 years. After my 2nd child was born, I stayed home so I could raise my family. I returned to teaching, as a substitute, in 2006 and have enjoyed it immensely. Some of my long term substitute teaching jobs have been K-5 physical education, aide to an autistic student, title I aide, and most recently, kindergarten. I am also a Girl Scout leader for a troop I have been with for 10 years.
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach at Michigan Tech Preschool. Children at this age are so curious and eager to learn and explore. Everyday with them is an adventure! I believe in teaching children responsibility and encouraging cooperation by giving children choices and helping them find words to express their feelings. Children in my class will experience a loving, caring environment in which they will feel comfortable to learn and play freely.
- Karen Jarvis, BA Elementary Education
Meet Mrs. Odegard
"Teaching preschool children is an amazing experience. Children of this age are quick to laugh, full of ideas, eager to learn, willing to help, and able to see the good in everything. Being around them is such a joy because they live fully in every moment.
"Children soak up knowledge at this age, and the skills they learn at preschool will serve them for a lifetime. One of my biggest pleasures is watching preschool children interact because they learn so much from each other. They will spontaneously problem solve, use creative thinking, and are eager to use skills they have just mastered in new situations. Their emotional growth at this age is equally fascinating as they learn to look outward into the world, and into the feelings and situations of others. It is important to their development to allow them the freedom to become confident, free thinkers.
"I am excited to be a part of my students' lives, and am dedicated to teaching them during these important developmental years."
- Brita Odegard, BA Elementary Education
Meet Mrs. Fezzey "I am in my 17th year at the preschool. My first preschool students are now in college. I tell everyone I don't feel like I am working. Where else can you get paid to play with children? Someday I might have to grow up, but I'm in no hurry.
"My husband Bill and I live in Rabbit Bay, which is on Lake Superior (another of my loves along with children and books). Bill works as a 5th grade teacher and is a coach in the Houghton-Portage Township Schools. We have two grown sons and one granddaughter who is the best thing that has happened in our family.
"I look forward to working (playing) with all of the children. Every day is a new adventure when you spend time with them." - Pat Fezzey