2017-2018 School Year
Kirsten Charnesky is the School Director and Administrator of Somerset Academy.
- Beginning her eleventh year at Somerset
- Graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in elementary education with teacher certification
- Obtained a M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University
- Received a ZA Early Childhood endorsement from Oakland University
- Obtained Graduate credits in Leadership and Management
- Previously the director of the Young 5’s program and a Pre-K teacher
- Has two children, Somerset alumni
Debbie Osborn is the Administrative Assistant at Somerset Academy.
- Over thirty years in customer service and administration
- Celebrating 5 years at Somerset Academy
- Experience in bookkeeping, banking, and legal fields
- Began work experience in Oxfordshire, England
- Has two children, both alumni of Somerset
Katie Slajus is beginning her tenth year as Director of the preschool program.
- Beginning twelve years as teacher in the preschool program at Somerset
- Prior to full time position, supported Somerset as summer camp teacher, substitute, and Para-professional
- Has twelve years of previous experience teaching preschool and elementary children in the creative arts field
- Graduated with a B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Madonna University; ZA endorsed teaching certificate
- Pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Oakland University
Amanda Tovar is returning for her sixth year in the preschool program.
- Attended University of Michigan and Baker College and graduated with a bachelor degree in general studies with an emphasis in psychology and social work
- Received an associate degree in mental health/social work
- Obtained an associate degree in Early Childhood Development
- Currently pursuing a Masters Degree
- Over seventeen years of experience in the field of early childhood education, including teaching at a center that attained NAEYC accreditation
Andrea Kitchner is returning for a third year as a member of the Preschool teaching staff.
- Attended Central Michigan University College and graduated with a bachelor degree in Early Childhood Development and a minor in Psychology
- Over thirty experience with age groups infant through Kindergarten
- Prior teaching experience includes twenty six years for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Oakland Children’s Learning Center where she taught as a lead teacher for infants, toddlers, preschool, and pre-k
Khushboo Mehndiratta joins the Preschool teaching team this year.
- Has over nine years of experience teaching and working with children
- Obtained a Masters in Child Development from Banasthali Vidhyapith India
- Obtained a Advance Diploma in Child Guidance and Counselling, New Delhi, India
- Prior teaching experience includes working with schools as a counselor and worked in Child and Adolescent Guidance Center, using Play Therapy, Educational Assessment, developing Individual Education Programme for the children
- Has a daughter, Somerset alumni
Honilynn Hendricks is beginning her tenth year as the Director of Prekindergarten.
- Returning for sixteenth year as teacher in the Pre-k Program
- Graduated from Bowling Green with a B.S. degree in Recreation Programming with specialization in Child and Family Development
- Prior teaching experience includes seven years with both preschool and toddler aged children through the cities of Berkley and Southfield
- Obtained a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University
Alayna Bialick is beginning her sixth year in the prekindergarten program.
- Returning for her fourth year as the Young 5’s director
- Graduated with a B.A in Psychology from the University of Michigan
- Obtained teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University
- Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Oakland University
- Previous teaching experience includes kindergarten in the Berkley school district; lead teacher in a pre-k program at a child care center in Troy
- Fifteen years experience working with children in elementary schools, child care programs, and summer camps
Kristine Philips is returning to prekindergarten teaching team this year.
- Has over eight years of experience teaching and working with children
- Previous teaching experience with Preschool and Pre-k children
- Obtained a B.A. in Teaching from Saginaw Valley State University, with a teaching certificate from the State of Michigan with a ZA Early Childhood Endoresement
- Has a young daughter
Gabriella Valentino joins the prekindergarten team this year.
- Over six years of experience in the field of education
- Previous experience includes teaching preschool in a Spanish full immersion program
- Received an associates degree and is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education
- Previously taught Spanish at Somerset Academy
Lisa DerKevorkian is returning for her fifth year as a guest teacher.
- Graduated from Michigan State University with the a B.A. in Elementary Education
- Completed masters level courses in elementary education at Michigan State University and masters level courses in reading and language arts at Oakland University
- Over eighteen years experience working with children in elementary schools, summer schools, and summer camps
- Has three children; all alumni of Somerset
Sandy McClurg is the Founder of Somerset Academy.
- Thirty-five years as an early childhood teacher, director, and teacher at Oakland University
- Founded The Clarkston Preschool for Master’s thesis in early ECE
- MAT in Early Childhood Education, ZA endorsement
- B.S. in Elementary and Special Education
- Attended, by invitation, first early childhood roundtable at Oxford University