Meet Our Staff

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
  • Experience in bookkeeping, banking, and legal fields
  • Began work experience in Oxfordshire, England
  • Has two children, both alumni of Somerset

Katie Baker 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 almuni

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