Meet some of the FANTASTIC people who make Kaleidoscope Kids the great place it is!
Gretchen Kolecki, Director
Hello, I'm Gretchen Kolecki, the Director of Kaleidoscope Kids Preschool. I grew up in Sussex County, NJ (Northern New Jersey) with my parents. I went to Rowan University, where I earned my BA in Psychology, with a minor in Law and Justice. Rowan is also where I met my husband, Dennis. Dennis and I moved to Collingswood 16 years ago and started a family. We have three sons, Tyler, Andrew and Jackson who attend Collingswood public schools. I love Collingswood and have been very involved here in the community. I was on the committee that helped put the current playground in at Knight Park, I have held various positions in the Sharp School and Collingswood Middle School PTAs. I started working at the Collingswood Presbyterian Church six years ago as the Director of Christian Education. I continue in that role and was on the committee to create the Kaleidoscope Kids Preschool. Many hundreds of hours of my life have gone into creating and furthering Kaleidoscope Kids Preschool even before starting here as the director. I am excited and delighted to be moving forward with the school in this position.
2.5-Year Old Class
Hi, I’m Ms. Hastings. I grew up and currently live in Pennsauken, NJ. I earned my BA in Communications at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD, where I tutored writing for 3 years. I have five years experience nannying young children, two years substituting PreK-8th, and one year teaching middle school math. I have one black cat named Luna who is 10 years old. When I am not teaching, I am exercising, practicing yoga, at the pool/ beach, or checking out restaurants, concerts, and special events. I am a member of Collingswood Community Theatre, where you may have seen me recently as a skeleton, duloc puppet, and rat tapper in the ensemble of Shrek the Musical! I love sushi, cheese, and dark chocolate (not at the same time), the color blue, the season fall, and The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. I'm looking forward to so much this year, especially singing songs with my students!
3-Year Old Classes
My name is Megan Blackburn, I live in Cherry Hill with my husband and two Boston Terriers. I grew up in Westford, Massachusetts and attended Emerson College in Boston where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication majoring in journalism and English. I moved to Chicago in 1990 and attended University of Illinois to complete a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have worked in the field of early childhood education for over twenty years in a variety of settings including university preschools, corporate childcare, and Head Start. My educational philosophy is grounded in play-based curriculum that allows children to actively explore their environment both inside and outside, ask questions, make predictions and gain experience of community by interacting with one another. Play is the universal language of children! As always, I look forward to getting to know the children in my class and experiencing together their creativity, curiosity, and eagerness to learn.
Hi, I’m Mrs. Wettstein. I grew up in Haddon Township and attended college at Montclair State University and Rowan University where I studied music therapy and English literature. I now live in Collingswood with my husband and two sons, Walter (age 9) and Henry (age 6). We have two dogs, Mojo and Tully and two cats, Sugar and Pepper. Mojo and Tully are semi-famous among the Lunch Bunch crew because they walk past the playground every day. This will be my fourth year teaching preschool and I can’t wait to see how everyone has grown over the summer. I’m very community oriented and I love integrating that into the classroom/school. One of the projects I’m most looking forward to this year is working on the new playground with Ms Megan. When I’m Not Teaching- I love to fill my spare time with photography, Collingswood Community Theater, camping with my family, playing the ukelele and piano (but not at the same time), going to the beach and training the laundry to fold itself (fingers crossed on this one).
Hi, I’m Bridget Killen, and this is my first year teaching at Kaleidoscope Kids Preschool. I grew up in Wayne, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. My parents still live in Wayne, and my younger (and only) sister, Nicolette lives in San Francisco. My fiancé grew up with his parents and three younger siblings in Cinnaminson New Jersey. We just bought our first house in Cherry Hill in August and will be getting married next July! My passion for teaching started after college when I went to Ghana, Africa and taught English for 6 months. After my return I taught at a daycare for a year, then became an assistant preschool teacher for three years. This past year I was a long term substitute kindergarten teacher in North Philadelphia. I received my masters in ECE from Saint Joes University this past January. I’m really looking forward to meeting new families this year, and sharing my love of learning to my students.
Emily Workman Luther
Hello! My name is Emily Workman Luther--but at Kaleidoscope I'm known as "Miss Mouse!" I live in Collingswood with three children, two kitties, and Dr. Jason Luther (who is not a mouse or a yogi but a professor of rhetoric at Rowan University). I am a Grounded Kids Certified Yoga Instructor and a Yogawood 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher-traininee ("graduating" in May 2019). I have been practicing yoga for almost twenty years (Vinyasa & Dharma styles), and after experiencing children's yoga classes with my children, I decided to share the fun with others. Aside from yoga, I hold a BA in English and Secondary Education from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master's in English from Syracuse University. I teach writing courses for Syracuse University and Rowan University, and I am an avid gardener, artist, writer, reader, and cook. I love sharing yoga adventures with the Kaleidoscope children! I believe yoga is a great path to health, awareness, and confidence for children (grown-ups, too!).