Ms. Jenette Dean is entering her sixth year as HPUMP Director. She holds a B.A. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland and teaching certification from Middle Tennessee State University. She also recently earned a Master's Certificate in Early Childhood Emergent Curriculum from East Tennessee State University.
Jenette has over 34 years of experience in early childhood education. She worked as a teacher's aide at the Kansas School for the Deaf, as a classroom teacher for military families in Aschaffenburg Germany, and in the Preschool for the United States Military Academy at West Point. She has many years of experience with children of all ages in preschools and elementary schools as a military spouse. Most recently, she was the Early Childhood Education Manager with the Creative Discovery Museum, where she developed the current PlayGym Program. She has served on the board for Chattanooga Area Association of Education of Young Children, CAAEYC, renamed ChACEE. She served a year on the Board for the YMCA and also on the Chattanooga Gang Task Force Early Literacy Board.
While at the Creative Discovery Museum, She organized and conducted numerous early childhood workshops for educators throughout the area. Jenette is the recipient of the 2015 Hilda Avant Service to Young Children Award.
Jenette has three grown children - her daughter Kaitlyn graduated from law school at U.T. College of Law, and who works in Knoxville. Patrick is a Chemist in Knoxville. William is writing his third book about Medieval History. Jenette's husband, Paul, is a retired United States Army officer who is also an educator for Hamilton County Schools and an adjunct professor at Chattanooga State Community College.
Ms. Katie McKenna returns to the HPUMP team for the sixth year as our Office Manager and Admissions Coordinator . Katie has been in the HPUMP family for 10 years; while her sons Owen (12) and Brecken (10) were both attending, she was often found volunteering in the office or working on marketing support for StudioPendous. She earned her Bachelors in Marketing and Masters degree in Business Administration at UTC and worked in sales and marketing in several different industries prior to becoming a stay at home mom. Her husband Kevin is a Citrix engineer with BlueCross BlueShield. In their spare time, the family loves exploring new places or tinkering with new projects. Katie is also excited that her youngest, Bennett (3), gets to experience HPUMP with her as well!
Ms. Marcia Harris, has been a co-teacher in the Twinklers class for the last two years. She has previously worked as the director of Children's Ministries at Hixson United Methodist Church as well as their CDC Program. She also held the position as the Site Director of Aftercare at St. Jude Catholic School where she worked for 15 years.
She and her Husband, Cornelius, are members of HUMC where they facilitate a Sunday School class of 25-45 year olds that include her son Brandon and his wife Stephanie. She was blessed to keep their grandchild, Lena, now 7, and be Nana to Milah and Kylie from birth until all 3 went off to school. Her daughter, Brittany, lives and works in Knoxville as a case-worker.
When she is not caring for children, she spends most of her free time sewing and doing alterations.
Ms. Mary Locke could not be more excited to join the HPUMP crew! She will be co-teaching with Ms. Marcia in the Twinklers class. Mary moved from Memphis, TN to Chattanooga for college where she graduated with a degree in Communication. During her years in college, she primarily worked with children and loved it!
She and her husband Bryson enjoy spending their days playing outside, taking photos, eating yummy food, exploring new places, traveling the country and being anywhere with their pups Rhett and Wilder. They are part of a great church family at Mission Red Bank and love living in Chattanooga.
Ms. Lisi Phillips could not be more excited to be joining the HPUMP team! HPUMP has been one of her favorite places since she first visited there before her daughter Acadia started as a Twinkler in 2008. She fell in love with the Reggio Emilia principles, as they align beautifully with her personal thoughts on learning and her research and experience in pediatric physical therapy. Lisi has a B. S. degree in physical therapy from the University of South Alabama. She has worked with children in that aspect, as well as being a kindergarten assistant at the Bright School for 4 years. She is a member of Hixson United Methodist Church where she enjoys volunteering with children from infants to high schoolers. Lisi enjoys dancing, creating, and spending as much time as she can with her family. She has 2 daughters, Acadia, age 13, and Trinity, age 15. They both attend Boyd-Buchanan School. Her husband, Wade, is a pharmacist at Memorial Hospital.
Ms. Kelly DeJong returns to our team for her seventh year as co-teacher of the Starshine Friends class. Kelly has a Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling degree from the University of South Carolina. She has worked in homes and classrooms providing support and training to families and teachers of children with autism for over 10 years. Her previous work experience was as a classroom coach at Siskin Children's Institute and a consultant providing home support for families and professionals of young children receiving early intervention services. Kelly has two children, Jakob, 14, and Zayda, 13, who attend Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts. . Her husband, Ray, is an engineer at Komatsu.
Ms. Anna Kirk returns to our team for her sixth year. She is a co-teacher in the Moonbeams class. Anna has an associates degree in Early Childhood Education at Chattanooga State. She graduated Suma Cum Laude with her ECED, and is now working on her B.A. through Liberty University.
Prior to coming to Highland Plaza Preschool, Anna taught 3 year olds at Burks United Methodist Child Development Center and was the 2–4 year old teacher for the Parents Morning Out program for 4 years. She enjoys teaching VBS and volunteers her time on Wednesdays and some Sundays teaching in the children's department for Red Bank Cumberland Presbyterian Church where she is a member. Anna discovered her passion for children while volunteering her time with kids as a teenager at the church her father was a pastor.
Anna’s two daughters are Sarah Grace, age 14, and a 9th-grader, and Katie Beth age 11, a 5th-grader. Anna's husband Brandon works for Publix. In her spare time Anna likes to read, hike and spend time with family and friends. She also likes going to the beach as much as possible!
Sarah Grace age 14, plays the clarinet for the Soddy Daisy High marching band. Katie Beth, her youngest is a 5th grader at Allen Elementary and loves playing volleyball.
Anna loves working with children in the Reggio-Inspired philosophy so she can help them become co-collaborators to their own learning and plant the seeds to becoming lifetime learners.
Mr. J. Maddox returns to our teaching team for his eleventh year! He spent nine wonderful years in our Rainbow Kids classroom teaching pre-kindergarten children.He moved to our Moonbeams classroom to impact the younger children. He is co-teacher with Ms. Anna. These two make a great team! J. is his first name- just the letter J followed by a dot. It is on his birth certificate that way. J. holds a BA degree in art studio from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; his emphasis was in printmaking. Additionally, J. is a docent at the Tennessee Aquarium and volunteers at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. J.’s son, Nick, is in 10th grade at Chattanooga Christian School and his daughter, Lainey, is in 8th grade at GPS. J. also has a rescue dog, a black lab mix puppy named Downton.
Ms. Morgan Ellis is thrilled to join the HPUMP family as a Sunbeam
co-teacher!. She recently moved to Tennessee from living in Texas for two years after college. There she taught preschool and was a lead coach and assessor at a Brain Balance center. Morgan received her Bachelors of Science degree with a concentration in Child Development from Jacksonville State University. In her free time, Morgan enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing with her dogs, and spending time with her family and friends.
Ms. Alyssa Smith is so excited to be joining the HPUMP family and Ms. Morgan as the Sunbeams co-teacher. She is a graduate of UTC where she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education. This is her tenth year working with children in a preschool setting, having taught previously at Grace Children’s Center and within both the TN and GA public school systems.
While not teaching, Alyssa loves to go on adventures with her husband, Caleb and their 8-month-old golden retriever puppy, Shadow. Most often, you can find them hiking and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.
Keri began working at HPUMP in January of 2016. She is currently a co-teacher in the Rainbow Kids Pre-K classroom with Ms. Jenna. She was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but has called Tennessee her home since graduating with a history degree from Sewanee in 2001. She also holds a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt.
Before HPUMP she taught various grades at Jasper Elementary in Jasper, TN. While at Jasper she was involved with Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind. She also stays busy as mom to Sam (born 2013), Joe (born 2015) and Maggie (born 2019).
Ms. Charlotte Wells is thrilled to rejoin HPUMP as a co-teacher in the Rainbow Kids this year. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Early Childhood Education from the University of Chattanooga. Charlotte has been a part of the HPUMP community since 2013, first as a teacher and then as a parent. She is glad to be back after staying home with her two boys, Bennett, age 4 and Elliot, almost 2.
While not teaching, Charlotte stayed involved with HPUMP by co-chairing StudipPendous and most recently subbing as the Atelierista. Charlotte loves the Reggio method and is passionate about learning as much as she can about this wonderful teaching style.
Ms. Stephanie Bailey has worked as an Atelierista at HPUMP since 2016. A graduate of Taylor University with a B.S. in Art Education, she has taught Art from kindergarten to high school. She also has experience in both special education and in outdoor education. Stephanie has been part of the HPUMP family since 2015 when her daughter was a part of the Sunshine Gang.
Stephanie enjoys sharing her love of art with the HPUMP community including drawing, painting, mixed media and ceramics. When Stephanie is not in the classroom, she loves to play outside and explore the world with her daughter Anya and husband Drew, professor of Outdoor Education and Recreation Management at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
Ms. Christine Dayton serves as Co-Atelierista at HPUMP. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University and has taught Preschool-3rd grade in both public and independent schools. Christine has spent many years teaching in a Reggio inspired program and has enjoyed several professional development opportunities to learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach and visit other Reggio schools. Christine has always enjoyed offering art experiences in her classroom as well as private art classes. She is thrilled to be able to share her talents and passion with the community here at HPUMP