Meet Our Staff

Services

Sundays 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM • OFFICE HOURS: MONDAY - THURSDAY 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Meredith Drive Preschool Staff

We are very fortunate to have such a professional, nurturing staff who understand and love working with young children.

Tara Hartman

Preschool Director

Tara has been with the preschool since 2012, first as an associate, then 2's lead teacher and assistant director, and currently, as of fall 2019, is the preschool director. She lives in Johnston with her husband Michael and their three children Noah, Isaac, and Emily. She grew up in Des Moines and, like her children, attended Meredith Drive Preschool. Tara has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa with endorsements in science and middle school. Tara and her family are active members of Meredith Drive Church. She enjoys reading, volunteering, taking walks with her family, including her dachshund Archie, and baking. One of her favorite children's books is Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.

Select Image

Tara has been with the preschool since 2012, first as an associate, then 2's lead teacher and assistant director, and currently, as of fall 2019, is the preschool director. She lives in Johnston with her husband Michael and their three children Noah, Isaac, and Emily. She grew up in Des Moines and, like her children, attended Meredith Drive Preschool. Tara has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa with endorsements in science and middle school. Tara and her family are active members of Meredith Drive Church. She enjoys reading, volunteering, taking walks with her family, including her dachshund Archie, and baking. One of her favorite children's books is Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.

cancel save

Cherie Rissman

Assistant Director and Lead Teacher

Cherie has been a lead teacher for 4's/Pre-K since 2001 and she is also the assistant director. Cherie lives in Urbandale with her husband Jon. They have two grown children Rob and Jessie, who began their early childhood years at Meredith Drive! Jon and Cherie are active members at Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines. Cherie has an Elementary Education degree from Upper Iowa University with endorsements in early childhood and reading. Cherie has a passion for literacy development in young children and loves reading and acquiring new children's picture books. Her favorite hobbies include pizza/movie night with her family, bike riding, golfing, reading and baking. Listen Buddy and Tip Toe Joe are two of Cherie's favorite children's books.

Select Image

Cherie has been a lead teacher for 4's/Pre-K since 2001 and she is also the assistant director. Cherie lives in Urbandale with her husband Jon. They have two grown children Rob and Jessie, who began their early childhood years at Meredith Drive! Jon and Cherie are active members at Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines. Cherie has an Elementary Education degree from Upper Iowa University with endorsements in early childhood and reading. Cherie has a passion for literacy development in young children and loves reading and acquiring new children's picture books. Her favorite hobbies include pizza/movie night with her family, bike riding, golfing, reading and baking. Listen Buddy and Tip Toe Joe are two of Cherie's favorite children's books.

cancel save

Michelle Applegate

Associate Teacher

Michelle has been an associate teacher for Pre-K since 2008. Michelle lives in Johnston with her husband Doug. They have three children Hezekiah, Tennessee and Willow. She is a graduate of Johnston High School and Iowa State University where she earned a degree in fine arts. Michelle and her family are members at Prairie Ridge Church in Ankeny. Some of her favorite things to do are junking, watching movies and hanging out with her family. Michelle’s favorite children’s books are Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell and I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont.

Select Image

Michelle has been an associate teacher for Pre-K since 2008. Michelle lives in Johnston with her husband Doug. They have three children Hezekiah, Tennessee and Willow. She is a graduate of Johnston High School and Iowa State University where she earned a degree in fine arts. Michelle and her family are members at Prairie Ridge Church in Ankeny. Some of her favorite things to do are junking, watching movies and hanging out with her family. Michelle’s favorite children’s books are Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell and I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont.

cancel save

Jill Boom

Lead Teacher

Jill is the lead teacher for 2's and has been teaching at The Bridge since 2013. Jill lives in Johnston with her husband Chris and daughter Sienna (who attended Meredith Drive Preschool!) She grew up in Urbandale and has a degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University.  In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for walks, traveling, practicing yoga, and cuddling with her three kitties, Fiero, Steve and Sketch. One of her favorite children’s books is A Balloon for Isabel by Deborah Underwood.

Select Image

Jill is the lead teacher for 2's and has been teaching at The Bridge since 2013. Jill lives in Johnston with her husband Chris and daughter Sienna (who attended Meredith Drive Preschool!) She grew up in Urbandale and has a degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University.  In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for walks, traveling, practicing yoga, and cuddling with her three kitties, Fiero, Steve and Sketch. One of her favorite children’s books is A Balloon for Isabel by Deborah Underwood.

cancel save

Meggan Boyle

Lead Teacher

Meggan has been a teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019. This year she will be moving up with her students and will lead the 3’s classes. She lives in Johnston with her husband, Brad, their three wonderful girls, Mara, Paige, and Ellery. She first fell in love with the Meredith Drive Preschool when her daughter, Ellery, attended the 2-year-old program. She has a degree in education from Drake University.  She currently works part-time as a conference coordinator for a local non-profit organization. Meggan grew up in McHenry, Illinois and, even though she has called Iowa home for the past 20 years, tries to get to Illinois as often as possible to visit her family and friends. In her free time, Meggan enjoys walking, reading, volunteering, and spending time with her husband and active girls. The LLama LLama and Pete the Cat series have been her most favorite books to read to her children. 

Select Image

Meggan has been a teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019. This year she will be moving up with her students and will lead the 3’s classes. She lives in Johnston with her husband, Brad, their three wonderful girls, Mara, Paige, and Ellery. She first fell in love with the Meredith Drive Preschool when her daughter, Ellery, attended the 2-year-old program. She has a degree in education from Drake University.  She currently works part-time as a conference coordinator for a local non-profit organization. Meggan grew up in McHenry, Illinois and, even though she has called Iowa home for the past 20 years, tries to get to Illinois as often as possible to visit her family and friends. In her free time, Meggan enjoys walking, reading, volunteering, and spending time with her husband and active girls. The LLama LLama and Pete the Cat series have been her most favorite books to read to her children. 

cancel save

Cimberly Hansen

Associate Teacher

Cimberly has been an associate teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2001. Cimberly lives in Urbandale with her husband Matthew. They have four grown children: Gerrit (Kim), Joshua (Libby), Jordan (Prinsa) and Cassie and grandsons William and Arden. Cimberly is originally from Pella and attended ISU. She had an in-home daycare for over eleven years and has pursued her interest in the development of young children by taking many classes about young children, including earning her Child Development Associate credential. Her hobbies include playing several musical instruments, reading for her book club and traveling with her family. Cimberly’s favorite children’s book is Owl Moon.

Select Image

Cimberly has been an associate teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2001. Cimberly lives in Urbandale with her husband Matthew. They have four grown children: Gerrit (Kim), Joshua (Libby), Jordan (Prinsa) and Cassie and grandsons William and Arden. Cimberly is originally from Pella and attended ISU. She had an in-home daycare for over eleven years and has pursued her interest in the development of young children by taking many classes about young children, including earning her Child Development Associate credential. Her hobbies include playing several musical instruments, reading for her book club and traveling with her family. Cimberly’s favorite children’s book is Owl Moon.

cancel save

Morgan Mescher

Associate Teacher

Morgan has been an associate teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019. Morgan lives in Johnston with her husband, Justin and their two children, Katelyn and Ethan. They are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where Morgan serves as a Catechist for elementary students. Morgan stays busy attending her children’s sporting events and is actively involved with her son’s Cub Scout Pack. Her hobbies include reading, riding bikes, spending time with family and friends and crafting. Morgan’s favorite children’s book is Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.

Select Image

Morgan has been an associate teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019. Morgan lives in Johnston with her husband, Justin and their two children, Katelyn and Ethan. They are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where Morgan serves as a Catechist for elementary students. Morgan stays busy attending her children’s sporting events and is actively involved with her son’s Cub Scout Pack. Her hobbies include reading, riding bikes, spending time with family and friends and crafting. Morgan’s favorite children’s book is Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.

cancel save