Meet Our Staff

Service

10:00 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 husband 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.

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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 husband 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.

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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.

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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.

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Meggan Boyle

Lead Teacher

Meggan has been a teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019 and leads 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. 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. 

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Meggan has been a teacher at Meredith Drive Preschool since 2019 and leads 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. 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. 

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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.

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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.

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Sarah Schall

Associate Teacher

Sarah has been with our preschool program since 2017. This year she is excited to move into the role of 2 year old associate teacher. Sarah lives in Grimes with her husband, Mike, and their kids, Isabel and William. She has an elementary education degree from Central College with an endorsement in Early Childhood. Sarah and her family worship at The Bridge where she enjoys serving within Children’s Ministry. Her hobbies include morning walks with her dogs, cheering on the DC-G Mustangs and the Iowa Hawkeyes, attending Broadway shows, and spending lots of time with her family. Sarah has always enjoyed reading and is eager to share the love of books with the students. Some of her favorite children’s books are But No Elephants by Jerry Smath and the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems.

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Sarah has been with our preschool program since 2017. This year she is excited to move into the role of 2 year old associate teacher. Sarah lives in Grimes with her husband, Mike, and their kids, Isabel and William. She has an elementary education degree from Central College with an endorsement in Early Childhood. Sarah and her family worship at The Bridge where she enjoys serving within Children’s Ministry. Her hobbies include morning walks with her dogs, cheering on the DC-G Mustangs and the Iowa Hawkeyes, attending Broadway shows, and spending lots of time with her family. Sarah has always enjoyed reading and is eager to share the love of books with the students. Some of her favorite children’s books are But No Elephants by Jerry Smath and the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems.

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