Our Teachers

Kelli Young


269-649-2343 ext. 106



Hello! My name is Kelli Young and I am the director at Heart & Hands. I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2013 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been the director for 4 years and previously taught the Co-op classes for 8 years. I hold a teaching certificate with an Early Childhood endorsement. I love being part of a co-op program where I can work alongside parents and families to ensure their child is successful while they learn and discover so many new things about our world and themselves. I am passionate about developing relationships with my students so they feel loved and confident in our classroom! Preschool quickly became my favorite age group to teach because we have the privilege of being their first taste of formal education. It is so much fun and a true pleasure to be their teacher! I live in portage with my husband Tyler and three daughters Penelope Eloise, and Cora. I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the beach, reading, and being outside.

Colleen Flinton

5-day Lead Preschool Teacher

 Hello! My name is Colleen Flinton and I have the privilege of being the lead teacher in the 5-day class. In the 5-day class we work closely with both KCR 4s and GSRP which provides many opportunities within our classroom to ensure every child excels to their full potential. I have a true passion that every child that leaves my classroom does so with confidence, feeling valued in our school family, and has a true joy for learning. I returned to the classroom in 2017 after having the honor of staying home with my own children for 13 years. I attended Ferris State University near my hometown (Reed City) to earn my degree in Pre-Teaching Elementary in 2002 and Early Childhood Education in 2003. My husband Jody and I live in Schoolcraft with our three amazing children, Aidan, Connor, and Ella. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy all adventures that include family and friends. 

Lindsey DeGraaf

3's & 4's Co-op Assistant Preschool Teacher


Hi there! I am Lindsey DeGraaf and I am the assistant teacher of the 3's and 4's Co-op classes. I attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College for 2 years in the Graphic Design program. While I love art and design, I have always had a desire to work with children. I have several years of childcare experience in centers and as a nanny. I am currently working on my CDA credential. I love working in this amazing preschool program and watching the children learn and grow! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the process. I live in Vicksburg with my husband Micheal and our son Reed and daughter Sydney. I love time with my family, decorating, reading, and running.

Amy Maslanka

3's & 4's Co-op Lead Preschool Teacher

Hello, my name is Amy Maslanka and I am the lead teacher of the 3’s and 4’s Co-op classes.  I love teaching the young ones!  They have a love for life and a wonder of learning that fills my heart each day.  I received my elementary teaching degree from Western Michigan University in 2003 and received my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Spring Arbor University in 2011.  I am a certified teacher with an early childhood endorsement and have 19 years of experience teaching kindergarten, young fives, and preschool.  I live in Schoolcraft with my amazing husband, Scott, and our two wonderful children, Ryan and Emily.  We have so much fun as a family!  We love to travel, fish, ride bikes, play games, and hike.  I also love the beach and reading! 



Megan Start

5-Day Assistant Teacher

Hello! My name is Megan Start and I am the assistant teacher in the 5 day class. I am new to Heart and Hands but have been in the preschool setting for 3 years.  I am a Kalamazoo Native, a PCHS grad, and have a Bachelor's in education from Western Michigan University. I have been working with kids in some capacity for the last 10 years. Preschoolers are full of joy, fun, so much love, big imaginations, and just beginning their journey in a classroom excited to learn every day. I live in south Portage, along with my husband Caleb, and my three kids, Uriah, Lucy, and Joy. We have a cat named Mr. Feeny. We enjoy camping, hosting friends, playing board games, and spending time at the beach. We spend our summers traveling all over SW Michigan.