Meet Our Team

Jeanne Becker Whitesides

Jeanne Becker Whitesides

Owner

I am excited to have joined the Building Kidz Worldwide franchise to open and operate Louisville’s first Building Kidz School, whose curriculum employs activities and lessons derived from the performing arts to enhance traditional learning.

I hold a BA in Communications from Indiana University and an MFA in Acting from the University of Louisville. I served for a few years as the performing arts director of one of Louisville’s Catholic Elementary Schools, developing a performing arts curriculum for children in grades 1 through 8.Then, a few years after my daughter was born, I took a position at a local software company, and after a couple of years, moved into management and team development.

I have also taught at Indiana University Southeast and led workshops for the Youth Performing Arts School, Collegiate School, and Governor’s School for the Arts.I am certified in first aid and CPR and hold an Early Childhood Education Director’s Certificate.

I believe that exposure to the arts and activities that stimulate right-brained thinking is critically important to a child’s overall development. I have seen the results of this exposure in improved creative problem solving, enhanced critical thinking, cooperative play, increased confidence and self-awareness, sharper communication skills, and a growing integration of thought, feeling, and action.

I am very eager to assist this wonderful organization in its goal to provide experiences that will stimulate your child to build Character, Confidence, & Commitment.

Bridget Shutt

Bridget Shutt

Infant Lead

I am a High School graduate and attended one year of college at JCC. I also attended an Airline Trade School. I am a mother of two and a grandmother of five. I believe that the best way I can serve the children at Building Kidz School is by caring for the babies like I would want someone to care for mine, by showing them kindness and much love.

My favorite classroom activity is when we sing and play instruments for the babies. I love watching all of their precious expressions and reactions!

I am retired after 30 years in the hospitality industry. Before Building Kidz, I worked for the past 6 years at another childcare center which, unfortunately, closed.

My goal is to use my long work history to better serve our infants needs and ensure that they are loved, taught, and cherished.

I chose Building Kidz after several friends recommended that it was a great place to work. So I researched “BK” and what they stand for and it seemed like a great fit for me.

Some other things about me: I spent my early childhood in Japan; my father served in the United States Air Force. I am very family-oriented. I love taking family cruises.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13

Mi'Chelle DeNye Holland

Mi'Chelle DeNye Holland

Toddler Lead

Ms. Mi’Chelle serves as our Lead Bumblebee Teacher. “I make every effort to support the children and to engage in the health, safety, and learning capacity of every child. Every day is different which is one of the things I love about teaching and about working with children. My goals for professional development surround understanding children’s needs and studying to recognize when their behavior dictates a need for independence or a need for comfort or emotional support throughout the stages of their growth.”

Mi’Chelle’s diverse background includes study at Chicago’s DePaul University, work in real estate for over 30 years — including leasing senior housing apartments with Catholic Charities in Maryland — and over 100 hours of sign language! She is a published Poet and, drawing on her family roots, can produce some amazing Louisiana Cajun recipes.

“I chose Building Kidz School when my husband’s job relocated us here. I want to contribute the best of what I can inside my heart for others. I have spent many years supporting and volunteering on committees and foundations in an educational environment with children. I am active with a strong sense of purpose and want to make a strong contribution to Building Kidz while working close to home.

FAVORITE QUOTE: Isaiah 6:8 “Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Jane Schreier

Jane Schreier

Toddler Lead

One of our “founding” staff members, Jane joined us in October, 2017. Coming to us with a BFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Seattle and a long list of performances in Regional, Dinner, and Equity Theater, we enlisted her help in starting up our preschool theater classes. And, with her seven years of experience as a Paraprofessional in Special Education, she served as Teaching Assistant in our initial, mixed group, preschool. After several years as our Lead Infant Teacher, she has now stepped into our Twos Grasshopper classroom where she is rejoining those infants she once cared for. Her charismatic and loving nature, combined with her endless enthusiasm, positivity, and deep desire to nurture and develop young minds and bodies are just some of the strengths she brings to her teaching. Jane understands that communication can occur in a wide variety of ways from the very youngest. She creates a bond with each child that enables each to trust, explore, laugh, learn, and grow.

Nicole Curtis

Nicole Curtis

Pre-K Lead

I graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, received a BA in Public Relations and Writing from Western Kentucky University, and an MS in Elementary Education from Indiana Southeast. I worked really hard to graduate with honors.

I can best help the Dragonfly students by providing structure for and attention to each and every child.

An important professional goal of mine is to always be a team player.

My favorite classroom activity is, well, I enjoy them all, including math!

I chose Building Kidz because Jeanne seems sincere and caring about her staff and the children, the building, and the parents. I like that she has communicated a vision for continued improvement and growth for the school.

Denise Gillman

Denise Gillman

Dance Teacher

Ms. Gillman began her early training in Michigan with Marjorie B. Randazzo; she was the recipient of the Hammond Scholarship allowing her to continue as a full-time student at the National Ballet School of Canada.

Ms. Gillman is a frequent guest teacher in the United States and Europe, including faculty positions at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisville Ballet School, the International Summer School of the Cecchetti Council of America, ISTD – Cecchetti, and the Kate Simmons School in England.

Ms. Gillman is familiar with Balanchine technique and has training in the Vaganova and RAD methods of teaching, although her teaching preference is the Cecchetti Method.

Through many years of continued education, dedication and love of dance, Ms. Gillman has achieved an associate diploma from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and her Cecchetti Diploma as a dancer and teacher.

Ms. Gillman is dedicated to the continuation of the art of ballet and ballet education. For the past seventeen years, she has grown her dance studio into a multi-location academy serving the Greater Louisville community. Gillman’s Dance Academy is also home to the MAGIC, Inc., a youth dance company founded by Ms. Gillman and community members who are invested in the non-profit, MAGIC – Making Art Grow In Children.