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Jan McDonough

Jan McDonough is a Certified Elementary and Early Childhood Educator.  She first opened the doors of Appletree Academy in September of 1994 with just four students.  She began with the intent of making a positive difference in the life of a preschooler in a loving, Christian environment.  Appletree Academy has had the privilege of preparing nearly 2000 preschoolers for kindergarten!  Jan hopes that children will come to realize that learning is not only possible, it is fun too!


"Preschoolers are such a joy to teach. They are so thirsty for knowledge. We are ready to quench that thirst!  Being a part of a child's early education is an honor and a privilege."

The Appletree experience includes the combination of messy and structured learning, the development of social skills through creative play, opportunities to learn how to follow directions and make positive behavior choices, the development of fine and gross motor skills, learning kindergarten readiness skills, and much more!  We bring lessons alive with stimulating curriculum and adventurous field trips, all while making new friends. 

Come start the journey with us at

Appletree Academy Preschool!

Our Staff

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We have a wonderful staff of qualified teachers that help to instill the Appletree philosophy...

 "Where Learning is Fun"

Our staff truly love their students and develop a nurturing relationship with each preschooler.

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Laurie Pitcher

Hello Parents and Families! I am very excited to be part of the Appletree Academy Family and to be your child’s teacher in preschool this year! My children attended Appletree Academy and I previously taught at Appletree Academy too. I am certified in Elementary Education, and Special Education, as a Library Media Specialist and I have a Master of Technology in Education degree. I have previously taught kindergarten, I have been an Elementary and Middle School Library Media Specialist, and a Technology Coach for schools in our area. I look forward to building relationships with you and your child and creating an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and fosters a love for learning. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I’m looking forward to meeting each of you and to a year of learning and fun!

I am very excited to be teaching Pre-K at Appletree Academy since 2019.  It is my honor and privilege to have such an important role in your child’s life! As an educator my goal is to build a trusting relationship with your preschooler by nurturing your child’s needs and embracing their struggles with encouragement. I want each child to know that learning is fun!  I am a graduate of Central Missouri State University with a degree in Elementary Education 1-8 and in Early Childhood; Pre-K – 3rd and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Webster University. It was my privilege to teach in the Lee’s Summit School District for 33 years in grades 1, 2, 3 and 4. I am also a kindergarten teacher for the Lees Summit Summer School Program! I am married and have two children, Kyle and Mitchell. I have one cat, Munch and two grand puppies, Jasper and Poppie. I enjoy spending time with my family, scrapbooking, reading and making cards.  I am looking forward to an exciting year of learning and fun!


Lisa West


Tricia Porter

Welcome to Mrs. Porter’s Class! My name is Tricia Porter and I have the privilege of being your child’s Preschool teacher this year. I am very excited to be a part of your child’s first School experience. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child. As an educator, my goal is to build a trusting relationship with your preschooler by nurturing your child’s needs and embracing their struggles with encouragement. I am committed to helping each child navigate their way and realize his/her potential. I want each child to know that LEARNING IS FUN! I also wnt to share a little about myself. I retired from teaching after 24 years. I have a B.A. in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy. I have taught students ranging in age from 3 years to junior high school students. I have three children of my own and seven grandchildren. Three of my grandchildren have attended Appletree. This will be my second year teaching at Appletree and I am very excited to experience this year with your child. I enjoy spending tine with my family, and my hobbies include various craft projects such as making doll clothes and making doll furniture. Thank you so much for entrusting me with your preschooler. I look forward to another exciting year of discovery, learning, and fun!!

Welcome to Mrs. Howard’s Class! Hello! My name is April Howard and I will be your child’s preschool teacher this year. I am so excited to have the opportunity to get to know you and your student. We’re going to learn and do so many fun activities together! It is a privilege to play a role in your child’s early education. My hope is to help your student develop a love for learning by nurturing his or her needs and encouraging your preschooler wherever they are on their own learning path and timeline. Here is a little more about me… I’m originally from Houston, TX and now live in Lee’s Summit with my husband and two boys. My oldest, Joel, is in kindergarten and my youngest, Jude, is an Appletree student. I earned my B.A. in Intercultural Studies from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a concentration in Child & Family Development. I’ve taught preschool for 2 years and previously volunteered at Appletree as a parent helper. My husband Jake and I have also served on staff at our church for over 8 years. Outside of school I enjoy photography, reading, traveling and being outdoors with my family. I had a great summer but I am more than ready to take on the school year. Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns at any time. I look forward to meeting you and your family!


April Howard


Meredith Brummel

Welcome to Mrs. Brummel’s Class! My name is Meredith Brummel, and I am so excited to be your child’s preschool teacher this year at Appletree. I am looking forward to working with you and your child as we teach them to reach for the stars. It’s going to be a year full of fun, learning, and lots of adventures. I can’t wait for what this year has in store for us. Here’s a little bit about me. I am married to my wonderful husband Victor, and we have 3 beautiful children. My oldest Layla is a 1st grader and she attended Appletree. My Son Zachary is an Appletree student in the Pre-K class. My little ball of sunshine is Miss Bella who is 2 and keeps me busy. As you can tell I do not have a lot of free time but if I get a second to myself, I enjoy reading, cooking and anything outside with my kids. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am looking forward to our preschool adventure with your child and family.

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