Sarah Kaul – Director

Hi! My name is Sarah Kaul. I am the Director of Northfield Daycare Center. I have worked here for 26 years, starting out as a lead teacher in 1983. I have a Bachelors degree in Management and Communication from Conordia University in St. Paul Mn. I also have extensive training in Mediation and American Sign Language.

This formal education has been very useful in my work with children, families, staff, public relations and the may other negotiations that come with my job as Director.

I am the parent of 3 grown, happy and successful children. I am very proud of all of them. For fun I like almost anything that happens outside, but especially hiking and biking. I also love to read and spend time with my family.

I love children. They are what I am passionate about, so this job is great. I believe that they teach me as much as I teach them and I strive to create an environment that builds learning in all areas. From using small motor skills in art projects that encourage self expression and exploration, to the big block room and the large outdoor playground that builds courage and self confidence. Helping them find their voices is very important at this developmental stage. I want to provide a place where they get many chances to relate with each other and strengthen their emotional intelligence.  My experience has shown me that pre-school children are very excited about learning, so it for this reason I strive to offer opportunities for them to learn about life as it relates to them. It is my great privilege to be included in this education.

Gwen Phillips – Lead Teacher

Gwen Phillips lived in Northfield and worked at NDC for 25 years before moving to St. Paul. All three of her children are graduates of NDC and are very accomplished and successful adults. Lorelei is a personal chef in Seattle, Jamie is an admissions counselor at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, and Raven is a junior at the University of Kansas. Gwen lives in the Highland Park area of St. Paul, a block from the Mississippi River. She enjoys peaceful walks and beautiful sunsets. She also enjoys gardening, cooking and reading.

Education: B.S. Home Economics; Teaching Degree. East Texas State University Commerce, Texas
AAS. Interior Design. Dakota County Technical College Rosemount, MN

Philosophy: I underline the NDC goal of the importance of a happy childhood! I strive to be a positive and consistent role model. I believe that children learn best thru play, along with plenty of freedom to explore their current interests. Therefore, I say “yes” to as many of the children’s requests as possible.

Jen Watkins – Lead Teacher

Welcome! I’m Teacher Jen. I live in Northfield with my husband, John, and three daughters. Outside of work, I enjoy volunteering with Girl Scouts, being outside in all weather conditions, reading, photography, and watching movies (when I have time). I’ve been with NDC for over six years and I look forward to caring for your children.

I received my B.A. in psychology from the College of St. Benedict. Since then, I’ve continued to expand my education in child development.

I believe in NDC’s philosophy in play centered learning. I feel it is a natural way for children to grow into happy, successful adults.

Jennifer Kratage-Dixon – Lead Teacher

Hello. I’m teacher Jennifer. I live in Northfield with my husband, two daughters, two dogs, and one fish. Some of my favorite things to do include traveling, taking daytrip adventures, swimming, playing ukulele, and relaxing at home with my family.

I hold a B.A. from Boston College and I have been caring for children since 2010.

I have worked at NDC since the fall of 2016. It is an amazing place where children learn and grow through play, socialization, creativity, and imagination.

Jordan Stransky-Cagle – Lead teacher

Hello. I’m Teacher Jordan. I live in Northfield with my wife and dog. When I’m not at work, I like to play guitar, draw, and do martial arts. I have worked at NDC for five years. I look forward to watching your children grow, make friends, and have fun!

Izzy Bascom-Anderson – Assistant Teacher 

I discovered the Daycare though a course about Cognitive Development in Childhood that I took during my first term at Carleton College. The hands-off, child-centered, play-based approach to preschool was something I’d never encountered before, and I knew I wanted to keep this joyful place in my life for as long as I could. From my freshman year through the summer after I graduated from Carleton, between trimesters abroad and long summers at home, I’ve been known to many as Teacher Izzy. I am very proud to be apart of the NDC community and I am grateful for the role it’s had in my time at Carleton.

Northfield Daycare, and  Center is supported by Carleton and St. Olaf work study students. They are a huge help to us in so many ways. Extra ears, hands and eyes make our child to teacher ratio more than is required by Minnesota licensing regulations. They add so much just by being young at heart and fun loving.