About Us

 

Some of the best memories I have as a child were created outside, running the hills, climbing the trees, or building forts in the woods. My wife and I bonded over a love for the outdoors and we vowed that we would share that love with our children. We believe that kids should have the opportunity to run, jump, play, climb, and explore. We created Wildflower Early Learning Center to offer the community an alternative to mainstream childcare. To encourage and inspire children to become stewards of the earth while providing a foundation that enables healthy development and academic success. 
  

Whether it be tending the garden, exploring the life of a Woolly Bear caterpillar, or getting comfy in the classroom sharing stories and reading books, we look forward to creating memories with your family that will last a lifetime.  



Sincerely,

 

Joshua Linde
Owner of Wildflower ELC

I am excited for you to join us in our learning adventure at Wildflower ELC.  I was raised in Wausau, WI and have been a proud resident of the south metro for 15 years.  I graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul with a degree in psychology.  Upon graduation, I found myself working in a children's mental health facility.  This opportunity fostered my desire to help children at the early stages of development.  I then found myself working with birth through age 5 and found my life's work.  Some of my favorite activities with young children are storytime, dramatic play, and sensory experiences.  It's powerful to watch a child learn how the world works and how they play a role in society.

 

Education and my family keep me busy. My husband, Zach works in sales and I have two daughters, Zoey (1st grade) and Morgan (age 2).   Some of our favorite activities are trips to the Zoo, Valley Fair and visiting the many parks in the area.  

I welcome you to Wildflower ELC.  I hope you find it a place of love, nurturance, education, and growth for you and your child.

Jessica Lewis
- Operations Director 
- Classroom Teacher 
Credentials
- BA in Psychology,
- 30 credits towards 
  Masters in Family Ed.
- Classroom teacher: 11yrs
- Administration exp. 3yrs
Sarah Harrell
- Program Director
Credentials
-AA in Psychology
-Classroom Teacher: 7 yrs
-90 Credits of Social Work
-First Aid/CPR/AED Certified
-Director Exp.: 3 yrs

I am both honored and thrilled to be apart of such a crucial part of your child’s learning and development in this stage of their lives. I believe that children work and learn best by being empowered to have organic opportunities and the ability to create and learn at their own pace. Preschool in a very important time for exploring, play, and curiosity, that help build the foundation of learning.

As a native Minnesotan, fishing, camping, swimming, and running barefoot, come as second nature. These fun activities have also been the fundamentals of skills I would later develop for long life problem solving, social, and emotional skills. 

 I believe that PLAY is a very important aspect of everyday life. Children have the opportunity to learn in a natural environment on a regular basis, indoors and outdoors! I am very grateful that I get to be apart of the time that your child spends here at Wildflower as we grow together. 

It is an incredible opportunity to create a meaningful connection to education and nature in the early years of childhood. I had the wonderful experience of attending the School of Environmental Sciences in Apple Valley, MN during high school, and know how important it is to foster a love of the world around you.

 

My first teaching experience began in Daegu, South Korea, where I taught English at a private preschool. I then moved back to Minnesota, and have been teaching in the Prior Lake Savage School District for the past six years. 

I am an avid reader and love learning. I am a member of MnECO (Minnesota Early Childhood Outdoors) and am working on my Masters in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. I currently hold a dual license in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. 

My husband and I enjoy vacationing on the North Shore and when possible, traveling abroad as well. We have two dogs and a guinea pig at home, and love being outdoors with our families. I am so excited to join the Wildflower family!
 

Sam Dehnke-Turpin
- Co-Teacher
Credentials
-Teaching Experience: 8 Years
-Continuing Education: 28 Masters Level Credits
-Licenses: Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
Callie Stone
- Teacher
Credentials
-Childcare Experience: 10 Years
-Associates Degree: Rasmussen College

I am so happy to be part of the Wildflower Early Learning Center family. Compassion, understanding, and patience are a few of my teaching strengths. Each day, I look forward to encouraging, nurturing and learning with the children at Wildflower ELC.

I believe that play and problem solving is vital to children’s development. I am a huge advocate for WFELC’s philosophy, and am grateful to work alongside such amazing teacher’s and explore with such amazing kiddos. 

 

Working with groups of energetic kiddos feels like home to me, I am the oldest of 8 siblings and grew up in a small town in Southern Minnesota. 
 

My name is Julie Linde, but you can call me Miss Julie or even Grandma Julie. You’ll often find me with the kiddos watering the many wildflowers throughout the property or introducing the children to the beautiful world of farming in the Wildflower garden.   

I have many years of experience in nursing and medical administration. I am also a talented seamstress having worked with a local designer on one-of-a-kind leather purses & vintage clothing. 

Favorite activities of mine include: spending time with our granddaughters, Layla & Harper, walking my dog Chally, sewing, and (surprise) gardening. Hopefully, everyone will get to enjoy the vegetables of my labor from the Wildflower garden. 
 

Julie Linde
- Gardner & Teacher's Aid
Credentials
-Childcare Experience:  2 years
-Nursing: 7 years
-First Aid/CPR Certified
Lily Carls
- Assistant Teacher
Credentials
-Childcare Experience: 11 years
-Masters: Christian Outreach and Leadership - Concordia University
-BA: University of MN - Duluth
-First Aid/CPR Certified

After learning about the unique space and philosophy at Wildflower Early Learning Center, I knew it was the right place for me. I am an advocate of outdoor play, early childhood literacy, and play-based learning. 

My husband Aaron and I have a spirited 3-year-old daughter, Ruthie who attends Wildflower Early Learning Center. We also have beautiful and beloved German Shorthair named Winnie.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cross country skiing, and exploring the many beautiful MN landscapes.
 

My name is Miss Maria and I am excited to be a part of the Wildflower family! I grew up in Prior Lake and graduated from Prior Lake High School while also earning 50+ credits at Normandale Community College. I am currently pursuing my associates degree in Elementary Education and then will be working on my teaching license. Play-based learning, experimentation, and discovery are an important part of early education and I am grateful for the opportunity to share this program with Wildflower families. 

My favorite activities are cooking, going out on the lake, and spending time with my family.

Maria Barnard
- Assistant Teacher
Credentials
-Childcare Experience: 2 Years
-Graduated with honors from Prior Lake High School 
-Pursuing Early Education Degree from Normandale Community College. 

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   Mon-Fri   6:30AM - 6PM

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