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Meet Kari Planz – Director, Head Teacher

I am so happy you are interested in our school! I am the Director and teacher of the 4 yr old classes. I have been at Calvary since 2007, except for the year that we lived in Kansas City and upon our return, I went to St. Mary’s waiting for my position here to open back up! I grew up in Latham, but my family and I have spent some time living in North Augusta, South Carolina and Kansas City, MO. I attended North Colonie schools, HVCC, and Clarkson University, where I received a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  It didn’t take me long to decide that engineering was not the right field for me, so once we started our family in 1993, I went back to school for Early Childhood at Augusta College. Since then, my husband Eric and I have added 4 more children, yes we have 5 kids, they range in age from 28 to 17. The oldest is Megan, who is also a teacher, then Brian who is an Engineer, Jenna who is an Occupational Therapist, Emily, who is a counselor in Rotterdam and Stephen, who is 17, and a senior at Niskayuna High School. We also have 2 dogs at our house, their names are Molly and Lennon. This is my 18th year in a preschool setting, I have done preschool gymnastics and assistant teacher positions, before becoming a head teacher and then director at Calvary. I am very excited to get to know your children and your families this year.

Meet Jennifer Hogan – Assistant Teacher

Jennifer Hogan graduated from Colgate University as a history major with secondary Social Studies teacher certification. After returning home to run her family’s retail food business for several years, Jennifer attended the University at Albany where she received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Social Studies Education. She was recruited to work in the Dean’s Office of the UAlbany School of Education and opened a new advisement center for current and prospective Education students, where she served as Director. Jennifer later served as Regional Director of the NYS Master Teacher Program for the Capital Region, where she set up professional development opportunities for the region’s top STEM teachers. 
Jennifer and her husband have three children and are foster parents. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and home renovation projects. 
Calvary Methodist Preschool is Jennifer’s first time working in early childhood education.

Hi! My name is Stacey Hartman and I am so excited to be back at the preschool. I am from and currently live in Colonie with my family. I have a son Ayden who is 11 and is in the 6th grade at St.Pius X and I have a 4-year-old Ellie who also attends school here. I have an associate’s degree in Early Childhood and a Bachelors’s degree in Elementary Education. While at home I love to do DIY projects around the house and you can always find me in the kitchen cooking for my family which I enjoy. I am looking forward to the year ahead with your children and getting to know them.

My name is Hunter Benson and I am originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I moved to Albany 7 years ago with my husband Mark, and my four children Vandy Grace (14) Lydon (10) Hannum Leigh (8), and MJ (5). I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Flagler College (FL) an Associate’s degree in Advertising and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC) and formerly worked in Development and Alumni Relations at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Most importantly, I have been a stay-at-home mom for 14 years with my 3 daughters and son. My children are my true passion in life and now I can’t wait to learn, play and grow with your children too!