Our Staff

Kayla Dillon

A Lexington native, Kayla has worked with all ages of children over the years. Her passion for education and inspiring children led her to pursue her teaching degree at Eastern Kentucky University where she graduated with a duel degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education.

When not at Our PlayHouse, Kayla enjoys spending quality time with her family. Kayla loves to cook, explore outdoor activities in the community, and delve into arts and crafts.



Abby Pace

A college athlete at Indiana University, Abby brings that same energy and encouragement to her classroom. An IU graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education, her teaching experiences is as varied as the locations. Abby has worked and observed children at the infant, toddler, preschool, and elementary levels in classrooms in Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky. Friends and family refer to her as “the pied piper of children,” as it seems that wherever Abby happens to be, children are drawn to her. An erstwhile cook and eager furniture refinisher, Abby’s curiosity and zeal for discovery make learning fun and exciting.


Bekah Justice

Bekah has a love of children that started at a young age. She has a natural talent and method of engaging with them. This sparked the decision to pursue early childhood education as a career. Bekah received her Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Bluegrass Community and Technical College. During her studies, she was introduced to the Reggio Emilia philosophy that immediately became an inspiration.  She is excited to learn and explore with the children. Bekah is thrilled to join the OPH Lexington Community.

Bekah also has a love for the outdoors and spends her free time hiking at Red River Gorge. Her love for coffee is equated with her passion of the outdoors and she brings these elements into her classroom.

Mandy Stein

A Lexington native, Mandy completed the Spanish Immersion Program at Bryan Station High School. At the University of Georgia, she graduated with honors in Psychology and Spanish, focusing on language acquisition in early childhood. After working as a Family Specialist for Head Start in Salt Lake City, Utah, her world travels took her to Vietnam and Thailand to teach English to children. With a passion for the outdoors, Mandy has taught and volunteered at alternative schools in Australia, Switzerland, and Guatemala, helping to develop eco science and nature based curriculums. Mandy is a strong believer in child-led and play-based learning where children have time to explore.

Mandy loves coffee, jewelry making, reading, biking, and spending time with friends.

Lainee Moody

Lainee Moody is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended both Eastern Kentucky University and University of Cincinnati graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Lainee has a background in student athletics as gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling instructor. She was a lead preschool teacher for an independent school that combined learning, physical fitness, and creativity. She has experience working with students from three year olds through high-school.

Lainee encourages students through project-based learning and creative movement. She is excited to join Our PlayHouse Preschool and explore the Reggio approach as a catalyst for learning.

Lainee enjoys sewing, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Sara Stringer

Sara is a Western Kentucky University graduate with a degree in Elementary Education and her Kentucky Teaching Certification. She and her husband relocated to Lexington in 2014 where she has taught preschool for the past two years. Sara enjoys inquiry-based and cooperative learning, as children learn to solve problems using teamwork and hands-on investigations. She believes that through inquiry-based instruction, students gain the ability to make real world connections and to think more critically.

Outside of the classroom, Sara enjoys traveling with her husband, repurposing old furniture, crafting, and spending time with her dachshund, Bently.

Katie Morrison

A Lexington native, Katie graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and a minor in Entomology. Last winter, Katie was certified through the state’s Professional Environmental Educator Certification program. She fell in love with Early Childhood Education during her time with the Kentucky Children’s Garden at The Arboretum in Lexington. Katie combines her strong science background with her passion for connecting children to nature through inquiry- and play- based natural exploration. She looks forward to joining the OPH family in January.

In her spare time Katie enjoys cuddling with her three cats, spending time outdoors, and backyard foraging.



Leslie-768x510Leslie Martin, Director

Leslie is a Lexington native who came to Our PlayHouse Preschool with strong belief in encouraging the independent imagination of childhood and the power of play. She loves the connections made between play, learning, art, and nature. Leslie graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in art education, then earned her Master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in school counseling with a certification in play therapy. She has developed her own theory of play therapy using natural elements and has presented them at Kentucky and national conferences.

Leslie has experience teaching at every grade level, from preschool through high school, with the constant emphasis on self expression. During her time as a school counselor, she focused on removing the barriers to learning, supporting teachers, consultation, and collaboration with students and families. Leslie has been with Our PlayHouse Preschool since opening the Lexington school in 2015.

Jackie Litmer, Administrative Assistant

Jackie Litmer has lived in the Lexington area most of her life.  She grew up on a farm in Stamping Ground, close to Georgetown. Jackie’s husband is a preacher and they have three children. Jaclyn received her Associates Degree in Applied Science from Lexington Community College. She has experience in childcare settings, including Montessori, and has worked with children ages infant to school age. She believes in the play-based foundation for children to learn and experience their world.

She enjoys crocheting and spending time with her family, both immediate and extended, making memories! She is happy to join Our PlayHouse Preschool, learn about Reggio fundamentals, and help our school grow.


IMG_9719Danielle Sunde

Danielle lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and four boys. She is passionate about children being children. Danielle and her family enjoy food, books, and traveling as a family.