CommPre_0007_Photo Mar 19, 10 17 23 AM

About Us

Community Preschool has been preparing preschoolers for kindergarten for over 35 years. Our teachers and aides are well educated and experienced in working with young children.

We have a Christ-centered, play-based program. Students learn best by touching, manipulating, engaging, participating and practicing. Our students learn foundational skills in all areas of academics and develop social and emotional skills. At Community preschool students get practice developing fine motor (cutting, writing, coloring) skills and large motor (running, jumping, kicking and catching) skills.

We work hard to have your child’s first school experience be a great one so they look forward to being life-long learners.


Our Team

Mrs. Jill Dahm

Lead Teacher

Mrs. Jill Dahm is originally from Jenison, Michigan. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Valparaiso University. She has taught kindergarten for over 20 years and Preschool for seven years. She has subbed, taught Library Skills, and been an RTI aide.

Mrs. Dahm is married and has four wonderful kids, two amazing daughters-in-law and two awesome sons-in-law. She also has five very intelligent grandchildren.

Some of Mrs. Dahm’s favorite verses are from Psalm 100 which is a perfect chapter for young children since we “Shout for joy to the Lord, worship the Lord with gladness and come before Him with joyful songs.”

Kristin Walstra


Miss Kristin Walstra is a lifelong resident of DeMotte. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. She has enjoyed working part time as a preschool aide for 4 years and has served as a Sunday School Teacher for over 5 years.

Miss Kristin also works in the service department at Meijer in Merrillville. She finds enjoyment working in a family friend’s greenhouse whenever she can. She enjoys puzzles

Miss Kristin’s favorite verse is 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.”

April Hubers


Miss April was born in DeMotte and had her first interaction with Community preschool when she was four years old. Years later, after attending Trinity Christian College and The University of Lethbridge, she’s still in preschool. She loves volunteering at Community Church and you will usually see her somewhere around Church on her non-preschool days.
At preschool Miss April loves seeing how kids learn in their own way- and loves being surprised by the ways they learn. She especially enjoys being outside with them to learn by moving our bodies and trying difficult tasks. If your preschooler comes home with muddy clothes you can usually thank Miss April for encouraging them to experience the world.

Outside of preschool she loves dispatching for police, fire, and EMS. She even answers 911 phone calls. Miss April will likely problem solve with preschoolers about how to handle a situation- just as she does as a dispatcher.

Psalm 46:10 reminds Miss April to “Be still and know that I am God.” This is important as a preschool teacher, a dispatcher, an aunt, and most importantly as a child of God- sometimes she wants to do so many things and focus too much on the world but God reminds her to be STILL and rest in God’s Grace.

Tessa Vander Molen


Miss Tessa Vander Molen has always lived in Demotte. She graduated from Demotte Christian High School and started working at preschool the following year. Tessa has worked with kids since junior high and she has loved working at a preschool. She also enjoys working at Restored Resale when she is not with the kids.

In her free time, Tessa likes to read and enjoys outdoor activities with friends. Some of her favorite activities are swimming and hiking. She also enjoys baking new recipes when she cannot be outside.
Miss Tessa’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 12:12. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Karen Dengate


Karen Dengate grew up in DeMotte, and later lived in Pennsylvania for 20 years. She is blessed with a son, a daughter, their spouses and 6 grandkids. Karen has been in food service for over 35 years. 20 years as one of four head cooks at a hospital in Pennsylvania. She loves our preschool and loves giving good, healthy meals to our preschoolers. She enjoys having fun with the food, and taking classes whenever they are available on nutrition and new recipes or ways to present the food.
A favorite verse of hers is Psalm 46:10 which reads, “Be still and know that I am God.”