Our Administrative Staff
Suzanne Collard (Owner)
I have been working in Education for the past 35 years. I have a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education with an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration K-12. I have taught and worked with children at every grade level, including college. I have been in Administration over the past 10 years, and have had the opportunity to become the Founder of a PreK-8 Charter School Academy as well. I am blessed to have a wonderful family. I just got married in August to my best friend, Mike. You will see him working around the center. I have a daughter Kayla, who lives in Florida and is finishing her degree in Health Administration. I have a son, Jared, who you will see working at the center in the kitchen. I also have two step-daughters. Ashley, who is finishing her degree in Special Education, and Chelsea who is married and has a one-year-old son, Jackson. I am also excited to be working with Debbie (Director) and Joanne (Office Manager) again. Back in 1997, I had the opportunity to purchase a child care center, and Debbie and Joanne were my directors. We have come back together again to continue working with staff, children, and families. I am excited to be working alongside dedicated, caring, and loving staff who have over a total of 200 years together in Early Childhood Education.
Mrs. Joanne (Office Manager)
Suzanne and I have known each other since 1988. We worked together at another Childcare Center in Dearborn. Our professional and personal interactions have made for a trustworthy relationship that has brought us back together again here at It Takes A Village Academy.
I graduated from Henry Ford Community College with an Associate's Degree in Business and a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. I've worked in a childcare setting for 8 years. During my 8 years of employment in this field, I have had the opportunity to be an Assistant Teacher/Teacher with ages ranging from 6 weeks old to Kindergarten. I also was given the opportunity to be a Preschool and Pre-K Program Director at M&M Childcare Center as well as the Office Secretary and Manager. Futhermore, I've also had the pleasure of subbing and teaching in the Detroit & Dearborn Public Schools, which landed my my long-term Fourth Grade Teacher position at a nearby charter school. I was fortunate enought to be a stay at home mom and to raise my 3 wonderful children. While doing so, I worked from home with an online company for 13 years. This amazing opportunity to work here part time at ITAVA couldn't have come at a better time in my life! I still get to do what I love the most and still be able to fulfill my #1 responsibility being a mom! In my free time, I life to write, go for walks, and spend quality time with my family and close friends. I am happy to be a part of the "It Takes A Village Academy"
Mr. Mike (Support Staff)
Mrs. Bethany (Curriculum Coordinator)
I have worked the past 10 years in the Public School System as a Behavior Specialist. I began working in the schools after retiring in 2009 from Delta Airlines. I am passionate about working with young people. I love to help guide them on the right path in life and with their education. My wife Suzanne and I, are very proud of our 3 daughters and 1 son, who are all adults. We also welcomed our first grandson in October 2018. I am very excited to work at It Takes A Village Academy driving the bus, doing maintenance and helping out wherever I can. We are working hard to make ITAVA the best it can be! I'd like to thank all of our parents for sharing your awesome children with us!
Ms. Darlene (GSRP Administrator)
I am a mother of 3 children, two boys and one girl. I have 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandsons (living in Colorado). The last 35 years of my life have been in education and I have loved every minute of it. Many years at Garden City Public Schools, where I worked in many positions there. I worked with Autistic children for 12 years and then transferred to Administrative Assistant for the duration of my career there. Then I had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Suzanne Collard at Tipton Academy and now I am back again working for her at It Takes A Village. I keep trying to retire but for whatever reason, it never sticks! I have met some wonderful people in my time and have made some lasting friendships, which I will cherish forever. Being in education and childcare has given me the opportunity to have a positive impact on a child's life and is definitely one of my greatest blessings!
Miss. Terri (Food Service Coordinator/Office Assistant)
My Associate Degree in Business Administration from Henry Ford led to the advertising industry, which began with 10 years as a Media Planner for multiple divisions of Ford Motor Company. I then spent 6 years as a Planner and Buyer for Shell Oil, American Airlines, Jeep, and others. After our company moved media operations to the Florida office, I sort of "fell into" food service while doing freelance media planning, and the next thing I knew, I went from planning and buying TV airtime to planning the menu and buying food. I enjoy cooking so much that I still moonlight when I can, and even worked the Taste of Dearborn food festival in Summer 2019. I also spend 6 years at Delta Airlines (originally Northwest), ending up as a Gate Agent/Trainer. It was then the Church came calling and we all know to listen to God, especially when he sends you multiple messages! As Office Manager of Christus Victor Lutheran Church, I gradually added duties for the Learning Center which, of course, included planning and buying for the food program. I have spent the last several months here at It Takes A Village preparing for us to join the State's Child and Adult Food Care Program, of which we are now part of. I'm looking forward to adding to this program in the months to come!
Mrs. Karen (Master Chef)
I am Mrs. Karen and my job here at It Takes A Village Academy is to provide your children with nutritional meals. I started this adventure six years ago at Tipton Academy as a cook/kitchen server. At the end of my sixth year, I was offered this wonderful opportunity here at ITAVA. I love to interact with your little ones as much as I possibly can. To see those beautiful smiles everyday warms my heart, especially on our favorite day (Pizza Day!!). I'm a lifelong Garden City resident and married to my bestfriend! We have three beautiful children.
Mr. Jared (Kitchen Assistant)
I am Suzanne Collard's son and I work with Ms. Karen in the kitchen. I am 23 years old and have been attending Schoolcraft College up until last June. I decided to stay home and work with my mom and step-dad. I enjoy golfing, bowling, putt-putt golf, and shooting pool. My favorite foods are steak, pizza, ribs, and chocolate ice cream, chocolate pudding, and chocolate cake. I enjoy spending time at my aunt and uncles house over the weekends. I love working in the kitchen doing dishes and working here with my mom
Mrs. Tina (Custodian)
I am the custodian here at It Takes A Village Academy. Garden City has been my home from 32 years. I have operated my own cleaning business for over 20 years and I really enjoy my work. Before joining the ITAVA team, I worked at Tipton Academy for 5 years. I enjoy working with people who genuinely care for children and for the community. When I'm not killing germs, I love spending time with my family and friends.
Ms. Joan (Volunteer)
I am a volunteer here at It Takes A Village Academy. I help out with and whomever needs some extra help. I have assisted and covered in the kitchen and in the infant room, giving them their bottles and a lot of TLC. I was in the medical field for 52 years and retired from Henry Ford Health System as a Nurse Manager. I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my children and grandchildren. I love cooking, baking, crocheting and working with all the wonderful and caring staff here at It Takes A Village Academy.
Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
I started working with children in 2000 in my high school childcare course (Crestwood High School) Preschool program. I began as an Assistant Teacher at Christus Victor Learning Center in August 2001. At that time, I was working in the SACC room, the Pre-K classroom, the Early Preschool classroom, and the Preschool classroom. In 2003, I became the Lead Teacher of the Early Preschool classroom and the Assistant Director until 2009. Around this time, I transitioned into the Lead Preschool teacher and Curriculum Coordinator. I love knowing that each day I work with children holds something new and find joy in hearing the unique pearls of wisdom that come out of the little ones mouths.