Erica ScheppErica Schepp
- UW-Whitewater Children's Center Director

I have lived in Whitewater since I transferred here as an undergraduate student. I am an alumnus of UWW and hold both a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I worked for 10+ years as a Kindergarten teacher in various elementary schools. After some time at working at home as a mom, I returned to UW-Whitewater as a part-time instructor and supervisor of Student Teachers in the Early Childhood Education program. After completing my Master Degree, I began working at the Children's Center as Interim Director in October 2013 and become the permanent Director in January 2016.

My favorite activities involve attending my children's activities: soccer games, baseball games, bowling league, band concerts, and much more. We love being a part of the Whitewater community!

In my spare time, I enjoy taking walks, reading, and traveling. I am beyond grateful to be able to combine my education and training in combination with my passion for working with young children and their families at the Children's Center. 


Peggy BioPeggy Lean - Program Assistant

Hi my name is Peggy Lean. I am the Program Associate at the Children's Center. I live in Palmyra with my Husband and 3 beautiful girls, Samantha, Sydney, and Sophia. I graduated from Waukesha Technical College with a degree in Office Management / Data Entry.

I have worked at the Children's Center since January 2004. Most days I can be found in the office at 1006 Roseman. At times you can also find me helping out in the Classrooms.

When I am away from the Children's Center I am usually with my 3 very active girls. They are all involved in sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball) and farm life. We raise, show and sell beef cattle at the Jefferson County Fair, and have 3 horses that we show and ride. When we are not playing sports and with the animals, I love traveling.


Chelsea BioChelsea Newman - Mallard Room (Young Preschool 24 months and up)

My name is Chelsea Newman and I am the Toddler teacher here at UW-Whitewater Children's Center. I have 5 years teaching experience at the Children's Center, first starting as a teaching assistant in January 2009 and then as a Mentor Teaching Assistant in 2012. I took a semester off to complete my student teaching placement in Stoughton WI in a first grade classroom during Spring 2013.

I have also worked as a nanny, tutor, fitness games summer school teacher, and a Sunday school teacher. While attending UW-Whitewater I worked hard to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher! In May 2013, I graduated with my Bachelors in Education (grades 1-8) and a minor in Special Education.

I was born and raised in Verona WI, which is about 15 minutes from the west side of Madison. I am the middle child to an older brother and younger sister. Besides loving to teach and spending time with children I love to stay active. Two of my favorite sports to play are volleyball and softball. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, making crafts, reading, being outdoors, watching sports (Packers, Brewers, and Badgers) and snuggling with my cat Jack.


Jenna BioJenna Kenny - Owl Room (Preschool 36 months and up)
My name is Jenna Kenny and I am the Young Preschool teacher at UW-Whitewater Children's Center.

I graduated in December 2013 from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Early Childhood (Birth-8 years) and Special Education.  I have previously worked at the Children's Center, while I was a student, as a mentor teaching assistant in the toddler and preschool classrooms.

I also worked as a day camp counselor for one summer in Dixon, IL. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, swimming, shopping and baking cupcakes.



Elizabeth Bio Elizabeth Backes - Robin Room (Toddlers 12 months and up)

Hello! I'm Elizabeth Backes and I teach in the Young Preschool Room. I have worked at the Children's Center since 2003.

As I worked on my undergraduate program in Early Childhood-Middle Childhood, I worked as a TA until I graduated in spring 2007. In the fall, I was then hired on as a core staff member. Since graduation I have completed an Infant/Toddler Credential.

I currently continuing my education by working on a Master's Degree in Child Development with a specialization in Infancy at the Erikson Institute. In my spare time, I attend many hockey and baseball games, read, garden, and cook.


Breanne Karn - Hummingbird Room (Infants 12 weeks and up)