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Junior Kindergarten

Julie Renne

Julie’s third grade teacher inspired her to pursue a career in education. “She made each of us feel special at school each day and taught us we could do anything that we set our minds to,” Julie says.

Julie’s favorite part of teaching is witnessing the excitement and confidence children experience as they learn and grow. She loves to tie class lessons in with skills children will use throughout their lives: kindness, friendship, patience and respect. She strives to make Rossman’s littlest learners feel encouraged and loved, believing that when children do their mind opens up and anything is possible.

Holding a Masters in Teaching degree in early childhood education, Julie has taught preschool through second grade as well as English as a Second Language in the Parkway School District and in Indiana. She moved back to St Louis and joined the Rossman family in 2019.

A mother of two, Julie spends her free time reading, enjoying long walks, traveling with family and going on outings with friends.

Mary Schwartz

Born seventh in a family of sixteen children, Mary has been surrounded by young children all of her life. She has never tired of the “ah-ha” moments and the pride that swells in a little one who is learning to do something for the first time.

“The innocence and honesty in a young child asking questions, observing and discovering new things in the world around him is encouraging and hopeful,” she says.

Mary believes that sharing in a child’s genuine curiosity, encouraging their questioning, and supporting their discoveries are important parts of early childhood growth and development. She strives to ensure each of her students has the opportunity to learn in an environment that is friendly, warm and welcoming.

A mother of three, Mary is a “do-it-yourself-er” who enjoys the challenge and satisfaction of completing projects that enhance the character of her older home. She also likes to spend her free time searching for treasures at antique and second-hand stores and cheering on the Cardinals and the Blues.

Diane Vujnich

A child and family development major at Missouri State University, Diane originally intended to pursue a career in social work. Assignment to a local Head Start program during her practicum inspired a different path. “I enjoyed the home-school interaction,” Diane recalls. “After graduation, I took a teaching position and never looked back.”

For more than 25 years, Diane has worked hard to cultivate strong relationships with Rossman’s Junior Kindergarten families, believing that a comprehensive understanding of a child’s family dynamic makes a substantial difference in his education. She approaches teaching as a partnership with parents, each party advocating for a child from a different angle. By talking through issues as well as what is going right, together parents and teachers can help a child reach his full potential.

“The most important thing in JK is getting students excited to come to school,” Diane says.