Meet Our Teachers

Karen Beck, Director and Teacher - 23 years with UHP (18 years on payroll)

Karen became a part of the UHP community while living in Eagle Heights from 1998-2002.  Her two children, Ellie and Alex, attended UHP. Karen was the Treasurer Board Member, a Parent Helper, and a Substitute Teacher before the Board hired her as the Director.

Karen loves to garden. She has two rain gardens filled with native perennials to help replenish ground water and keep the lakes clean as well as for pollinators. She has a love for insects, bugs, and being outside. She is a backyard beekeeper and has Walking Stick Insects and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in the classroom. She enjoys sharing her passion for insects, nature, science, math, and building with the kids! Plus, she loves singing, dancing and doing process art and science as well as hands on projects with the children.

Karen also enjoys kayak camping in the Apostle Islands, Wisconsin and tent camping in the Porcupine Mountains, Michigan.


Karen has been teaching children for over 23 years.  Her most recent accomplishment was earning her initial PreK - 3 teaching license through Concordia College receiving it in June 2020.

Jennie Leunig - 2023-24 Morning and Afternoon Teacher and Summer Camp Teacher- Third year with UHP

Hello! I’m Jennie and I’m so excited to be at UHP! I love working with kids, especially at camp or anywhere I can spend a good bit of time outdoors. My favorite summer camp, which I went to for nine summers as a camper and worked at for two summers, is the Concordia Language Villages’ German village, Waldsee.


I majored in Italian and International Studies at UW-Madison and I love learning new languages. This passion has taken me to study abroad years in Germany and Italy, and I am currently in the pursuit of learning French and Spanish. My love for languages coupled with my desire to work with children in a school setting steered me towards speech-language pathology and back to UW, where I am finished up the Communication Sciences & Disorders Capstone Program. When I’m not at preschool or in class, you can find me reading, baking, doing yoga, skiing (if there’s enough snow at Cascade Mountain), singing, or going for a walk by Lake Monona.


UHP is the perfect place to see smiling faces. Thanks for the warm welcome!

Sofia Brown - Tuesday and Friday Afternoons and Friday Lunch Bunch - First year with UHP

Hi! My name is Sofia and I am so excited to be at UHP! I am a Junior at UW-Madison studying Elementary Education with certificates in Early Childhood and ESL. I have a deep passion for working with kids and getting the opportunity to have a positive impact on their life.

I love to be outdoors and run! The past two years, I have trained and ran two half marathons with my best friends. You will see me running on the Lake Monona Path or around the Arboretum. I also love to hike and found this passion while working at an overnight camp in New Hampshire. I get to hike in the beautiful White Mountains with my campers every week and explore different parts of New England!

In my free time, I am usually spending time with friends and family or trying new foods around Madison! I am a major foodie and love trying foods from different cultures. I grew up helping my grandma cook at her Vietnamese Restaurant, and I share a passion for cooking for loved ones as well!

Sofia is a great addition to our Dream Team!

Renee Deschard - Substitute Teacher - 3 years with UHP

Renee has two children who attend UHP and is also the President of the UHP Board. Renee was a public school librarian for 8 years in Wisconsin and is looking forward to working with children again (and reading fun stories!). Her favorite past times are dancing, listening to music, singing and playing tennis. Her favorite children's book author is Mo Willems. 

Pyramid Model Poster.pdf

Growing healthy families by promoting the social and emotional development of toddlers and young children with our Program Wide Pyramid Model Implementation

Photo taken: 5/24/2023

We Can Be Problem Solvers! Read by Ms. Karen We are starting Program Wide Pyramid Model Implementation. I hope you will enjoy this book with your child! Watch for additional resources coming soon! 

Our teachers are the heart of UHP. The work we do together as a team betters the lives of the children and families we serve. If you love children, play-based, nature, and kindness curriculum as well as being outside, you might be a good fit. Please apply by emailing a letter of interest and resume to Here are the job descriptions: 

§  24 Summer Camp Teacher - June and July

Part time (Build your own schedule):

§  UHP Preschool Teacher 24-25 Academic Year - 

Part time (Build your own schedule):

§  UHP 4K Teacher 24-25 Academic Year  - 

Part time (Build your own schedule):

Pay range is $14 – 18 per hour depending on experience. Teachers receive a monthly Child Care Counts pay bonus through June 2025.

Dream Team = Ms. Karen and Ms. Jennie for the 23-24 Academic Year! We are grateful to have such wonderful kids and families!

Ms. Karen and Ms. Jennie's first and last day of Preschool for the 22-23 Academic Year! It was a great year! 

First day of Summer Camp! Looking forward to rolling the kids around in the mud!