Home   Staff



The Giving Tree Preschool Staff 
1000 Kentucky
Lawrence, KS 66044
(785) 843-0679

Director, Julie Hafenstine

Ms. Julie has many years of experience working with children, 15+ years have been within the Early Childhood field. She earned her degree from Washburn University in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. She has been married to her husband for 25 years and they have a son in college and a daughter in medical school. When not at The Giving Tree, Julie can be found spending time with her family and her 2 dogs. She loves being a part of our wonderful preschool.

Lead Teacher, Donna Carlson

Ms. Donna has been working in education for the past 14 years, 11 of which have been at The Giving Tree Preschool.  She graduated with a BS degree in Communication from Baker University and worked for non-profits prior to being a stay-at-home mom while her kids were little.  Donna and her husband, Steve, have 2 kids; a son and a daughter. Donna’s greatest joy is watching her preschoolers grow academically, socially and spiritually in the loving and playful setting of The Giving Tree Preschool, the happiest place on the planet!

Lead Teacher, Mikayla Swart

Ms. Mikayla started her career working with children while attending Eastern New Mexico University.  She taught at preschools in New Mexico and Kansas before taking a 9 year break to raise her three children, all Giving Tree Alumni. She is joining us for her fourth year at The Giving Tree. When not at the happiest place on the planet, Ms. Mikayla enjoys spending time with her husband Greg, and their beautiful children. She is looking forward to an exciting year with lots of new friends!

Giving Tree Aide/Office Aide, Stephanie Struble

Ms. Stephanie will be volunteering part-time in our office this year updating our enrollment and helping us prepare for all of the fun things we do at The Giving Tree. She has 20+ years of experience teaching and working within the field of Early Childhood.  She and her husband have 4 adult children, 1 grand-daughter, 2 dogs, 3 cats and several chickens and ducks that help to keep her very busy! We are so grateful for all of Ms. Stephanie’s help in the office and in the classrooms throughout the school year!


Kathy Martin, Stephanie Struble, Sally Farrell and Sarah Rahija