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Our Team



Mary started United Church Preschool in 1993, soon after moving to Chapel Hill.  She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Purdue University and taught kindergarten and preschool for 10 years prior to UCP. She was excited for the challenge of creating a preschool from the ground up and is still as passionate today as she was on her first day at UCP!  Mary was a teacher in the Fish Class for several years until the size of the program required a full-time Director.  She loves the many traditions at UCP, but her favorite day of the year is Hibernation Day. All of the teachers and children wear PJs to school as Mary whips up her homemade pancakes! Mary has two grown children with families of their own.  She loves to see her own children’s childhood friends come to UCP as parents!  Outside of school, Mary likes to play pickleball, read, swim, and visit her two sweet granddaughters. You will see and hear Mary, with her infectious laugh, greeting the children every morning in the hallway.


Turtle & Duck Class Teacher

Megan has been a part of the UCP family since 2016, when her daughter started as a Turtle. Both of her children are UCP alums, and she is so excited to to again be a part of this amazing preschool. Megan is a pediatric nurse but has been staying at home with her kids for the past few years. She is looking forward to sharing her love of the outdoors, books, and learning through play with the Turtle classes. She enjoys reading, going to the public library, rock climbing, and exploring new places with her family and friends.


Turtle & Duck Class Teacher

Liz graduated from Connecticut College, where she played tennis and majored in psychology.  She grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Chapel Hill with her husband, Chris, in 2010. Before children, Liz did event planning and also coached middle school and high school athletic teams. Liz joined the UCP family in 2017 when her daughter, Olivia, started in the Fish Class. Her son, Henry, started as a Turtle in 2019. UCP has been a special place for her family, and she is excited to join such a wonderful team of teachers. In her free time, Liz loves to play tennis, read, and cheer on the Tar Heels. 


Fish Class Teacher

Lindsay is entering her fifth year working as a preschool teacher in Chapel Hill and is thrilled to be joining the UCP community.  She holds a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Tampa and a certificate in Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments from NC State.
She enjoys collaborating and investigating with children as a teacher. She is passionate about lifelong learning and loves to incorporate movement, nature, and humor into the classroom. In her spare time you’ll find her gardening, walking with her two golden retrievers, or hanging out with her husband and two kids around town.


Fish Class Teacher

This is Peggy’s 26th year at UCP! She has taught in both the Turtle and Fish classrooms.  Peggy loves working at UCP because of the awesome staff and getting to know all the wonderful children and families. Peggy’s favorite tradition is Splash Day because it is a really fun way to end the school year with the children enjoying the outdoors and water play. Peggy’s family includes her husband Pete, son Nick, and daughter Dayna. Outside of school she enjoys walking, reading, and going to the movies. 


Frog Class Teacher

Liz has been involved with UCP since 2005—as a parent, board member, and substitute teacher—and has been a teacher here since 2017. She uses books, songs, art, and activities to make her classroom a joyful place to begin a lifetime of learning. All four of her children are UCP alums who to this day maintain friendships they first made here at the preschool. In her free time, Liz enjoys walking, reading, and spending time with her family.


Frog Class Teacher

Ellen started at UCP in 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studied speech therapy for two years in graduate school. Ellen has been an instructional helper at her children's elementary school and also teaches at Duke School in the afternoons. She enjoys reading, movies, and bike riding and loves spending time with her family and friends.  Both of Ellen’s children are in traveling sports, which keeps her very busy! The Stillson Family loves the Chicago Cubs since her husband grew up just outside of Chicago. Go Cubs!


Music Teacher

Amber Dutton-Hanlon is a lifelong music educator.  She graduated from UNC with a MAT in Music Education and then just kept on teaching!  She taught middle school band and chorus at Smith Middle School, preschool music at MANY preschools over the past decade, guitar lessons, flute lessons, ukulele lessons, and then she had babies!  Oh babies!  They are so divine!  Inspired by them, she created a music program in Washington DC, she wrote songs to put on CDs, all for little ones to "joyfully discover music" and she called it Meadowlark Music.  She has now moved back to Chapel Hill and is building up her creative arts and music world here, by teaching camps
in songwriting, ukulele, instrument making, and yoga, and through private lessons, and through baby-toddler music classes and birthday parties.  She enjoys teaching preschool because they are so beautifully excited about the world around them!  Any tiny red pom pom left on the playground, the train sound in the distance, the way ants move across the sidewalk...
surely some of the greatest wisdom is found through being around such attention and amazement.  It is my pleasure to teach music to your children this year and I look forward to interacting with them, learning from them, inspiring them, and joyfully discovering music with them... all the good stuff! if you want to find me around town.

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