The Gardner School
of Minnetonka

Stimulating, creative, and educationally-focused, The Gardner School of Minnetonka has been designed to meet the needs of our most important client...the children. Enrollment is underway for our award-winning and academically-focused child care and preschool program in Minnetonka. With our brand new state-of-the-art facility and colorful and safe playground environments, Minnetonka students and parents will feel at home and safe from the moment they enter our school doors. Offering year-round educational programs for full and part-time child care for six weeks old through Pre-Kindergarten, we provide a full suite of enrichment classes, as well as our summer camp program, Camp Gardner. With our highly-praised curriculum delivered by our four-year degree lead teachers in each classroom, your child will be prepared for kindergarten and equipped to make the world a better place! 

We are open! Schedule a tour to see our beautiful school and meet our amazing team today.

Minnetonka Campus Leadership

Stacey Richman
School Director

How long have you been with TGS?
Since July 2017

Roles Served with TGS:
Executive Director of the Minnetonka School

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Kindergarten Specialization.

What made you decide to have a career in education? 
Growing up, some of the best mentors in my life were teachers. I wanted to be that person for many other children and have the privilege of making a difference in their lives. From a young age, this was my career choice, and now, since 1992, I have been able to live out that dream and touch the lives of many children and families. 

What makes you laugh about kids?
Their candid actions and spontaneous responses. They do not try to please anybody or say the right thing. They just say it! It makes me laugh almost every time! 

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS?
Seeing the kids so happy to come in the door every morning and then saying goodbye to them at the end of the school day with the same happy face. I love being able to provide an environment that just makes kids happy!

What do you love most about TGS? 
The best thing about TGS is the investment we make in the children and families. The quality of education we provide at TGS is far above other schools in the area because the teachers are professionals who are able to teach the children in their classrooms.

What is your fondest memory of TGS thus far?
Seeing the support when we were setting up a new school. It was an amazing experience to see so many different people from the corporate office—and even from some of our established schools—come together and work to create a beautiful space for our children, families, and employees.

What inspires you? 
Making a difference in people's lives, whether it be children or adults.  Every person has a reason to be inspired, and I love to catch that moment and be a part of it. I want to build futures with people and look back knowing I had a part in that, big or small. I once had a mentor tell me there was no way I could teach a specific child in my classroom because this child was just "too difficult." That was it—the challenge was on! That was 21 years ago, and I'm honored to say I am still in touch with that family, and the  “unteachable” little boy is now a college graduate! It's those moments that inspire me!
 
What is your passion or passions? 
I enjoy being a part of the early childhood world every day and being a part of an amazing team. I'm also passionate about family and friends who play an important role in my life. I love being a mom of teenagers and learn so much from my children about life as it is now. I engage with them and mentor them with positivity, even when the times are tough during the teenage years. They make me proud!

What does the term ‘Where Learning Begins’ mean to you? 
The beginning of the learning cycle begins as an infant and continues as we grow old. This is why the early years are the most important—because it sets the stage for a successful lifetime of learning. Choosing early childhood education is just as important as choosing a college later in life. TGS is here to be the school “Where Learning Begins.”

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Allison Walker
Assistant Director

How long have you been with TGS? 
August 2017

Roles Served with TGS: 
Assistant Director

What is your educational background? 
B.S. in Elementary Education from Valley City State University, B.S. in Child Development and Family Science from North Dakota State University

What made you decide to have a career in education? 
I have a passion for working with children. I enjoy watching them learn and grow.

What do you love most about TGS? 
The people. It was an amazing experience to work side-by-side with members of our TGS corporate team while setting up the Minnesota schools. We are all in this together! Also, I love the staff at our Minnetonka location, as well as the families. The culture in our school is so warm and friendly, unlike anything I have ever experienced in a workplace. It feels like a home-away-from-home!

What is your favorite part of the day at TGS? 
Drop-off and pick-up times. I love greeting the families, hearing about their day, and building relationships with them!

What is your fondest memory of TGS thus far? 
Going out to Benihana as a team to celebrate Christmas! Our teachers work hard and care so much for the children and families. It's fun to celebrate together.

What is the funniest thing you have ever heard come out of the mouth of a TGS Student? 
2-year-old student’s dad: “Say “bye,” Luce!”
2-year-old student: “Bye, Luce!”
 
What inspires you? 
I am inspired by teachers who are passionate about their students learning and who take ownership of their classrooms by making it their own.
 
What is your passion?
I am passionate about learning, new experiences, and building relationships.
 
What does ‘Where Learning Begins’ mean to you?  
I think of a partnership between schools and families. By working together, you are able to set the foundation for education at an early age.

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