(402) 753-0168


We provide a Qualified Teacher and Assistant Teacher in each room, as needed to meet state ratios for each age group. Our teachers and caregivers are carefully selected based on qualifications, references, experience, and personality. We comply with all state-mandated background and registry checks prior to hiring. All staff completes our training program prior to working in a classroom. We want to assure our teachers and staff are successful by setting clear expectations and providing regular feedback on their performance. We carefully supervise each one to verify that our goals are being met with all children. We stress that every child needs differing amounts of direction and instruction, and that every child deserves and gets what he or she needs.


Erin Bussen

Growing Hearts Academy Director
Erin is the Director of Growing Hearts. Erin is married and has two children, Addison and Tristin. Erin and her family have lived in the Fremont area for over 30 years and have been a part of Growing Hearts Academy and Church of the Nazarene since 2012. Erin graduated from Midland University in 2003 with a BA and she has an extensive background in recruitment and management. Erin believes that Growing Hearts Academy is making a difference in the lives of our children, our families, and our community. The thing Erin enjoys most about working at Growing Hearts Academy is the opportunity to create meaningful relationships with the families that entrust her with their greatest blessings. During her free time Erin enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and crafting.



Annie Buesing

Annie has been with Growing Hearts Academy since March 2017. Annie floats throughout the center, works in the office, and closes the center at the end of the day. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Wayne State College, and she is working on her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health. Annie was married in June 2017 and lives in Fremont. When Annie is not working, she enjoys thrifting and doing DIY projects.

Mickey Carlson

Mickey works as a substitute teacher and has been with Growing Hearts since May 2017. Mickey has a Specialist degree in preschool through twelfth grade School Administration. After teaching for five years and working as a school administrator for six years, she began working on her PhD in Adolescent Literacy through the University of Nebraska. Currently Mickey works as a Professional Consultant and speaker for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Mickey has two children, Dylan and Drew. She enjoys being a part of the worship team at FCN and being one of the mentors for Elevate Youth.

Natalie Cone

Natalie graduated from Bergan High School in 2017 and is attending Metro Community College to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education. Natalie started with Growing Hearts Academy in August of 2017, and she primarily works as an Assistant Teacher in the 2 and 3 year old’s classrooms, and floats throughout the building when needed. Natalie loves watching the children learn and discover new things and is excited to put her education to use.

Larami Harris

Larami joined the Growing Hearts Academy in February 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Wayne State College and is the After School Program Director here at Growing Hearts Academy. Larami enjoys teaching children through sign language, unique and fun crafts, and the STEM program.

Outside of Growing Hearts, Larami is a huge Chicago Cubs fan. She comes from a family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, so she has some personal experience when it comes to dealing with conflict and resolution. One of her favorite things to do on her day off is play with her dog Olivia and spend the day at the bowling alley.

Brianna Harsh

Brianna is the Lead Teacher in the 2’s & 3’s classroom. She has been with Growing Hearts Academy since December 2016 and has spent a good portion of her adult life working in childcare. Brianna loves working with young children and showing them how they can learn and have fun at the same time. Originally from Columbus, Nebraska, Brianna is the oldest of 7 kids.  She has been married 10 years and has 3 children.

Debbie Hendry

Deb has spent most of her adult life working with children in a variety of centers and in-home care. She herself has 6 children and 16 grandchildren and specializes in working with children age 18 months to 3 years. She is the Lead 2-year-old Teacher at Growing Hearts Academy. Deb attended Metro Community College and majored in Early Childhood Education. Deb also has kept her CPR and First Aid certification current for the last 17 years. Deb’s hobbies include spending time with her grandchildren, taking walks, and reading. Deb believes she has a special gift from God which allows her to be able to know how to teach, help develop, and love children.

Courtney Hurlbert

Courtney has been working at Growing Hearts Academy since 2015, while also attending Wayne State College. She graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a minor in Family Life Studies. Courtney is an Assistant Teacher and works primarily with the 2 and 3-year old’s. Courtney is a hands-on teacher and she loves watching children learn and grow.

Sydnee Kardisco

Sydnee started with Growing Hearts Academy in August of 2017. Sydnee floats throughout the center working with all different age groups. She is from Fremont and graduated from Fremont High in 2017. Sydnee has 3 siblings and 5 nieces and nephews that she helps care for.  During her free time Sydnee helps out with Naz Kids and teaches Sunday School.

Kennedy Kroger

Kennedy has been with Growing Hearts Academy since May 2017.  She has been working with children for over 7 years and she is completing her degree in Early Childhood Education. Kennedy is the Lead Teacher in the infant room, where she says she loves watching the babies explore their surroundings and being able to see how their personalities blossom as they grow. Kennedy believes that being an educator is one of the greatest blessings she has had.

Tina Kurzenberger

Tina joined Growing Hearts Academy in January 2017. Mrs. Tina is married to her high school sweetheart Anthony, and they have 3 wonderful children. She was a stay at home mom for several years before going to work part time as a pre-K teacher. When a full-time position opened up at Growing Hearts Academy, she jumped at the opportunity and has fit right in.

Mrs. Tina teaches a full curriculum based around academics, science, and faith in our Lord. The children know ahead of time what they are learning about and most importantly they get to have fun while doing it. Mrs. Tina loves to occasionally make things explode in science class…the children always seem to love this! Coming to class everyday makes Tina smile knowing she will be teaching her little friends something new.

Nancy Leland

Nancy has lived in Fremont for over 40 years. Nancy’s grandson has been attending Growing Hearts Academy since 2015. In 2017 Nancy took a position as van driver for our school age children. Nancy said she learns so much from these amazing young people.

Olga Mis

Olga joined Growing Hearts Academy July 2016.  She has over 5 years’ experience working with infants and works as an Assistant Teacher in Growing Hearts Nursery. Olga has 3 sons and 4 grandchildren that she enjoys spending time with. She is also devoted to her church and volunteers 3 days a week helping with different events. Olga lives her life devoted to Jesus and his teachings.

Anne Peterson

Anne has been with Growing Hearts Academy since October 2015. Anne is married and has two teenage children. She works in our Nursery and loves spending time with the babies and watching them meet their milestones. In her spare time, Anne likes to attend activities that her children are in, taking pictures, bible journaling, and spending time with her family.

Kathy Pettit

Kathy has been working in childcare for over 20 years and she joined Growing Hearts Academy in the Spring of 2017. Kathy comes from a large family, so children have always been a presence in her life. She is the Lead Teacher for the 3-year-olds and agrees with the philosophy that children learn through play, and that it builds a solid foundation for their futures. Kathy believes “It takes a whole village to raise a child”, and she also believes she has been blessed to spend her life working with so many amazing children.

Shauna Roberts

Shauna is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler room. She has over 10 years’ experience working in childcare and studied Early Childhood Education at MCC. Shauna is married and has two children Drake and Rumor. Shauna is a firm believer in outside play and likes to make sure the kids get out as much as possible. She loves the toddler age because the children are learning boundaries, discovering cause and effect, and so much more. Shauna uses sign language with her little ones to teach them ways to communicate while they are developing their verbal ability. In her free time, Shauna likes to go to new places and try new foods. Her favorite color is white, she loves Fall and Pumpkin anything!

April Roeber

April and her husband Chris have been married 11 years and they have 4 wonderful children – Constance, Kelson, Christopher, and Blake. April has over 14 years of daycare experience and has worked with many different age groups.  She is the Assistant Teacher in the 2’s room at Growing Hearts Academy. April and her family have been members of the Nazarene church for 14 years.  April’s goal in child care is to show children God’s love not only with words, but also with actions.

Hallie Tarnick

Hallie has come to Growing Hearts Academy from Doniphan, Nebraska in 2017. She is currently attending Midland University where she is a Junior. She is majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Hallie is very passionate about working with children. She says she loves watching them grow and seeing the smiles on their faces. A few of Hallie’s favorite things outside of work are attending country music concerts, the color purple, and eating tacos!

Sarah Tietgen

Sarah is the Lead Teacher in the Waddler room and has been with Growing Hearts Academy since October 2016. Prior to coming to Growing Hearts Academy, Sarah worked with children for over 2 years. She has 3 children at home – Zaralynn, Payton, and Blayne. When she is not working with her favorite group of children, the Waddlers, she enjoys being outdoors, watching movies, spending time with friends, and baking and cooking.

Jamie Yeager

Jamie came to Growing Hearts Academy in March of 2017. She wears many hats at the academy – from being a teacher for the 4-5-year-old pre-school children in the morning, to floating to any room that might need an extra hand. She also does cleaning during the later part of the day, when time allows, to help keep the center looking its best.
Jamie has a degree in technology and is currently getting ready to go back to school. She has 1 daughter and when not working she likes to spend time with her animals (horses, dogs, cats, a tortoise, a parrot, and goats), she loves to do artwork and also do photography.

Linda Yeager

Linda has been with Growing Hearts since September 2017. When needed Linda works as a substitute throughout the building. Linda thinks of herself as the center grandmother and loves signing, crafting, and sharing her wisdom with the kids. Linda has many years of experience working in an in-home daycare and caring for children.

Alexis Yurk





Aaron Horton

Lead Pastor

Aaron and his wife Becky have been at Fremont Nazarene Church since 2015. They have two children, Landen and Lily. He is the Lead Pastor and primary teacher in all weekend gatherings. He enjoys running and spending time with his family.  Prior to being in Fremont Aaron served for 14 years in various ministry roles. It’s Aaron’s desire to help people realize that they have been created in the Imago Dei (Image of God).

Joe Gonzales

Pastor to Families with Youth

Joe joined the FCN pastoral team in February 2016 as the pastor to youth and families.

Joe graduated from Southern Nazarene University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Theology and Ministry. His hobbies include running, reading, biking, eating at local/cultural restaurants, traveling and watching Nebraska football and Kansas City Royals baseball.

Joe’s hope for the teens that he ministers to is for them to know that God wants to restore their lives and have a relationship with them.

Tyler Sparks

Pastor to Families with Children

Tyler has been with Fremont Nazarene Church since November 2016. She is the Pastor to Children and families. Tyler graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University May 2016 with a degree in Children, Youth and Family Ministry. Prior to being in Fremont, she grew up in Royals baseball territory. She served as a Pastor to Children and families in Missouri while she attended college. Post college, she worked as a paraprofessional in her hometown and really enjoyed that experience!

Tyler desires for people to know Jesus. She is passionate about helping people see their value in Jesus.

Hortencia Villasenor

Pastor to Hispanic Community

Pastora Hortencia is our Hispanic Community Pastor. She has been in the Fremont area for more than 25 years.  God has given her a dream to help others in our Hispanic Community have a restored life through faith, hope, and love.


Located in the Fremont Nazarene Church

960 N Johnson Rd

Fremont, NE 68025


(402) 753-0168