Leo Augusta Children’s Academy director to retire, new director hired

Published 6:01 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

Leo Augusta Children’s Academy Director Doug Anderson, who has been in the position since 2021, has announced his retirement.

An educator since 1985, Anderson has worked in education for 40 years. Prior to joining the Leo Augusta  Children’s Academy, he was principal of a southern Minnesota elementary school for over a decade.

“I am proud to sunset my career at Leo Augusta,” Anderson said in a press release. “My focus was to shape the academy as an early childhood preparatory life skills school, not a daycare facility. We’ve achieved this by  promising and delivering curriculum for every child at every level. I’m very proud of what we’ve  developed as a leading regional child development facility.”

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Anderson has been credited with helping the academy thrive in the short amount of time it’s been open in Blooming Prairie.

“Doug’s professionalism and love for children was an extraordinary gift to the academy,” said Board Chair Amy Hinzmann. “He has been instrumental in assisting with development of our vision and mission through these early years of the Academy.”

On the heels of Anderson’s announcement, it’s also been announced that the Board of Directors of the academy have hired Jessica Kremer as the academy’s next director.

A Blooming Prairie resident, Kremer has an extensive background in family studies, health, and  education. She earned a B.A. in Family Studies from St. Olaf College with a concentration in Biomedical Studies. She went on to earn a Master of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix with an emphasis in Education.

The past 15 years Kremer has served as a senior research program coordinator at Mayo Clinic. She’s also a substitute teacher for Blooming Prairie Public Schools and a Southeastern  Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Instructor. She volunteers with the Blooming Prairie Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician.

Kremer has three sons, the youngest of which attends Leo Augusta.

“He’s flourished under this model of child development versus traditional supervisory daycare,” said Jessica. “This is what attracted me to the Academy.”

“Our objective is to nurture children with engagement and activation,” she continued. “It’s critical in preparing kids for the next step in their life journey as they transition into full time education. To be present at the beginning of a child’s life is both a joy and a gift. I’m humbled to have this opportunity.”

Kremer has also identified a leading-edge endeavor that she would like to undertake – early childhood intervention – to create better child outcomes. Her objective is to draw on grant resources to support this initiative.

“Early intervention is critical to overcoming speech delays, social anxiety, and the sheltered feeling many children have post-COVID,” she said. “They are on sensory overload as the world has opened once again. Some are struggling and need support. We will be there.”