Our Team of Teachers

I may not be a super hero,

but I am a preschool teacher

close enough!

Heather Lingemann

Program Director & Teacher

My desire to teach, and learn from, young children blossomed from what seemed at times like an aimless journey. I found myself a recent graduate from Cal. State Univ., Chico looking into career prospects and felt wanting. A brief career in public relations & fundraising that led to a position in retail management, taught me to have drive to achieve goals, the ability to collaborate with my team of employees and have many happy moments helping customers get their needs met. During this time I was blessed with a daughter to raise on my own. I wanted to find a way to be her mother and have a career. After a few years I realized the retail life was not going to allow me to be the one nurturing my daughter into a compassionate, inclusive, and loving little girl. I wanted, no I needed, to be there for her to show her these things; and my small family child care home grew from this need.

After a few years of providing in-home childcare and learning opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, my own daughter began kindergarten, prompting me to look into our future for something more. I had a wonderful opportunity to observe and volunteer in a local preschool that served children with exceptional needs right along side their typical developing peers. It seemed that the teachers there had limitless compassion, patience, and creativity for the children they served. I thought to myself that I must have been brought to this path for a reason. I went back to college to earn my credentials to teach children with developmental disabilities and other exceptional needs.

While teaching in elementary special education, I found myself always looking for ways to teach the youngest students in elementary school. I had always felt they had some of the most authentic love for learning and that attracted me to them. I managed to find a teaching position serving children with severe and/or multiple handicapping conditions in grades Transitional Kindergarten-Second. After a few more years, an opportunity presented itself that I couldn’t pass on. I left my current teaching position and took a year for reflection and to spend precious time with my preschool aged twins before they began kindergarten. During this time my insightful husband shared with me an observation he made when reflecting back to the days when we first began dating. He said, that when he sees me truly happy and enjoying life the most, I am often playing, exploring, creating, and taking adventures with very young children. From this insight, and about a year and a half of extremely dedicated hard work, Creative Minds Early Learning Center, Inc. began.

Sharing in the knowledge growth of young children fuels my heart and is a way I can give of myself to help others. I am so honored to be chosen by our local area families to nurture and guide their most precious children. Email me: info@creativemindschico.com

Katie Quintero

Toddler Teacher (2-3 years old)

Hi! I have a BA in Child Development from CSU, Chico, class of 2022! Toddlers and young children have always found a way to make me smile or just shake my head in wonderment. I think the laughter I get from these moments is why I come back everyday to teach preschool. Helping your little one learn to persevere and gain cooperative play skills is my passion.

Lizbeth Navarro


I am currently a student at Chico State, studying Pre-Nursing and Child Development. Playing with your little ones and teaching them things that make their imagination soar gives me great joy! Thank you for letting them PLAY, LAUGH & LEARN with us 💜

Camille Lingemann

Teacher Aide

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for helping my mother in her classrooms for children with exceptional needs. Some of the best times were volunteering for Butte and Glenn County Special Olympics. I participated in the Careers with Kids program while attending high school and received college units in child development at Butte Community College as part of this program. I have continued to enroll in additional child development courses and am excited to apply what I learn while playing here with your children.

Jorge Hernandez


I’m a student at CSU, Chico, studying psychology and child development. I love that our center welcomes children of all abilities to thrive and grow here.

Sophie Sandoe


Please visit this page another time to learn more about Teacher Sophie.

Want to work with us?