AppleTree Early Care and Education

Originally AppleTree Learning Center

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Our Teachers Make The Difference

Wendee Webb - Director

“Miss Wendee is a great teacher because she pays attention to us and never gives up on us even when we give up on ourselves.”  Alexandria, age 10

“ Miss Wendee wubs (not a typo) my back and helps me sleep.”  Madison, age 3

“She is nice and teaches us stuff.”  Paxton, age 8

Wendee Webb helped establish AppleTree in 1994 as one of the premier preschools in the county, as well as the State.  She has a degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in behavior/social/emotional development and specializes in children at risk.  Before starting AppleTree she worked at the Chadron State College Child Development  Center and Casper Head Start, giving her over 22 years of experience working with children and families.  Wendee taught Kindergarten from 1995 through 2005 at AppleTree when we had the only private, full-day kindergarten program in Natrona County.  She is the current Director and teacher of our PreK and Early Kindergarten class, but has worked in every capacity and in every classroom.   She is certified in First Aid and CPR, and has over 500 hours of training in addition to her college coursework.  She is responsible for curriculum development—co-authoring our curriculum, Positive Connections; coordinates our Summer Enrichment Programs; and provides parent and teacher trainings.  As a Family Support Consultant, she knows the community resources to support families, attends IEP meetings, and assists families in guiding the behaviors of young children.

Wendee has a husband, three sons, and three grandchildren.  Her love and caring for children doesn’t end with her own family; she has been a foster parent/godparent of 15 children for over the past 10 years. 


Kristi Merrell - Assistant Director

 Kristi Merrell is the current Assistant Director,  Birth to Three Program Coordinator, and Lead Infant Room Teacher.  She started working for AppleTree in 1999 as a teacher in the infant room and loves working with the youngest children, watching them grow and develop their individual personalities, helping them and creating a strong bond along their journey at AppleTree.    She has worked her way up to Assistant Director, has an Associate Degree from Casper College,  Infant/Toddler Director Credential  with specialized training in infant/toddler early care and education, and has over 350 clock hours of training in addition to her college coursework.  She has accumulated over 15 years of experience working with children and families.


Katherine "Katie" Rohrer - Lead Toddler Teacher/Systems Specialist


Dianna L. Webb - Founder and Executive Director

 Dianna Webb is the founder and Executive Director of  AppleTree Learning Center.  For over 45 years she has worked in a range of settings serving children, families, and communities.  These experiences have increased her awareness and understanding of their needs and concerns.  She has been married for over 47 years, is the mother of 5 married children, grandmother of 11, and great-grandmother of 3.

 She attended the summer institute at Wheelock College on quality infant/toddler care and then was a consultant to the WY Department of Family Services for two years.  She travelled the state instructing providers on how to provide high quality early care and education for infants which eventually led to the specialized training for the Infant/Toddler Director Credential. 

 Recognizing the needs of infants and the increased popularity of using technology to replace human interactions, she became certified to instruct adults in infant massage and has maintained her certification since 2000, incorporating infant massage into the lesson plans for all infants in our program.

 Dianna has presented at the local, state, national and international level where she was one of 35 selected from the US and UK to participate in the first Oxford University Roundtable on Early Childhood Education and Literacy in England. 

 She is Wyoming’s only Birth to Three Advocacy Leader, having received her training from the national organization Zero To Three in Washington, DC.  Zero to Three was founded by top experts in child development, health and mental health. They play a critical leadership and multi-disciplinary role in promoting understanding around key issues affecting young children and their families, including child care, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture on early childhood development.

Dianna has been appointed by Governors Dave Freudenthal and Matt Mead, to serve on the WY Early Childhood State Advisory Council.  She has been a consultant to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, WY Quality Counts! campaign since 2007, for educating families and child care professionals on the importance of quality interactions with young children. 

 She was a contributor to the WY Early Learning Guidelines, The Early Learning Guidelines offer parents, caregivers, early childhood professionals, and policy makers a set of guidelines about development and early learning.

 Her work through her service on various boards, committees, and organizations involving children, provides leadership and guidance in being a voice for all children, especially babies.