· About Us ·

In A Kid’s World became incorporated in May of 1995. Tom and Cindy Mahr purchased the former It’s A Child’s World-Rock Island from Tom and Betty Phipps in that year. We opened our doors on August 1, 1995 and the Mahr family has been providing high-quality preschool and child care services to the families in the community ever since.


Serving Rock Island for over 20 years!

 The Mahr Family:

  • cindy.smallerCindy Mahr – Executive Director and CFO

    Cindy possesses an undergraduate degree in child development and a master’s degree in early childhood administration. She has gained over thirty years of experience working in the early care and education field as a teacher assistant, preschool teacher, school-age teacher, director and now Executive Director. Additionally, Cindy has taken over leadership positions in the early childhood community. These have included serving on the boards of the Early Childhood Coalition and the Quad Cities AEYC, and serving as board President of Illinois AEYC. Cindy is also an advocate for children, families, and high-quality early childhood experiences.

  • Tom MahrTom Mahr – CEO
    Tom is a “jack of all trades” handling tasks ranging from logistics to facility management. He is a great educator and gifted entertainer; teaching key competencies, reading stories, and playing games – you name it. No wonder the children love their “Papa Tom.”
  • Jenna MahrJenna Mahr – Site Director in charge of daily operations
    Jenna’s experience and perspective is truly unique: she attended In A Kid’s World as a child, focused on early childhood classes in high school, got a work permit to become a teacher’s aide at In A Kid’s World, became a teacher of the Two’s classroom, gained administrative experience as the assistant director, and is the proud mother of her daughter Whitney. Jenna has already gained a degree and is about to earn her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College.
  • Jeremy Mahr – Assistant Director
    Jeremy is following in Tom’s foot-steps by assisting with logistics and facility management. He additionally teams up with Jenna in daily operations, and teaches the school-age students in the morning and afternoon. Believing in life-long learning, Jeremy is attending Black Hawk College with plans to transfer to a 4 years University. He is also actively involved in the community playing for ComedySportz, occasionally acting or directing at other local theaters. Keep an eye out for him in television commercials.

Our Current Teaching Staff:

  • Anna Anna Benz is our Lead Pre-K Teacher working with our A.M. and P.M. Pre-K classes. She possesses an Early Childhood teaching certificate and has gained over thirty years of experience working with children. Ann’s loving family includes her daughter Rachelle, her dogs Bentley and Bud-e, and cats Bianca and Bella. Being a mother and an educator, Ann is excited to positively contribute to the lives of our 3 to 5 year-olds.
  • Toni Toni Greenwalt teaches our A.M. Pre-K (upstairs class). She started working in child care more than 20 years ago and became part of the In A Kid’s World’s family for the first time when she was 16. Toni is happily married to Jake and is a proud mother of three. Next to having gained experience raising Tanner, Kane, and Keaton, she has obtained her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential to provide the best education for our children.
  • Tiera Tiera Teague teaches our P.M. Pre-K (downstairs class). She has obtained 60 credit hours attending Kaplan University, has a number of Early Childhood Education classes from Black Hawk College, and has gained eight years of experience working in the child care field. Tiera is using her passion for early childhood development to provide her students and her precious daughter Tiajah with a nourishing learning environment.
  • Lorrie Lorrie Welsh is our Lead teacher for our Toddlers/Two’s. She has worked at In A Kid’s World for over twelve years beginning as a teacher’s assistant. Lorrie especially enjoys working with the Toddlers. Having a college background in teaching, she recognized how important those first childhood experiences are to lifelong success. Lorrie feels that the most rewarding part of being a teacher is watching the children grow emotionally and socially, and knowing she was a part of their development.
  • Tamme  Tamme Schaefer-Hoss assists in our Toddler classes. She started working with children in high school and gained experience working as a home-care provider. She has been with In A Kid’s World for over ten years, working with the various age-groups. Tamme recently started college to renew her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential to improve her ability to help families make a difference for their young children.
  • Brandi  Brandi Welsh works with the Toddler classes in the afternoon; her mother, Lorrie, is our Lead Toddler teacher. Brandi is a senior at Western Illinois University, majoring in Elementary Education, and she aspires to become a kindergarten teacher. She has worked for In A Kid’s World for almost five years, and also attended our program as a child. Brandi loves all kinds of music and attends Country concerts with her mother whenever she has the time.
  • Jennifer Jennifer Craig is one of our teachers for the school age students. She has worked at In A Kid’s World for over fifteen years and previously participated in the work-study program while attending high school. While most of Jennifer’s teaching experience is with the school-age, she occasionally substitutes in the preschool and toddler classrooms. Aiming to be an exceptional educator, she is currently in the process of obtaining her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.
  • Destiney.Smaller Destiney Hearn works with our school age students: planning and leading activities; and scheduling field trips during intercessions. She also works as a teacher-assistant with our preschool students. Destiney is planning on getting her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and working with children has been her dream since 2nd grade. She has worked as a teacher, mentor, and tutor for ages 5-17 for 5 years. She loves spending time with her family, and daughter, Zion, who attends our toddler class.