Celebrating Our Macaroni KID Publishers Who Are Teachers

April 26, 2022

I come from a family of teachers — my mom, mother-in-law, and sister are all teachers. So I've always known how tough the job is, but after the last two years I am a million times more appreciative and in awe of what they do.

I think all parents are. Teachers have been there for their students and for parents as we've all navigated together the uncertainty of virtual learning, masks, and anxiety. Our teachers have persevered through it all, bringing our kids stability, understanding, and motivation, even as the world seemed to rock on its axis around us.

Click here to get a FREE Teacher Appreciation Week printable your kids can personalize!

So we wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to some of the teachers closest to us — those who are also Macaroni KID publishers. We have more than a dozen Macaroni KID publishers around the country who are teachers or involved in the education system. 

We appreciate each and every one of you and are thrilled to spotlight a few of you here!

—Jamie Ratner, Macaroni KID CEO

Kristin Kindred

Kristin Kindred 

Special Education Teacher and Exceptional Student Services Administrator
Publisher of Macaroni KID Aurora, Colo.

Why did you become a teacher?

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher... I knew when I grew up I wanted to be a Special Education teacher because my brother received Special Education services in elementary school and being his advocate, I knew that I wanted to be other students' advocates to ensure they received what they needed in education.

Why did you become a Macaroni KID publisher?  

I became a Macaroni KID publisher because I love my community and wanted to connect with them more. Similar to my job as a teacher, I love supporting the community with resources, fun events, and activities for families to do together.

Erin Michael and her family.

Erin Michael 

Reading Specialist for grades K-4
Publisher of Macaroni KID Plymouth, Mass.

Why did you want to teach? 

I wanted to be a teacher because I always loved school and had amazing teachers growing up. I never thought of wanting to be anything else. 

How did you become a Macaroni KID publisher?

I started Macaroni KID when I was home full-time after my second son was born. I felt like I needed something for myself — a way to use my brainpower. 

How do the two roles fit together?

A lot of the activities I do as a teacher relate to Macaroni KID. I love all things literacy and books and I'm able to share a lot of that kind of thing on my Macaroni KID site, which I love to do!

Lisa Williams and her family.

Lisa Williams

7th and 8th grade special education teacher
Publisher of 
Macaroni KID Pittsburgh, Pa.

What's your favorite part about being a special education teacher?

My favorite thing about being a teacher is having the opportunity to help students find confidence in themselves.  

Why did you become a Macaroni KID publisher?

I became a Macaroni KID publisher because I love to find new and exciting things to do with my family. In June I will have been a publisher for one year! The thing I enjoy most about Macaroni KID is the relationship I have built with my neighboring publisher and watching our kids become best friends and getting to have new experiences together. 

What do your students think about Macaroni KID?

My students are all huge fans of Macaroni KID! We talk daily about what it means to be an entrepreneur. It has been so fun to be able to show students how things we are learning in class connect to the real world. We have written and looked at e-mails and the important parts that must be included, we have discussed math by comparing prices for ads, we look at ZIP codes and learn about different areas of the city, and learn about the positive influence social media can have. Three students even came to help at our Summer Camp & Family Fun Expo! 

Gillian Pridgen

Gillian Pridgen

Social studies teacher for Grades 6 through 12 at a school that specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Publisher of Macaroni KID Boca Raton, Fla. and Macaroni KID Coral Springs, Fla.

What do you love about teaching? 

Teaching became the perfect fit for my family needs as it allowed me to maintain a schedule that still allowed me to be a present mom. Second, I honestly love the relationships I have with my students and the ability I have to change their lives. I truly enjoy the art of teaching and really helping students to achieve their goals. 

Why did you become a Macaroni KID publisher? 

I love sharing information with fellow moms that would make their lives easier and of course more enjoyable. As a mom, I love taking my kids to do activities that they like and seeing how happy they are when they are learning or trying something new. Macaroni KID allowed me to continue to do that while tapping into my creative and adventurous side. 

What do you enjoy most about being a Macaroni KID publisher? 

I love doing events and taking my family to events. My family life honestly changed because of Macaroni KID. My husband and kids are so much more open to trying new things and experiencing places they would not normally go to.

Annie Young, with her kids.

Annie Young

Teacher in an Adult Transition Program 
Publisher of Macaroni KID Santa Ana, Calif. and Macaroni KID Newport Beach, Calif.

What do you love about teaching?

I love knowing that I am making a difference in the students' lives and the lives of their families. 

Why did you become a Macaroni KID publisher? 

I became a Macaroni KID publisher for my kids. Because of Macaroni KID, I am able to really spend time with them and offer them extracurricular activities that I otherwise could not afford.

Why are the two jobs a good fit together and for you?

I teach in the same district I publish Macaroni KID, which means I get to be involved in all aspects of my community. I feel that having both jobs gives me a unique perspective as an active community member, a teacher, and a parent. I get to really know my community and be able to give back, as well as show my kids the importance of being involved. 

Leah Levine

Leah Levine

Special education teacher
Publisher of Macaroni KID Greece-NW Rochester, N.Y.

Why did you want to teach? 

I grew up with family members as kindergarten teachers. I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a teacher. Soon after graduating I got a job in special education and have been teaching in this field ever since! I love that every day is a new challenge and opportunity to make a difference.

Why did you become a Macaroni KID publisher? 

I was an active mom with two jobs always looking for fun things to do with my girls and I would regularly attend events hosted and shared by a neighboring Macaroni KID publisher. When the opportunity came to give it a try on my side of town, it was welcome! 

What makes Macaroni KID and teaching a good fit? 

That is simple. Three words make teaching and Macaroni KID a good fit: Caring, Kindness, and Fun!

We're so proud of the ways Macaroni KID publishers make an impact on their communities. Interested in finding out about joining our team and becoming a Macaroni KID publisher in your community? Get details at!