Alumna Spotlight: Lorelei Rein

2013 Early Childhood graduate is St. Philip’s Preschool co-director

Lorelei Rein, 42, graduated from Dakota County Technical College in 2013, earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in the Early Childhood & Youth Development (ECYD). She has taken additional early childhood courses at Concordia University. Today, Lorelei is the co-director and a preschool teacher at St. Philip’s Preschool in Hastings, Minnesota, her hometown.

During her time at DCTC, Lorelei served as a Student Senate representative and ECYD Student Club treasurer. She belonged to Phi Theta Kappa and participated in SkillsUSA. In 2012, she became a national champion at the 48th National SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, bringing home a gold medal in the Preschool Teaching Assistant competition.

Lorelei has five years of experience as a personal care attendant (PCA) and currently takes care of a boy with special needs in his home. She also has experience as a special education paraprofessional, family advocate, preschool teaching assistant, nursing assistant, nursing unit coordinator and medical records coordinator.

A Day at St. Philip’s Preschool in Hastings gallery

View more photos on DCTC Flickr by visiting:

A Day at St. Philip’s Preschool in Hastings

More about Lorelei…

A Hastings High School graduate, Class of 1995, Lorelei has been married 21 years. Her husband, Scott, is an auto mechanic.Lorelei and Scott have one son, Ahren, 18, who is a freshman studying pre-engineering at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, and two daughters, Alissa, 16, and Megan, 14, who are in 11th and 9th grade at Hastings High School.

The family has two cats, Emerald, a 7-year-old tortoiseshell, and Shirley, a 6-year-old tabby/calico, along with three lizards, two leopard geckos named Ace and Aro, and a bearded dragon named Kohey Breadstick.

In her free time, Lorelei enjoys singing, coloring, machine embroidery/sewing, gardening and riding ATVs. She and her family reside in Hastings, Minnesota. 

Faculty perspective

Lorelei’s brilliant and does high quality work! She’s extremely compassionate, gentle and positive. Lorelei has a natural talent with children. She understands the delicate balance of meeting children where they are, accepting them there, but also providing encouragement to assist them in getting to the next step (scaffolding at its best!)
Lorelei was eager to learn, not just to pass the class, but to genuinely understand concepts so she could help children and families. Her work was meaningful to her, and she applied ideas learned in ECYD into her family and career. Lorelei has stayed connected as an alumni and we truly appreciate that!
Dawn Easley
Educational Enthusiast: Early Childhood
Equity & Inclusion Council Co-Chair
Faculty Shared Governance Council Vice Chair
Dakota County Technical College

Lorelei Rein Q & A

Lorelei Rein

Lorelei Rein

Why did you choose DCTC?
Location and course offerings—I loved that the 30-minute commute from my home to DCTC had no stop lights.

What is one thing every early childhood teacher should know?
“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn” — Ole Ivar Lovaas

What is your teaching philosophy?
Children learn best through open-ended interactions with their environment and other people. A teacher’s responsibility is to provide opportunities for children to embrace concepts with depth, discovery and understanding.

Activities should be planned to meet the individual needs and capabilities of each child to help them reach their highest potential in all areas of development. Children deserve to feel safe and secure in a nurturing environment that shows respect for the great diversity that exists among all people. Children who are shown respect and kindness will learn to show others the same consideration.

I also believe that children will benefit when caregivers and families can share their knowledge and experience and work together to create continuity across the home and school environments.

Three words that describe you as early childhood professional:


What do you like best about teaching children?
Watching the amazing growth of preschoolers over the year or two they are with me AND the hugs!

What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a teacher?
There is not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do with the children.

What advice would you give students thinking about making early childhood education their career path?
Plan to never stop learning and always find a way to connect with every child (especially the ones who challenge your patience—they are the ones who need you the most).

Why is education so important for young children?
Children need positive guidance and varied opportunities to achieve their highest potential. Teachers and other caregivers who are educated in child development can help make this happen.

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Lorelei Rein 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Biking
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Just take me to the beach and I’ll be happy; the sound of the waves, the feel of sand in my toes, and shells to find.
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: That would have to be the one fantastic day my family spent on Mackinac Island; we rode the boat to the island, did all the tourist attractions, ate delicious fudge, and biked around the island.
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Build a nature-based Christian preschool and offer free enrollment and transportation. I’d be able to observe children discovering the wonders of nature. 2) Oh, and I should probably pay off my mortgage and other bills, too 3) Buy my daughter a Steinway & Sons grand piano
  5. Favorite TV show you’re watching now: My husband and I are on our fourth time watching Lost.
  6. Best movie you’ve seen lately: The Lion King
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To help my own children become independent and happy!
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Peacock
  9. Dream occupation: I have the jobs I want!
  10. Favorite kind of music: The ballads that my daughter, Megan, plays on the piano
  11.  Skill you would most like to learn and master: Playing the guitar (I own one, but can’t play it.)
  12.  Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Right now there is so much dependence on technology; Remember to take time to unplug and have some quality interactions with the people around you.
Learn more about Early Childhood & Youth Development at DCTC by contacting:

Dawn Easley
ECYD Director

Sharon Bergen
ECYD Faculty