WF Staff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATami Barbour, Owner &  Director, opened Wee Friends in August 1996

MS in Education from Indiana University at South Bend, Indiana.

BA in Elementary Education from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

I am married to Charles and we have 2 fabulous children, Kaitlyn and Chase.  My children attended Wee Friends through Kindergarten, Good Shepherd Montessori School from 1st to 8th grade, and both moved into the International Baccalaureate program at John Adams for high school.  My daughter and I are weekly volunteers at South Bend Animal Care and Control (SBACC).  As SBACC’s volunteer photographer, I love getting to know each animal so that I can capture his or her personality in a compelling adoption photo.  In my free time, I really enjoy carpentry,  and outdoor activities like camping, canoeing, and hiking.

Classes and Workshops…

  • October 2006-2011: Instructor and Advisor for CDA (Child Development Associates)
  •  October 2004-Current: Board Member-at-Large, Board President (2005-2014), Community Coordinated Child Care
  • July 2004-2009: Board Member-at-Large, Early Childhood Professionals of Northern Indiana (Board President 2005-06)


photo MindyMindy Shephard, Preschool Classroom Teacher, joined Wee Friends in January 2012

Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Indiana University

“I grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan with my Dad, Mom, and two sisters, Emily and Courtney. While growing up, I was active in sports such as soccer, basketball, and floor hockey. My hobbies include reading, spending time with family, watching sports, and being outside.

I went to high school in Battle Creek, Michigan at Lakeview High School and graduated in June 2006. I attended Indiana University South Bend and graduated with my Elementary Education degree in May 2011. While at Indiana University South Bend, I worked at the Student Activity Center as a Shift Manager for all five years of my education.”

Mphoto melelinda Wesolowski,  Preschool Classroom Teacher, joined Wee Friends in August 2007

Child Development Associates Credential

Melinda is the mother of three grown children and the grandmother of seven.  Melinda joined the world of Early Childhood in 2005 and discovered that this is where she wanted be.  Outside of Wee Friends, Melinda teaches piano lessons, is a member of the South Bend Symphonic Choir, and she is very active in her large family.

Kimberly Wells, Preschool Classroom Teacher, joined Wee Friends in November 2017

Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies, Indiana University and Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood, Indiana University

“Before I joined Wee Friends, I was a teacher in another local early childhood program for over 10 years.  Throughout those years, I worked both in the Toddler room and in the Pre-Kindergarten room. Although there is a huge difference in development between these ages, I’m always in awe at children’s love of learning and their view of the world. This is perhaps the best part of my job! I love to see children actively engaged in learning and exploring the world around them.”

Hannah Lentz, Assistant Teacher, joined Wee Friends in August 2017

Senior at Indiana University South Bend: Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with Concentration in Early Childhood (in progress)  *Hannah is working part-time in our classroom while she finishes her degree.

“I am currently a senior at Indiana University South Bend studying Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. Growing up in the small town of Lakeville made me appreciate a sense of community and taught me the importance of relationships between family and friends. I am very thankful that I have been able to attend college in the South Bend area as it gave me an amazing opportunity to do my 2017 spring semester field placement at Wee Friends.

While taking classes full time in school, I worked in child care for two years prior to joining Wee Friends.  I truly believe that early childhood education is an important aspect in a child’s life, and as I continue to grow in this field, my passion for teaching becomes stronger everyday.   My hobbies include reading, caring for children, shopping, and spending quality time with family and friends.”


Marty Hurt, Infant Toddler Classroom Teacher, joined Wee Friends in March 1997

 Child Development Associates Credential

“I love children and wouldn’t see myself in any other profession but early childhood. I am very fortunate to have found Wee Friends and have had the opportunity to work with multi-aged groups. However, I am now working my favorite age group, infants and toddlers :)”

Marty has been married to her husband, Chris, and has 2  children, Justin and Breania who are both graduates of Mishawaka High School.   Marty enjoys working out at the gym, riding her bike and gardening.

Marty has also completed several Early Childhood courses at Ivy Tech from 2011-2014 including Early Childhood Curriculum, Child Growth and Development, The Exceptional Child, Cognitive Curriculum, Families in Transition, Sociology and Development Appropriate Guidance.

Rebekah Cole, Infant Toddler Classroom Teacher, joined Wee Friends in May 2016

Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies, Indiana University and Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood, Indiana University

“I grew up in the South Bend/Granger area. I am married to my husband Carl and we live in River Park, just one street over from Wee Friends.

I attended IUSB and graduated with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood in May 2002 and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in General Studies in December 2002. Prior to Wee Friends, I worked for 13 years as an Associate Teacher at the early childhood program on Notre Dame’s campus. During my time there I spent time working with children in a variety of classrooms. 

In my free time my husband and I enjoy going to a different Major League Ballpark each year and I enjoy Zumba/Step Zumba, running, and being outdoors.”




  • Janet Lovett

    My daughter is due with her first child May 20th. I am looking for information on your program and we would like to schedule a visit.
    Thank you ,
    Janet Lovett