Heather Beachy  – Kindergarten Exploration
 
Miss Heather has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University.  She has taught at Bright Beginnings for 15 years.  Mrs. Heather loves to hike and ski, but mostly enjoys watching her own kids play a variety of sports. “Teaching has brought me such great joy.  It is a true blessing to be surrounded by God’s children.  Watching a young child experience something for the first time is precious.  Nothing really compares to the joy and excitement children feel.  Teaching at Bright Beginnings has allowed me to remember just how fantastic life can be through the joy of children.”
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Melanie Calcaterra
 
Miss. Melanie has been a part of the Bright Beginnings family since the preschool opened in 2003, first as a parent, then as a teacher.  This is her 11th year as a staff member at Bright Beginnings. She served as an assistant teacher for 9 years and has spent the last 2 years as a substitute.  Mrs. Melanie’s favorite part of teaching is seeing how much the children grow and develop from the beginning of the year to the end.  They are such blessings from God!  Originally from South Carolina, Mrs. Melanie graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC, with a degree in Political Science.  She and her husband, Jeff, have lived in Ohio for 22 years and have 3 children.  When not working she enjoys baking, reading, and cheering on her favorite sports teams – the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and the University of South Carolina.  She is also an active volunteer for Shoes4theShoeless in Dayton.
Debbie Cottongim – 4 Year Olds
 
Miss Debbie graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kindergarten/Elementary Education.  She taught for 10 years in early childhood through 2nd grade.  After taking a break to raise her children, she returned to teaching at Bright Beginnings.  She has also been in charge of Springboro’s Sunshine Camp for the past 23 years.  Mrs. Debbie is married and the mother to three children ages 20 to 23.  She enjoys gardening, walking, running, biking, working out and reading. 
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Amy Ingalls – Kid’s Morning Out Miss Amy studied communications at Miami University. She has eight years of experience as a mom and caregiver in her home. This is her Fourth year working at Bright Beginnings. After both of her children graduated from Bright Beginnings, she wanted to stay involved with the school.  She loves to travel with her husband and two daughters.  When time permits, she enjoys reading and scrap booking.

Maegan Landreville – Stepping Stones
 
This is Miss Maegan’s third year at Bright Beginnings. She has a Special Education degree from the Ohio State University. “The best thing about being in the classroom is hearing a child say I did it! With a big smile on his or her face.” Miss Maegan loves spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys being outdoors and going on roadtrips with friends, especially when it involves the beach:-)!
Kerry Leedy – 3 Year Olds, 4 Year Olds, & Stepping Stones
 
Miss. Kerry has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a minor in Biological Science from Ohio University.  Before joining Bright Beginnings, she taught 8th  grade science for five years then was a stay-at-home mom for eleven years.  Mrs. Kerry knew she wanted to get into teaching at a very young age because she had so many great teachers growing up and wanted to be able to provide others with the same wonderful experiences she had.  She believes in guiding children instead of instructing them.  After having learning experiences with her own three children, she learned this theme is just as relevant for younger students as it is in the Jr. High Science Classroom.   It was through parenting that she realized how much she loved to work with younger kids and just how rewarding it is to watch them learn and grown.   In her free time, she loves to run, spend time with her family outdoors, and work with my husband to restore their 175-year-old home!
Debbie Petry – Stepping Stones
 
The 2019/2020 school year is Miss Debbie’s 17th year teaching at Bright Beginnings.  She also taught in the public schools for seven years.  She has a current teaching certificate (K-8) and a Master in Curriculum and Instruction.  Mrs. Debbie is the mother of two college-aged sons.
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Meghan Ruffing – 3 year olds Mondays and Tuesdays
 
Miss Meghan holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ohio University, and has a current teaching license in grades 1-8. She taught elementary school for nine years before staying home with her children who all attended Bright Beginnings! Miss Meghan joined the Bright Beginnings staff three years ago when her son was in Stepping Stones. She lives in Springboro with her husband, Doug, and their three kids- Ella (10), Maddie (9) and Will (7). She absolutely loves working with children!
 
Karen Thelen – Stepping Stones Extension
 
Miss Karen has a Bachelor of Science in Social work from Frostburg State University and a Master of Science in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to teaching at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Westminster High School, she has been involved with the Head Start program and preschool age children in various settings. She enjoys spending time with her husband Christopher and two sons who are alumni of Bright Beginnings.
Laura Stone 
 
Miss Laura graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education. She has taught in a multiple disabilities classroom for three years, then became a stay-at-home mom. While at home with her children, she was an Applied Behavior Analysis tutor, an assessor for early childhood classrooms and a substitute at Springboro Community Schools as well as Bright Beginnings.  She lives in Springboro with her husband Jeff of 17 years and their four children Julia (15), Sierra (13), Dylan (11), and Drew (6). They were also blessed to have been a foster family for 6 years and helped care for multiple children at various times. They have a very busy family schedule, so they have learned to enjoy the small moments and quick trips. They love to cook, bake, and try to new dishes. They cheer on the Philadelphia Eagles, UD Flyers, and the Springboro Panthers.
Katie Veren – Stepping Stones
 

Miss Katie graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Elementary Education. She is certified for Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth grade in the State of Ohio with a highly qualified status.  Her motto for teaching is, “I will change the world one child at a time by teaching them to read, instilling proper manners, and fostering a love of learning.”   Katie strongly believes in a community classroom experience to help students achieve their individual social and academic goals.  She previously taught a Pre-Kindergarten classroom for two years at a Title I program in Louisiana where her husband was serving in the Air Force.  After moving to Ohio six years ago, she enjoyed staying home with her young daughters.  Now that they have both entered school she is very excited to return to the classroom.  Some of her hobbies include spending time with her family, sewing, painting, advising the Kappa Delta Chapter at Wright State University, and watching Alabama Football.

Carolyn Wiedeman – 4 Year Olds and Kindergarten Exploration 
 
Miss Carolyn has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with certification in art for K-12 grades from Miami University.  She has ten years of preschool teaching experience.  Prior to coming to Bright Beginnings she worked in the graphic design field for 15 years.  She believes teaching preschool- aged kids is amazing but teaching art is even more amazing and fun.  Young children have such a unique approach to creating.  It is awesome to see all the things they make.  Her interests include art, sporting activities, tennis, and cooking.  She is married with three college and high school students.
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