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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Melissa Birnie – 4 Year Olds
 
Miss Melissa was born and raised in upstate New York. She attended the University of New York at Potsdam, where she received her B.A. in Elementary Education & Psychology. Melissa continued her studies at the University of New York at Albany where she earned her Masters in Special Education. She taught Special Education and sixth grade Math & Science for about 10 years. In 2013, her family moved to Springboro. Melissa became part of the Bright Beginnings family in 2019. She has 4  children, two in high school and a daughter and son twins in Kindergarten. Melissa spends time with her family outdoors; boating, hiking, camping and gardening.
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.
Kerry Leedy – 3 Year Olds, 4 Year Olds
 
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 2021/2022 school year is Miss Debbie’s 19th 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.
Meghan Ruffing – 3 year olds
 
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 (13), Maddie (11) and Will (9). She absolutely loves working with children!
 
Karen Thelen – Stepping Stones Extension & Kindergarten Exploration
 
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 – 3 Year Olds 
 
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.
Sarah Wrazen – Stepping Stones
 
Miss. Sarah attended Syracuse University for a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Music History and has a Master of Science in Deaf Education from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has teaching certificates in Secondary Biology and Teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students. Mrs. Sarah has taught all different grade levels, ranging from preschool through college level, and was a special education teacher for 10 years. She also taught at Bright Beginnings for 5 years before she moved into Educational Administration last year at a Montessori school in the Dayton area.  This year, Mrs. Sarah has returned to Bright Beginnings to take over the Human Resources responsibilities at the school.  Originally from Orchard Park, NY, Mrs. Sarah, her husband, and their two daughters have lived in Springboro for eight years.  In her free time, Mrs. Sarah likes reading, gardening, and golfing. She teaches Sunday school at First United Methodist and is an active volunteer in her children’s schools. 
Trina Townsend – 3 Year Olds
 
Miss Trina grew up 40 minutes Southeast of Springboro and graduated from Wilmington College with a degree in Early Childhood Education and also holds a Master’s in Education from Wilmington. She is a licensed for Pre-Kindergarten through third grade. After college, Trina taught 2nd grade and preschool for Warren County MRDD and provided home instruction for medically fragile students in the Lebanon School District. She then took time away from teaching in to raise her four boys Noah (15), Easton (11), Cadence (9), and Crosley (6). Her boys are involved with baseball, basketball, soccer, and cross country which keeps their family very busy, but they love every minute of it. Trina and her family attend First United Methodist Church where her and her husband teach Sunday School and her boys help with the service. Her two youngest children attended Bright Beginnings and Crosley is currently enrolled in Kindergarten Exploration. Last year, Trina celebrated her return to the classroom when she taught preschool for CHESS Christian School. She is truly looking forward to teaching at Bright Beginnings as she has always loved working with children and she can’t wait to spend time with your children and watch them grow!