Kathe grew up in State College, Pa. and received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Penn State in 1979. Kathe also completed Early Childhood related coursework at the master’s level from the University of Virginia and James Madison University.
Alison has over 14 years of experience in early education including as a preschool teacher, assistant director and Program Director. As our Regional Director she is responsible for the overall management and quality of all three Bright Beginnings. Prior to being promoted to this position, Alison was Program Director at our Mill Creek location.
She has a calm and engaging personality and is well positioned for success in this position because of her awesome organizational skills. She manages approximately 65 full and time staff. She is active in multiple early education masterminding and coaching groups and regularly attends national conferences bringing back best practices to our teachers and students.
Alison is a strong asset to Bright Beginnings management team with her pre school teaching background and creative classroom ideas that neatly combined environmental awareness, massive amounts of messy art materials and utilizing quality children’s literature. Her experience as a mentor for our new teachers and as a former parent at Bright Beginnings make her well rounded as a pre school manager.
Molly Petchel grew up in Bright Beginnings as her mom, Kathe, founded Bright Beginnings. Molly attended Bright Beginnings as a preschooler! She earned a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Art from Sweet Briar College in 2012. Molly has worked at Bright Beginnings since high school when she worked as an assistant teacher in the infant and pre-k classrooms. Molly is currently our Jill of all Trades! She works on continuously updating our website, writes and publishes our blog, handles all marketing efforts and manages our social media communications! Molly frequently travels to national conferences to learn about best preschool and staff culture practices and is apart of several masterminding and coaching groups to keep Bright Beginnings up to date on all things quality!
Alannah grew up in Massachusetts, and went to University of Massachusetts Boston, achieving a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services. She is also Massachusetts teacher, lead teacher, and director state certified to run early childhood programs, with 10 years of experience in the field this year!
Kelly Landes, LCSW, brings many years of professional experience to Bright Beginnings as part of the Human Resources team, specifically leading onboarding for new staff. This includes conducting interviews of potential faculty members, assisting with teacher and staff placements, conducting initial onboarding training and orientation and regular mentoring sessions to ensure each new staff member feel support as they join Bright Beginnings. She also hosts monthly “Lunch and Learn” trainings for staff which includes facilitating a Book Club for staff encouraging our core value of continually learning. She is our resident ‘Fairy Godmother’ often surprising staff with treats, yummy soup and salad lunches or fresh Duck Donuts!
In addition to her work at Bright Beginnings, Kelly maintains a busy family and adolescent therapy practice.
Besides, her staff responsibilities, Kelly regularly visits each school spending time in the classrooms, on site training and assisting with customer service by modeling our best early childhood pre school and day care practices.
Adding Kelly to the team exemplifies Bright Beginnings commitment to building and maintaining the strongest and most capable team of teachers, assistants, directors and managers possible to serve you!
Kelly graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications and Sociology and from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1994 with a Master’s of Social Work (MSW). Kelly is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and a certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI instrument is the most trusted and widely used personality instrument used in the world. At Bright Beginnings we utilize several general personality and work ethic assessments aiming to ensure a solid match between staff member and our preschool.