Our Staff

Our Staff2018-09-07T07:01:17+00:00

Our faculty is outstanding! Teachers use a variety of teaching methods within the classroom. They teach above grade level and excel at meeting the AZ State Standards. Teachers have college degrees and many have Master’s degrees. There is a teacher and an aide in every class and a teacher student ratio that averages 1:11. Staff resumes and information for all employees who provide instruction is available for viewing upon formal written request.

Jennifer Jackman
Jennifer JackmanPrincipal
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Peggy French
Peggy FrenchOperations Manager
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Michelle Riley
Michelle RileyAdministrative Assistant
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Katie Poyzer
Katie PoyzerPre-Kindergarten, M-F Teacher
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My name is Katie Poyzer. I have been teaching Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten at Bright Beginnings for 5 years but have been working in Early Childhood for over 15 years. I have a Master’s degree in Education and one in Psychology. I love to spend time with my husband and two daughters and spend a lot of my free time creating things for my home and classroom.

Andrea Rix
Andrea RixPre-Kindergarten, M-W-F Teacher
Melissa Singer
Melissa SingerPre-Kindergarten Assistant to Andrea Rix
Whitni Taylor
Whitni TaylorPre-Kindergarten Teacher
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Michelle Cheevers
Michelle CheeversKindergarten Teacher
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Linda Jenkins
Linda JenkinsKindergarten Assistant to Michelle Cheevers
Anissa Fox
Anissa FoxKindergarten Teacher
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Jeanne Loop
Jeanne Loop!st Grade Teacher
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I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from U.C.L.A., and my Master’s in Education from U.C.S.B. I have been teaching for 16 years, 11 of which have been at Bright Beginnings teaching kindergarten. My husband and I have three daughters and I love volunteering for Saving One Life helping kittens find their forever homes.

Elizabeth Merritt
Elizabeth Merritt!st Grade Assistant to Jeanne Loop
Holly King
Holly King1st Grade Teacher
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I was born in Massachusetts but I have spent most of my life in Arizona.  In 2002 I graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  I began working at BBS in 2011 as a kindergarten aide. In 2015 I taught third grade for one year.  I now teach first grade.  I am married and have two wonderful sons, 11 and 9 years of age.  During my time off, I love to read, cook, and travel.

Glenda Shoemaker
Glenda Shoemaker1st Grade Assistant to Holly King
Jessica Watson
Jessica Watson2nd Grade Teacher
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Rhonda Thorton
Rhonda Thorton2nd Grade Assistant to Jessica Watson
Kara Stowell
Kara Stowell2nd Grade Teacher
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Karen Bever
Karen Bever2nd Grade Assistant to Kara Stowell
Anissa Tripoli
Anissa Tripoli3rd Grade Teacher
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Brenda Fitzgerald
Brenda Fitzgerald3rd Grade assistant to Anissa Tripoli
Phyllis Killingsworth
Phyllis Killingsworth3rd Grade Teacher
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My name is Phyllis Killingsworth and I am a third grade teacher at Bright Beginnings Elementary. This is my ninth year at Bright Beginnings and my 29th year of teaching. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, I have a Gifted Endorsement, an Early Childhood Endorsement and an SEI Endorsement. My favorite subjects to teach are Math and Social Studies, but I enjoy all academic areas. I have two married children and six grandchildren that I love spending time with. I also enjoy gardening, knitting and going to the movies with my husband.

Jean Perkins
Jean Perkins3rd Grade Assistant to Phyllis Killingsworth
Robin Lathrum
Robin Lathrum4th Grade Teacher
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My name is Robin Lathrum, and I have been teaching at Bright Beginnings School for 14 years. I graduated from Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, in 1976 and have been teaching for 38 years. I’ve enjoyed teaching a variety of grades, including 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and K-6 Physical Education. I’ve been married to my husband Rick for 40 years and have two adult children, Ryan (40) and Lindsay (37). I also have two grandsons, Lincoln (4) and Sam (2). In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family and read historical fiction novels.

Meenakshi Yadav
Meenakshi Yadav4th Grade Assistant to Robin Lathrum
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Zeinab Hassan
Zeinab Hassan4th Grade Teacher
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Meenakshi Yadav
Meenakshi Yadav4th Grade Assistant to Zeinab Hassan
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Ann Sauriol
Ann Sauriol5th Grade Teacher
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I am Ann Sauriol. I am proud to say that I have been a part of the Bright Beginnings School staff as a teacher for close to 20 years! I have lived in Arizona for 33 years and attended Arizona State University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Education. In 2000, I obtained my Master of Arts Degree in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. I live in Chandler with my Boston Terrier, Swee’ Pea, and enjoy spending time with my niece and nephew (who have both attended BBS)! Besides my love of teaching and learning, I also have many other loves. I am an avid scuba diver and love to travel to different tropical destinations to dive! I also enjoy practicing yoga, cooking, and photography.

Liana Williams
Liana Williams5th Grade Assistant to Ann Sauriol
Jodi Pencek
Jodi Pencek6th Grade Teacher
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Pallavi Mandloi
Pallavi Mandloi6th Grade Assistant to Jodi Pencek
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Tracy Crocker
Tracy CrockerArt Teacher (K-6th)
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My name is Tracy Crocker and I am the art teacher at Bright Beginnings School. I am responsible for grades Pre-K thru 6th.  I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education with an endorsement for K-12th grade. I have taught art at Bright Beginnings for 20 years. We promote a quality art educational program for all of our students. I have developed an Art Masterpiece curriculum for our school that introduces a wide range of skill development to maximize student success. I am a strong advocate for hands-on learning and love to create problem-solving opportunities for my art students. I have two grown sons who both attended Bright Beginnings and to this day, they credit their educational foundation to our excellent teaching staff. In my free time I love to create art and spend most of my time creating ceramic sculpture with my business partner, Mrs. Lipscomb. I also enjoy reading and riding my bike.

Sarah Burke
Sarah BurkeMusic Teacher (Pre-K - 6th)
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I am Sarah Burke and I graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Music. This is my sixth year at Bright Beginnings. I have two daughters, ages 10 and 13, whom I adore and spend most of my free time creating special memories with. I love spending time with my family, traveling, fitness and philanthropy work. My music classes primarily focus on choral music and playing the recorder. I utilize music as a means to empower children to use their voices to make a positive impact in the world both on and off the stage!

Idoia Caceres
Idoia CaceresSpanish Teacher (Pre-K - 6th)
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Hello, my name is Idoia Cáceres and I am the Spanish teacher at Bright Beginnings School. I have worked at Bright Beginnings for thirteen years –six years as a Pre-K teacher and seven years as a Spanish teacher for Preschool-Sixth grade.
I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpretation. After graduating from college, I came to the United States where I taught Spanish at Florida State University while earning a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have worked as an educator for twenty-two years. When not in the classroom, I enjoy reading, cooking and traveling. Most of all, I enjoy spending time and sharing all of those activities with family and friends.

John Mahnke
John MahnkeWellness Teacher (K-6th)
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Laura Land
Laura LandSpecial Education (K-6th)
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Penny Leideker
Penny LeidekerSpeech Teacher (K-6th)
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