Meet the Growing Together Preschool Staff

Administration

Cerise Bouchard, BA, DC, CLC : Executive Director

Cerise Bouchard, BA, DC, CLC

Executive Director

I began working at GTP as a part time assistant while I was a student at Transylvania University. After I received my BA in Sociology and Anthropology I continued to work at GTP as an Infant and Toddler teacher. After the birth of my first son, I left GTP to start my own business supporting breastfeeding mothers. I became a Certified Lactation Counselor and president of the Lactation Improvement Network of Kentucky.   In 2013 I closed Mother Nurture and returned to GTP as the Executive Director.   My passion for breastfeeding support has grown into a broader interest in public health support, which is reflected in our policies and practices here at GTP. I love being an advocate for early childhood education and health and am passionate about GTP’s mission and strengths.

Cerise@GrowingTogetherPreschool.org

Denise Menshouse, BS : Education & Outreach Coordinator

Denise Menshouse, BS

Education & Outreach Coordinator

I have worked in the field of Early Childhood for the past 24 years and have dedicated my life to providing services to children birth to five and their families. Some of my experiences over the years have consisted of being a lead teacher in a classroom, an Associate Director in a child care setting, a Supervisor, as well as an Early Head Start Coordinator, and a Mental Health and Disabilities Coordinator. I am a certified trainer in the Program for Infant Toddler Care areas of social-emotional growth and socialization and group care. I can usually be found in one of the classrooms or in my office which is located adjacent to one of the infant classrooms.

Denise@GrowingTogetherPreschool.org

Emily Estill : Business Manager

Emily Estill

Business Manager

Emily can answer your questions about your invoice and payments.

Emily@GrowingTogetherPreschool.org

Jenny Dotson, CDA : Staffing and Scheduling Coordinator

Jenny Dotson, CDA

Staffing and Scheduling Coordinator

I first started working at Growing Together Preschool in august of 2003. I worked with infants for 3 years and then took a teaching position in the toddler room. I have been with this age group for eight years. During my time at GTP, I completed my CDA and my Director’s Credential. Outside of GTP I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I’m also active with our church. I love working with children and can’t wait to get to know you and your family.

Kelly Crisci, BA : Admissions Coordinator

Kelly Crisci, BA

Admissions Coordinator

I was a Social Work major at the University of Kentucky when I was introduced to GTP by a fellow student in the fall of 1982. Together we completed one of the required practicum assignments which led to part-time, and eventually full-time employment. During the next four years, I gained classroom experience with toddlers and four year old children. In 1986 I was offered the position as Office Manager, where I remain to this day! I’ve enjoyed working for a non-profit organization and am very proud to have helped pioneer one of the first integrated preschool programs in Kentucky.

Kelly can schedule your tour and answer your questions about your child’s enrollment, classroom placement and the wait list for each age group.

Kelly@GrowingTogetherPreschool.org

Therapists

Sharon Agin, MA, CCC : Speech Language Pathologist

Sharon Agin, MA, CCC

Speech Language Pathologist

Sharon holds an undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio and an M.A. degree in Communication Disorders from Eastern Kentucky University. She has been a speech pathologist in the states of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky and has worked with Horn and Associates for over 10 years. Sharon has attended many continuing education courses and her interests lie with pediatric feeding, language, and speech sound disorders including apraxia. She has experience with clinic, home, and school-based therapies.

Julie Kennedy, PT : Physical Therapist

Julie Kennedy, PT

Physical Therapist

Julie earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Kentucky in 1990. She has been working as a physical therapist at Horn and Associates since 1996. Julie has extensive experience in pediatrics, specializing in working with children who are medically fragile. Julie has participated in extensive regional and national continuing education courses including kinesiotaping, NDT approaches, and Masgutova Neuorsensorimotor Reflex Integration. Julie has presented regionally and at the local level on integrating motoric developmental skills into functional activities. She also has a passion for working with adaptive equipment and earned a specialty certification as an Adaptive Technology Practitioner.

Kristy Stamper, OTR/L : Occupational Therapist

Kristy Stamper, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Kristy graduated in 1998 from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has practiced in intensive care, cardiac rehab, home health, school, and clinic settings. Kristy primarily works with pediatrics and persons with acquired brain injuries. Her interests are in neurology and pediatrics. She has had extensive training in sensory integration and neuromotor recovery and treatment. Kristy has certifications in Interactive Metronome, Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, and Therapeutic Listening. She has had several trainings in visual perceptual-motor treatment, feeding aversions, and the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration method. Kristy has presented numerous courses on normal developmental processes and implications for intervention at the state and local levels.

Teaching Staff

Rachel Denny, MAT : Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Rachel Denny, MAT

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

After four years at a desk job, I am returning to what I love most – child care! For two years during college I worked at a child care center with every age group from infant to school age. I have a B.S. from the University of Kentucky in Community Communications and Leadership Development. I am currently working on my Masters in teaching with an Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education emphasis and simultaneously completed my CDA during my first semester of graduate school.

Caroline McEachern, BA, CDA : Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Caroline McEachern, BA, CDA

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

I grew up in North Carolina as the child of two teachers.  In 2014, I graduated from Shenandoah University with a degree in Theatre for Youth and a minor in Women’s Studies.  Realizing that I most enjoyed working with the youngest of people, I decided to pursue a career in early childhood education. I earned my CDA in 2016.  Theatre is still a hobby but I most enjoy dramatic play in the classroom.  

Abby Reed, BA, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Abby Reed, BA, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I began working at GTP in September of 2015 as a part-time floater. In May of 2016 I graduated from Transylvania University with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric & Communication and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. I am now working on my CDA and will hopefully begin my Master’s degree soon! In my free time I enjoy reading, writing short stories and volunteering with the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. I also have a cat named Rosencrantz.

Hailey Westmoreland, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Hailey Westmoreland, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I’ve only worked at Growing Together for a short time, but I’ve loved this experience and getting to know all of our babies! I’m currently enrolled in Morehead working on my CDA to further my education to be the best teacher I can be!

Miranda Jarvis, BA, CDA : Preschool Teacher

Miranda Jarvis, BA, CDA

Preschool Teacher

I graduated from Transylvania University in 2015 with a bachelor’s in English education. Since starting at Growing Together in March, I have started working toward my CDA credential. I hope to begin my master’s in education in 2017.
I’m originally from Vanceburg, KY. I’ve been in Lexington for about five years. In my free time, I like to watch horror movies and read everything from young adult lit to Stephen King. Last but not least, I have a sweet cat named Sicily.

Amy Gilmore, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Amy Gilmore, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I am mother to one very rambunctious two-year old boy. I earned an associate degree in business in 2013, but I took a nanny position when my son was born the following year. The position allowed me to keep him with me throughout the day. When I decided it was time to re-enter the workforce, I knew that I really wanted to pursue my passion and work with young children. I accepted the job working with toddlers as a teacher assistant at GTP in 2015 and earned my Infant/Toddler CDA shortly after. I love watching the children in my class grow and learn new exciting things. I look forward to working with you and your family.

Jazlynn Thompson : Infant Teacher Assistant

Jazlynn Thompson

Infant Teacher Assistant

I have been in childcare for a year and I love working with your kids during their first year! I actually attended Growing Together Preschool as a child!  I plan on getting my CDA soon, so I can help them learn and grow to their full potential.

 

Tina Maddux : Infant Teacher Assistant

Tina Maddux

Infant Teacher Assistant

I want to become a doctor. I like to read and watch movies and I like to type. I enjoy playing with babies and kids and I want to get my CDA. I like Kate Middleton. I have Down syndrome and am excited to have the opportunity to work with children with special needs.

Felisha Castorena : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Felisha Castorena

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I’ve been in child care a little over a year. My husband and I are High School sweethearts with 3 handsome boys. I am currently enrolled to get my CDA and plan on continuing until I have my Bachelor’s and my Director’s Credentials. Some of the things I love to do is read, sing and dance with the kids. It’s no fun unless you’re being silly too. I’m very friendly and love to know as much as possible about you and your children. I’m always up for talking about your children and their day so don’t hesitate to ask. I look forward to getting to know all of you and am pleased and honored to be working with your children.

Whitney Stigall, BA : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Whitney Stigall, BA

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I graduated in 2012 at KSU where I obtained my BA Degree in Psychology. I have been working with youth, actively since 2010. I am a caring, competent and responsible individual who has long term goals that include service opportunities with the youth and young adults to proctor positive experiences, attitudes and meaningful relationships. I’ve worked primarily with Pre-K during my time in the “childcare” field; Twos is a little new, but I love a good challenge. Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to further gain knowledge and understanding of other things. I look forward to working with your child and having them in our class.

Corey Wilham, BA : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Corey Wilham, BA

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I live in Lexington and am married with a son who loves attending Growing Together Preschool. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and I am currently working on my CDA.

Victoria Sullivan, MA : Preschool Teacher Assistant

Victoria Sullivan, MA

Preschool Teacher Assistant

I graduated from Transylvania University in 2014 and earned my MA in English from UK in May 2016. I am a third-generation educator. I love hanging out and learning with children. In my free time, I knit, write, and spend time with my dog Lillie Belle. I can’t wait to get to know you!

 

Sheryl Olivenbaum : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Sheryl Olivenbaum

Toddler Teacher Assistant

Logan Fox : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Logan Fox

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I was born and raised right here in Lexington KY. I am currently attending Morehead State University to get a degree in Early Childhood Education. After I’ve earned my bachelors degree, I eventually want to get my masters degree in Physical Education. I love sports and other physical activities, and I enjoy working with children so why not combine both? In the meantime I hope to get my CDA.

Keri Mayhew, BA, CDA : Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Keri Mayhew, BA, CDA

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

I have been at Growing Together since 2011, first as a part-time teacher’s assistant with nearly every age group as I worked through college, and then as full-time teacher with infants and toddlers after I graduated with my Bachelors in Anthropology from Transylvania University. As a native of Lexington, I greatly enjoy the opportunities GTP offers to nurture and give back to the children of our community, and our community as a whole. I look forward to meeting you, and to helping your child continue to grow, play, and learn!

Priscilla Ross, CDA : Infant Teacher Assistant

Priscilla Ross, CDA

Infant Teacher Assistant

I have been working with toddlers at GTP since 1995. I have a CDA with an Infant Toddler specialty. I really enjoy teaching children and watching them embrace learning. I am the mother of two children and have been married for 30 years. I sit on the Board of Directors for the Imani Family Life Center and am very active in my community and with my family. I love to travel and shop.

Megan Lucas, CDA : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Megan Lucas, CDA

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I began working with toddlers at GTP in August of 2013. In 2012 I received my Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Hazard Community and Technical College. I am currently working on my CDA. I love working with toddlers because they amaze me with how creative they can be. It is a blessing to be able to help them learn and watch them grow.

Maria Bolcas, CDA : Preschool Teacher

Maria Bolcas, CDA

Preschool Teacher

I have been working at Growing Together Preschool for over 16 years. I am bilingual in Spanish and English. Prior to working at GTP, I was a stay-at-home mom with my three children.

Debra Young, BA, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Debra Young, BA, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee with a BA degree in Psychology. I earned my CDA credential from Bluegrass Community and Technical College in 2001. I have been employed at Growing Together since January 1990 and have worked with two year olds the entire time.

Cindy Anderson, CDA : Infant Teacher

Cindy Anderson, CDA

Infant Teacher

I have worked at Growing Together Preschool with a CDA  for almost 17 years in the infant class. I enjoy getting to know, as well as help, new families throughout their child’s first year.

Cathy Meyer-Butcher, BA, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Cathy Meyer-Butcher, BA, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I graduated from UK in 2000 with a BS in Family Studies. I began teaching at Growing Together in 2002. I also received my Preschool CDA in 2003. I spent my first 13 years at GTP teaching Pre-Kindergarteners.  In 2014 I made a change to teaching toddlers and I love it! In 2015 I received an Infant/Toddler CDA to improve my practice with younger children. I live in Harrison County with my husband, our horses and my dog.

Candice Jackson, CDA : Infant Teacher Assistant

Candice Jackson, CDA

Infant Teacher Assistant

I began working at Growing Together Preschool in 2013 after many years of experience in early childhood education at another center. I recently received an Infant/Toddler CDA.

Ashley Ard, CDA : Infant Teacher

Ashley Ard, CDA

Infant Teacher

I have been at Growing Together Preschool since 2005. I have worked with toddlers, preschoolers and now infants. I love working with infants more than any age group. I also have my CDA in infant/toddler. I enjoy coming to work each day to see my babies.

Sara Kelly, BFA, CDA : Toddler Teacher

Sara Kelly, BFA, CDA

Toddler Teacher

I grew up right on the jersey shore in Middletown, New Jersey. I have a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester. I have babysat since the age of 13 and, worked as a gymnastics coach for children aged 3-12 throughout college. It has been an honor to be able to spend time with and educate today’s young minds. I am currently pursuing my Child Development Associate (CDA). After this, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education.

Cafeteria Staff

Leeann Nolan : Cafeteria Assistant

Leeann Nolan

Cafeteria Assistant

Leeann has been a very special part of Growing Together Preschool since she was a baby.  Read Leeann’s story here.

Part-Time Teacher Assistants

Katie Tubbs : Summer Teacher Assistant

Katie Tubbs

Summer Teacher Assistant

Lauraetta Lyle : Part-Time Teacher Assistant - Floater

Lauraetta Lyle

Part-Time Teacher Assistant – Floater

I am a retired V.A. nurse of 33 years. I love working with children because it keeps me young. I am very active at my age – I am 74 years young! Retirement was too boring to me, so I cam to work part-time at Growing Together in 2014. I enjoy helping in all the classrooms and the cafeteria.

Lucy Harding : Toddler Teacher Assistant

Lucy Harding

Toddler Teacher Assistant

I have lived in Lexington since I was born.  I graduated from Henry Clay High School in May of 2016 and I began working with Vocational Rehab taking classes in work and life skills to help prepare me for a job.  

I have a disability.  I have autism and I have an intellectual disability. But even though I have that I am really good at caring for children ages 1-5. I started babysitting at the age of 13.  In high school I took classes in child development, child services, and volunteered at CDCB, Breckenridge Elementary, Cassidy Elementary, Lexington Hearing and Speech.  In June of 2016 I started volunteering at VIPS , helping in theirs preschool class once a week and helping with their family parties.  I have known I wanted to work in a daycare or preschool since I was 13.  I want to work with children who have challenges like me.  I love that GTP includes all children.  I hope to continue my education in early childhood education and get my CDA.  

For fun I am a member of a Special Needs Cheer Team and I participate in A Chance to Dance (a special needs dance class).  I enjoy music, dancing, imaginative play, reading, and my sweet new puppy.   I really enjoy helping my friends succeed and do things they never thought they could do before. I am thankful there are people in my life to help me achieve my goals as well.