Easter Seals Child Development Center
I have been teaching for 19 years and have been at Easter Seals for 10 years. Prior to moving into the director role in 2014, I was a lead teacher in the Zebra Room. I hold dual certification in Elementary Education and Special Education and have my Masters in Education as well. I live in Lemont with my husband Travis and my two sons
Gareth (age 13) and Collin (age 6.) My sons have both attended Easter Seals and I am very passionate about our mission and our programs.
Jessica Confer--Program Coordinator
I moved from upstate New York about seven years ago, and have been working at Easter Seals ever since. When I first started working here, I was a teacher in the infant room for three years. I have been in my current role of Program Coordinator for the past couple of years now. I received my bachelor degree in Disabilities in Community Services along with a minor in Early Childhood. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and two dogs. I have one year old daughter, Emma, who is in the Giraffe room and we just welcomed our second daughter Abigail to our family in July. As a family we love to travel and try new things!
Diane Lehman—Administrative Assistant
Although I have been in small school administration for over 13 years, I just began working at Easter Seals in May. I am happy for the opportunity to be part of the Easter Seals team, and to support such an important mission. I grew up in York, Pa, went to high school in Taipei, Taiwan, graduated from Penn State, and have lived in the State College area for the past 34 years with my husband, Lance, where we raised three children, Jessi (29), Adam (27), and Hannah (24). I am a prepared childbirth instructor with Childbirth Education Association, and a jewelry designer, and enjoy spending time with my kids, camping, listening to music, and attending folk festivals.
Samantha Perez—Lead Teacher
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Pennsylvania State University. I spent a few years in Austin, TX after graduation, working as a case manager for children and adults with
developmental disabilities. I have been at Easter Seals since February 2014. I started as a PCA in the Zebra Room and am now the lead teacher in the Giraffe Room and absolutely love it! I have always had a passion for working with children of all ages.
Brittany Masullo—Assistant Teacher/Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator
I graduated from Lock Haven University where I majored in Therapeutic Recreation and minored in Psychology. I have been at Easter Seals full time since May 2014 as an Assistant Teacher in the infant room. I became the Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator in May 2015 for our Child Development Center. I recently began classes to work towards my Masters of Teaching and Learning through Lock Haven
University. Outside of work I enjoy babysitting, walking my dog, kayaking and baking.
Cheryl Yarrish—Assistant Teacher
I am from Cincinnati Ohio but, have enjoyed calling State College home for the last 15 years. I am a proud mom to Amber my "bonus" daughter (step daughter) who is 24, Alex who is 19 and Austin who is 15. I am also a Nana to 2 little boys! I have an A.A. degree from Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, and I just graduated from phlebotomy school! For the past ten years I was a kitchen manager in the school district at an elementary school, and before that I worked at a multi handicapped home in Cincinnati. I enjoy being with my family, music, helping others, roller coasters, chocolate and cheese(but not together) and Mexican food! I also love to spend time with my friends.
Lion Cub Room
Krystal King—Lead Teacher
I have a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State and hope to get a Masters Degree in Social Work. I have been working at Easter Seals for 4 years and am a native of State College. I spend most of my free time outside hiking, camping and playing soccer. My favorite thing to do is go to the beach and go swimming. I also love to read. My favorite thing about working at Easter Seals is getting to watch my lion cubs grow, learn and smile every day.
Kristi Ertsgaard—Assistant Teacher
I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Spanish. I am a native of State College and currently live in Lemont with my family. Outside of Easter Seals I enjoy running, hiking, reading and helping out in my local church, Cedar
Heights. I am also recently engaged and my new favorite hobby is planning a wedding! I have learned so much and have grown a lot as a teacher through my last year here at Easter Seals and I’m so excited to see what the new year, and new kiddos, will bring!
Carolyn Lindau—Lead Teacher
I recently finished my Master of Education from Loyola University. I also have my Primary Certification from the Association Montessori
International and my Private Teachers License from the State of Pennsylvania. I am originally from Virginia and attended The College of William and Mary for my BA. After that, I lived in Arizona for twenty years. I relocated to State College a year and a half ago after getting married. My husband Jay and I have a busy blended family. We have four children: Mackenzie, 19; Ryan, 15; Zachary, my son, 18 and Julia, my step-daughter, 14. I enjoy yoga, hiking with Jay and hanging out with our children. I believe in honesty, kindness and respect. These beliefs carry over into my teaching philosophy of honoring every child.
Amber Lucas—Assistant Teacher
I began my time at Easter Seals as a Lock Haven University Intern in August of 2012. After obtaining my BS in Disability and Community Services, I started in the role of PCA and floated to support all of the classrooms before moving into an assistant teacher role. I am a local resident of State College and am originally from Bellefonte. I love to cook and bake especially new recipes! I find it to be a very relaxing and creative outlet. My future plans include going back to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Music is also a very important part of my life and something that I try to incorporate in the classroom no matter what the Elephants are getting into! I love teaching and spending time with all of your amazing children.
Amylynne Kelly—Assistant Teacher
Hello! My name is Amy Kelly. I am a recent graduate from Slippery Rock University. I studied early childhood and special education. I am originally from Altoona, and have just moved to State College. I am so excited to be a part of the Easter Seals team as an assistant teacher in the elephant room! In my spare time I enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, and other outdoor activities. I also enjoy spending time with my nephews and niece. I look forward to getting to know all of you and your children!
Elephant Room (continued)
Bryanna Summers—Personal Care Aide
I graduated from Bellefonte Area High School and am getting married in October of 2015! I have taken childhood development classes and spent time working in a preschool classroom and I loved every moment of it. I’ve worked at Easter Seals for over a year now. In my free time, I love spending time at home with my family and cuddling up with my cat.
Alyssa Harding—Personal Care Aide
I am born and raised in State College. I currently am attending Penn State, majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Spanish. I will graduate next December with hopes of continuing on to graduate school to earn a masters in Occupational Therapy. My family is a huge part of my life and I am a fan of all things outdoors, from the mountains to the beach. I love spending time outdoors with my family and dog, whether it's playing yard games, hiking, boating, or fishing.
Danielle Connor—Personal Care Aide
I just recently graduated from Penn State with a BA in Kinesiology and a focus in Neuroscience. I plan to further my education and attend graduate school for Occupational Therapy within the next few years. Originally from Telford, a suburb of Philadelphia, I have been living in State College for the past 4 years. I am a Whisker’s server at the Nittany Lion Inn and also enjoy daily exercise with running, yoga or the gym in general, always venturing outdoors when the weather
cooperates. I just completed an internship at Easter Seals this summer and am excited to have joined the staff!
Kayla Bailey—Lead Teacher
I graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale as a Learning Behavior Specialist with a BA in Special Education. Before moving to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2013, I resided in Carbondale, Illinois and taught in a public high school for 2 years. My favorite part about working at Easter Seals has been being able to watch the kids grow, meet and exceed their developmental milestones, while getting to be a part of it. In my free time I enjoy hiking, kayaking, playing kan jam and just about any outdoor sport that can keep me active! I also have grown into an avid Penguins fan since living out here in PA. Go Pens!
Kaitlyn Mejia—Lead Teacher
I recently completed my degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education at Penn State. After completing a wonderful semester of student teaching in a kindergarten classroom I am excited to utilize my degree with the Zebra students. In my free time I love swimming, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I can’t wait to start off this school year with all of our new and returning batch of kiddos!
Emily Newby—Assistant Teacher
I graduated Penn State, with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Human Development and Families studies, in May 2013. I started at Easter Seals as an intern in January 2013 in the Lion Cub room and moved into the Elephant Room when I graduated to be one of the assistant teachers and a personal care aide. I am excited to be starting in the Zebra Room! Outside of Easter Seals, I am taking classes though the World Campus at Penn State to earn a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis. I am also a swim instructor at the State College YMCA. This year I am taking over as the head coach of the Penn State Archery Team. When I am not working one of my many jobs I enjoy spending time outside, shooting archery, or hanging out with my two cats.
Zebra Room (continued)
Norma Flickinger—Personal Care Aide
I have been a PCA with Easter Seals for 10 years and I attended trainings to become certified as a “Highly Qualified Aide” in 2011. I love working with all the kiddos at Easter Seals and driving a school van for Stauffers. I have been married for 42 years and have 8 children--1 in college and 2 still at home--and 4 grandchildren.
Valerie Shaffer—Personal Care Aide
I just recently graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I first discovered my passion for helping children in 2010 while spending a week in a Mexican orphanage on a volunteer missions trip. Since then I've continued to work with kids in any way that I can, including being a Friendship Group coach and working in State College’s Extended School Year Program assisting an Autistic Support Teacher. I started at Easter Seals this past May as a Personal Care Aide, and I absolutely love it! I'm planning on staying for the rest of the year and hopefully attending Grad School next fall for my Masters in Social Work. In my spare time I love to read, enjoy the outdoors, and hang out with my family and friends.
Elizabeth Rees—Personal Care Aide
Hi Easter Seals families! My name is Ellie and I am from State College. I am a senior at Penn State, studying Human Development and Family Studies as well as Psychology. Eventually, I would like to pursue a career as a Child Life Specialist in a children’s hospital. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with my family. I am excited to be working at Easter Seals and getting to know you all this year!
Bethany Lee--Meal Prep
I deliver the breakfast, lunch and snacks to your children. I have been at Easter Seals for almost 14 years! I live in Spring Mills with my family. I like to listen to music and love to dance and my favorite show is “Ellen.” I participate in Special Olympics volleyball and 3 on 3 basketball.
Kathi Ferrigno--I am a retired preschool teacher and have been a long-time substitute at Easter Seals, working in the center since 2008.
Jenny Jones--I have been with Easter Seals for 4 years. I started as a teacher in the Lion Cub Room and then in the Elephant Room. Now I sub occasionally in the various rooms. I spend most of my days enjoying my little guy, Harrison and have a new baby on the way.
Paula Musar--I live in State College with my husband Rick and my 17 year-old daughter Krista. My interest in early childhood education was bolstered by my experiences with my daughter at Easter Seals. The compassion and commitment provided by the staff to meet her many challenges was critical in her development. When Krista moved on to kindergarten, I joined Easter Seals as a PCA where I worked for four years. I recently returned as a substitute where I hope to again be a contributor to the team and to give back to the organization.
Intermediate Unit Therapy Staff
Rachel North--I am the occupational therapist that serves the children in the elephant and zebra classrooms (though I love to pop my head in and hold the babies on occasion). I've worked for the CIU #10 for 15 years as a therapist. I have a son and a daughter who have grown too fast, so I enjoy coming to Easter Seals to spend time with the "younger generation." I look forward to getting to know all of the children here at Easter Seals!
Jorene Proper—My job is divided between being a physical therapist and a teacher of the visually impaired. I work with the preschoolers who are three years and older who need supportive services in these two areas. I call myself the dinosaur of Easter Seals – not only am I the oldest person who is currently working here, I am also the person who has worked here the longest-since 1993! I live in the country with my husband, John, and our cat. I enjoy gardening, traveling, and family time with my soon-to-be 99 year old mother and young grandchildren!
Heidi Peters - I am the Central Intermediate Unit #10 Speech Therapist here at Easter Seals. I have lived in Centre County for 12 years, and have worked at Easter Seals for the last 7 years. My husband and I have two daughters - age 7 and 2. As a family, we love to do anything outside! Here at Easter Seals, I service the preschool-aged children in the Elephant and Zebra rooms. You also may have seen me on occasion in the clinic. I love Easter Seals and preschool because of the supportive environment and the progress that the kids make!
My name is Josie Bachman, and I am currently a senior at Penn State. I am planning on graduating in May 2016 with the hopes of attending graduate school to become an occupational therapist next fall. I am a Kinesiology- Movement Science Major and a Spanish Minor. I studied abroad this past summer in Ronda, Spain which was an amazing opportunity. I am very involved in Penn State's THON for pediatric cancer (and this year am a team captain!!), and I danced for 46 hours last year For the Kids! I love spending time with my family, playing sports, and making people laugh. It is my passion to help people, and I hope to continue doing this in my future as well!
Hi Everyone my name is Mackenzie Brau and I am an intern from Lock Haven University. I will be here for half of the school year. I majored in Disability and Community Services with a minor in PreK-4/Early Childhood Education. I am from New Jersey. In my spare time I like to go to the beach. I look forward to having tons of fun while I am here and getting to know everyone!