Meet The Learning Center's Faculty and Staff
Dana Hunter Yeager | Educational Director, Novice Teacher
Dana has a Masters of Education in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and over 20 years of classroom experience in both independent and public schools. She first worked as a teaching artist in Pennsylvania and Ohio teaching creative movement. At Allegheny College she designed and implemented a third-year education course and supervised students in their college field experience. She served as coordinator for over 15 years in the Creating Landscapes Summer Program on the Allegheny Campus where she founded the Novice Program. In 2011, with the help of many, she founded The Creating Landscapes Learning Center School, now The Learning Center K-8 School. She is continually inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment from the families in our growing learning center community. Dana dances through life with her three children Maxwell, Adaline, and August and her husband Scott.
Emily Cicora | Players Teacher
Emily studied English and Early Childhood Education at Kent State University, and is certified to teach grades K-8. While in graduate school, she spent several years teaching at the university’s lab school. Before joining The Learning Center’s faculty, she worked as the director of the Meadville YMCA’s Early Learning Academy, earning the center a four-star designation. Emily is a lifelong artist who enjoys infusing visual arts into the work the Players do each day. Emily and her children have also been involved in the Summer Landscapes program since 2010; she currently serves as the program’s visual arts instructor.
Sarah Wolford Youngblood | Novice Teacher
Sarah studied English Literature and Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her Bachelor's Degree. She received her teaching certification from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has a certificate in Orton Gillingham's Comprehensive Multi-Sensory phonics training. Sarah has spent many years teaching drama and music to children from preschool through high school and spent several years as the Artistic Director at the Academy Theatre before transitioning into teaching full time. Sarah has worked for several years in the Summer Landscapes program, where she is a co-teacher in the Novice program and coordinator of the Apprentice program.
Lauryn Starkie Kreuder | Apprentice Teacher
Lauryn, originally from Wales, studied theater and mediation and earned her Bachelor of Arts from Bennington College. In Vermont, she worked as a case manager for children and their young parents in poverty. She also worked in preschools, small claims court, and ran a coffee shop with her husband. They returned to the Meadville area in 2019, where Lauryn had attended a tiny school near Diamond Park. She was delighted to find The Learning Center for her own child to attend and joined the teaching staff that fall. She truly loves the enthusiasm of the students and the entire Learning Center community.
Sara Mehler | Health & Physical Education, School Nurse
Sara is a Learning Center mom and happily serves as the school nurse, physical education/health teacher, as well as coach to the cross country and spring track teams. She has a nursing degree and works at UPMC Hamot's Women Hospital. When first arriving in Meadville 10 years ago, she needed something to do so she started teaching fitness classes at the YMCA. Because who doesn't need something else, she finds training for and running marathons or triathlons a "hobby".
Beth Garrison | Office Administrator
Beth, originally from Tennessee, has a Bachelors in Business Administration from
Freed-Hardeman University. She and her husband, Curtis, moved to Erie in 2005 and then to Meadville in 2012. Beth was introduced to The Learning Center by one of her son’s preschool teachers. At the time she was homeschooling her daughter, Aubrey, but they both knew it wasn’t a long term plan. After spending a day at The Learning Center, Aubrey begged to begin immediately and was a member of the first graduating class of 2019. Rylan began Kindergarten in 2013 and was part of the graduating class of 2022. Beth joined the staff as the Administrative Assistant in 2014 and has enjoyed doing whatever is needed so the teachers can do their thing. Observing the interactions between the teachers and students is a highlight of her day. Her family includes many animals, currently 2 pigs, 6 dogs, 4 cats, and a gecko. Beth loves to travel and has been blessed to take Aubrey to Tanzania & Guyana on mission trips in the last few years. This past summer her family went on an RV Adventure out West! Her favorite times are spent watching Aubrey perform on stage and Rylan play hockey.