Meet The Learning Center's Faculty and Staff

Dana Hunter Yeager

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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.

dana@learningcenterk8.org
dan winston

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Dan Winston | Assistant Director, Apprentice Teacher

Dan earned a Masters in the Art of Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education in 2011. He is certified in both Elementary Education and Middle School Mathematics. While a graduate student, he was selected to intern and student-teach at the university’s renowned Falk School. Dan was an active member in the Creating Landscapes summer program for 20 years, having worked and played as a student, intern, and faculty member. He has been happily teaching at The Learning Center since it opened in 2011.  In addition to being an educator, Dan performs in plays put on both in the community and by Allegheny College and loves playing, recording, and performing music.

dan@learningcenterk8.org
Emily Cicora

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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.  

emily@learningcenterk8.org
Ellen Cass

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Ellen Cass | Voyager Teacher

Ellen earned her B.A. from Allegheny College and her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. She holds PA certifications in Elementary Education, Middle School Mathematics, Middle School Science, and Middle School Language Arts. Ellen grew up in Pittsburgh but has lived and worked all over Pennsylvania. She taught middle school at the School District of Lancaster, early childhood in West Chester, and for five years she served as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education where she taught at the University's Falk Laboratory School. Ellen and her husband moved to a farm outside of Meadville in 2012. During their first few years in the area, they welcomed two amazing children. Ellen joined the Learning Center staff in 2015. She loves working in a small close-knit school with students of all ages. 

ellen@learningcenterk8.org
Sarah Wolford Youngblood

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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. 

sarah@learningcenterk8.org
Christine McHenry-Glenn

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Christine McHenry-Glenn | Voyager Teacher

Christine McHenry–Glenn has a BFA in Fine Arts and an MS in Sustainable Systems. Chris has a 25+ year career as an educator teaching all age levels in three countries: U.S., Japan, and England. She has taught a variety of disciplines including the visual arts, ESL, and environmental /sustainability education. At Slippery Rock University Chris designed environmental science curriculum for elementary-aged students and coached pre-service teachers in facilitating nature and gardening programs. She also designed and co-directed an educational program that engages high school youth in addressing environmental issues in their local communities. Her experience in education includes researching school architecture and its pedagogical influences on building inhabitants. Chris joined the Learning Center staff in August 2017, where she is continually inspired by the level of engagement and ownership the students have for their own learning.

chris@learningcenterk8.org
Lauryn Starkie Kreuder

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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.  

lauryn@learningcenterk8.org
Annie salamander

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Annie Maloney | Forest School

Born and raised in New York City, Annie moved to the area in 2016, where she lives on a farm with her husband and two young children. There they raise sheep and pigs, and make maple syrup.  Before moving to PA, Annie worked in northern Minnesota and Canada instructing paddling and dogsledding expeditions at the Voyageur Outward Bound School, and as a ropes course facilitator and professional leadership trainer at Cornell University's Team & Leadership Center. She holds a PhD in Forest Ecology from Boston University, where she studied the impacts of winter climate change on forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Here in northwestern PA, Annie is also the Executive Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, a land trust and sustainable forestry organization.  Alongside her husband and friends, Annie completed a 1,000 mile Arctic paddling expedition in 2013. She looks forward to sharing and creating new outdoor experiences at Forest School!

annie@learningcenterk8.org
Sara Mehler

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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".

sara@learningcenterk8.org
IMG_8616

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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.

beth@learningcenterk8.org