Director: Gina Van Kirk, B.S. El. Ed.
Assistant Director: Cheri Truman, B.S. El. Ed
Administrative Assistant: Mary Beth Heller, B.S. ECE
Bostic, Sarah: Lead Teacher, Bunnies
This is Sarah's 8th year teaching at DCCC. In previous years I taught in the Yellow Puppy, Yellow Bee, and was the Pre-School floater. Miss Sarah graduated from Shippensburg University (Go Raiders!) in 2010 with a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania and her family lives in Shippensburg. When she's not teaching or planning awesome things to do at school, she enjoys spending time with her husband Ben, son Jax, and two daughters Pippa and Penelope (also known as Penny). As a family they enjoy going on grand adventures; traveling, making art, trying new foods, and being active. Sarah also have a love for shopping, drinking coffee, and listening to music! Sarah's feelings on teaching at DCCC are the same feelings her grandmother had as a school nurse, “If you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day of your life”.
Britcher, Cathryn: Lead Teacher, Puppies:
Cathryn has worked at DCCC since July 2002. Her family moved here in 1992 when her dad was transferred to the Army War College. She attended Harrisburg Area Community College and earned her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2001. She is married to Shawn who is a 6th grade teacher. They have 3 children: a boy, Evan and two girls, Megan and Kaelyn. As a family they enjoy camping in their trailer and having movie night Fridays. Cathryn says, "I have really enjoyed working at the Children's Center, as it has helped me grow professionally in many aspects. I also enjoy working with the staff and the children who make everyday a new adventure."
Carson, Kendra: Assistant Teacher, Blue Bears:
Kendra earned a BS in Elementary Education from Elizabethtown College. She taught for the Carlisle Area School District and Carlisle Community Nursery School before becoming a teacher here at the Children's Center. She lives in Carlisle with her husband. She has two grown daughters, one in college in Philadephia and the other who lives in the area. 'I'm so proud to be part of the DCCC team!'
Fahnestock, Alisha: Assistant Teacher, Yellow Pups:
Alisha was born and raised in Carlisle. She attended McCann School of Business and Technology, in which she earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also babysat for many years and chose to make a career out of it because she really enjoys working with children. She plans on attaining a higher degree and wants to continue working in this field; 'I am glad to be part of such a great center!'
Geiling, Jody: Lead Teacher, Bees:
Jody is married, her husband's name is Rick and she is the mother of two children; a son Dakota and a daughter BreeAna. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood from Harrisburg Area Community College. She has worked in the field since 1988 and has been employed by Dickinson College since August of 1992.
Gutshall, Mandy: Lead Teacher, Bears:
Mandy is married and has two sons who attend Mount Rock Elementary. She has been working at Dickinson College Children’s Center since August 2004. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood from Shippensburg University. Mandy has been the Teddy Bear teacher since March of 2006 and, prior to that, was the Playful Puppy teacher. She also has substitute taught in the local school districts and worked in various child care centers since her senior year of high school. Mandy says, “in my opinion Dickinson College Children’s Center provides the best child care around. I feel very honored to be working here. I assure you that your child/children will be given the best care possible.”
Hoover, Cassie: Assistant Teacher, Blue Bees:
Cassie is originally from Mechanicsburg but recently moved into an old farmhouse in Carlisle. She received her Associates Degree in Education from Harrisburg Area Community College and has been working with children since she graduated from high school. While pursuing her education, she had the opportunity to travel to Romania to study child development and volunteer with children. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and kayaking. She is excited to be working in the blue bee room and to be part of a such a great center.
Kemp, Bri: Preschool/Kindergarten Floater:
Brianna lives in Carlisle with her fiance, Matt and their two sons, Domynic and Rome. She graduated from Keystone Technical Institute in 2008 with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood. She has worked in childcare for over 10 years and loves every minute. She enjoys art and watching her sons play soccer. As a famiy they enjoy bike rides, swimming, parks, and fishing. She has been a part of DCCC since Spring 2019. She enjoys parks, swimming, art, and trips as a family. She enjoys working with children because they are so full of life and happy to explore new things.
Masland, Mimi: Aide, Infants and Toddlers: Mimi has lived in Carlisle her whole life. She has 5 children ages 14-36 and three grandchildren. Mimi served for 2 years as the Children's Ministry Director for Engage Community Church. Most recently, she worked at LeTort Elementary School as a Kindergarten aide. Mimi has volunteered with the Sunday School nursery, Youth Group, VBS, camp, and mission trips. Mimi enjoys family time, cooking and gardening. She is excited to work with the children and families at DCCC!
Papa, Diana: Assistant Teacher, Yellow Puppies
Diana graduated from Trenton State College with a degree in elementary education. She taught in New Jersey before staying home to raise her two children. Since then Diana worked as a preschool teacher, and then in the public schools with students with special needs and autism, most recently in South Middleton School District. She lives on a small farm in Gardners with her husband Dave, and they have two sons, Owen and Benjamin. Owen is a mechanical engineer, and Ben is a film/media student at Temple University. Diana enjoys time with her family and their many animals. She feels very blessed to work in this exceptional program with such an outstanding team. Being a part of the growth and learning of the children in yellow puppies is something she looks forward to every day.
Patterson, Steph: Assistant Teacher, Ducklings
Steph graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in Psychology. She has worked as a residential counselor for high risk teens at Devereux Foundation and also as a vocational case manager for special needs adults. She took some time to raise her three children, now young adults and teenagers. She came to DCCC as a substitute for 3 years before becoming the assistant teacher in Ducklings. Steph is very excited to be working with infants and toddlers, but more importantly she's looking forward to caring for them, teaching them, and watching them grow!
Polinka, Brittney: Kindergarten Director/Teacher Dolphins
Brittney graduated from Messiah College in May of 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education. Brittney graduated from Capella University in June 2017 with a Master's Degree in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. She has been working at DCCC since April 2007 and has enjoyed working in every room in the center, as well as the summer camp programs, and loves it all! Outside of work she enjoys reading, singing, dancing and photography. Brittney loves spending time with her family and her two beautiful nieces. She enjoys her job and loves coming to work everyday!
Shevlin, Jamie: Aide:
Jamie graduated from Carlisle Area High School and Shippensburg University where she received her BA in Speech Communication with Minors in Women's Studies and Psychology. She has taught speech and English classes at Hagerstown Business College (currently Kaplan University) for 4 and 1/2 years and was a youth and young adult director for a church for 4 years. Jamie returned home to Pennsylvania where she taught two year olds for 4 1/2 years. Jamie says, "I love teaching and watching people grow. I have learned I can learn as much from my students as they can from me; no matter what their age."
Smyers, Michelle: Assistant Teacher, Yellow Bees:
Michelle graduated from Penn State in 1995 with an Elementary Education degree. She has spent her adult career working in various special needs classrooms where she was privileged to work with children who have autism and Life Skills needs. Michelle lives in Carlisle with her husband, David and two teenage sons, Nathan and Benjamin. Much of her time is spent on the sidelines of soccer or rugby fields. When Michelle is not watching her boys play sports, She loves to be hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with family or friends. She is excited to be a part of the Yellow Bee Room, and really looks forward to being able to see the world through the eyes of a toddler. These precious years go by so quickly and Michelle considers it a privilege to experience these moments with your children.
Snider, Carly: Assistant Teacher, Bunnies:
Carly has lived in Carlisle her whole life. She attended Shippensburg University, where she received her bachelor's degree in social work and minored in early childhood education. She began working at DCCC in June 2009. Carly enjoys being a mother, a wife, playing volleyball and baking cakes/cupcakes. It's a busy life, but she wouldn't trade it for the world.
Willow, Barbara: Assistant Teacher, Yellow Bees:
Barb graduated from Boiling Springs High School. She worked for the Carlisle Area High School as an aid for 5 years. Barb has been with the children's center for 19 years, 7 years as a floater and 12 years as the assistant teacher in the Yellow Bee room.
Wimer, Laci: Lead Teacher, Ducklings:
Laci received her Associates Degree in early childhood education from Harrisburg Area Community College and has been active in the field of early childhood education for the past twelve years. She has experience with infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children. Laci says, "I have found that my favorite place to be is with the infant and toddler age groups, and I love watching their daily growth and exploration. I am very excited to have this opportunity to learn and grow with your child."