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Children's Center Staff

Administrative Staff:

Director: Gina Van Kirk, B.S. El. Ed. 
Assistant Director: Cheri Truman, B.S. El. Ed
Administrative Assistant: Mary Beth Heller, B.S. ECE

Teaching Staff:

Bostic, Sarah: Lead Teacher, Bunnies
This is Sarah's 12th 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. Her son Evan is attending Messiah University and daughters, 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 Ducklings:

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, Blue 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, Yellow Bears: 
Mandy is married and has two sons. 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. Mandy started at DCCC as a substitute and summer camp 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: Assistant Teacher, Blue Puppies:

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. 

Kulp, Ashley: Assistant Teacher Blue Bears:

Ashley lives in Newville with her husband, Russ, and two children, Sully and Tessa. She graduated from Shippensburg University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in childcare since 2013, including the last five years as a preschool teacher. 

Madara, Lindsay: Assistant Teacher Yellow Pups:

Lindsay was born and raised in Harrisburg and moved to Newville within the last year. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood/Special Education from Millersville University and a master’s degree in education, focusing on behavioral disorders from Shippensburg University. She and her fiance, Jimmy love to be active with their two dogs. She has also played volleyball most of her life and she is involved in a variety of church and synod’s youth events/activities. Lindsay is currently a Licensed Behavior Specialist and looking forward to using her knowledge and love for children’s development within the Yellow Puppy room as well as DCCC.

Marsh, Gunner: Assistant Teacher Blue Bears:

Gunner grew up in York Haven and graduated from Redland High School. He comes to DCCC from Goddard School where he taught preschool.  He enjoys the outdoors like hunting, fishing, hiking and sports.  He is a huge Steelers fan and a 76ers fan!  He also enjoys spending time with his family and watching Rugby!  Gunner is fun and outgoing and is excited to be a part of the Blue Bears!

Masland, Mimi: Assistant Teacher Yellow Puppies: Mimi has lived in Carlisle her entire life and has 5 children and three grandchildren. Mimi previously worked at LeTort Elementary School as a Kindergarten aide for 3 years. MImi has been at DCCC for 2 years as a infant/toddler floater and has been a long term sub in a classroom for the past year. She has also volunteered with the children and youth ministries her entire adult life. Mimi enjoys family time, cooking and gardening. She is excited to work with the children and families in the Yellow Pup classroom!


Pepin, Mary Grace: Assistant Teacher, Ducklings

MaryGrace is new to the area, she is originally from New Jersey and has moved here from Maryland . She has been in the childcare field for over 22 years. She has a B.A. in Music and is a classically trained soprano!  She also has her CDA certification in preschool as well as many years of experience working with infants and toddlers. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to beautiful beaches. Interacting with children has always been her passion and children bring her great joy! Watching children grow learn and develop is her favorite part of teaching. She also has a 6 year daughter named Serena. Mary Grace feels so blessed to be here at Dickinson and she looks forward to building positive long lasting relationships with children and their families! 

Polinka, Brittney: Kindergarten 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!

Schadler, Sarah: AM Infant/Toddler Floater
Sarah Schadler has lived in Carlisle for the last five years. She graduated from Saint John's College in Annapolis with a BA in Philosophy. She lives with her husband, Peter, who is a Religion Professor at Dickinson College, and four children, Maria, 16, Anna, 14, Cyril, 10, and Felicity, 4. She has lived in Germany, England. Greece, and Austria, as well as several US states, and is now settled in Carlisle.

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.

Vance, Tessa: Preschool/Kindergarten Floater:

Tessa was born and raised in Cumberland County and currently lives in Carlisle with her Fiancé, Justin, and their five children, Milena, Wesley, Easton, Finley, and Norah.  She graduated from Big Spring High School in 2016 and is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Elementary Education program at HACC. She will be graduating with her Associate’s Degree in the Spring of 2024. She plans on furthering her education in the form of a bachelors degree upon completion. Tessa loves her coffee in the morning but more importantly her cat Mack who will talk your ear off! 

Willow, Barbara: Assistant Teacher, Yellow Bees: 
Barb graduated from Boiling Springs High School. She worked for the Carlisle School District  for 5 years as an aid with learning support. 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. Barb lives in Carlisle with her husband. She has three children and three grandchildren. Barb loves crochet and loves going camping with her family.

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."