Mrs. Erin Harris

Office  Assistant

In addition to over 15 years of experience teaching at the preschool level, Casey has taught the Summer Readiness Program for the past several years working with students in Kindergarten through 4th grade. She is an advocate to all children and understands the impact education can have on our youngest learners.  She has also taught Art, Music & Movement, Drama, Lego Engineering, Cooking and many other enrichment classes at The Learning Tree in past years and more recently at BBELA.  She has also served the community as the Hazleton Area PTA Council President and Vice President, Girl Scout Brownie & Junior Troop Leader, FIRST Lego League Assistant Coach for the Conyngham Code Crackers, as well as a past president and current member of the Kiwanis Club of the Valley. 

About Us

Brooke is a 2008 graduate of Wilkes University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. This will be her second year teaching at BBELA. She is extremely organized, hands on and loves a daily routine and schedule. Her love and patience for children will shine through her teaching techniques. Preschool is all about exploring new things, creating memories, growing individually and of course having lots of fun. As a mom of 5 boys she knows just how to do that in the classroom.

Jess graduated with a teaching degree in elementary and early childhood education from Shippensburg University. She has a Master’s degree in reading education and a reading specialist certification from the University of Scranton. She taught first grade in West Philadelphia for 5 years. Also taught introduction to Education classes at the University of Scranton as a graduate student. Jess started at Bright Beginnings in 2017 in first grade. Her and her husband have 3 teenagers - Thomas is 19, Owen is 16, and Zoë is 14. We have an Irish setter named Millie. In her free time sheis  busy with her children’s sports and activities!

Leanne graduated from Bloomsburg University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She also has a certification in Pre-K-4. She taught Pre-Kindergarten for 15 years and before that, she was a substitute teacher for the Hazleton Area School District. She is excited to be the 3rd grade teacher this year! Leanne believes all children learn differently and uses a variety of different centers and techniques to enhance the young minds in her class.

Mrs. Lynne Sheer 

BS ECE & El Ed

Kindergarten Teacher

Call us today at 570-436-8748. Located at 460 Main St Conyngham, PA .

Lynne graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent 15 years teaching Prek and some time as a Teachers Aide in an Autistic support classroom. In addition to her years in the classroom she is the mother of three children. Lynne believes in the importance of play in early childhood classrooms. She believes that the best lessons are learned through hands-on experiences. The most important thing we learn in kindergarten is that "We can do hard things!"

Mrs. Erica Yenchick MS El Ed,SplEd,RdgSpc/St

2nd Grade Teacher

​Mrs. Casey Herseim MS ECE

Owner/ Educational Director

Mrs. Brooke Van Gilst 

BS El Ed


Ms. Erin is both a parent, with two students enrolled at Bright Beginnings, as well as office assistant and lunch monitor & Ms. Casey's partner in fun! Ms. Erin started at Bright beginnings in 2019 and is has volunteered countless hours supporting our BBELA PTA as secretary and treasurer through the years. Ms. Erin is excited to welcome our youngest little learners into our school community!

As a parent of 4 students enrolled at Bright Beginnings Vanessa is always stepping up to help organize and volunteer for school activities and events. Vanessa joined BBELA in 2022 as the librarian, lunch monitor and occasional substitute; however this year she will be our preschool classroom assistant. She is excited to be working with the preschool students this year! She is also the PTA secretary for her 3rd consecutive year.

Mrs. Vanessa Cara

Preschool Classroom Assistant

Mrs. Lyn Annis

​MS El Ed, Spl Ed

4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Yenchick graduated from Misericordia University. She has taught international and US students, worked in fields of autistic support and ESL. She uses a variety of hands on centers and methods to help her students learn and grow.

Bright Beginnings

Early Learning Academy

Private Independent School 

Lynn has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and a degree in Special Education from the Luzerne Intermediate Unit. She completed courses in both ESL and the Orton Gillingham method. Homeschooling her own children has given her the experience in small group education. She has also worked as a learning teacher at a small school near Quakertown. She has taught ESL with students ages 3 through adult. Lynn loves teaching and helping kids be excited about learning, especially science. She also loves helping students to experience and learn about our world through hands-on involvement in their own learning process.

Mrs. Leanne Scatton 

BS El Ed

3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Jessica Pollock


​MS Rdg

1st Grade teacher