Our Teachers

Infant/Toddler Teachers

Ashley Rickey

Ashley Rickey is the lead teacher for room 131. She has been working in the Early Childhood field for 9 years, and has a CDA (Child Development Associate). She has a passion for reading and art. It is her belief that children learn best through play and active exploration.

 

Amanda Ottolino

Amanda graduated from Indiana University in 1989 with a Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology. She has over 25 years of experience working with children from birth to 18 years of age. Five of those years she worked in a special needs classroom in Perry Township with children ages kindergarten through 5. Amanda is married and has two children.

 

Karen Crawford

Karen has been working in her career as an early childhood provider since 1995. She joined the Center for Young Children in 2004 as an assistant teacher. Recently, she was promoted to lead teacher of a toddler classroom. She also received her CDA Credentials in March 2019. She is the mother of 3 children, a son and two daughters. She is also the proud 'G’ (grandmother) of 5 grandchildren (2 grandsons and 3 granddaughters).

 

Christina McKee

Christina has been in the Early Childhood field for 15+ years and has a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. In her past experience, she has worked with all ages as a teacher, safety coordinator, curriculum specialist, and assistant director. She is married to her wonderful husband Charles, and they have four amazing kids. In Christina's free time, she likes to spend time with her husband and kids at home, occasionally travels and is a new children's book author. Christina has self-published her first children's book called Postcards from Papa. She looks forward to working with the IUPUI Center for Young Children staff, families, and children!

 

Keiasha Jordan-Lapsley

Keiasha has a daughter named Joelle and another one on the way. Sheis from Fort Wayne, IN and moved to Indianapolis in 2009. She has been working with the ages of 6-week-olds to 15-year-olds for the years. Keiasha has been in the childcare field since 2012. She attended Early Childhood Education classes in her last two years of high school. Her goal in life is to finish her degree in ECE and Business to eventually start her dream of owning her own at home childcare. Keiasha loves working with children; they’reher passion. In her spare time, she loves to be outside going on nature walks or going to parks with her daughter and dogs. She loves to sightsee and take pictures of her surroundings. Sheloves to go bowling and to watch movies. 

Wee-School Teachers

Linda Orr

Linda has worked at the CYC since the summer of 2006. She earned her BS in Education from IUPUI. She taught a first and second grade class for five years at a private school on the eastside of Indianapolis. Linda is married and has two daughters who keep her very busy. In her spare time she enjoys scrapbooking and crocheting. Linda loves coffee, chocolate and getting to know all of the families that pass through her room.

Ellen Perry

Ellen is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education has always been her passion. She has been working with children and families for over 40 years, has owned her own home day care center and has experience with children from birth to age 18 in a multitude of settings. Her classroom is play based with an emphasis on literature, she feels children are never too young to develop a love for reading. She is married and has four children; two daughters, two sons and two grandsons.

Alexis Christian

Alexis Renee Christian graduated from George Rogers Clark High School in Whiting Indiana. She is the oldest of three sisters. Alexis previously went to IUPUI for Forensics, but since discovering her true talent in teaching she decided to switch majors.She currently has her Child Development Associates in infant and toddler Education. She plans to return to school soon to finish her bachelors for early childhood education.Alexis has experience with all age groups, but toddlers are her specialty. She used to work at CYC as an assistant for about 4 years and then decided to return after having her daughter. Overall, Alexis has been teaching for about 7 years now. A fun fact about her is that she’s taken Chinese for 4 years and she tries to do her best to incorporate it within the classroom setting. She has a two-year-old daughter named Alani and she and Alani’s father are the lights of her life! In her spare time she likes to play with her daughter and get her to try new things with her mama- they’re very crafty! Teaching is her passion and it’s something that she genuinely loves to do- she is a giant kid at heart!

Multiage Teachers

Alana McClain

Alana is an 2022 IUPUI graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Social Studies Education. She always knew that she wanted to work in education and with children. She started babysitting and working as a Sunday School assistant at her local church in high school and she did her service learning hours at the CYC in 2018. Alana likes to teach using hands-on-learning and exploration as well as helping children learn to problem solve through play. In her spare time, Alana likes to spend time with family, friends, and pets as well as reading and singing.

 

Ruth Mezali

Ruth is a graduate from IUPUI with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. During her time as an IUPUI undergraduate student, Ruth spent 4 years as a classroom assistant at the CYC. Ruth was born in Burma, also known as Myanmar, and in 2010 she and her family came to Indianapolis. Ruth began working with children in high school by teaching Sunday School and taking care of other families’ childrenRuth, who is trilingual, (Chin, Burmese and English) also enjoys spending her time with children and learning together. In her spare time, she loves to go on a hike with friends, bullet journaling and watching movies/ TV shows.

 

Dana Meyers

Dana is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Early Childhood and Primary Elementary Education. She has been working with children for 30+ years and has experience with children from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Dana recently moved back to Indianapolis from Charleston, South Carolina to be closer to family and friends. On the weekends, she likes to enjoy hikes and activities in nature.

 

Adria Crawford

Adria has been working in childcare for over fourteen years. She’s worked with children from birth to 12 years old, finding great joy in helping young students learn and grow. She is especially excited to see them become their own independent being full of personality. Adria previously worked in STEM and has transitioned to Multi-Age. She obtained her CDA Credential in January of 2024 and plans to continue growing and learning as an Early Educator. She has three children, Adalynne and Aydan who are twins and attended CYC when they were younger, and Amir who is now in the wee school room. Adria enjoys movie/game night with her family, praise and worship, and watching tv shows with her sister. 

STEM Teachers

Vikki Tucher

Vikki started her career at the CYC in 2000 as a Kindergarten teacher and is now teaching one of our two STEM focused classrooms. In 2019 Vicki completed training in Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Caltech, Pasadena, CA. She earned a Master’s degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Early Childhood from IUPUI in 2008. She teaches with a mixture of inquiry and project based learning that is designed to engage her students in exploring their world while developing a foundation in all learning domains. Vikki enjoys gardening, reading, and is a lover of all animals.

Taylor Gardner

Taylor graduated Ball State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. She has over fifteen years of experience working with children from birth to 12 years of age. Taylor joined the Center for Young Children in the winter of 2023 and is excited to bring her knowledge and love of learning to her classroom. Her favorite part of teaching in the STEM classroom is developing hands-on, child guided lessons. She is married and has two children. When she is not in her classroom, you can find her writing or hiking with coffee in hand. 

 

Assistant Teachers

Resa Underwood

Resa has been working at the CYC since 2003. She enjoys working with children. She has completed some college course work and her child care credential. She is planning on pursuing a Business degree in Finance in the near future. Her hobbies include: reading, painting and singing.

 

Danielle Williams

Danielle is a child enthusiast who enjoys showing excitement and interest in the development of a child’s life. Ms. Danielle has designed a classroom where children are young scientists, free to explore and test their ability to be creative, engaging and reaching limitless abilities to learn. Ms. Danielle has been an educator for the last 25 years devoting her time to early childhood. She has been with the Center for Young Children for 15 years and counting. She is currently serving as an interim teacher for the Multi-Age classroom. Her hobbies are learning, reading, meeting new people, shopping and spending time with her lovely family.

 

Lisa Roney

Lisa has been in childcare for 30 years and has loved every minute of it. She has been with CYC since the beginning of this year. Lisa is the proud mother of two beautiful women, Shianne and Shania. Shianne blessed her with her first grandchild last year, her name is Amina. They are her world. Lisa loves spending time with her girls, going out to eat, going to the beach, attending concerts with Shania, and shopping.

 

Amanda Amos

Amanda Amos has spent over a year in childcare, driven by her passion for nurturing young minds. As an assistant teacher, her goal is to create a nurturing environment where every child can thrive. In her free time, she enjoys singing, art, and theatre, and she aims to continue her education at IUPUI to utilize her talents.

 

Abigail Andrews

Abigail has been with the CYC since late fall of 2023. She  was an in-home nanny before moving into a childcare facility. She has always loved working with children. What Abigail enjoys most about working with children is watching them grow their personalities and explore all the new things in life. In her free time, she likes to cook or bake, especially if it's something new. Most of Abigail’s free time is spent with her son, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Andrea Serje-Martinez

Andrea is the assistant teacher for Room 126. She has a Bachelor’s in Arts Administration and Literature from her hometown in Bogotá, Colombia. She moved to Indiana to complete her Master’s in Arts Administration at IU Bloomington. She realized she wanted to work with kids last summer during her internship as a museum educator at the Art Institute of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys embroidering, reading, and doing puzzles.

 

Hannah Pfotenhauer

Hannah is an Assistant Teacher in an infant room and has been working at the CYC since the fall of 2021. Hannah graduated from Ball State University in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in general studies, and minors in Psychology of Human Development and Speech Pathology. She graduated with her master's degree in Higher Education with a concentration in Student Affairs in the summer of 2023. Hannah has previously worked with a variety of age groups including infants (ages 6 weeks- 18 months), high schoolers (grades 9-12) and college students (18+). Hannah spends her time with her family, spoiling her niece, and reading. She loves getting to see her infants grow up and move into their big kid classrooms each year. 

Aryell McWilliams

Aryell has been teaching for over 4 years and has experience educating children ages 2-6. She’s passionate about children's education and growth. Her goal is to always uplift children. She is a foodie and loves to shop and travel. Aryell is currently pursuing a BS in Psychology and will be starting school this summer  

Madison Colby

Madison Colby graduated from Herron high school with her core 40 honors diploma. She is the middle child of six siblings. She currently has two dogs, one cat, and a fish. Madison started working at the CYC in the fall of 2022. She is currently in school for her bachelor's in social work and a minor in creative writing. Once she graduates, she hopes to use her degree to help children learn how to express themselves through different forms of art. Some of her hobbies include drawing, writing poetry, listening to music, and watching sports. Her passion in life is to help others. She has a big heart and is always willing to go the extra mile for those she cares for.