Our Teachers

Infant/Toddler Teachers

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).

Haylee McCaslin

Haylee graduated from Ball State University in December 2018 with a Bachelors in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Child Development. Since graduating, she has been a lead infant teacher at a center in Carmel. She loves taking walks with her dogs, reading books, and spending time with her friends and family in her free time. ​

Megan Thieme

Megan graduated from Ball State University holding a Bachelors degree in Child Development. Megan spent her first year post-grad in Wisconsin doing a year of service before starting as Infant Specialist at the CYC. When it comes to working with children, she believes all children should be treated in a way that makes them feel loved and respected.

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 in college 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.

Heather McKinney

Heather is a postgraduate of IUPUI with an MS in Educational Leadership and a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Heather started working with children as a two-year-old teacher at a private day care in 1991 where she continued to teach them until their Kindergarten years, which lead to opportunities as an administrator. Heather is married with three children and enjoys watching her students learn and grow!

Multiage Teachers

Laney Strain

Ms. Laney has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education but quickly fell in love with preschool children and has been teaching the younger ones for over 15 years now! She is also currently working on a Master’s degree in counseling. She loves the play-based environment the CYC provides and tries to create as many fun yet educational opportunities in her classroom as possible. She lives with her husband, cats and dog on the West side of Indy. Ms. Laney loves coffee, movies, Mexican food, bullet journaling and animals to name a few!

Beth Steward

Beth graduated from IUPUI with a BS in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Special Education and earned her Masters in Early Childhood at Indiana University. She worked at the Center for Young Children for several years as a classroom assistant before becoming a Lead Teacher. She has also worked at Little Bear Daycare and Kid's Corner Daycare as well. Her hobbies include reading, crafts, scrap booking and music including singing and playing the piano.

Fabiha Islam

Fabiha is a graduate from IUPUI with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education She is a current graduate student pursuing a Master's in Technology with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. She has experience teaching grades K-4. While an undergrad, she was a classroom assistant here at the CYC. Fabiha was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN but her family is from Bangladesh. She loves to celebrate happiness and uniqueness in her classroom!

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.

STEM Teachers

Jennifer Bohannon

Jennifer joined the CYC in May of 2012. She received her Elementary Education degree with a concentration in science from IUPUC in 2008. In 2019 Jennifer completed training in Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Caltech, Pasadena, CA. Jennifer’s goals include being a great STEM teacher by incorporating various technologies into her daily plans, helping kids discover knowledge through hands-on experiments, and assisting children in becoming great problem solvers.

Vicki Tucher

Vicki 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. Vicki enjoys gardening, reading, and is a lover of all animals.

Assistant Teachers

Emily Cox

Emily is an Elementary Education major at IUPUI. She has worked for the Center for Young Children since early 2015. Currently she is the assistant teacher in one of the multi-age rooms.

Jeremy Maxwell

Jeremy began working for the CYC in November 2015 as a STEM Teacher's Assistant. He received his bachelor's degree in History and Museum Studies from IUPUI. He developed a passion for early education while working at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis after graduating. In his spare time, Jeremy plays the drums and enjoys reading.

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.

Adria Crawford

I have been working at Center for Young Children since August 2010 where I started as a student. I worked as the Aide for the wee-school room for a few years and then was promoted to my now current position as the STEM Assistant Teacher. I am also a full-time student (online and face-to-face classes) and am working towards recieving my CDA credentials. This past semester I made the Dean's List. I have twins Adalynne and Aydan who are enrolled in a multi-age classroom here at CYC. They are definitely happy here and I couldn't imagine a better fit for them. I am the middle child with my brother who is 10 years older than me and my younger sister who is eight years younger than me. I enjoy movie/game night with my family, praise dancing, and watching my children and students grow daily.


Millie Cardona

 Miss Millie has worked at the center for 4 years as a part –time assistant before getting the opportunity to join the multi-age classroom 146 full time.  She is working on her education to become a secondary English teacher.  Miss Millie lives downtown with her dog Layla.  She loves animals, pizza, coffee, movies and video games!