Learning Journey Staff

Miss Amy

Hello! My name is Amy Jany. I have worked in childcare for almost 13 years. Almost all of that time has been spent working at Learning Journey and Toddle Town. I love working with kids. The things they say and do just put a smile on my face plus they are always a good laugh! The best part working with children, is I know that I am making an impact on their young life. I went to SWIC and graduated in 2002 with my Associates of Arts. I also took some classes at SIUE. I have my paraprofessional that enables me to work in the Pre-K room. I am also Director qualified so you might see me in the office a time or two.

I have been married for 9 years and we have two kids. Hunter is 7 and Carter is 5. We live out in the country on a farm. We both grew up on a farm and wanted that for our kids. The boys love playing with all of the animals. In our free time we really enjoy being outdoors and going camping!

Miss Deborah

I have been at Learning Journey since 2004 and have acquired many titles: teacher, cook, typist, assistant director and director. I have 32 years experience in childcare. I earned a Child Development Associate Credential in 2001. In 2010 I attended a week long seminal on Conscious Discipline, and continue to gain knowledge in the area to share with the center staff. I also have become a Creative Curriculum Coach and also a CDA adviser.

Learning Journey feels like a second home where I enjoy making the environment safe, friendly and comfortable. I love children for their innocence and kindness. I love to create an exciting environment and explore new creations with them. Children keep me young!

I celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary this June. My husband Joe and I live in Waterloo with our cats, Rusty, Mack and Molly. I have two sons, Matthews and Nicholas and 6 grandchildren. I love being a wife, mother grandmother and teacher. Now that my boys are grown and llive far away, I have found that traveling to see them gives me the opportunity to enjoy different cultures and to bring back parts of the world to your children.

Miss Jenny

I grew up in northern Michigan in a large family; I was number five of eight children. I knew from a very early age that I loved working with children so in high school I went to a vocational school for child care and development. I worked for several years as a teacher’s aide and in military child care centers. When my third child started kindergarten I started college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to become a teacher, but because of my husband’s Air Force career I transferred to Hampton University in Virginia where I completed my Bachelor’s degree and became licensed to teach early childhood and elementary school. My husband Mike and I now have six children and five grandchildren. Besides spending time with my family I enjoy reading, gardening and riding with Mike on our Harley.

I have been teaching Pre-K here at Learning Journey since 2005. My goal is to plan and set up a rich, inviting environment that provides each child the opportunity to learn at an optimal level. I take notes about a child’s individual development and develop methods to customize attention or activities to individual needs. Focusing on all developmental areas is a big part of my daily curriculum with my students. I also use some Spanish and sign language in my classroom and we begin our day with some basic yoga. A teacher’s job isn’t just pure instruction, but rather nurturing students’ interests while guiding them through a structured curriculum.

I love teaching Pre-K, because it is such a fun and curious age; the students are excited and eager to learn everything about the world around them. I look forward to getting to know you and your family! I am so lucky to be a part of the great team here at Learning Journey and I look forward to meeting your family!

Miss Erin

I live with my parents, my little sister and our two puppy dogs in old historical Belleville. And while it may sound like I have an accent, I was actually born and raised here my whole life. I am currently enrolled at SWIC but plan on transferring to SIUE when possible, to join their early childhood program. I never really thought about becoming a teacher, but since starting here last August, I have enjoyed every minute and continue to look forward to coming in to work.

In my spare time, I devour books; I spend time with my friends and family, and am simply a Disney fanatic in all things. If you ever have a question, please feel free to come ask and I will do my best to help.

Miss Tanya

Miss Tanya

I have been in the educational field since 1997. I started as a Paraprofessional and I am looking forward to being in this role again. In 2005, I graduated from SWIC with my Associates of Applied Science in Early Childhood.

I have a wonderful son, Noah who is 26. My hobbies are bowling, dancing and shopping. Working with children has always been my passion!

Miss Olivia

Miss Olivia

Hello! My name is Olivia Rankins. I have been a part of the Learning Journey family through the years! My mom worked here in the past and whenever she came in I would come to the daycare with her and volunteer wherever I was needed. Since March of this year however I officially became part of the team as a Teacher’s Aide.

I am 19 years old and plan to start my schooling in Physical Therapy come August of 2017. I am recently engaged to the love of my life Josh, and within the next couple years we will be married! Ever since I was old enough to babysit and even before that I have loved helping kids and watching them grow and learn new things, working with your children at Learning Journey has been an unforgettable experience and I can’t wait to see the many accomplishments your children will succeed at in the future!

Miss Portia

Miss Portia

Over the past nine years I have devoted my time working with children while building close and trusting relationship with families. The last four years I have served military families providing care for children with special needs. I also joined the Head Start Program through SIU of Edwardsville.

A native of Belleville, Illinois graduated from Belleville East High School and studied Early Childhood at Southwestern Illinois College. It has always been a joy to work with children. I am a mother myself, my son is age 10. In my downtime I enjoy listening to music, gardening and decorating.

Miss Teresa

Miss Teresa

My name is Miss Teresa and I am so happy to be a new member of Learning Journey family. So here is a little about me. I live in New Baden, IL with my husband, 4 fantastic children, two dogs and a cat. My education was directed toward Science and Health Care which was earned through Kaskaskia College and SIUE.

Most of my career has been working with individuals who have disabilities and people suffering from memory loss. This is a whole new adventure working in this field. I look forward to being a part of your child’s first encounter with education in Pre-K.

Miss Judi

I have been working at Learning Journey for almost 15 years. My job is making sure your child has a good healthy breakfast, snack and lunch. I love being with the children and try not to spoil them too much!

I live in Bellevile with my husband Tim. I have three daughters, Julie (39), Krista (34) and Megan (26).


Miss Tamara

Hi my name is Tamara. I joined the Learning Journey team in January of 2017. I was previously in the medical field for over 20 years I was a Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Technician and Medical Assistant. I’m a mother to a 15 year old high school sophomore. I have an amazing fiance of 3 years. I will also pursue my Associate Degree in Early Childhood in the fall. For fun I like to go camping and spending time with family.


Miss Franchessca

I started my wonderful journey here at Learning Journey in March 2017. I have two associates degrees, one in Information Technology and the other in Early Childhood education. Teaching and taking care of our children is truly my calling. I started my teaching career in 2014 at SIUE. I’m currently in school to complete my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education Leadership in the next 7 months.

My 12 year old daughter and I both enjoy swimming, volleyball and basketball season. I plan to finish my journey here for years to come. I enjoy having fun and spending time with my family and teaching our wonderful children.