MEET OUR team


  • casey pitts, director

    229-924-5419

    casey@fumcamericus.com


    Hello! My name is Casey Pitts. I am so excited to be able to serve as Bright Beginnings Preschool Director. I was born and raised in Americus, GA and currently reside in Ellaville, GA. I have been married to my husband, Cody Pitts since 2016. We have a beautiful little girl named Presley, who is two years old. I am a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Americus and have attended there my entire life. I graduated high school from Schley County and received my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from South Georgia Technical College. I then began my career at Sumter County Primary School as their Pre-K Resource Coordinator for the past 6 years. I am blessed God has allowed me to have this wonderful opportunity here at Bright Beginnings. 

     

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Jeremiah 29:11

  • Tiffany Turner, Assistant Director

    229-924-5419

    tiffany@fumcamericus.com


    My name is Tiffany Turner. I am ecstatic to be interacting with each and every child as your assistant director. I am from our small town, Americus and I have 2 wonderful little girls. I look forward to meeting all the sweet little faces.

  • LAURIE BARKER

    My name is Laurie Barker, and I am from Montezuma, GA. I have been married for 26 years, and I have two sons, ages 24 and 15. My faith, family, and job are the three most important things in my life. I truly love and enjoy working with children; it has always been my passion and it is close to my heart.

  • KELSEY SKIPPER

    My name is Kelsey Skipper, and I am 24 years old. I can't wait to get to know your child this year!


    I am from Americus, GA, and I love to travel. My favorite color is pink, and I love fall. During my free time, I love to go kayaking with friends.


    I graduated from Americus Sumter County High School in 2015 where I was a co-captian of the marching band for 2 years. I have been babysitting for 10+ years, and I have worked in my church's nursery since I was 15.


    This will be my first year teaching at Bright Beginnings Preschool.

  • PAMELA DOWDELL

    My name is Pamela Dowdell. I've lived in Americus my entire life. I have two children. I have over 30 years of experience working with children.


    I earned a diploma in early childhood education in June 2008. I worked at First United Methodist Church for over 25 years in the nursery and preschool. I left for a brief moment, but now I've returned.


    I'm looking forward to working with you and your child!

  • VALERIE SKIPPER

    My name is Valerie Skipper, and I am 27 years old. I am so excited to teach your child this year!


    I'm from Americus, GA. My favorite color is blue, I love the smell of vanilla, and Christmas is my favorite time of year!


    I graduated from Americus-Sumter Co. High in 2012, and I've taken some education courses at Georgia Southwestern. I've been babysitting since I was 10 years old, and I'm on nursery staff at Central Baptist. This is my second year working at Bright Beginnings. I'm looking forward to starting a new year with you and your child!

  • HOLLI BRUNSON

    Hi! My name is Holli Brunson, and I am so excited to have your child this year for 2K. I was born and raised here in Americus, GA. I have three amazing kids, Emily Rose, Wyatt, and Samuel. A motto I live by is "You're allowed to scream, You're allowed to cry, but you are NEVER allowed to give up."


    I graduated from Americus-Sumter High School in 2006. I went on to study at Darton College and South Georgia Technical College. I have studies in the medical field and early childhood education. I received my technical certificate in early childhood care and education.


    I have been blessed to be with Bright Beginnings since 2012. I began as a one-year-old teacher, but I found my "spot" with twos a year later.

  • Bethani Griggs

    My name is Bethany Griggs. I am delighted to join your child in this journey of their life. I am 23 years old, and I was born and raised here in Americus, GA. I love to read and write stories that encourage others to inspire the world in their own way.


    I am currently enrolled at Georgia Southwestern, and I am working towards a bachelor's degree in English. In 2017, I received my technical certificate ate in child development and early childhood care/education.


    I started working at Bright Beginnings in January 2017. It is a huge blessing to be able to work with all ages at this preschool.

  • carmen henderson

    My name is Carmen Henderson. I am from Blakely, GA. I graduated from Early County High School in 2019. During my 11th and 12th grade years, I worked with Pre-K. I currently attend Georgia Southwestern as a student in elementary education. I am a sophomore this year, and I love it. 


    I specialize in work with infants, and I enjoy creating crafts for the classroom, and for the parents to take home.


    "Don't struggle to be a better teacher than everybody else. Simply be a better teacher than you ever thought you could be" - Robert John Meehan

  • Amanda goodin

    My name is Amanda Goodin. I have lived in Americus, GA my whole life. My days are typically spent hanging out with my 2 year old niece and reading a book.


    I graduated from Schley County High School. I am currently working towards getting my Bachelor's degree in Sociology at GSW. I spent a year volunteering at a church nursery that consisted of children 6 months-3 years of age.


    "Do not fear. for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your god."  -Isaiah 4:10

  • amy lewis

    My name is Amy Lewis and I am from Andersonville, GA. I have 3 kids and I've been married since 1999. I love sewing, collecting Funko Pops, and playing video games.


    I am a graduate of Ogeechee Technical College, earning my Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education (2021). I've also earned a certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education Basics (2019), Child Development Specialist Certificate (2019), Diploma, in Early Childhood Care and Education (2020), and Early Childhood Program Administration Certificate (2020). I've taught 1 year olds, 3 year olds, and Pre-K children.


    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  -Philippians 4:13

  • kacie kitchens


    Hi everyone, my name is Kacie Kitchen. 


    I am 19 years old and from Ocala, Florida.  I was born in Delphos Ohio, but only lived there until I was 6, it was then that I moved to Ocala Florida and have lived there going on 14 years. I am one of three children, Kelsey (23) being my older sister and Kyle (17) my younger brother.  

    I grew up in a Methodist household. When we lived in Ohio, we attended the church my mom grew up in and my grandfather preached at, which was the First United Methodist church of convoy and have attended First United Methodist Church of Ocala from 2009 till 2020, which is when I started attending First United Methodist Church of Americus after I began going to school here in August of 2020. Some of my interests include listening to music, singing, playing guitar, reading, and hanging out with friends and family. 

    Right now, I am attending GSW to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. As for high school, I attended Westport high school in Ocala Florida for all four years but also attended the college of central Florida in my junior and senior year. I was a dual enrollment student where I obtained 49 credit hours towards my degree before graduating high school.

    Work experience 

    Before this summer, I have only ever worked with kids. I have been babysitting since I was 13, where I have babysat children of various ages from 6 months to 12 years old, and have volunteered with the nursery, elementary, and middle school groups at my church. I have also helped my mom out a few summers when we ran our summer camp / daycare center from home. As for this past summer I have been working at an assisted living facility. 


    "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." 

    • Jeremiah 29:11  

  • Tracy Palmer

    After teaching school for 33 years, I retired in 2020. I graduated from Texas Tech University and acquired my masters and specialist degrees from Georgia Southwestern College. I worked with students age PK-9th grade. I am very much looking forward to spending time again with this age group. As a member of FUMC, I had the pleasure of working with the 2 & 3 year old Sunday school class for over 10 years.


    My husband Eddie and I have two daughters, Rylee and Baylee, and we enjoy all things outdoors. I'm looking forward to this next chapter at Bright Beginnings.


    Favorite quote:

    "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

    -John Wooden

  • Katherine Pritchard

    I am from Gray, Georgia. I am going to school to be a special education teacher. Both of my parents are also teachers. I have a puppy named Kuma and he is the sweetest thing ever.


    I am currently a junior at GSW. I graduated from Jones County High School in 2019. While in high school, I also worked as a babysitter. I am excited to work with your child this year!


    Favorite quote:

    "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    Jeremiah 29:11

  • Katie Avery

    I am new to this career path, but I love kids! I are up in Americus, GA with my husband and my son. I graduated from SGTC with a degree in criminal justice. I have been a stay-at-home mom since my son was born in 2019, and I have been honored to be part of the family here at Bright Beginnings. I cannot way to see where this path takes me.


    I have always been a nurturer and felt the need to help people. In my free time, I love to be with my family, playing in the yard, movie days, fishing, and family dinners.


    Favorite quote:

    "You are...BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think."

    -Winnie the Pooh

  • jade sellars

    Hello! My name is Jade Sellars, soon to be Sims! I am from Americus, Georgia! I love spending time with my family on the weekends. 


    I graduated from Schley county high school in 2021, and currently am going to GSW to pursue a degree in early childhood education! I have been baby sitting since I was 15, from newborns to 10 year olds. I have baby cousins, and toddler twin siblings who I baby sit the most. I love all things children with my whole heart! My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” 

  • Melanie Wooden

    Hello! My name is Melanie Wooden and I am 18 years old. I live in Andersonville, Georgia. Some of my favorite interests include tennis, volleyball, church, and being around my family.


    I graduated from Sumter County high school. I took early childhood education for 3 years, and in 9th grade, I was able to help out in a kindergarten class. I learned a credential in early childhood education and Care-Basic. I will be attending Georgia Southwestern to major in education.