Bluebird Staff


  • Cyndy Jones,  Director

    Cyndy Tharp Jones joined Bluebird in 2013 as the lead teacher for the 3 year old classes. She is a native of Ft. Thomas, a Highlands graduate and holds a BA and MA in Education from Northern Kentucky University. After 33 years of teaching at Ludlow Elementary, she retired in 2011. She is also an active member of Highland United Methodist Church and Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Key Women Educators. She and her husband Dan have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. God has blessed her with a wonderful teaching career and she feels blessed again to have this opportunity to lead Bluebird Christian Preschool.

  • Kelly Horner, Financial Director

    Kelly has a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Northern Kentucky University. After working in the IT department at Fifth Third Bank for 17 years, Kelly decided to stay at home with her children. She and her husband, Steven, have 6 children and reside in Fort Thomas. Three of her children are Bluebird graduates and another will start in the Fall of 2020. Kelly is an active member of Highland United Methodist Church and has been on the Bluebird Board since 2017. She is excited to join the Bluebird Staff!


  • mary scott, Pre-K 5's Lead Teacher

    Mary is a certified teacher with a Master’s in Education from Northern Kentucky University. She was a grade school teacher for many years and then stayed home to raise 3 children who now live in 3 different states. She has been teaching remedial reading as a private tutor and volunteers at an inner city tutoring center. She is a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Newport. Mary is excited to be a part of the faith based learning environment at Bluebird. She joined the Bluebird team as a 4's Assistant in 2017 and worked with all ages the following year as our Learning Coordinator. She was instrumental in writing our curriculum at Bluebird. She will be Leading the Pre-K 5's class starting in the Fall of 2019. 

  • renee rust, Pre-K 5's LEAD Assistant

    Renee is very excited to be going into her eighth year at Bluebird as a teacher assistant in the PreK class. She thoroughly loves and enjoys working with these children and considers it the most fun and rewarding experience. She graduated from NKU with a bachelors degree in psychology. She is married and has 2 children. Her son is attending UC and her daughter is a student at Highlands High School.

  • Caren Hamilton, Pre-K 5's LEAD assistant

    Caren is excited and looking forward to starting her 5th year at Bluebird Preschool. She has spent the last 3 years assisting with the 4's classes and will be her second year working on the Pre-K classroom. She is a graduate of Highlands High School and Eastern KY University with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. She lives in Ft. Thomas with her husband Fred of 18 years, and 2 children: Jacqueline attends Highlands High School & Max is at student at Highlands Middle School. She attends Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church.

  • Katie Haas, PRE-K 4's Lead Teacher

    Katie joined the Bluebird teaching team in the Fall of 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University Aof South Carolina. Katie and her husband (Lan) moved to his hometown, Ft. Thomas in 2011. They have 2 children, Emma and Ben. She worked as an assistant teacher at a Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten from 2011-2017. She feels very blessed to be joining the Bluebird family as the 4’s lead teacher.

  • Karen Thompson, PRE-K 4's Lead assistant

    Karen grew up in Southgate and earned a Bachelor of Music from Northern Kentucky University, where she also met her husband Gary. They raised their three children in six different states, moving back home to Fort Thomas in 2013. She has seven grandchildren, four of which attended Bluebird Preschool, and treasures her time with each of them. Combining her passion for music and love for children, Karen taught private piano lessons for over 40 years. She joined Bluebird in 2019.

  • Amy Gastright, 3's 8:30AM and 10:45AM Lead Teacher

    Amy has been at Bluebird for 9 years and is looking forward to another year as the 3's Lead Assistant. Amy is a mother of three and spends most of her time with her family. She has a degree in English and enjoys cooking, reading, gardening and spending time with her family.

  • Angie Paolucci, 3's 8:30AM AND 10:45am LEAD Assistant

    Angie started at Bluebird in 2017 as the Lead Assistant in the 2's classroom. She grew up in Ohio and is a graduate of The Ohio State University. She lives in Ft. Thomas with her husband and three boys.

  • Amy Yeager, 3's LEAD Teacher, 8:45 Am CLass

    Amy joined the Bluebird team during the 2018-19 school year as the 3's 9 AM class lead teacher. She is a life-long Ft. Thomas resident, and her three daughters attended Bluebird. In 1996 Amy felt called to serve with children. She volunteered in many different roles at her church and in her daughters’ schools. Amy was on staff at Highland Hills Church in Ft. Thomas as the Minister to Children for 12 years. She feels blessed to have this new opportunity at Bluebird to continue pouring her love and energy into the lives of young children. Amy loves spending time with family and friends and is enjoying her role as “Mimi” to her grandchildren.

  • Claire Freppon, 3's Lead Assistant 8:45 AM Class and 2's Monday Only Lead Teacher, 4/5 LEAD ASSISTANT

    Claire joined Bluebird Preschool as an assistant in the 3’s class in 2018 after spending 8 years as a Bluebird parent. Her children Ava, Jude and Lydia are now students at Moyer. Claire has an Interior Design degree from the University of Cincinnati and worked in the design field before staying home with her children. She lives in Fort Thomas with her children and husband, Andy, and enjoys baking and decorating cakes and watching her kids play sports.

  • Shelley Frey, Spanish Teacher & Move Teacher

    After enjoying her time as a Bluebird parent, Shelley joined the Bluebird teaching team in 2016.  She has a BS in Biology from UK and previously worked in the pharmaceutical research industry. Shelley lives in Fort Thomas with her husband, R.J., and 2 kids, Matt and Lily.  She loves her busy preschool schedule and that it allows her to share a variety of her interests with her Bluebirds.   

  • Hilary Dungan, 2's M/W and T/TH Lead Teacher AND 4/5 CLASS lEAD TEACHER

    Hilary began teaching our 2's classes in 2012. She worked as an assistant for the 4 year old classes during the 2011-12 school year. She has a BS from NKU in Human Services with an emphasis in preschool. She is married and has two daughters. They are members of Highland United Methodist Church. She looks forward to getting to know her students and their families.

  • Jamee Nickelman, 2's M/W and T/TH lead Assistant

    Jamee Nickelman began working at Bluebird in 2017 as an assistant in the 3's classes. She worked with the 4's teaching team in the 2018-19 school year and will be joining the 2's teaching team in 2019. She grew up in Ft. Thomas and went to Highlands High School. She currently lives here in Ft. Thomas with her husband and five children. She enjoys family time and can usually be found on the sidelines of her children's sporting events. She is a member or St. Therese Parish.

  • Carlee Nichols, 2's Assistant

    Carlee joined Bluebird in 2018 as an assistant in the 3's classes. She is looking forward to assisting in the 2-year old class this year. Carlee grew up in Fort Thomas and is a Highlands Alumna. She and her husband just bought their first home in Fort Thomas along with their daughter Paislee who is in the 3s class this year. 

  • Sarah Mc Coy, Music Teacher

    Sarah is in her 11th year of teaching music at Bluebird. She has delighted in seeing her own children grow up at Bluebird and teaching them in her music class. She earned a BA in music from Centre College, MEd from Xavier University, and is Level III certified in Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Sarah also teaches Music Together classes in the area for young children and their caregivers. She lives in Ft. Thomas with her husband Justin and three children: Daniel, Anna, and Megan. She is an active member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, where she is involved in the music ministry.

  • Lauren Pelzer-Sarge, All Ages assistant

    Lauren became a Specials Assistant at Bluebird in the Fall of 2019. Born in NYC and raised in Cincinnati, she earned a BSD in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati and enjoyed a career which encompassed fashion, graphics and interiors.  She and her husband Carmen, a Fort Thomas native, married in 2006, and in 2009 she transitioned to stay at home mom when they welcomed triplets, all of whom went through Bluebird.  They attend Peoples Church in Cincinnati, where Carmen and Lauren volunteer in children's ministry.