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 2 daughters are enrolled at Bluebird presently.  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 as financial director.

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 again starting in the fall.

Renee Rust

Pre-K 5's Lead Assistant
Renee is very excited to be going into her tenth year at Bluebird as a lead teacher assistant in the PreK5 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 grown children, both Highland High School grads.

Caren Hamilton

3s Lead Assistant
Caren is excited and looking forward to starting her 7th  year at Bluebird Preschool. She has spent the last several years assisting with the 4s and 5s classes, and will be working in the 3s classes for 2021-2022.  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 just graduated from Highlands High, and Max is a student at Highlands.  She attends Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church.

Katie Haas

Pre-K 4/5'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 part of the  Bluebird family as the 4’s lead teacher.

Amy Gastright

3'S 8:30AM and 11:00AM Lead Teacher
Amy has been at Bluebird for 11 years and became the 3s Lead Teacher after Ms Cyndy became Bluebird Director.  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.

Karen Thompson

Pre-K 4's Lead Assistant/ Part Time Music Teacher
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 Yeager

3'S Lead Teacher, 8:45AM Class
Amy joined the Bluebird team during the 2018-19 school year as the 3's 8:45AM 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 /  2s Monday Only Lead Teacher
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.

Hilary Dungan

2'S M/W and T/Th 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 joined 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.

Sarah McCoy

Music Teacher
Sarah is in her 12th 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

Spanish Teacher;  Assistant for Music Classes;  Assistant in charge of Outdoor/Indoor Recess and other activities
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.