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Melinda Miles- Lead Teacher/Office Support

Hi! I’m Melinda, and I love being the lead teacher in the Shooting Stars classroom. I studied biochemistry at Purdue University (where I was also on the rowing team,) and I am a certified yoga instructor as well as an L2 CrossFit coach here in Madison. It’s so wonderful that I can bring those passions - science, and having fun moving our bodies - into the classroom! Some of my other favorite things to do are cooking, spending time in nature, and listening to music; I get to do those things here with my students, too. How lucky!

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Becky Malta - Lead Teacher/Office Support

Hey, I’m Becky. I’ve been at BBLC since 2016 and love getting to teach and watch the kiddos grow in the Snap Dragon Room! I have 2 kids, Molly and Alex, who also attended BBLC when they were young and they still talk about memories of their time here. I enjoy getting outside for a BBQ or hike around state parks. I like being creative by making bulletin boards around the center or whatever new project sparks my interest.


Sarah Sitkiewitz- Classroom Assistant

I have been working at BBLC since April of 2005.  I'm a classroom helper in the Cherry Blossoms Room and also help to keep other classrooms throughout the center clean and organized.  In my free time I enjoy basketball, Special Olympics, and spending time with family and friends.  I enjoy working at BBLC and playing with all of the children.

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Jamie Vazquez - Lead Teacher

Hi! My name is Jamie, I joined Bee Balm in April of 2023 as a float and shortly after, got the honor to be the infant lead teacher in the Sweet Peas classroom! I have been an infant teacher for almost 3 years now and am also attending school to become a teacher! I’m currently in Madison College’s liberal arts transfer program and will be attending UW-Madison next fall! Being in childcare, I’ve always preferred to work with the littles because I love forming a part of their first year. I enjoy watching them grow and helping them meet their milestones. When I’m not snuggling my babies, I’m usually out and about interacting with nature. I start the day with a nice iced coffee. I love to go hiking, go on picnics, or just simply setting up a hammock and reading outside.


Caroline Fortier-Brown - Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Caroline! I have been working at Bee Balm since March 2019. I have over 10 years of experience working in various childcare settings. I have worked in all the classrooms here at Bee Balm at one point or another. I am currently a float teacher/Water Lilies co-lead. In September I will return to being the full-time lead teacher in the Waterlilies classroom. Back in June 2022 my husband Patrick and I welcomed our first child into the world! Cecilia joined the Bee Balm family at the end of August 2022. I am so lucky to be able to have her here with me. I also have a fur child named Tigger who is a corgi mix. During my free time I love to explore Wisconsin State Parks, bike trails, and paddle along the rivers and lakes with my family. We also like checking out new coffee shops, breweries and wineries. I look forward to getting to know you and your child/children.

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Melynn Estes - Teacher

Hi! I’ve been the co-teacher in the Arctic Willows classroom since June of 2023. Working at Bee Balm is my first professional experience working in childcare and it has been a joy!! I’m from Kentucky, I graduated from the University of Kentucky in December 2022 and I moved to Madison in January 2023. I live with my boyfriend Ryan and our two cats, Archie and Kiwi. I enjoy hiking, camping, crocheting, finding new hang out spots, and discovering new music. I’m looking forward to continuing my career here at BBLC and working with your wonderful kids!!

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Kacey Scheidegger - Teacher

Hello, I am Ms. Kacey. I have over a decade of experience as a nanny and years teaching in early childhood education. I studied Graphic Design and Photography at Edgewood College. I moved to Washington DC where I discovered my passion for art education in early childhood. I was the Creative Director, Infant & Toddler Program Director and Art Teacher at early childhood centers around the district. I am the founder and owner of the Little Folk Art Studio, a mobile visual arts program that offers art play and process focused classes to babies, toddlers and preschool age children. When not in teacher mode, I enjoy creating art, theater, singing, and spending time with friends and family. I can get lost in good books, love to shop, dance and be super duper silly! I am excited to get to know and work with all the children and their families at BBLC. 

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Haley Nelson - Teacher

Hello! My name is Haley. I am one of the float teachers! I started working at Bee Balm in January 2023. Before starting at BBLC I was a nanny for 2 years! I am from Sauk City but I currently live in the Madison area. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, camping, creating art, and baking!

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Lili Flores - Cook  

Hello, my name is Lilia. I have been working here at Bee Balm Learning Center since 2012. I love cooking for the kids at Bee Balm. I also have 3 kids named Richie, Jennifer, & Diana who all attended Bee Balm. In my free time I like to go to the movies with my kids, bake, walk, and relax while watching tv.

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Lauren Silverwood - Teacher  

Hello, my name is Lauren. I am so happy and excited to be part of the Bee Balm community. I have completed courses in liberal arts, occupational therapy, and Spanish. I learned most of my Spanish in Nicaragua and Guatemala, many years ago. I have been in ECE for over a year now, and I love learning and teaching something new each day. I can’t get enough of fishing, camping, playing with my pup, Cooper, snapping photos, and spending time with my nieces and nephews.

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Jenna Lulling - Lead Teacher

Hi! My name is Jenna. I grew up in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota before going to college in Sioux Falls at Augustana University. During my time at Augustana I received my bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education and an endorsement in English as a New Language. I moved to the Madison area during the summer of 22’ where I joined the Bee Balm Staff in the Snap Dragon’s room. After some time in the Oregon and Monona Grove School District, I have decided to stay with Bee Balm and will be Co-Teaching in the Sweet Pea’s Room! I enjoy adventuring in the city to find cow statues, making new memories, friends, and connections!

Kelly Taylor- Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Kelly and I am a Co-Lead in the Cherry Blossoms room! I grew up in Beloit, WI but have been in the Madison area since about 2007. I have my Bachelor Degree in English from UW-Madison and have been working in childcare since 2019. I love singing with choirs and am currently a member of the Edgewood Community Choir. I have one daughter named Natalie who loves attending Bee Balm. We both love spending time with family and friends, going on adventures, and all things Disney!

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Aeriona Sharp- Lead Teacher

HEY! I’m Aeriona, I’ve been here at Bee Balm since June 2021. I’ve been a lead teacher in the Arctic Willows classroom for about one year now. I truly enjoy my career here at Bee Balm. I have gotten a chance to work with some amazing people. I’ve also been challenged in a way that has made me a more tenacious person. A little bit about me is that I was born in Chicago, Il. I grew up in the “Little Italy” neighborhood on the west side. I then moved to Settle with my family when I was 15 years old. Moving from Chicago to Seattle was a huge culture shock to me. Moving to Seattle I picked up gardening, coffee making, conservation, learning of other cultures and religions, and gained a much more relaxing lifestyle. I chose to move back to the Midwest to be closer to family and loved ones. I wanted my daughter to have a chance to grow up around her cousins and family members. My daughter, London, is seven years old at the time of me typing this up. She is WONDERFUL, and full of life. We have a dog (Loggy), and a cat (Lizzy). Do you see the pattern? My favorite color is yellow. Some of my hobbies consist of gardening, traveling,

going for walks and relaxing while watching documentaries.

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Amber Alexander- Lead Teacher

Hi, I'm Amber! I'm from Texas moved to Hawaii for 10th grade and finished high school in Alabama. Moved to Madison, WI IN 2015 went to MATC for the early childhood education program. Love to paint and be around friends. Love to support local businesses and queer owned businesses. 

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Lisa Devries- Lead Teacher

Hi! I started working at Bee Balm in 2022 and I love it!  I have always loved working with children, especially the babies. They depend on you to nurture them and teach them about the world around them.  There is nothing as rewarding as watching a child learn in an environment I helped create.  I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2008

with a degree in Psychology.  After graduating I gained experience working with children of all ages with different developmental needs.  I feel I have found my niche here in the Snow Drops.  I enjoy reading, writing and spending time with friends, family and my cats.

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Katy Clayshulte- Lead Teacher

Greetings! My name is Katy Clayshulte and you can find me in the Flowering Ferns Classroom. I received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Montana State University and also played tennis on the University team. Since graduating I’ve experienced a wide range of teaching positions, from tennis coaching and teaching English in Thailand to being a garden educator at four of our Madison elementary schools. I truly believe that discoveries are moments to treasure and share, and as a teacher you get to live this every day! Experiencing the world by side children and helping guide them along exciting adventures never gets old and is the ultimate reward of being a teacher. Outside of the classroom, I’m passionate about spending time with my daughter Maeva. Together we are really interested in reading books and exploring nature! I thoroughly enjoy skiing, running, swimming, and growing fresh, organic vegetables and look forward to sharing these experiences with Maeva.

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Andie Almond - Teacher

My name is Andie. I am a float teacher and a closer for the center. I began working at BBLC in February 2022. I am currently a Junior at UW-Madison majoring in Art Education. I love working with children because their view on the world is so optimistic, creative, and unique. Outside of work and school, I enjoy creating art, playing instruments, and spending time with my friends and my pets. I have a puffer fish, a corn snake, and two Persian cats named Maisie and Bluebell!

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Maize Aerheart - Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Maize, and I have been working at Bee Balm since February 2023. I grew up in New Jersey and lived all over before settling in the Madison area about 2 years ago. I started my Bachelor’s in Marketing at Valparaiso University and finished it online while falling in love with childcare working in Beijing, China. I worked in an international kindergarten in China for about 4 years before moving back to the States and working in several daycares, head-starts, and even a middle school before settling down at Bee Balm. Some of my favorite things to do with my class are dancing and getting outdoors! Some other hobbies I have are crocheting, playing with my cats, and hiking with my wife, Jesse, and dog, Velvet!


Alix Colegial - Lead Teacher

Hello I'm Alix and have worked at Bee Balm since February 2020! I am currently the Lead Teacher in the Cherry Blossoms, but have also been the lead in the Winter Berries and Tiger Lilies! I am originally from Rockford, IL but moved to Madison after graduating from UW-Whitewater in 2017! I have two daughters (Nani & Kaia) who currently attend Bee Balm. When I'm not at work you can find me spending time with family, reading books and finding new places to explore around Wisconsin!

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Cara Leege - Teacher

Hello my name is Cara Leege and I started with Bee Balm in September of 2023 in the Water Lilies room. I have worked in childcare for many years, including my last two positions as a teacher’s aide in a preschool and as a nanny. I currently attend college part time in pursuit of a literature degree. I also have one daughter who also attends Bee Balm. In our free time we both enjoy hiking, going to book stores, and just being outside. I look forward to getting to know the Bee Balm community!

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Lakaya Horton - Teacher

I am 22 years old and I was raised in Madison on the west side. During my time as a youth I competed and placed in regional, state and national poetry slams as well as curated galleries with my own work. I have worked in child care for 3 almost 4 years now professionally, and I have been babysitting and nannying in a more casual setting for almost 10 years now. Before my employment at Bee Balm I worked as a nanny for a family on the westside with one child, cat's and a dog. I love animals and being outside, I have 6 cats at home and would love to grow my cat farm in the future! In my free time I enjoy creating art using many different mediums and going on hikes with my fiance who identifies all of the plants for me. I am passionate about learning, more importantly using art and experience as a tool to teach and learn. I have also worked as a contracted art teacher through Rooted, a local non-profit and volunteered at youth summits with Dare to Know and End Abuse Wisconsin as well as non profits in connection to the Oneida reservation. Kids ages 1-3 are my favorite age to work with but I have experiences working with youth ages 3 months to 18 years old. I am ecstatic to be joining the Bee Balm community and ready to share my skills and passions. 
Best regards, 
Fade (Lakaya) Horton

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Tasha Horton - Teacher

Hi my name is Tasha. I'm a 46 year old mother with more than 24 yrs of parenting experience. 

I feel My life has come full circle and I couldn't be happier for this opportunity. 

I completed 3 years of early childhood development in Chicago Illinois at Kennedy King College in the mid 1990s before becoming a stay at home mother and wife.

In 2001 I moved to Madison and soon began volunteering/ facilitating in youth programs at my local community center. 

In 2005 I became a member of W.R.U (Women Rise Up) an Empowerment  group of Women Of  Color on the Westside of Madison WI. focused on positive parenting,self-esteem,and life enrichment skills. 

My thirst for knowledge and heart for helping people lead me to later receive my cosmetology license and soon after becoming a massage therapist. However,  I never stopped wanting to get back to my first passion.

Teaching and nurturing children.

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Lilly Heffner - Teacher

Hello! I’m Lilly, I have been a float teacher at Bee Balm since April 2024. I’ve 
always loved being around children because they look at the world in such 
a unique and special way. I believe they can teach us just as we teach them. 
I grew up on a farm in southwest Wisconsin but moved to downtown Madison 
last summer. I don’t have any pets that live with me, but my parents have a dog 
and two cats back at home that I miss very much. In my free time, I enjoy 
listening to music, going to concerts, and spending time outside in nature, 
especially around water.

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