Meet the Staff of The Family Learning Center
- Heather Justen – Director of Early Childhood
- Eric Basinger – Preschool Intervention Specialist
- Donna Meyers – Preschool Paraprofessional
- Wendy Rosen – Preschool Teacher
- Jeanne Leis – Preschool Paraprofessional
- Heather Holben – Preschool Teacher
- Geri Bogard – Preschool Paraprofessional
- Amy Bores – Special Needs Preschool Teacher
- Ann Graham – Preschool Teacher
- Brooke Piper – Preschool Teacher
- Carol Smith –Preschool Paraprofessional
- Tami Burke – Preschool Paraprofessional
- Dawn Arbogast – Preschool Paraprofessional
- Michael Zellner – Special Needs Preschool Itinerant Teacher
- Debbie Ellis – OTR/L
- Kerry Eppley – Speech/Language Pathologist
- Cyndy Flechtner – Secretary
- Mary Smith – Secretary
Director of Early Childhood
Heather is the Director of Early Childhood for North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. She has worked with NCOESC since 2003.
She currently oversees preschool classrooms in Marion, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot Counties. She schedules and conducts professional development for all of the preschool staff and stays updated on all licensing, Step Up to Quality and special education requirements. She directly supervises all of the staff at The Family Learning Center and attends all meetings and events.
Before taking on the role as the director, Heather was an Early Childhood Supervisor for five different preschool sites throughout Seneca and Wyandot Counties for three years. She has also been a school psychologist for 6 years with the ESC working on educational plans for students ages 3-21.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration; Master of Arts; and is licensed as an Education Specialist at the State and National levels.
Heather grew up in Attica and is a graduate of Seneca East. She is married (Jeff) and has one son who is in the third grade.
Preschool Special Needs Teacher
Eric has 33 years in Education…23 of those in Seneca County. He has held teaching positions in Texas, Michigan, Bolivia (Bilingual in Spanish). He has been a Preschool Special Needs teacher in Ohio since 1992.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Bluffton University and a Master of Arts in Education from Heidelberg University. He has certificates for Kindergarten-Elementary (K-8); Early Education of the Handicapped and Prekindergarten.
Eric has been married to Iris for 33 years and has a daughter, Eliana, who is in college.
Donna has been with The Family Learning Center since 1997—18 years. She works as a preschool aide and also has the privilege of providing the music used for graduation and other special events at FLC.
She graduated from New Riegel High School and furthered her education at Bowling Green State University and Tiffin University. Donna has been married to her husband Carl for 38 years and has one daughter. She enjoys giving piano lessons and is very involved in Tiffin St. Mary’s Church where she serves as the Bell Choir Director, Sunday Cantor, choir member and substitute organist.
Wendy began her teaching career in Southern Ohio teaching junior high deaf students at Piketon Junior High School in 1984. She moved to Utah in 1985 when she married. Wendy taught at the Utah State School for the Deaf Blind for 11 years.
Wendy moved back to Tiffin in 1996 and was a substitute for a year with the county schools and Tiffin City Schools. In 1997, she began working for NCOESC as an itinerant teacher servicing students on IEP’s in local preschools and kindergarten classrooms. After several years, she transitioned to a preschool classroom at The Family Learning Center. She has a total of 30 years in education.
Wendy holds a Bachelor of Elementary Education (K-8) and Education of the Deaf (preschool-12th grade) from Bowling Green State University. She obtained her Master of Early Childhood Education and an Early Education of the Handicap certificate from the University of Findlay.
Wendy is married and has three children and one grandchild. Two of her children are graduates of Tiffin City Schools and one who is currently a student at Tiffin Columbian.
Jeanne has been with The Family Learning Center for almost 21 years. She started working in 1992 as a substitute for a preschool class called Seneca County Special Needs Integrated Preschool, which was at St. Mary’s School. She subbed for one year and was hired full time in 1993. The preschool moved its classes from St. Mary’s to The Family Learning Center and she has been there ever since.
Jeanne was born and raised in Bellevue, Ohio and has been married to Jerry for 35 years. She has two sons and four special grandsons.
Heather returned to teaching after spending time as an early childhood administrator in 2012. She missed the hands-on time with children and families and decided to return to the classroom. Heather has more than 22 years in the field of Special Needs Preschool.
Heather is originally from Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education with a concentration in Psychology from Muskingum College. She obtained her Master of Education in Special Education from Bowling Green State University. She also has licensures in Elementary Education, Special Education, Early Education of the Handicapped and Supervision.
Heather has been married to Tom for 22 years and they have two sons—one is a freshman at Bowling Green State University and the other a freshman at Tiffin Columbian.
Geri has been a teacher’s aide at The Family Learning Center for the past seven years after substituting for a year. She has an Educational Aide Certificate from the Ohio Department of Education; has passed the Paraprofessional Exam; and she has worked with the Adult Services at the Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Geri has been married to her husband Terry for 32 years and has three grown children. Geri also works at Rodger’s Flowers and enjoys floral arranging.
Special Needs Preschool Teacher
Amy was born and raised in Tiffin. She is presently in her 21st year of teaching with North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. She decided to pursue the field of Special Education due to her personal experience with being Hearing Impaired, hoping to provide encouragement and support to children and their families.
Amy graduated from Tiffin Calvert High School. She earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Terra Community College; a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Ashland University; a Master of Education from Bowling Green State University; and has Certificates in Special Education, DH/SLD (K-12) with an Early Education of the Handicapped Validation.
Amy resides in Tiffin with her husband Craig and two children, Rachel and Jack. She enjoys swimming, walking, reading, and playing with her children.
Ann has worked for NCOESC for the past 18 years…she started as an Itinerant Teacher in Seneca and Wyandot counties and for the past 10 years, she has been teaching preschool at The Family Learning Center.
Ann graduated from Tiffin Columbian High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Bowling Green State University. She went on to earn her Master of Science in Special Education from Bowling Green State University. Her special qualifications include: Early Education of Handicapped Children and she is Bilingual (Spanish).
Ann is recently married to Jed and has two daughters…Lydia is a seventh grader at Mohawk and Elena is a fifth grader at Mohawk. She enjoys reading and working on her new house in her spare time.
“I could not ask for a more rewarding job.”
Carol has worked in preschool for 12 years…with the last 8 at the FLC. She has assisted Ann for the past four years and has participated in many trainings in an effort to do the best she can with preschoolers, including those with special needs. “One of the most beneficial trainings I attended was a two-day Autism workshop. I learned various methods of helping students with Autism cope with everyday tasks.”
Carol graduated from Mohawk High School and is married. She has four children.
Tami started her involvement with students with special needs when her daughter who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis started school by substituting at the School of Ohio and at a special needs preschool in Fremont, Ohio. She started with The Family Learning Center in 2011. “I love everything about working at the FLC. It is a second family to everyone here. It is so exciting to get to work with each of the kids while at the same time watching them grow and develop as learners. It is also rewarding to witness students with special needs overcome physical and developmental obstacles they face on a regular basis.
“Working at The Family Learning Center is by far the most gratifying job I have ever had.”
Tami has been married to Richard for 27 years and has two grown daughters.
Special Needs Preschool Itinerant Teacher
Michael has been with NCOESC and The Family Learning Center for 16 years. He serves as the Special Needs Preschool Itinerant Teacher. Itinerant when used as an adjective means traveling from place to place; when used as a noun it means traveler. Some children are best served by receiving itinerant services at home. Michael’s primary role is to work with children with special needs who are on an IEP and to use the consultative model with parents and other partner agencies to develop appropriate services and resources for the individual child.
Michael attended The Ohio State University and transferred to Heidelberg University to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a concentration in English Literature. He went on to earn a Master of Education from Heidelberg University and a Master of Education from the University of Findlay. He is certified in: Kindergarten-Elementary (K-8); Early Education of the Handicapped, Prekindergarten and Reading K-12.
Michael grew up on a rural farm in Seneca county and graduated from Mohawk High School.
Debbie is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Allied Medical Professions with a major in Occupational Therapy. She is a licensed Occupational Therapist with over 34 years experience, including 24 years working with infants and children in a school-based setting with an emphasis on early childhood development. Debbie has been employed by the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center for 21 years and has been with the preschool program at The Family Learning Center since its inception in 1996. Currently, she is the lead therapist for the occupational and physical therapists of NCOESC. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association and is a committee member of the Ohio Institute for OT/PT School-Based Practice. Debbie has extensive background in sensory processing, Autism and handwriting and has presented many workshops on these topics to school districts.
Children and family are Debbie’s passions, including her students, adult daughters and her grandchildren. Debbie is married and enjoys working in her yard, riding bikes or reading professional literature.
Kerry has 29 years experience working exclusively with pediatric speech/language disorders in Seneca County—13 of those working at The Family Learning Center. She has extensive knowledge providing therapy for preschool children with speech apraxia, phonological delays, Autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, cleft palate, developmental delays and cochlear implants. She has completed coursework for American Sign Language and training on how to use Structured Teaching Strategies with children diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. She developed and implemented, in collaboration with Debbie Ellis, Occupational Therapist, the FLC’s “Preschool Social Skills Training Playgroup.”
Kerry earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Therapy from Bowling Green State University and went on to earn her Master of Science in Speech Pathology from Bowling Green State University as well. Her certifications include: Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); Licensed through the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; Professional License with the State of Ohio Department of Education as a School Speech-Language Pathologist.
Kerry is a native of Marietta, Ohio and has been married to Mark for 28 years. They have two children—a college graduate in Speech Pathology and a 9th grader at the Tiffin Columbian High School.
Cyndy is the preschool special education secretary at the Family Learning Center. She has many years experience as a secretary. She worked 14 years for Dr. Arturo Hernandez as a medical secretary and when he retired she thought she’d never find a job she liked as much as that one. However, she was fortunate enough to be hired by NCOESC 20 years ago. At that time, The Family Learning Center was in the dream stages. When the building opened she became the secretary and has remained in this position, enjoying the children and great staff every single day.
This is Mary’s first year with the NCOESC. Mary works as a secretary at the Family Learning Center. She has over 20 years experience as a Secretary, Mary also worked as a teacher’s aide at Marimor School for Children with Developmental Disabilities in Lima, Ohio. Mary and her husband Brian recently moved back to Tiffin to be closer to family. They have two sons who both live and work in the Columbus area.
“The Family Learning Center becomes a home for all who work here. It is truly a very unique, and special place! The children make it so!!!”
She married her high school sweetheart, Rick, 47 years ago. They have two great kids, Brett and Gretchen and 4 wonderful granddaughters, Lauren, Lindsey, Emma and Elsa. She loves being a grammy! Her other great love is her animals, Reuben, Roger, and Sammie. They are real animals lovers and have had a pet for the last 46 years!
“We sent two of our boys there so we had six years of experience at the Family Learning Center. Our first son was born severely handicapped and we first got involved with the Help Me Grow program which initially got us into the Family Learning Center. The education, knowledge and support helped us a great amount for both our kids.”