Meet our Teachers

Alissa Garrett, Director and Lead Teacher

Alissa is a Lawrence native who has been working in childcare for 11 years. She has been teaching at Positive Bright Start Preschool since 2016. She has worked with children ages 6 weeks to school age, but has found her home in the Pre-K classroom.  Alissa has completed Positive Behavior Support Training through Positive Bright Start and loves the way PBS allows the children in her classroom to work through their emotions in an individualized way.  She has a heart for working in an under-served community and enjoys the partnerships PBS has with community outreach centers such as Success by Six/United Way and The Sunrise Project.  Alissa is always searching for classes and training's to participate in to further her education in Early Childhood and Child Development.

Amanda Morris, Co-Lead Teacher

Gwen Pennewell, Site Director

Gwen has  been working in early childhood education since 2004, starting out volunteering for a high school credit in child development. Discovering then her love for the early childhood classroom, after graduation, Gwen became a classroom aide.  Since, Gwen has taken over 130 hours to learning new ways to understand childhood development and social emotional development. She feels passionate that all children should be loved, supported, and cheered for, even when they don’t have the language to express it.

Margaret Grove, Co-Lead Teacher

Margaret is co-lead teacher in the PreK .  She’s excited to be a part of Positive Bright Start! Originally from Pennsylvania, Margaret, or Meg, found her passion for early childhood and teaching while working as a day camp counselor in high school.  Meg has been working in childcare and pursuing her degree here in Kansas for the last 4 years, and hopes to continue expanding her knowledge. Meg’s hobbies include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, drinking coffee, and reading.

McKayla Paez, Co-Lead Teacher

McKayla noticed her passion for working with children around the age of twelve. She worked as a nanny for five years before she started college, and during college, she worked as a classroom and research aide in the University of Kansas’ Applied Behavioral Science classrooms. McKayla graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in History, with a minor in Applied Behavioral Science. After that, she spent time working as an assistant teacher before she came to be at Positive Bright Start. McKayla loves learning new aspects of early childhood education, and believes all children deserve an educational experience that’s fun, but also safe and nurturing.

photos provided by Aaron Paden:






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