Meet the Staff
Mrs. Sam Lambright
Sam is the acting director and the lead teacher of the Penguin Room (Pre-K). She started working at Union Center Daycare on October 11, 2013. During her time here she has filled many roles. She came to Union Center with 2 years’ experience in a child care setting, but had her own, in home care for 5 years.
In 2012 she earned an Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Ivy Tech and continued on to earn her degree in Business Administration in 2015. Her ultimate goal is to be a director one day.
Mrs. Sam loves to learn and continue her education. Her extra time is spent doing research and gaining skills pertaining to working with children. She has attended training on Handwriting Without Tears and Conscious Discipline. During the spring and fall you can find her on the soccer field, or baseball field, cheering on her son.
“The time I spend with these children, makes me a better person. Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who will grow with them, and who will be their voice. I try my best every day to be that adult.” Sam
Miss. Ruby Jane Harshberger
Ruby is the lead teacher of the Koala Room (6 week to 12 months). She has worked at Union Center Daycare and Preschool since July 12, 1999. She has over 20 years’ experience in working with children. She has attended numerous trainings on safe sleep practices for infants. She has also been trained on how to integrate language, math, science and art with the littlest people daily activities.
During her free time Ruby enjoys to sew, make cards for people, read books and spending time with her family.
“Babies have always had a special place in my heart, I love to watch them explore and make new discoveries. It is wonderful to see their personality’s blossom.” Ruby
Mrs. Deanna Koontz
Ms. Deanna is the assistant teacher in our Koala class. She started working at Union center daycare on June 13, 2013. She first started with the three year old class.
Ms. Deanna graduated in 2007 from Taylor University with a degree in early childhood. She has worked as a nanny, and at other child care facilities. All together she has 7.5 years’ experience.
She has had numerous extra training hours, in things such as conscious discipline, outdoor experience for preschoolers, and handwriting without tears.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She also is very active in her church.
“I like to see the excitement when children finally get the task they are working on. The joy in their face, makes the job that much better. Watching them grow socially brings me great happiness.” Deanna
Miss Charissa Gingerich
Miss Charissa is the lead teacher of the Monkey Room (one year olds). She started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool on February 20, 2014. She came to Union Center with 8 years’ experience being a nanny and working at other centers. She also worked in the Giraffe room.
Miss Charissa has attended NAEYC conference in all areas of the United States. She also attends the annual Indiana Early Childhood Conference. Continuing her education is very important to her.
In her spare time, she likes to hang out with friends and spend time with family. She also volunteers her time with inner city kids.
“Children hold a special place in my heart. I enjoy watching them grow and discover new things” Charissa
Miss Kelli Chupp
Miss Kelli started working for Union Center Daycare and Preschool on May 11, 2015. Before coming to UCDC she worked at Millers Merry Manor. This is her first job working with children.She started in the Koala room, and is now our float and sub.
In her spare time, she enjoys going shopping with friends, being active in her church youth group, and spending time with her family. She plans to attend a mission trip this summer to Canada, and go camping with her youth group.
“In my time working here at UCDC I have worked with all age groups. I love the changes they make over the year, from seeing an infant take their first step, to seeing a preschooler get the letters in their name correct.” Kelli
Miss Tori Lambright
Miss Tori started to work at Union Center Daycare and Preschool on August 24, 2015. Before coming to UCDC she worked at another center and tried a couple factories
Currently she is an assistant in the Giraffe Room, but started as a float between the Penguin room and Giraffe room.
During her free time, she enjoys going shopping, and sleeping. She would like to go back to college, and become an ultra sound technician.
“I never thought I would enjoy working with children. This was just a short job until I found something better. After being here, I have come to love the children and the staff at UCDC. They have helped me grow as a person.” Tori
Miss Sarah Zimmerman
Miss Sarah started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool on September 8, 2015. She took a year off to nanny for a family that sings in Gospel Echoes. She has started her own business called Discreetly Yours, where she sells skirts.
Sarah works in our Monkey Room as an assistant. Before her short time away she was the lead teacher in the Monkey Room. She loves anything monkey, and sock monkeys are her favorite. She is a 10 year 4-H member.
In her spare time, she loves to travel, and has seen many places in the Unites States while traveling with Gospel Echoes. Recently she took a short trip to Oregon.
“My love for children started at a very young age. I love seeing them grasp onto and learn new things. I will always have a special place in my heart for the little people I have taken care of.” Sarah
Mrs. Amber Hogan
Mrs. Amber started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool on October 5, 2015. She is the cook and prepares all the meals here at UCDC. She came to UCDC after working with children at another center.
Amber has four children, 3 boys and 1 girl. When her children are not keeping her busy she enjoys being outside.
“I enjoy cooking, it relaxes me. Working here is a different experience. I have always worked with children, not cooked for them. I love walking into the koala and monkey rooms, because they know I am the food lady, and are excited to see me.”
Miss Katlyn Haley
Miss Katlyn started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool on August 1st, 2016. She currently works with the early preschool children but has worked in the Pre-K area when needed.
Katlyn is a 2010 graduate of Penn High School. She came to UCDC after being a nanny for a family. Before that she has worked with children throughout her whole life. She resides in Nappanee, with her boyfriend and their 3 husky dogs, Anuk, Glacier, and Malakai.
“Growing up with a rough start, I learned at a very young age how to take care of children. I have always had the nurturing ability that is needed to be with children and have been drawn to working with them.”
Miss Lyric Lambright
Lyric started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool in April of 2017 She comes from Ace Hardware, but has interned at a Center that specializes in teen moms.
Lyric lives in Syracuse with her son and boyfriend. She started at UCDC as a float but since has been promoted to assistant in the Monkey Room. She has completed classes in EMT, and is transferring to IUSB in the fall to major in sonography.
In her spare time, she enjoys being with her friends and family. “Working with children is a great experience for me. They teach me so much on a daily basis, and I love watching them mature and become their own person.”
Miss Nicole Helmuth
Miss Nicki started working at Union Center Daycare and Preschool in April. She is getting ready to start her senior year at United Christian School. She lives in Nappanee with her parents, three siblings and her dog named Bear.
In her free time Miss Nicki likes to hang out with her friends, listen to music and spend time with family. She came to work at Union Center because she likes children and she wanted experience for when she has her own family.