BRIGHTON ACADEMY TEAM
Amanda Zismer - Owner and Director
Amanda had been the Director of Operations for Brighton Academy for the last 8 years prior to taking over ownership in January of 2020.
Amanda is a lifetime resident of the Liberty/Kansas City area. She graduated from Liberty High School and attended college at Northwest Missouri State University where she obtained a Bachelors degree. After graduation, Amanda was employed in the Liberty School District in their Kindergarten program and coached high school cheerleading.
Amanda’s passion is in education and childcare so it was a blessing to move to early childhood education after starting a family of her own. It was important to her to be close to her children and have a hands on role in their development and growth while still educating the minds of other children.
Amanda has 2 children of her own, McKinnley and Bennett. McKinnley currently attends school in the Platte County School district while Bennett is enrolled in the Prekindergarten program at Brighton Academy. Both children have attended Brighton Academy since birth.
Over the next year Amanda is excited to further her education and obtain her CDA (Certified Directors Associate) along with attending other job trainings and courses to further her education in Early Childhood Education. Owning Brighton Academy was always a dream of Amanda’s from the first day she started in 2012. She is excited to be on this journey and looks forward to continuing to build Brighton Academy to be the best Early Childhood Education facility in the Northland.
Josh Woods - Owner
Josh grew up in Liberty, MO while graduating Liberty High School. He then furthered his education in Glendale, AZ before returning to the Northland. Josh then started a growing and successful Lawn Care business before sequentially selling it to follow his passion in the Fire Service in 2002. He is now a Firefighter with the North Kansas City Fire Department. He has been with them since 2006. With apparently not having enough to do, Josh reentered the business ownership life by starting another Lawn Care business in 2015.
While all of those passions are near and dear to his heart, none is greater than his love for his son Gavin. He currently attends school in the Platte County School District. Gavin gets a top notch education at his school along with hard work mowing and digging around in the dirt.
Josh strives in having a successful career and businesses. Working with people, whether that's providing care or a trade, is what makes Josh feel like he's making a better place in the world. Owning Brighton Academy Early Childhood Education, where another service can be provided to those in need, fits perfectly into Josh's life. Caring for those, especially in the Northland and their children, rounds out what it means to be successful in giving back. He is looking forward to this journey and what the future holds.
Lead Preschool Teacher
Ms. Jen has worked at Brighton Academy since 2011. Since then she has spent some time in each of the classes and is
currently the lead preschool teacher. In her spare time, she
enjoys reading a good book, spending time with her husband
and 2 dogs and hanging out with family and friends.
Ms. Jen loves teaching and guiding young children and can not imagine doing anything else.
Lead 2-Year-Old Teacher
Ms. Madison is a student at KU and is working on getting her degree in Early Childhood Education as well as Special Education. She will be graduating in 2021.
Ms. Madison is passionate about children and has a strong background working with children in multiple environments. She has been an assistant in classrooms working with children ranging 3-8 years old and is currently taking on a new adventure as our 2-year-old teacher. She also has a strong interest in the Montessori curriculum and tries to tie a lot of the Montessori method into her classroom.
Fun Fact: Ms. Madison is a lifelong resident of Kansas City and is very passionate about this city and the people in it.
Lead Toddler Teacher
Ms. Jenni has been a lead infant/toddler and 2-year-old teacher at Brighton Academy for 5 years. She absolutely loves her job as an early educator! She takes pride in getting to help shape the minds of our littlest learners and prepare them for the best start she can both in life and in education.
Ms. Jenni has an educational background in early childhood and numerous trainings and certifications. She has been teaching for many years now and couldn't imagine doing anything else.
Ms. Jenni is a mom to 3 (not so little) kids, Alex, Caedyn, and Clara, that keep her on her toes.
Ms. Jenni is very glad that she found a home at Brighton Academy and is happy that you have chosen to entrust her with your child's education and well being.
Lead Infant Teacher
Ms. Melissa has been teaching at Brighton Academy for 6 years. She has worked with kids from six weeks old to 6 years old and currently works with our infants and toddlers.
Ms. Melissa has completed college courses in childhood education at Metropolitan Community College and is CPR certified.
Ms. Melissa has a toddler who attends Brighton Academy and husband who is a Chemist. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, watch/attend Chiefs games and work on her cooking skills.
Ms. Samara is an Assistant Teacher at Brighton Academy. She has been at Brighton Academy for 2 years. To her, it has been a one of a kind job that she truly loves!
She currently attends Maple Woods where she is finishing up her Associates Degree in Teaching and will then transfer to Missouri Western to obtain a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education then move forward with pursuing a Masters Degree in Education Administration. Ms. Samara plans to pursue a career as a K-3rd grade teacher.
As an assistant teacher Ms. Samara works in all classrooms. She is thankful she can spend her time at a job doing what she loves! Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the gym, and going out to explore and enjoy all the great places in KC!
In addition to these great staff members, we have other staff that have been with Brighton Academy for less than a year: