The Weekday School (WDS) is blessed with a team of professional and devoted early childhood educators that have a passion for the early development of children and their care. Periodically, we would like to introduce you to this wonderful staff.

Shelby Johnson

My name is Shelby Johnson; I grew up in Nashville, and attended Belmont Weekday School (BWDS) as a child. I began in the infant room and eventually graduated from the Pre-K fives class. Needless to say, BWDS holds a special place in my heart, and I’m so happy to be able to return as a teacher. As a child of a teacher, I have always loved working with children. Growing up, I enjoyed helping my mom in her classroom whenever I could after school or on school breaks. It was these experiences that led me to major in education in college. I attended Lipscomb University and graduated in May 2018 with a B.A. in Education, and I have just completed my fourth year of teaching at BWDS.

Riquera Smith

My name is Riquera Smith. I’m a senior majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Communication Studies at Belmont University. I was born in California, moved to Texas, and now I’ve been living in Tennessee for 12 years. I currently live in Mount Juliet. Being at the Weekday School, I am experiencing a full circle moment. Ever since I was little, I would line my stuffed animals up and teach them. So, it was only fitting that I pursue my dream of being a kindergarten teacher.

I have two younger sisters. At a young age I loved taking care of them and still enjoy the title of big sister. Working with children brings me joy because on the inside I still feel like a child. Although I am going to school to become a teacher, I believe that children can teach me just as much as I can teach them. I will always be a student at heart and will never stop learning! My goal to become a kindergarten teacher stemmed from my very own kindergarten teacher. We grew so close that I was a flower girl at her wedding! To this very day we still keep in touch. She inspired me to become a teacher, and I want to create strong relationships with my students just like she did with me. I am so excited to be able to work with these amazing kids.

Shanah Omar

My name is Shanah Omar. I always look forward to getting to know the children and their parents each year.

I graduated from Lipscomb University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2017. This is my second year working at Belmont Weekday School. I am married to my sweetheart, Bakhtiar, and also have a dog named Buddy and a fish named Blue.

I enjoy working with children and feel that teaching is a rewarding job. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with such great children and co-workers here at the WDS.

Rachel Francis

My name is Rachel Francis, and I grew up in Louisiana. After I finished high school, my family and I moved to the Nashville area. I studied Early Childhood Education at Nashville State; I have always loved working with children. I have been at the WDS for five years now and worked in both the infant and toddler rooms. One of my favorite things about working in early childhood educations is watching the children grow and develop. As a floater, I get to see all the children grow and develop which brings me great joy.

In my free time, I like to read, shop, and binge watch shows with my cat Chloe. I also love the Nashville Predators.

Laura Abernathy

My name is Laura Abernathy, and I am elated to be the office manager at the Weekday School (WDS). After teaching preschool for four years, I was excited to make a career change and join the administrative side of childcare. It has been such a joy to be a part of the WDS community. I recently married the love of my life; we have blended our families together. We have two children who keep us very busy. Our daughter Evie is 9 and loves to dance and draw. Our son Kellan is 8 and plays all different kinds of sports. In addition, we have two dogs, Roscoe and Sherman, as well as a kitten named Harper. In my free time, I love to explore our amazing city, spend time at my children’s extracurricular activities, practice yoga, and cook/bake new recipes. I am so excited to be a part of the WDS team!

Aliya Savage

My name is Aliya Savage, and I am delighted that this is my second year year teaching and my first year here at the WDS. We have so much fun, and I am grateful to serve the families.

I am originally from Chicago, Illinois, and the oldest of three girls. I moved to Nashville in 2018 for college and currently attend Tennessee State University with a major in Child Development and Education. I will be graduating May of 2022, hoping to obtain my master’s degree in Marketing and Mass Communications.

My passion for working with kids started at a young age, and ever since then I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. The past three summers, I served as the summer day camp director at one of the YMCA locations in Chicago. I also have experience as a lifeguard, four years of nannying, and three years of volunteer work at a preschool in Illinois. Last spring, I also had the privilege of working as a guest relations cast member at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

When I am not in the classroom, you can catch me at Jeni’s ice cream trying new flavors. I am an avid reader and love to search Pinterest for new recipes to try.

The early years of a child’s life are the most important. My number one priority for our classroom is to be a place where all students feel safe and loved.

Amanda Galbreath

My name is Amanda Galbreath. My fiancé and I have been together for nine years. We moved to the beautiful rolling hills of Kingston Springs, TN four years ago with our two sons, Devin (age 12) and Dylan (age 10), and our three fur babies, Shylah, Rico, and Zara.

After working many long nights and weekends for ten years as a licensed hair stylist in a salon, I decided three years ago to take a leap towards a new career path allowing me to be able to spend more time with my children. I didn’t realize at the time what a huge role I would play in developing small minds. I enjoy it so much that I’m working towards getting my degree in Early Childhood Education to become a certified teacher. Over the past two years, I have worked with all ages, but the 2’s/3’s have become my favorite age group. I have developed a passion for helping their minds develop, a love for their curiosity, and admiration for their sense of adventure and excitement. It’s my pleasure to be a part of the daily lives of these sweet kiddos.

Bailey Collins

My name is Bailey Collins. My family (husband and 4-year-old and 6-month-old daughters) moved back to Nashville after a 4-year stay in South Africa. There we worked for a nonprofit that served and empowered women and children experiencing gender-based violence. Before that, we lived in Nashville where I studied at Belmont University and fell in love with the city. We are so glad to be back! My background is in social work and I have several years’ experience working with young children healing from traumatic experiences, who I encouraged to develop healthy emotional and social skills. I’ve also worked closely with parents in difficult situations. I care deeply about children and the ways we as adults get to help them grow and explore as they discover who they are in this big world, and I am so excited to be working with the children at the Belmont Weekday School.

Elizabeth Ayton

My name is Elizabeth Ayton, and I am the Assistant Director at Belmont Weekday School. Before holding this position, I worked as the enrollment coordinator at the WDS and spent seven years as a Pre-K Fives teacher. I graduated from Belmont University where I studied Music Education and spent three years teaching middle school for MNPS. My daughter Amelia attended the WDS from the time she was nine months old until she graduated from the Pre-K Fours, and she just started first grade at Waverly-Belmont Elementary. My son John Samuel is in the Preschool 1 class this year. I am so elated and privileged to be able to serve the Weekday School community and give back to the school as much as it has given to my family. It truly does feel like my second home, and I am proud to be a part of such an incredible school.

Brittany Jordan

I’m Brittany Jordan, and I feel very lucky to be at such a wonderful school. I always look forward to fun and exciting times full of discovery and learning.

Helping people and building a better world have always been very important to me, and I see teaching children as one of the most important tasks in achieving that goal. In 2013, I received my Masters in teaching (K-6) from Belmont University. I taught for MNPS in 2nd grade for one year and Kindergarten for two years.

My goal for this year is to help children in my class to have fun while they learn as well as make sure I do everything I can to prepare them for Kindergarten and beyond. I feel that the relationship between teacher and parent(s) is a two-way street, and I always want them to feel comfortable coming to me with questions, concerns, and input. We are in this together!

Liz Minton

My name is Liz Minton, and I am one of the Three’s teachers at the Weekday School (WDS). I have worked at the WDS since moving here from California in January of 2001 and have been teaching with Melissa in the Three’ class since 2015.

Prior to moving here, I graduated from California State Fullerton with a BA in Psychology. While attending college, I worked as an instructional assistant in Special Education with children diagnosed with Autism. I have an 11-year-old daughter, Alia, who is a sixth grader at Oak Hill School. I enjoy being crafty with Alia, drinking coffee, and watching Sci Fi.

Susan Johnson

My name is Susan Johnson, and I am proud to have worked at the Weekday School for over 20 years in every age group from toddlers to Pre-K. For the past ten years, I have taught in our 3-year-old program, but this past year I was excited to be teaching in the Pre-K Four’s.

I graduated in 1986 from Harding University with a bachelor’s degree in English, and then in 1989 received my Early Childhood Education certification from Nashville Vocational School.

My husband, Ed, and I have been married over 30 years. We have three grown children: Andrew, Dillon, and Shelby. All three attended Belmont Weekday School when they were children. I love working with young children and making good memories while building on their learning foundation.

Melissa Cash

My name is Melissa Cash, and I have a degree in Early Childhood Education from MTSU. I taught three-year-olds for almost 9 years before having my own children. I was a stay-at-home mom and nanny for many years until I returned to teaching preschool at the Weekday School.

I have two children, Hayden age 18 and Ella age 13. My husband, Tom, is the Metro Councilman from District 18. We have lived in the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood for 25 years; I am lucky enough to be able to walk or bike to work every day!
I enjoy baking, listening to audiobooks, bargain hunting, and spending time with friends and family. I have worked at Belmont Weekday School since August 2015.

Diane Crutcher

My name is Diane Crutcher and I have worked at the WDS for over 24 years. Eleven of those have been in the 3’s classroom. Prior to working at the WDS, I taught for 5 years at Adventureland Daycare in Mt. Juliet.

My husband, Derrick, and I have 3 boys, Brandon, La’Terrance, and De’marcus, and 5 grandchildren, Markellus, Keyson, Diane, Aleah, and Yummillet. I’m very proud to say that Markellus and Demarcus attended the WDS as children.
I was born here in Nashville and resided in Mt. Juliet for a few years before moving to Lavergne. I am a product of the Metro Nashville Public School system and received my TECTA certification in March 2015.

I love working with children! My goal each day is to be able to touch a child’s life with the encouragement they need to know that the hard work they put in is worth it.

Maria Petty

I am Maria Petty and very excited that I was able to spend the school year in the Threes classroom!

This is my fourth year teaching at Belmont Weekday School. I spent the first two years in the Nearly 3’s classroom and taught in the Pre-K 4’s classroom the following year. I love teaching preschool because I love to see how children learn and grow. I also love being around laughter all day! I have chosen to work in early childhood education because I believe that preschool sets the foundation for a child’s relationship with education; I am proud to be a part of that.

Becca Consacro

My name is Becca Consacro and I was so happy to return to the Two’s classroom at Belmont Weekday School this year! I am a Nashville native and grew up in this neighborhood myself, attending school just down the street at Eakin Elementary. I moved back to Nashville last year with my family after living abroad for the past 7 years and in the northeast US before that.

I became a teacher in 2001 after receiving my Masters in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I have over 15 years of combined teaching experience, including 8 years in Baltimore City public schools, 4 years as a private tutor and homeschooling mom in Philadelphia, PA and Dubai. Then, 2 years in a private American school in Dubai and 2 years in a British International school in Morocco.

I have 3 amazing children of my own: Salim (5), Safia (10), and Elias(13). My husband is Moroccan, and we are a multilingual and multicultural family who enjoy traveling and spending time with our extended family around the world.

I have taught children from every walk of life in many diverse settings, and I can honestly say that teaching at Belmont Weekday School has been an absolute pleasure. I love the friendly, welcoming environment of our school community and have really enjoyed teaching in a preschool for the first time.

Rebecca Johnson

My name is Rebecca Johnson and this is my second year working at Belmont Weekday School. I was born and raised right here in Nashville and, as a native of Tennessee, I have loved traveling and being in the outdoors fishing, hiking, and hunting!

I am a mother myself to three wonderful girls: Lexi (14), Autumn (5), and Gracye (3). I have always been drawn to children and have had a passion for working with them since a very young age. I began that journey at the age of 14 when I started babysitting. I babysat through high school and also began tutoring. I also used that passion to homeschool my children before I started working for the WDS. My love for family and education is what I like to incorporate back into the classroom. I am excited to have the opportunity to shape the minds of children and cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us.

Life is great in the toddler class and I hope to inspire my students as they continue to inspire me every day!

Connie Piper

Hola! My name is Connie Piper; I am one of your child’s teachers and am happy to be an intricate part of your family’s life. I have been working with children for over 15 years and am originally from NC but made Nashville my home by way of the US Military for the past 7 years.

I have always felt that teaching was my calling, so I decided to put the wheels in motion by receiving my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Penn State. My first experience teaching was as an art teacher at a military school, and I have volunteered in the cancer ward at Duke Children’s Hospital. For the past 10 years I have been one of the leaders for FRG-Army Medical Unit, where I counsel youth who are trying to cope with the deployment of a parent.

I have been a proud military spouse for over 18 years and have two wonderful children, Nya (15) and Joshua (11). I am also a cat mom to 2 crazy and spoiled cats. When I am not busy, I like to spend time with myself praying and reading to stay grounded.

I set goals for my life, my family, and I bring that same enthusiasm and hard work ethic into the classroom. My goal for the classroom is to provide a positive and welcoming learning environment for, not only your child, but for your family. I want to instill in them the importance of their individuality and for them to see how others are special because of theirs. As a parent and educator, I like to always keep the lines of communication open.

Evie Breedlove

My name is Evie Breedlove. I am excited to join the Belmont Weekday School family. I have been working with children in some capacity for over 8 years. I am a Nashville native and only moved away for college before returning to settle back into my hometown. I have always loved children and that encouraged me to pursue Early Childhood Education. I have always had a passion for seeing children grow independently; seeing the lightbulb come on when a child masters something new is a complete joy.

I am an extrovert and I adore spending quality time with family and friends. I love movies of all kinds and going to see movies in the theater (when we were actually able to). I have a Bichipoo (Bichon Frise /Poodle mix) puppy named Buddy and I am excited to be getting married in November of 2021.

Tahnee Pittman

My name is Tahnee Pittman; I am from Cookeville, TN. My husband, Jeff, and I have two sons: Jace, a college student, and Jacob, a high school student. I have 21 years experience teaching preschool with a TECTA certification and attend annual training specifically for infants and toddlers. In early 2018, I worked as a substitute teacher for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. During this time, I taught at several preschools in the Nashville area. When I came to work in classrooms at Belmont Weekday School, I found the faculty and staff welcoming, knowledgeable, and dedicated to enriching the education of the children that attend. I loved it so much that I stayed!
In your child’s classroom my focus area is their health and safety. My goal is to observe your child’s individual interest and to facilitate their development and play. This is my favorite age group to teach; I feel very blessed to have a career that I love!