Primrose School of Hardin Valley

Our Staff

  • Maddison Barker, School Director

    Maddison Barker

    School Director

    Mrs. Maddison Barker is so excited to serve as the Director of Primrose School of Hardin Valley! She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Child and Family Studies. She currently lives in Maryville with her husband, William, son, Westbrook and dog, Luna. She previously worked with Primrose as a Pre-K teacher and is excited to take on this new role as Director. She cannot wait to meet all of the students soon and welcome families to the school!

  • Alida Felix, Assistant Director

    Alida Felix

    Assistant Director

    Mrs. Alida is excited to serve as the Assistant Director at Primrose School of Hardin Valley! She studied Elementary Education, focusing on Pre-K - 3rd grade. Prior to her role at Hardin Valley, she worked at Primrose School of West Knoxville for almost 4 years, first as an Early Preschool teacher, and then as the Assistant Director. She lives in Hardin Valley with her husband and two children, Kristian and Ellie, who both attend Primrose School of Hardin Valley. She is so excited for her new role at the school and can't wait to get to know all the students and their families!

  • Sarah Harvey, Education Coach

    Sarah Harvey

    Education Coach

    Sarah Harvey is so excited to serve as your Education Coach at Primrose School of Hardin Valley! She is currently earning her degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to her role at Hardin Valley, Sarah worked as the lead Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Primrose West Knoxville for 3 years. She absolutely loves being around children and knowing she gets to be a part of their development is such an amazing feeling! Outside of work, you will find Ms. Sarah cheering on the Vols or spending time with her husband, David. Sarah is looking forward getting to know all of the families, children and teachers along with building trusted relationships with everyone.

  • Jill Empey, Administrative Assistant

    Jill Empey

    Administrative Assistant

    Mrs. Jill is thrilled to be assisting Primrose School of Hardin Valley in a new capacity after serving as the Infant 1 & 2 suppport teacher, then as an Infant 2 teacher during our first year. She studied Early Childhood Education as well as previously working in a West Knoxville Childcare Learning Center for 8 years. She has two older children, Avery, 24 and Zander, 16, her loving husband Mark and a best fur-baby dog Hartley. Hardin Valley has been home for Mrs. Jill for over twenty years and she couldn't be more proud to be apart of the Primrose Hardin Valley family. You may see her out at the baseball field cheering on her son or around Hardin Valley running with her dog. Getting to know all of the children and their familes while watching them grow are the hightlights of her days. She feels so lucky to work beside such an amazing team of teachers and Leadership mentors. 

  • Chef Bedoya, Chef

    Chef Bedoya


    Hometown: Tampa, FL

    Education Background: Culinary school, graduated as International Chef

    Experience: 12 years of experience in childcare. I have a little business/hobby called “Carmen’s Kitchen from Scratch”

    Family: I am a wife, mom of 3 beautiful babies (12, 9, and 3). My mom is from Venezuela and my dad is from Colombia

    Favorite Children’s Book: All Dr. Seuss books

    Personal Interests: My family, happy positive life, doing my job the best I can!

    Carmen says, “I cook for the hardest critics, seeing their little faces every day, the way they show their love and appreciation is priceless!”

  • Chef Buckner, Assisstant Chef

    Chef Buckner

    Assisstant Chef

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: Halls High School Graduate, Early Childhood Education and Nutrition courses at University of Tennessee. Associate of Science Degree and ESL tutor in Anatomy and Physiology.

    Experience: Most of my culinary experience comes from working at Gourmet's Market where I worked under several talented chefs and catered weddings and local government events.  After that I became a GMIT at Domino's.

    Family:  I am the oldest of 5 siblings.  I started dating my husband in high school and got married October 2017.

    Favorite Children's Book: Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

    Personal Interests: Collecting vinyl records, take care of my Corgi, concerts and outdoor festivals.

    I am most excited to cook for children.  They are definitely the best customaers I could have!

  • Ms. Gonzalez, Infant 1 Teacher

    Ms. Gonzalez

    Infant 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

    Education Background: Farragut High School, Pellissippi State Community College

    Experience: I've been working with kids since 2014, babysitting, summer day camps, after-school care

    Family: I'm an only child on my mom's side, on my dad's side I have 2 half sisters and I have 2 fur babies

    Favorite Children's Book: Snow White

    Personal Interests: I love going out to eat, enjoying summertime at the lake, playing with my dogs and watching good tv shows. I also love traveling and getting to know different cultures.

    Sara is very excited to see how much her kids progress and how their personalities will turn out.

  • Ms. Elomari, Infant 1 Teacher

    Ms. Elomari

    Infant 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Jordan

    Education Background: Degree in Master of Arts (Arabic Language and Linguistics), Bachelor's Degree in Arts (Modern languages - French and Translations, English - Arabic)

    Experience: Assistant for the Dean of Admissions and Registration at Jadara University in Jordan, Assistant Manager in Adams Telecom Systems, Assistant teacher in Jordan

    Family: Husband and son

    Favorite Children's Book: Llama, Llama Red Pajama

    Personal Interests: Reading, Cooking, Interior Design

    I am most excited about being around these beautiful souls!


  • Ms. Boyd, Infant 2 Teacher

    Ms. Boyd

    Infant 2 Teacher

    Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

    Education Background: St. Charles High School, University of Nebraska-Omaha (Music Entrepreneurship), St. Louis Community College (General Transfer Studies)

    Experience: Babysitting 2008-2018, Faith Academy 2019-2020 (Assistant Teacher)

    Family: 2 sisters, 1 brother, mom, dad, me!

    Favorite Children’s Book: The Pokey Little Puppy, Junie B. Jones, Black Lagoon Books

    Personal Interests: Listening to music, signing, watching horror movies, playing video games (Stardew Valley, Sims4, etc.)

    Cassie is most excited to see her children grow and develop new skills. She is also excited to get to see her babies develop their personalities.

  • Ms.Gillenwater, Infant 2 Teacher


    Infant 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Sevierville, TN

    Education Background:  Has CDA, some college in psychology, graduated from Pigeon Forge High a semester early

    Experience: 1 year of being a lead teacher, 3 months of other age groups

    Family: Mom, step dad, brother, granny, 2 nieces

    Favorite Children’s Book: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    Personal Interests: Hanging with my fur babies, swimming, visiting Cades Cove

    Lindsey is most excited about getting to be with the babies as they continue to grow and learn new things.

  • Ms. Dost, Toddler 1 Teacher

    Ms. Dost

    Toddler 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: ITT Technical Institute, Information Technology, National Honor Society

    Family: We are a family of 5. Husband, 3 boys & 2 cats

    Favorite Children’s Book: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, Anne of Green Gables By: Lucy Montgomery

    Personal Interests: Cooking, working out, watching tv with my family!

    Diana is most excited her students and the new playgrounds for the children! She loves to help kids learn.

  • Ms. Bean, Toddler 1 Teacher

    Ms. Bean

    Toddler 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: Farragut High School, University of TN

    Experience: Degree in Early Childhood Education, Director of 15 rooms at church, nanny, raised 3 children

    Family: 3 children, very close with mom and brother

    Favorite Children’s Book: Goodnight Moon

    Personal Interests: Candles, baking, reading, watching movies, crocheting

    Dianne is most excited to watch her children excel throughout the year. She is also excited to work with such great co-workers!

  • Ms. Miller, Toddler 2 Teacher

    Ms. Miller

    Toddler 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Shawano, WI

    Education Background: Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Development, and currently working on Bachelor's Degree in Childhood Development

    Experience: Working with children for 5 years

    Family: Husband and cat

    Favorite Children's Book:  "The Giving Tree" and "The Snowy Day"

    Personal Interests: Reading and listening to podcasts

    I am most excited about seeing the children learn and grow throughout their time here at Primrose!

  • Ms. Burleson

    Toddler 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

    Education Background: Currently in school for Early Childhood Education

    Experience: Respite Care Worker in Houton, TX, Child Yoga Teacher in Knoxville, TN and Houston, TX

    Family: I have 2 boys, and 1 foster daughter. My grabdfather also lives with us.

    Favorite Children's Book: I am Yoga by Susan Verde

    Personal Interests: Teaching yoga classes, hiking, watching movies, family game nights

    I am most excited about working with children!

  • Ms. Brown, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Brown

    Early Preschool Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: High School, some College

    Experience: Dance Teacher and Preschool Teacher

    Family: Step Dad, Mom, 3 Siblings, Daughter

    Favorite Children's Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

    Personal Interests: Baking, Movies, Singing, Dancing, Hiking, Games, Outdoors, Art

    I am most excited about seeing the look of excitement when the students learn a new skill and master it!

  • Ms. Letendre, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Letendre

    Early Preschool Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: High School Graduate and some college

    Experience: I have been working with children since i've been 16 years old!

    Family: Dad, Mom, 2 Sisters, 3 Nieces, 3 Nephews

    Favorite Children's Book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

    Personal Interests: Hiking, swimming, volleyball

    I am most excited about making a great difference in the children's lives!

  • Ms. Powers, Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Powers

    Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Hometown: Colombia, South America

    Education Background: Graduated from West High School, graduated from Arbor College of Massage

    Experience: Part-time and full-time teacher

    Family: Mom, dad, and brother. 2 cats, 1 dog, 1 puppy

    Favorite Children's Book: Anything by Dr. Seuss

    Personal Interests: Hiking, dancing, drawing, snowboarding, swimming

    I am most excited about teaching children the importance of life!

  • Ms. Rhode, Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Rhode

    Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Hometown: Sevierville, TN

    Education Background: High School

    Experience: Being a mom

    Family: Adora and Kaiden

    Favorite Children's Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

    Personal Interests: Outdoors, Movies, Books

    I am most excited about making a positive impact in the kids' lives!

  • Ms. Madadali, Preschool 1 Teacher

    Ms. Madadali

    Preschool 1 Teacher

    Hometown: India

    Education Background: Currently enrolled in Early Childhood Education (Major)

    Experience: Over 10 years of experience in teaching birth-6th grade for community service, leadership experience for over 3 years (principal for religious education center, community center)

    Family: Husband and 3 children

    Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama, The Rainbow Book

    Personal Interests: Listening to music

    Salima is most excited to be with kids; teaching them and seeing them be happy

  • Ms. Chaussee, Preschool 1 Teacher

    Ms. Chaussee

    Preschool 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Coalfield, TN

    Education Background: Coalfield School, Bachelor's Degree from Arcadia University

    Experience: Volunteer at Headstart, Office Positions, Food Industry Positions, Developmental Courses

    Family: Mother and 2 Sisters

    Favorite Children's Book: The Wind in the Willows

    Personal Interests: Baking, Hiking, Kayaking, Traveling

    I am most excited about getting to interact with and help the children learn!

  • Ms. Vann, Preschool 2 Teacher

    Ms. Vann

    Preschool 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Lenior City

    Education Background: Currently in school for childhood education

    Experience: I've worked with kids for 4 years

    Family: I have a beautiful 3 year old daughter

    Favorite Children’s Book: Anything Llama Llama

    Personal Interests: Hiking & swimming

  • Ms. Hill, Preschool 2 Teacher

    Ms. Hill

    Preschool 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: University of Memphis and Bryant and Stratton Online

    Experience: 3 years at Smart Kids 2 and 1 year at KinderCare

    Family: Daughter, sister, and mother

    Favorite Children's Book: Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama

    Personal Interests: Drawing, coloring, singing, dancing, reading, and being silly

    Ms. Imani is most excited about building bonds with new students.

  • Ms. Ryan, Pre-K 1 Teacher

    Ms. Ryan

    Pre-K 1 Teacher

    Hometown: Powell, TN

    Education Background: Powell High School, Bachelor of Science in Psychology from TTU Tech

    Experience: Volunteered at a Head Start, babysitting

    Family: Mom, dad, sister

    Favorite Children’s Book: Rainbow Fish, Big Al

    Personal Interests: Drawing, painting, jigsaw puzzles

    Erin is most excited to get to know all the kids and seeing them start to get excited to come to school in the mornings.

  • Ms. Liner, Pre-K 1 Teacher

    Ms. Liner

    Pre-K 1 Teacher
    Apple of Our Eye

    Hometown: Maryville, TN

    Education Background: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development at ETSU, minor in Psychology 

    Experience: Practicum at Little Buccaneers Student Center in Johnson City, TN with 2-4 year olds

    Family: Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister

    Personal Interests: True Crime

    I am most excited about getting to help and watch children grow!



  • Ms. Perryman, Pre-K 2 Teacher

    Ms. Perryman

    Pre-K 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: I would love to continue my education in early childhood education

    Experience: I have a 4-year-old daughter and a lot of cousins/nephews

    Family: I have a very close relationship with my parents. My little family is my daughter and my fiancé

    Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama

    Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family, or I always enjoy spending time with friends as well

    Lauren is most excited to watch her children learn new things. She is also excited to learn new things in her role.

  • Ms. Pack, Pre-K 2 Teacher

    Ms. Pack

    Pre-K 2 Teacher

    Hometown: Chapmanville, WV

    Education Background: High School and some College

    Family: Boyfriend and two dogs

    Favorite Children's Book: The Jungle Book

    Personal Interests: Shopping and traveling

    I am most excited about being the best role model I can be and helping the children do their best!

  • Ms. Williams, Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Williams

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Hometown: Macon, GA

    Education Background: Bachelor's Degree in Human Services with a Minor in Early Childhood Development at ETSU

    Experience: Worked at Children's Hospital as a Unit Tech for a year. Previously was a Sunday School Teacher and worked at Primrose West

    Family: Youngest of 3, older sister and brother, mom and dad, boyfriend

    Favorite Children’s Book: Maple By: Lori Nichols

    Personal Interests: Hanging out with my boyfriend and our 2 dogs, going to Target, going to the lake and camping, Titans football

    Ashley is most excited to get to know all the children in her class. She can't wait to watch them learn and grow!

  • Ms. Urban, Explorers Teacher

    Ms. Urban

    Explorers Teacher

    Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

    Education Background: Homeschooled

    Experience: 4 years of coaching ages 1-5

    Favorite Children's Book: Bones Series

    Personal Interests: Beach, family time, walking in the park

    I am most excited about meeting all of the children and being the best role model i can be for them. I am also very excited about meeting all of my co-teachers!

  • Ms. Johnson, Explorers Teacher

    Ms. Johnson

    Explorers Teacher

    Hometown: Knoxville, TN

    Education Background: Graduated from Hardin Valley Academy and currently attending Pellissippi State Community College

    Experience: Volunteered for seven years in the children's ministry at church, tutoring.

    Family: Dad, Mom, Sister, Puppy

    Favorite Children's Book: The Giving Tree and Where The Sidewalk Ends

    Personal Interests: Unique/vintage clothes/earrings, literature and film, writing, cooking/baking, Star Wars, cartoons

    I am most excited about building relationships with the students and watching them learn.  I am excited about watching the process of seeing the students find their passions, interests, and talents, and helping fostering that!

  • Ms. Essa, Support Teacher

    Ms. Essa

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Najaf, Iraq

    Education Background: Studied two years of business education

    Experience: Mom of 3

    Family: Husband and 3 children

    Favorite Children's Book: Aladdin

    Personal Interests: Traveling, Cooking

    I am most excited about assisting the students in getting the best education!


  • Ms. Martens, Support Teacher

    Ms. Martens

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Lakewood, Colorado

    Education Background: High School Graduate, Certified Paralegal, Certified KCS Substitute

    Experience: Babysitting, REading Tutor, Afterschool Childcare

    Family: Husband, 2 children, 4 grandchildren, 1 brother, and our dog, Sadie

    Favorite Children's Book: Where hte Sidewalk Ends

    Personal Interests: Small hikes, plants, dog lover

    I am most excited about having a role in molding children's attitudes!

  • Ms. Holleman, Support Teacher

    Ms. Holleman

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

    Education Background: Spanish River High School

    Experience: 3 years at Palm Beach School for Autism

    Family: Mom, Dad, Brother

    Favorite Children’s Book: Red Fish Blue Fish By: Dr. Seuss

    Personal Interests: Anime, video games, axe throwing, shooting range, reading books

    Taylore is most excited for new relationships with co-workers and helping her kids learn.

  • Ms. Alcocer, Support Teacher

    Ms. Alcocer

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Tullahoma, TN

    Education Background: High School Diploma, Speech Pathology (Major) & Child Family Studies (Minor)

    Experience: Worked with children majority of life

    Family: Mom, dad, sister

    Favorite Children’s Book: All the Places You Will Go By: Dr. Seuss

    Personal Interests: Reading, shopping, hanging out with family & friends

    Abbigail is most excited to see all her kids grow!

  • Ms. Ward, Support Teacher

    Ms. Ward

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Maryville, TN

    Education Background: Graduated from Maryville High School, Early Childhood Education at Pellissippi, and Chemical Engineering at Pellissippi.

    Experience: Over 9 years of experience as a nanny, babysitter, and childcare environments.

    Family: Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Brother-in-Law, Nephew, Niece.

    Favorite Children's Book: Where the Wild Things Are

    Personal Interests: Math, Science, Working with children.

    I am most excited to help the children grow and learn!

  • Ms. Tackett, Support Teacher

    Ms. Tackett

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Rocky Top, TN

    Education Background: Anderson County High School, University of Tennessee, B.S. in Biology

    Experience: 1 year of ESL in Korea, various tutoring jobs

    Family: Dad, Mom, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin

    Favorite Children's Book: The Lorax

    Personal Interests: Reading, K-Pop, Languages, Cooking

    I am most excited to be aeound kids again and help them learn in a more free and creative context!

  • Ms. Girard, Support Teacher

    Ms. Girard

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Flushing, MI

    Education Background: RN - BSN

    Experience: OB/Maternal Child Health for 22 years.  Med/Surgery Unit for 2 years.  Outpatient surgery for 7 years

    Family: Huband, son, and twin daughters

    Favorite Children's Book: Clifford Books

    Personal Interests: Swimming, walking, pickle ball

    I am most excited about feeling needed and teaching the babies!


  • Ms. Strickland, Support Teacher

    Ms. Strickland

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Greenback, TN

    Education Background: William Blount High School, Associates Degree from Pellissippi State, working on Bachelor's Degree from TN Tech

    Experience: 1.5 years at Coulter Grove Intermediate's Adventure Club

    Family: Dad, Mom, little brother

    Favorite Children's Book: Uniquely Wired by Julia Cook

    Personal Interests: Reading, Writing, Painting

    I am most excited about working with the children!

  • Ms. Hurley, Support Teacher

    Ms. Hurley

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Hanover, New Hampshire

    Education Background: Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Granite State College, Plymouth State University

    Experience: Substitute Teacher, Special Education Professional, Special Education Case Manager

    Family: Husband, 2 Daughters, 3 Grandchildren

    Favorite Children's Book: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky

    Personal Interests: Reading, Knitting, Crocheting, History

    I am most excited about working with young learners!

  • Ms. Morris

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Putnam, CT

    Education Background: Associate's Degree in Visual Arts

    Experience: 3 years of workig with children

    Favorite Children's Book: Poky Little Puppy

    Personal Interests: Drawing, Painting, Crocheting

    I am most excited about spending time with the students to help them learn and grow!

  • Ms. Nunez, Support Teacher

    Ms. Nunez

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

    Education Background: McMinn County High School Graduate

    Experience: Being a mom!

    Family: Daughter, Sister, Brother

    Favorite Children's Book: The Giving Tree

    Personal interests: Reading, Hiking with daughter

    I am most excited about getting to know every single one of the students, and to watch them grow up and learn new things each day!

  • Ms. Palmer

    Support Teacher

    Hometown: Owosso, MI

    Education Background: Farragut High School Graduate, Associates of English

    Experience: Angela Floyd School of Dance Assistant Ballet/Tap Combo Instructor

    Family: Father, Mother, Brother

    Favorite Children's Book: All books by Kate DiCamillo, Where the Wild Things Are, The Kissing Hand, The Wing Feather Saga

    Personal Interests: Ceramics and Jewelry making, Fashion, Reading, Animals

    I am most excited about being able to work with children in a way that makes me feel like I've left a positive impact. I want to make a difference in their lives!

  • Courtney & Christopher Brinkmann, Franchise Owner

    Courtney & Christopher Brinkmann

    Franchise Owners

    Courtney & Christopher Brinkmann are so excited to bring Primrose Schools to Hardin Valley! Courtney has worked in leadership for Primrose Schools for 12 years in several different markets. Courtney is a Knoxville native and University of Tennessee Alumna. Christopher is originally from South Florida and a University of Central Florida Alumnus. With Courtney's background in education and Chris's background in business, they are excited to bring this dream to reality in a community they know and love.

    Becoming Primrose parents themselves in 2016 became a full circle experience for them. They now have three children who currently attend Primrose and have since they were 8 weeks old. They love seeing them thrive at Primrose and feel so thankful for the strong foundation & love of learning it is providing them. Above all else, they are most grateful for the character development program at Primrose and the character traits that are instilled in them daily. They can’t wait for the opportunity to provide more children & families with all of the wonderful things Primrose has given their family. They look forward to serving you!

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