Pam Scranton

UPC Discovery Director

Pam Scranton, M.Ed., received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and an endorsement in early childhood special education from Bradley University. She also earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Bradley University. Pam taught at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center and in the Woodford County Bright Beginnings program. She recently served as the curriculum director at Northminster Learning Center. She is a frequent presenter at school districts and universities around the country on topics such as engaging children in project work, authentic assessment, child-centered environments, and developmentally appropriate practice. She was featured in the video, “A Children’s Journey: The Firetruck Project” and in Young Investigator, The Project Approach in the Early Years. She is a contributing author of The Power of Projects, edited by Dr. Judy Harris Helm and Sallee Beneke. She is co-author of the book Teaching Your Child to Love Learning: A Guide to Doing Projects at Home with Dr. Judy Harris Helm and Stacy Berg. Pam is also an adjunct professor in the Teacher Education Department at Bradley University, where she teaches courses in early childhood education.

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Darlene Grant

Lead Teacher

 Darlene comes to us from the Illinois State Board    of Education’s Preschool for All program. She has a BS from Bradley University in Early Childhood Education, with an endorsement in special education – she was one of Pam’s students! Darlene has been teaching preschool for over twenty years in the community and has completed both beginning and advanced levels of training at our own Becoming Young Thinkers Summer Institute. We are are excited to welcome her to our UPC Discovery family!

Angela Pauli

Assistant Teacher

 Angela came to UPC  Discovery first as a parent          in our morning preschool class with her daughter  Grace & Sophie. After her girls went to kindergarten, Angela began to substitute teach in our classrooms when her schedule allowed. Angela has a BS from Bradley University in elementary education with endorsements in math, language arts, and social studies. She previously taught in public school fourth and fifth grade classrooms. We are so glad Angela has accepted this new adventure at UPC Discovery!

Catherine Price

Full-day Preschool Class Lead Teacher

Catherine Price received her bachelor’s degree in Food Science from The University of Leeds in England and subsequently studied Child Development here in America.  It had always been her plan to study teaching when she returned to England after her husband’s assignments with Caterpillar. Catherine has volunteered in a British preschool in Belgium where she lived with her family for four years before moving to Peoria.  In Peoria she worked as a substitute teacher and lunch time assistant for two years.  During this time she learnt about the project approach and work sampling.  She now lives permanently in Peoria with her husband Richard and their two children Isaac and Isla. 

Catherine joined the UPC staff in 2015 as an assistant teacher and in 2016 became the lead teacher.

Malerie Stickling

Full-day Preschool ASSISTANT TEACHER

Malerie graduates in May of 2015 from Illinois Central College with an Associate’s degree in Child Development. During her studies at ICC she was on the President’s and Dean’s list. Malerie also works in Children’s Ministry at Northwoods Community Church. In August 2015, Malerie married the love of her life, Nathan. Malerie was the assistant teacher in our toddler classroom since 2013 and became the full-day preschool assistant in 2016.


Tracy Raab

Morning Preschool Class Lead Teacher

Tracy received her bachelor's degree in elementary education with an early childhood emphasis from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Tracy worked as a teacher assistant with the early childhood special education program in the Hazelwood School District in Florissant, MO for a year and a half. She then received an early childhood special education certification at the University of MO - St. Louis. Tracy taught as an early childhood special education teacher with the Hazelwood School District for an additional 5 years. During that time, she also earned her master's degree in education from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. Tracy moved to Indianapolis, IN and taught in the Avon Community School Corporation for 4 1/2 years as a classroom teacher in the developmental preschool program. Tracy began teaching with UPC Discovery in August 2014. She lives in Dunlap with her husband, and their two sons Grant and Tyler.

Stephanie Randall

Morning Preschool Class Assistant Teacher

Stephanie received her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Illinois Central College. Prior to UPC Discovery, she was a Special Education co-teacher at Woodford County Special Ed. Association. This is her third year at UPC Discovery. Along with being an assistant teacher in the morning, Stephanie also provides lunch for the full-day preschool class! Steph lives in East Peoria with her husband Jerry and their son Jerry Jr. 


Katrina Larson

Toddler Program Lead Teacher

 Katrina received her Bachelor's degree from Bradley University in Elementary Education with a Middle School Math endorsement. She taught as a teacher's assistant in a cross category special education classroom at Bolin School in East Peoria for three years. She also taught 2nd grade at Eastview Elementary School in Oswego, Illinois for two years. Katrina started the toddler program here at UPC in 2008. She lives in rural Brimfield with her husband Scott, their sons Jack & Sam, and their dog Auggie.

Jane Ann Bloomfied

Toddler Program Assistant Teacher

Jayne Ann received her Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, in Japanese and Psychology.  She also attended the University of Michigan & Madonna University (in the Detroit metropolitan area), where she continued her studies in Education.  Jayne Ann worked in the Detroit Public School system, for four years, at a Magnet school, teaching Japanese Immersion in the Kindergarten Department.  After the birth of her first child, she left Detroit Public Schools, and tutored and taught homeschool students Japanese.  She also worked as an ELL Coordinator for several years, with an overseas agency.  During that same time, Jayne Ann was employed by a Japanese School, working with Japanese school-aged children & at Orchard Lake St. Mary's College, working with adult ELL learners.  After a few career moves with her husband, she went back to teaching Kindergarten at Peoria Christian School. Jayne Ann has been a substitute for UPC since 2012. She and her husband, Joshua, reside in Dunlap with their three sons: Kaleb, Benjamin, & Nathanael, and their dog, Glory. 

Susan Brandolino

Lunch Assistant

Susan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She also received her Montessori Training at Indiana University in South Bend Indiana. After working for five years in Montessori Programs, she substituted in the Dunlap and Princeville School Districts and then Joined UPC Discovery Preschool in 2012. She is currently working on her Masters through the online program at Southern New Hampshire University in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology. Susan lives in Dunlap Illinois with her husband Rich and their two daughters Cary and Lizzy.

Poonam Patel

Aftercare Teacher

Poonam received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois in Springfield. She has had two daughters in the UPC Discovery programs and joined the staff in the fall of 2017 as the AfterCare Teacher. Poonam lives with her husband Kandarp and their two daughters Shreya and Shreeja in Dunlap.