Our Christian Childcare in San Antonio Leadership Team
The Pillars Christian Learning Center attracts and retains staff members who have a true heart for children. The Pillars preschools are professionally managed and staffed by teachers and administrators who seek to contribute to your child’s growth in loving and meaningful ways – for a positive impact that lasts a lifetime. We strive for all members of our lead teaching staff to be certified in early childhood development or education. Many have advanced degrees.
Melissa Anderson had a vision to start a combined early childhood and day care center that would deliver an unrivaled, holistic approach to the San Antonio region. Her program addresses the comprehensive needs of the whole child – cognitively, socially, physically and spiritually. She received her Child Care Director’s License from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Melissa holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. “I manage my learning centers largely from a parent’s perspective, and make decisions in the best interest of the children in our care,” she said. “I want the children to feel safe, comfortable and loved while learning and progressing through the various developmental stages of growth.” She and her family attend Northrock Church. Melissa has been married to Geren since 1999 and has two teenaged children. Her hobbies include reading, Pilates, camping, and traveling.
Geren Anderson is the co-founder of The Pillars Christian Learning Center and oversees the company’s financial, marketing, and strategic-growth activities. Since 2009, his vision and leadership have helped the business to grow from one location to multiple locations across the San Antonio area. His background includes extensive financial management, marketing, advertising, strategic planning and business development. Geren has owned and operated other small businesses and brings extensive corporate executive experience to his position as well. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. Geren serves on the Board of Trustees at Northrock Church and his hobbies include fishing, hunting, camping, and golf.
Director of Finance and Administration
Kellie Copeland is the Director of Finance and Administration of The Pillars Christian Learning Center, where she oversees accounting, finance and administrative responsibilities for each of the centers. Her background is diverse as she has experience ranging from bookkeeping to corporate finance to valuation consulting. She has also spent many years volunteering her time as an officer and treasurer of Wilderness Oak Elementary PTA as well as Bulverde MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Kellie and her family attend Community Bible Church. She and her husband have been married since 1999 and their two sons keep them on the go! She enjoys scuba diving with her family, traveling, camping, games and outdoor activities.
Director of Marketing
Torrey Laffoon is the Director of Marketing at The Pillars. With over a decade of experience in Marketing and Communication, Torrey is passionate about people and how we reach them. Whether it’s folks in each local community we serve or our Pillars Families, Torrey’s mission is that everyone who comes in contact with The Pillars has a positive and memorable experience as well as a complete understanding of what we do and why we do it. Torrey’s background in student and children’s ministry also gives him a unique perspective that is perfect for The Pillars. Student Ministry has been a part of Torrey’s life since the beginning, as his Mother and Father were Youth For Christ ministers in Central Michigan where he was raised. He spent five years at Youth For Christ as well, as a middle school ministry director and then as the Central Michigan chapter’s Director of Marketing & Communication. That experience combined with his passion for digital marketing trends and connecting people to The Pillars’ story, Torrey serves us in a large variety of ways every day. Torrey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Marketing from Central Michigan University, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication and Marketing from Spring Arbor University. In his free time, Torrey loves to be outdoors with his wife of nearly seven years, hunting, fishing, playing disc golf, hiking, and being on the water.
Director of Human Resources
Joan Zamagni is the Director of Human Resources of The Pillars Christian Learning Center. She oversees the overall administration, coordination, and evaluation of the human resource function. Joan is a veteran of the US Army and has worked in a variety of industries including entertainment, the federal government, healthcare, and education. She earned her Master of Labor Relations and Human Resources from Cleveland State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. She is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources. Joan and her husband have been married since 2000 and have one daughter and two four-legged “boys”. They are members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Joan enjoys reading and traveling.
Director of Regional Operations
Dawn Spainhower is the director of the Bandera location of The Pillars Christian Learning Center. She served as the director of the Reed location for two and a half years before our founder asked her to manage the opening of the Bandera location. She develops strong and trusting relationships with both children and parents so that they feel comfortable with her and the center. “As a director, it is important to partner with teachers and parents to enhance the spiritual, educational and social development of children,” she said. The idea of a weekly chapel service for the children was introduced by Dawn, who has been working with young children in her church since she was a little girl. She is actively involved in her church on both a state and local level and volunteers at summer church camps. Dawn believes that teaching and working with children should be enjoyable for everyone involved – children, teachers and parents. “As a parent, I want what is best for my children. As an educator, I am sensitive to the developmental needs of our children at every level.” Dawn has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Ohio University. She has been married to Donald since 1990 and has two children in college. Her hobbies include reading, singing and playing the guitar and saxophone.
Finance & Administration Manager
Michelle Munoz is the Executive Assistant for The Pillars Christian Learning Center, where she assists in a variety of areas: Administrative, IT, Facility Maintenance, Fleet management, vendor management, project management, and accounting. She has 10 years of Office and Leadership experience. Michelle recognizes the importance of education and the love for Jesus in our children. Michelle and her family attend CityChurch on Bandera Rd. Michelle is a mother of 3 children Destiny, John, and Gauge. She spends her weekends going on adventures with the kids, hiking, fishing, camping, or anything outdoors.
Pillars @ Home Director
We recently welcomed Valerie E. Ragsdale to The Pillars family as our Family Relationship Manager. Valerie is a graduate from The University of Texas at San Antonio, with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her most recent position working with all ages of children and their abilities has given her the experience necessary for her current role. Valerie recognizes the importance of family engagement and a center’s communication to be imperative for a growing child. Fostering relationships with families will be key in her role, and she is ready to serve all current and future Pillar’s families to ensure a joy-filled and successful journey in learning and in life. Upon learning more about The Pillars’ mission statement, it aligns perfectly with her own family values: Love God, love learning, and love children. Valerie has been married to her husband, Chad, for 12 years and together they are blessed with three gorgeous children: Cody, Avery and Brooklyn. Like most families their weekends are filled with their children’s activities and family times. She is looking forward to many years, many families and many children!
Director, Reed Road Center
Valerie Lewis is the director of our Reed Road location. She possesses 15 years of experience in early childhood development. Ms. Valerie spent 10 years teaching in infant and toddler classrooms. She was promoted to an administration position and later became director. “I have been very blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of The Pillars Family. Along with the staff, I work hard to continue the legacy of success established at The Pillars by building strong relationships with parents and the children. We focus on character education initiatives, fostering a nurturing, safe environment and spiritual growth to increase our children’s achievements. As Director, my door is always open and I welcome input from parents and staff.” Valerie has been married to her husband since 1997 and has three children. She attends City Church and enjoys volunteering there. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and baking.
Director, Cibolo Center
Born and raised in San Antonio, now with family roots in the Cibolo area, Amy brings almost 28 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. She started in the classroom and spent most of those years with the “terrific twos”. Amy quickly moved through different roles in the center including Curriculum Specialist, Assistant Director, followed by her 1st experience as a Director in 2008. “This is my calling! The perfect combination of teaching, mentoring and being a part of something bigger than all of us…a vision. “Amy’s nurturing personality, and no-nonsense business approach, help her form bonds and partnerships with her team as well as the families we are blessed to serve. “Spending time with children is still the absolute best part of my day!”
“My journey to The Pillars wasn’t always an easy one, but it has made me into the person I am today. I am here for you all and hope to become a part of your family, as you become a part of ours. Melissa and Geren have set the wheels in motion for something pretty phenomenal! I am truly blessed beyond my imagination to be a part of it.”
Stop by anytime to say hello and allow Amy to show you what The Pillars Christin Learning Center is all about!
Director, Bandera Road Center
Emily Busselman is the Director of our Bandera location. She has 16 years of early childhood education experience and has worked with all ages. She has owned and operated her own in-home family childcare facility that was nationally accredited and awarded recognition by the United States Army Child Youth Services department and received National Accreditation of Family Child Care. “It is imperative that every person that walks through my door feels welcome and safe, that is my number one priority as a director. I cherish the relationships being built with the families who make up this center and strive to accommodate their needs as well as foster their child’s education and begin a foundation for their faith.” Emily prides herself on getting to know each family and their specific needs in regard to their child’s education and development and works with her staff regularly to help facilitate an environment to oblige those needs. She has been married for 14 years to an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army and has three girls. Emily’s family attends Community Bible Church and Glorious Pentecostal Church. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading and baking. She also loves to travel with her family.
Director, Singing Hills Center
Kimberly Head is the director of our Singing Hills location. She has worked with children for 30 years, with the last 7 years as a Director in Early Childhood Education. “I have a passion to work and minister to families, teachers, and children. Every person has a calling and my work is in helping people find theirs and then chart a path to lifelong success academically, socially, and spiritually. I am beyond blessed to be able to work with such a rich environment that the Pillars has designed and had the privilege of serving families and children in the Spring Branch area.” Kimberly believes in community outreach and teaching children that their gifts should be seen and used to impact their community. Kimberly is married to her husband Eric for 7 years. She is a big advocate for adoption having adopted and raised a sibling group of four. And now is excited to welcome grandbabies into the family. She’s a softy for her dogs Dixie (Cocker Spaniel) and Libbie (Chorkie). She attends New Life Church where she serves as the Women’s Ministry Leader. Her hobbies include surf fishing, cooking, and exploring our state and national parks.