A Lifelong Love of Learning

Responsive Classroom

Our social emotional learning framework is centered around the Responsive Classroom model and practices. 

The Four Key Domains of Responsive Classroom:

Engaging Academics: Learner-centered lessons that are participatory, appropriately challenging, fun, and relevant and promote curiosity, wonder, and interest.

Positive Community: A safe, predictable, joyful, and inclusive environment where all students have a sense of belonging and significance.

Effective Management: A calm and orderly learning environment that promotes autonomy, responsibility, and high engagement in learning.

Developmentally Responsive Teaching: Basing all decisions for teaching and discipline upon research and knowledge of students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

Math Excellence

At Bright School, we are committed to providing a robust and engaging mathematics curriculum that aligns seamlessly with grade-level standards. Our chosen curriculum, Bridges in Mathematics, spans from Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade, ensuring that every Bright School learner has access to a comprehensive, rigorous, and accessible math education.

Deep Understanding and Proficiency

Bridges in Mathematics goes beyond surface-level learning. It is designed to foster deep understanding of mathematical concepts, proficiency in essential skills, and the ability to tackle complex and novel mathematical challenges. Our students not only learn how to solve problems but also why and how those solutions work. Our curriculum blends various teaching approaches to cater to diverse learning styles. It combines direct instruction for clarity, structured investigation to encourage critical thinking, and open exploration to nurture creativity and problem-solving abilities. 

Inclusivity and Strength-Based Learning

At Bright School, we recognize that every student has unique strengths and abilities. Bridges in Mathematics is designed to tap into these strengths by presenting math materials that are not only mathematically powerful but also linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich. This ensures that our curriculum is accessible and engaging for all of our Bright School students, fostering a positive and empowering math-learning environment.

Literacy Excellence

We take immense pride in our commitment to providing a comprehensive and enriching literacy experience for students across all grade levels, from Junior Pre-Kindergarten (JPK) to 5th grade. Our literacy framework is carefully designed to ensure that every child at Bright School not only becomes a proficient reader and writer but also develops a genuine love for learning through reading and writing.

Phonics Instruction as the Foundation of Literacy

One of the cornerstones of our approach is the integration of the Science of Reading methods through systematic phonics instruction, phonemic awareness, and evidence-based strategies to teach reading effectively. This framework forms the bedrock of our curriculum

Reading Workshop: Cultivating Lifelong Readers

The Reading Workshop Units of Study by Teachers’ College Advancing Literacy, aims to develop reading proficiency, language skills, and personalized instruction. At Bright School, we foster a love for reading that lasts a lifetime. This workshop provides a comprehensive, cross-curricular framework that introduces, develops, and deepens skills across multiple genres. Our students receive explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies, ample time for reading, and strategic assessments to set clear reading goals.

Writing Workshop: Nurturing Powerful Authors

In our Writing Workshop Units of Study by Teachers’ College Advancing Literacy, students delve into various genres of writing, including opinion/argumentative, information, and narrative writing. This method combines explicit instruction with enjoyable practice, empowering students to take ownership of their writing. Our dedicated teachers assess student writing, guiding their growth and instilling pride in their abilities as authors.

Phonics and Word Study: Building Essential Skills

For our youngest learners in grades JPK-Prek, our Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum teaches phonological and phonemic skills such as rhyming, initial phoneme isolation, blending, and adding and deleting phonemes. Basically, these “ear exercises” around letter sounds help our early childhood students develop a strong literacy foundation from the start. In K-2, our Bridge to Reading phonics program by Heggerty also offers a streamlined pathway rooted in the Science of Reading. It systematically fosters phonemic awareness, phonics concepts, and strategies that align with students' reading and writing development.  In grades 3-5, our word study program provides direct instruction in decoding, spelling, and mastering multisyllabic words. This approach equips students to confidently tackle more complex reading materials. We believe in using words in context and short, content-rich passages to enhance reading and spelling proficiency, ultimately building comprehension and fluency.

At Bright School, literacy and mathematics are not just subjects; they are a journey of exploration, discovery, and lifelong learning. We look forward to sharing our passion for academics with your children.


Teachers of Grades 1-5

Jessica McNeel

First Grade
Phone: 423-501-8902

Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.A., Southeast Missouri State University
M.S., Southeast Missouri State University

Wynne Ware

First Grade
Phone: 423-305-6464
Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.S., Auburn University
M.S., University of West Alabama

LeAnne Sharpe

First Grade
Phone: 423-305-6487

Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Amy Boyanton

Second Grade
Phone: 423-305-6470

Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.S., Samford University
M.Ed., Alabama A&M University

Denise Hurlbut

Second Grade
Phone: 423-305-6471

Joined Bright faculty in 2007
B.S., Tennessee Temple University 
M.Ed., Trevecca Nazarene University

Jasmine White

Second Grade
Phone: 423-305-6485

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Ed., Southern New Hampshire University

Maggie McGuire-Haug

Third Grade
Phone: 423-305-6473

Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Ed., Carson Newman University

Allison Sakich

Third Grade
Phone: 423-305-6474

Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
M.S., St. Thomas Aquinas College

Cindy Womack

Third Grade
Phone: 423-305-6472

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Amanda Dickson

Fourth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6477

Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.S., University of South Florida
M.A., Johns Hopkins University

Kristen Von Glahn

Fourth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6476
Joined Bright faculty in 2020
B.F.A., University of Miami
M.Ed., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Libby Waddell

Fourth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6475

Joined Bright faculty in 2022
B.S., Oklahoma State University
M.Ed., Grand Canyon University

Allie Hyer

Fifth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6478

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.A., Union College
M.Ed., University of Pennsylvania

Ann O'Brien

Fifth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6479

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
B.S., State University of New York, College at Geneseo
M.Ed., Fordham University

Wendy Rogers

Fifth Grade
Phone: 423-305-6480

Joined Bright faculty in 2021
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Ed., Lincoln Memorial University