Founder:

My name is Allene Thomas.  I am the founder of Thomas Home Child Care.  I opened up my home for child care in 1992.  I have been in the childcare industry now for  over 20 years, as founder of Thomas Home Child Care, My initial experience and leadership was formed by many years of experience in the corporate world as an associate for a fortune 500 company.

My passion for children and realization of the need for care in my local neighborhood has been my motivation to begin my childcare education and grow myr business. I have earned the necessary requirements to obtain my CDA  and also numerous PD hours and college credits related to Early Childhood Education.  As of now, I work part-time in helping my family to grow Thomas Child Care and Learning Academy.

Owner/Director

My name is Valisa Thomas-Dutrieuille.  I am the owner of Thomas Child Care and Learning Academy.  I began my Child Care experience by working at Thomas Home Child Care for 2 years along side my mother before deciding to expand into Thomas Child Care and Learning Academy.  I have many years of management experience also with a fortune 500 company. My Bachelor's degree is in Communications and Computer Technology from Duquesne University and I also hold a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University.  I have also earned my CDA from Point Park University. I am responsible for the management of the company, including the implementation of financial policies and procedures and the development of flexible quality and growth for our center.

Along with my educational background, I have a passion for children and those who care for them. My highest priority is to help children from all socioeconomic backgrounds gain the skills they need to succeed while fostering the shared community values of cooperation and respect for one another.  I make sure I meet the families that attend our center and hold a personal relationship with each of them.  

Assistant-Director

Hello! My name is Aneia Dutrieuille. I am the assistant director of Thomas Child Care LearningAcademy.  I graduated from Point Park University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2018. I received my Directors Credential from Carlow

University. I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and will graduate this year.  I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with children. My grandmother had a group home for 22 years and I worked part time and summers there until I was able to attend college. My grandmother then retired and my mother took the business over and expanded it to a Center. She opened TCLA in 2017.I began my career at TCLA as a preschool teacher and worked alongside my mother assisting with director responsibilities, before being promoted to assistant director.  As an Early Childhood Educator, my goal is to provide a safe and happy environment for each child. Our team of amazing teachers and I are committed to providing our families with an environment for children that will help them grow socially, emotionally and academically. We strive to keep our environment clean, safe and secure. I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given to watch these little people grow.

Infants/Toddler

Hello, my name is Marie Bracy and I am one of the teachers in the Amazing Alligators classroom of toddlers at the Thomas Childcare Learning Academy. This is my first year with the Academy, but I have had the privilege of experiencing over 25 years in the early childcare profession, from infant classrooms to pre-k.  I have an associate degree in Engineering Technology and Liberal Arts from Community College of Allegheny County and a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and African Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Before working in Early Childcare, I had worked as a Patent Draftsperson at Westinghouse Science & Technology Center in the Patent Law Department for 20 years. When the company was sold to China I was left without a job, so the principal of my children’s school invited me to join their Early Childcare Program, and that marked my beginning of Early Childcare Career, and ever since that I have enjoyed teaming up with many amazing teachers to be committed to providing little ones with a loving and developmentally sound foundation for a lifetime of learning. In my spare time you can find me fishing on the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Canada, or the Chesapeake Bay in the spring and summer, or anywhere rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fall and winter.

Hello, my name is Shannon Jackson. I've been with TLCA since June of 2021, but I've been working with children on and off for the past 20 years.  I originally started my career working with children with my grandmother, when Thomas Childcare was a home-based learning facility. By working in education, I was awarded the T.E.A.C.H scholarship through Point Park University for Early Childhood Education, after graduating from Woodland Hills High School. I have three wonderful children of my own, two daughters Kayden 10, Alonah 5 and my son Daniel 3. I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to new places and reading. More recently, I have enjoyed building relationships with the infant and toddler children. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful families and co-workers. 

Hello, my name is Michele Sullivan I am 42 year's old. I graduated from Woodland Hills High school.  I have worked at Thomas Child Care Academy for almost a year in the toddler classroom.  I have been working in child care for 5 year's. I absolutely LOVE working with children.    I also have a daughter named Abbie who is 10 year's old. She is love of my life.  We do everything together. I also coach her softball and hockey team in fall and Summer.  My favorite store is definitely Target!  I am also obsessed with Starbucks. I go every morning.  I am very big family person. Family is #1 no matter what. I spend time with my family/parents everyday.  Teaching young children is the best Job! I am so grateful to work at Thomas Child Care because I am able to watch kids grow and learn.

Hello, My name is Mya Burks. I graduated from Highland Springs Highschool in 2019. I am a 20 year old college student attending Richard Bland College of William and Mary. I haven’t decided on my major yet. But I’m looking into probably majoring in childcare or healthcare.  .I’ve been working at TCLA for a few months.   Some hobbies of mine include Listening to Music, gaming, cooking/baking

Preschool:

My name is Heidi Simmons. I live in the South Hills with with my family, two teenagers, my partner Matt and our dog, Gimli. I have a Master’s Degree in Education. In my free time I enjoy yoga, reading, hiking, gardening, and being in nature. I like to travel and recently visited the Great Lakes for a kayaking trip of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  I am passionate about preserving and caring for the environment.  I have experience as a preschool teacher and director. I value interest based, hands on learning. I look forward to guiding children down all the paths of learning

My name is Nastasja Thompson. I am currently a student at Carlow University working on my Early Childhood degree. I have been employed at TCLA since 2017. My goal for 2022 is to obtain my CDA. I have a one year old son, who attends TCLA. My favorite part of being a preschool teacher is watching the students grow and learn. Over the years, I have transitioned with the children, and they have taught me many things. As a teacher, my goal is to build a bond with children, and families.

School-Age

My name is Adrian Dutrieuille Jr. I work with the school age children at TCLA.  I am the son of Mrs Valisa Dutrieuille.  I earned my CDA in 2018 from Point Park University through Trying Together. I also attended Carlow University for Early Education.  I have been working with children for about 7 years. I have a one year old son whom I adore.  I look forward to seeing these children grow to chase their dreams and live the way they envision. I enjoy taking our dogs for a walk, swimming , dirt bike riding and making music. 

My name is Madeline Hawkins. I attend California University of Pennsylvania as a Speech Pathology major. I plan to graduate in May of 2022. I will move onto a graduate school the following fall. I have been at TCLA since June of 2020 spending most of my time in the preschool and school age classrooms. While this is my first paid job in the childcare field, I have had ample experience my whole life. I am the second oldest of 7 children and have many, many cousins. I have been babysitting since I was around 11 years old. Aside from babysitting, I have clinical experience in our Language and Learning center preschool at CalU and our Speech and Hearing Clinic. On the weekends, I hold a second job as a waitress at Luciano’s in White Oak. I have been working there since 2015. For fun, I love to travel and experience as much as I can outside of the Pittsburgh area, especially beaches and zoos. I also have my own side business sewing with my sister. I am a huge Disney fanatic and LOVE going to Disney World. Aside from Disney, I am obsessed with cinnamon rolls, movies, and otters. I love my job at TCLA and enjoy coming to work and learning from the children each day!