South Lyon


Livonia South

Livonia North

Livonia West

Livonia North Directors


Samantha Greenwell

Center Director 

My name is Samantha and I am the Center Director at The Learning Tree- North in the Preschool, Pre-K and School Age.  I grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.  I have taught Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten, and have been a Director for the past 5 years.  

I am a mother of two children.  My daughter, Lily, is 8 years old.  She started 3rd grade this past fall.  My son, Nicolas, is 5 years old and will be starting kindergarten next fall.  He loves cars and going fast!  My husband, Jason, and I were high school sweethearts and are HUGE Indiana University Basketball fans.  Go Hoosiers!


 Nikki Farkas

Director of Happiness

Hi! My name is Nikki Farkas. I'm so excited to be part of the team at The Learning Tree. I have been working with children for 12 years in several different settings, but the majority of my professional years have been spent in licensed centers. I began working with children in the classroom setting as a senior in high school. I assisted in a Kindergarten classroom several days a week and I loved watching children learn and grow over the course of the year. I knew from that experience that I would one day go on to work with young children as a career.  I went on to attend Central Michigan University and receive my Bachelor's Degree in Child Development with a minor in Personal and Community Health. After graduation, I spent several years teaching Pre Kindergarten and when given the opportunity, moved up in to administration as an Assistant Director. I have spent the past several years managing schools and children's programming. 
In my free time, I am currently planning my wedding! June 24th of this year I will be marrying my fiance, Dan, and we couldn't be more excited. When we are not wedding planning, we enjoy being outside in the sunshine as much as we can. Our favorite thing to do together is run in the park, but you can find us on the beach too when the weather is nice.  We also consider ourselves amateur "foodies". We love trying new restaurants and interesting cuisine.  We equally enjoy cooking elaborate meals at home and trying new recipes. Our love for food runs so deep that he even proposed to me at our favorite restaurant in Detroit! We also love to take weekend road trips together and explore different parts of our beautiful state.  Lasty, but certainly not least, I am a Godmother to a handsome little 2 and a half year old boy, Aiden John, whom I adore. 
I can't wait to meet all of the families and staff at the center. I look forward to being a part of your child's care and education here at The Learning Tree North!   


Karen Ballard

Regional Director 

Learning Tree Child CareMy name is Karen Ballard and I began my career with The Learning Tree in August of 1998 as a Head Teacher in a toddler classroom. My passion for early childhood education was fueled in that class and my love for children and their families grew. In June of 2002 I switched gears a bit and transferred to The South Lyon Learning Tree as the center Director. It was as a Director that I became enthusiastic about watching children and teachers grow and learn. In December of 2003, I was given the opportunity to be Regional Director, overseeing the operations of all three Learning Trees.

As Regional Director, I have the pleasure of traveling from center to center throughout the week, talking with parents, training the administration at each center and I still find the time to do what I love most - play  with the children! This past September, I opened The Learning Tree’s newest center as the Director of The Learning Tree—West!

I graduated from William Tyndale College in December of 1998 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and am continuing my education at Madonna University. 

I have a five-year-old daughter, Olivia and when I am not at work we enjoy playing princess, having tea parties and practicing our ballerina skills! We recently took a trip to Disney where we met many Disney princesses! I also love being outside in the sunshine and crafting it up!

I look forward to being a part of each child’s early learning experience and know that The Learning Tree is the perfect fit for you and your family.

                     Learning Tree Child Care Learning Tree Child Care

Andrea Brown

Regional Director 

I love being part of such an amazing company that cares about each family and staff that are part of each school. I’ve had the opportunity to hold several positions at

 The Learning Tree; Teacher, Assistant Director, Director and since 2012, Regional Director.  My Regional Director duties involve supporting our classroom quality and curriculum with Curriculum Directors and Teachers, also, I manage all of the marketing at The Learning Tree. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Special Education.  I currently enjoy furthering my education and training by being an active member of several national business and marketing groups, as well as attending curriculum conferences throughout the year.

 My co-workers know that my favorite part of being a Regional Director (besides being paperless) is my passion for supporting teachers and making The Learning Tree more fun with their ideas and feedback.  I also have a huge passion for Highscope Curriculum and enjoy training staff on all parts of Highscope.  I love that I get to be part of a team that is excited about true quality for child development.  Together, we continue to improve the quality of our program and it’s important to me that we are continuously striving to be better. I don’t have an office so I am always out and about at a different location every day, hands on, with our team. I love to read the news and write about anything!  Traveling out of state just to go on a hike is one of my favorite things to do.  I love the state of California, but I love exploring Michigan even more.


Alexis McNett

Curriculum Director

Hello, my name is Alexis McNett! I​ started working with children in 2006 but​ began my career with The Learning Tree at our South Lyon location as the Assistant in the Toddler classroom in February of 2013. Shortly after starting I found my true passion was in the Infant Program and transferred to the Infant classroom as the Lead where I began my role as the Infant Program Specialist for all 5 centers! I was proud to receive a 5 star rating through Great Start while in this classroom. In May of 2014, I was happy to accept the position at the Howell location as the Assistant Director! I have always know that my true passion is Quality Curriculum in the classroom and found my true fit within the company as the Curriculum Director in September of 2016.

In my free time I enjoy being outside, DIY activities and spending time with my husband, Ian who I married in May of 2016. The Learning Tree has been a facilitator in my growth as a person and educated me on many important things in my life, such as eating healthy organic meals, physical wellness and being green! I love being part of the Teachers orientation process and helping the every classroom provide high quality curriculum for the families in their program!


Claire Glass

Curriculum Director

Hello! I started working for the Learning Tree in January of 2012 at the South Lyon location. My career started as a Pre-K assistant, then I transitioned to being the Lead Teacher of the Pre-K classroom in September of 2012. I was the Lead Teacher for over three years in South Lyon. 

I am thrilled to be working at all five locations within the transitional preschool through PreK programs as the Curriculum Director, helping teachers with training, curriculum, program quality, and more! I love working with this age and have so much fun seeing the children grow and develop! In my free time, I enjoy triathlons, rock climbing, photography, serving at my church, and spending time with family and friends! 


Erica Bishop

Regional Office Manager

I began working for The Learning Tree in 2005 as an Assistant Toddler Teacher. Soon after I became the Lead Teacher and had the joy of teaching toddlers 
for 5 years. I am blessed to work for a company that sees the strengths in each individual and supports their development. More opportunities were created to support my passion for helping teachers and children including center floater, resource coordinator, toddler program specialist, Assistant Director and my current role as Regional Office Manager. 

As Regional Office Manager, I have the privilege of traveling to all 5 locations to help keep the offices and directors organized so that they can support their teachers and keep their centers running as smooth as possible. A fun part of my job is introducing essential oils to the staff through make and takes on their lunch breaks and training each center's Essential Oil Resident Expert. My latest special project is helping lead and kick off a new wellness program at all centers.