Leadership Team

Scott & Jodi Thomason
Owners 

Scott and his wife, Jodi, began their journey with early childhood in 2001 as a small in-home daycare in Peoria. Their vision has always been to provide the Peoria area with unique, top-notch childcare experiences that challenge the status quo. After moving and expanding their in-home daycare in 2004, they have been very fortunate to continue fulfilling this vision through the openings of The Wonder Playschool and the acquisition of A+ Children's Academy. They take pride in each of their centers and are grateful for the opportunities to ensure unparalleled care for the children entrusted to their care.

Karen Coyle
Culture Director

Karen Coyle has served in the field early childhood for over 20 years. She received her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in early childhood education with an endorsement in mathematics. She served as Lead Teacher at United Presbyterian Church (UPC) Discovery Preschool in Peoria, Illinois. During this tenure, Karen implemented research-based practices, including the Project Approach. She presented student-led Projects at the NAEYC Conference as well as at the Heart of Illinois Association of the Education of Young Children’s Conference. Karen’s work experience also includes serving as a Family Educator, Preschool Teacher, and Teacher Mentor in DCFS-Licensed Child Care and Home Provider settings for the Peoria County Regional Office of Education Preschool for All Program. Karen joined Barefoot Learning, Inc. in May of 2017 and continues to partner with families in giving all children a jump-start to school success. 

Jennifer Bowman
Logistics Director

Jennifer has always had a passion for working with children. After studying social work at Olivet Nazarene University, she spent three years working with children and teens in foster care. After choosing to further her education, she began exploring early childhood classes at ICC and started her early childhood journey. Jennifer has been trained in Creative Curriculum and has implemented it in childcare centers with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. After having opportunities to learn the business side of childcare, she found another passion for the behind the scenes work that takes place. Before joining Barefoot Learning, Inc. she served as the director of a childcare in Hopedale, IL for eight years. 

We consider it both a great privilege and responsibility to partner with you in the nurturing and educating of your child. We understand the immense impact these early years have on a child's future. Because of this, our early childhood teachers are held to the highest standard. We employ passionate, educated, and experienced individuals who are committed to providing your child the highest quality of care and education.