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Teachers Share Their Bright Lights “Why”

October is generally the time of year when we recruit teachers for our summer program. Bright Lights is fortunate to have many teachers who return summer after summer, gifting us with their time and talents.  Here are a few of our  veteran teachers and their “why.”  

“My daughter, McKinsey, and I have been teaching the Jewelry Design Academy class since 2013. We love showing the students how to use jewelry tools and findings and watching their creativity blossom. At the end of the week, they are so proud to show off  all of  their work in a custom-made display. It’s fun to watch them use what they have learned to teach their family members at our open house. Teaching Bright Lights is one of my favorite weeks each summer!”  -- Annie Leaf   

“I started teaching for Bright Lights after being an assistant for four years. This will be my  fourth year  teaching for Bright Lights this summer and I love it! Being able to teach classes I am passionate about and watching the same passion ignite in the students is amazing to see. The camp might only last a week...but the impact is everlasting.” -- Kasey Dils  

“I teach Bright Lights because I love kids.  I am grateful for the opportunity to teach for such a well-organized and supportive staff.  I always feel that the entire group of Bright Lights staff—from teachers to admin, food helpers to janitors—all of us want the kids to have a fantastic, unique learning experience.  I enjoy teaching  kids  new fun facts that make them say "WOW" or "EWW!"  Reptiles and insects are perfect for that as they are such unique creatures! Parents will be thankful that their kids experience Bright Lights because the topics are  unique  and teachers make every effort to teach creatively and reach all types of learners throughout the week.  It's very hands-on!  My own three kids have been Bright Lights students in the past, and now have been assistants for seven years—so it has  definitely become  a family affair.  The Ziems family has grown up with Bright Lights!” -- Sheila Ziems    

“I have taught for Bright Lights for 20 years and been an administrator for another 10. It’s my pleasure every summer to spend time with engaged learners, dedicated teachers and impassioned administrators. Parents should enroll their students in Bright Lights because it’s a  progr am like no other, offering hands-on, minds-on experiences to support learning between school years.” -- Bob Reeker  

“I teach for Bright Lights because it gives children an opportunity to learn and participate in activities that are not often offered in school. My favorite part of Bright Lights is seeing how your camps can cultivate talents and inspire children to participate in new interests and hobbies. Parents should sign up children for Bright Lights because it can spark an interest in their children that they didn't even know existed.” -- Shelly Jensen  

  “As a teacher of Bright Lights,  I enjoy getting to take the time to dive into a focused content area with students who are passionate about learning. Bright Lights is a well-organized summer activity  that supports ALL students, and ALL students can benefit from participating.  From a teacher standpoint, it is a great summer job where I know I will have fun while helping students grow their minds, giving them a productive thing to do. I know when talking to parents last summer, they missed Bright Lights and can't wait for Summer 2021.” -- Madelyn McGowan  

Bright Lights is truly lucky to have such great teachers. If you are interested in learning more about the program or teaching for Bright Lights, email me – Renee Ford, Education Coordinator – at  to request the teacher registration link and ask any questions you might have.  

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