At Our Buddy’s Place, we take great care in choosing the best staff members to care for your children. Our teachers are qualified, compassionate and have a passion for nurturing young minds. As parents, it can be incredibly difficult to entrust your children’s care to a stranger. We fully understand how emotional it can be, and we hope that by getting to know our teachers and staff members you will come to think of them as we do: like family.
Our Owner & Director
Ms. Shirley (Gram)
Shirley Hough (Gram), is the founder and owner of Our Buddy’s Place. She has been working in childcare for over 30 years, having first opened an in-home daycare in 1987 and running it for 23 years. She then later established Our Buddy’s Place in 2008, a brick and mortar childcare and early learning center. She holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from WCCC, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Carlow University. She also has her Director’s Credential.
She has 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. She was married for over 40 years to her late husband, Ernie, who passed in 2017.
She enjoys making a difference in the lives of children, helping those in need, sending cards to brighten someone’s day, and traveling.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.” -Fred Donaldson
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” -Fred Rogers
Our Director, Ms. Flo has been in childcare for 30 years. She joined us at Our Buddy’s Place in 2008. Ms. Flo earned her Associates degree from WCCC and is currently working towards her Bachelor’s at Carlow University. She has also earned her Director’s Credential. She is married with 2 children, 3 step-children, and 13 grandchildren.
Julie is a mother of two from Mt. Pleasant. She worked in the office department at County Market for nearly 30 years, before the store closed in early 2020, subsequently joining the Our Buddy’s Place staff. She is the office manager
Debbie has worked in childcare for over 20 years. She is married and has one son. Debbie has worked at Our Buddy’s Place since October of 2014. She loves working with the children. Prior to working at OBP, she worked at Head Start for 14 years. She is currently attending Westmoreland County Community College to finish her Associates degree.
Mr. Miller has worked for Our Buddy’s Place since 2012. He is our Accountant and Financial Advisor. He lives in Harrison City with his wife Janet; they have 2 children together.
Lead Teacher – Pre-K 1
Nicole graduated from Indiana University of PA in 2013 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She then continued her education, graduating with her Master’s Degree in Technology Education from California University of PA in 2015. She previously taught Special Education from 2013-2017 in Uniontown, PA and has been teaching Pre-K for 3 years at Our Buddy’s Place.
Assistant Teacher – Pre-K 1
Ms. Sami has worked at Our Buddy’s Place for 5 years. She obtained her associates degree from WCCC, and is planning to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Carlow University.
Lead Teacher – Pre-K 2
Assistant Teacher – Pre-K 2
Preschool Lead Teacher
Laura has been married for 32 years. She has 2 daughters, 1 granddaughter, and 2 Doxens. Laura graduated Westmoreland County Community College with her Associates degree. She has been working for Our Buddy’s Place since March of 2008.
Preschool Assistant Teacher
Nicole has volunteered at Our Buddy’s Place since she was in high school. She left for a short while to work at Amber House and decided to come back. She currently works in the Preschool room with her mom, Ms. Laura. Nicole has a 2-year-old daughter that also comes to Our Buddy’s Place in the 2-year-old room.
Lead Teacher – Pre-K 3
Assistant Teacher – Pre-K 3
1 Year Old Teacher
Cate graduated high school in 2010. After high school, Cate got the job working at Our Buddy’s Place through OUR in 2012. Although Cate has Asperger’s Syndrome, she loves the kids and does an amazing job with them. She is single with no children, as well as the oldest between her and her sister.
1 Year Old Teacher
2 Year Old Teacher
Jackie is 20-years-old and started working for Our Buddy’s Place in November of 2021. She graduated from Connellsville High School in 2019 and is currently one-of-two teacher’s in the 2-year-old room.
2 Year Old Teacher
Kristina is 25-years-old and graduated from Southmoreland High School in 2015. She attended United Career Institute for Medical Assistant. She started working at Our Buddy’s Place in March and is currently one-of-two teacher’s in the 2-year-old room.
School Age Teacher
Cassidy is the School Age teacher. She started working for Our Buddy’s Place in 2021. She is a mom to a boy who is in elementary school.
Infant Room Teacher
Amy is one-of-two teacher’s in the infant room. She was previously a childcare owner from 1990-2010 in West Virginia. She has a granddaughter, a great granddaughter, and a great grandson. She loves working with the babies.
Infant Room Teacher
Mishaela is 25-years-old and has worked for Our Buddy’s Place since January of 2022. Her main classes that she works with are the 1-year-olds and school agers.
Ryleigh is 20-years-old and has worked for Our Buddy’s Place since January 2021. She went to California University of Pennsylvania and majored in Criminal Justice right after she graduated high school in 2020. She has since changed majors to Early Childhood Education and is going for her Associates degree at Westmoreland County Community College. She loves working with the different age groups, as well as helping the office with anything they need.
Ms. Regina “Crazy Grandma”
Abbie is 26-years-old and graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 2014. She has worked for Our Buddy’s Place for 5 years. She works as a Teaching Assistant who also cleans for the center.