Group 5

About Us

When we first started in 2017, we met around Michele's family kitchen table. We started because we wanted to be a solution to a problem; too many children were falling through the cracks. We wanted to bring life-changing value into the lives of children with learning disabilities so they can have a great place to learn and grow up.

Today, as we successfully complete our 6th year, we have grown as a school family with the perfect amount of students and staff. We're still a small school but everyone can make friends with people they enjoy. We can have events like talent shows, boutiques, plays, school dances, graduations, and more. We can go on field trips and have guest speakers throughout the year. We can pay attention to each other and help one another achieve goals. We can celebrate the years with our students' families when their children are ready for life beyond here.

We have carefully brought together these amazing students to learn and develop under the guidance of our incredible staff. Brighthouse places high priority on attracting and retaining high quality staff. Our staff members hold multiple credentials, honors, degrees, and years of experience. We all have advanced training in working with 2e students and continually collaborate with each other to maximize unity. We have a depth of knowledge for each disability that we serve and specialize in understanding each student. We adhere to Louisiana State Standards and Benchmarks so that our students have a rigorous education. We have fun together and truly enjoy working with one another at Brighthouse. This makes Brighthouse a happy place in which to work and learn!

Our Affiliates

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We would love to discuss the cost of admission with you during a tour of our school. We have found that families who are coming from a private school experience enjoy the decrease in cost at Brighthouse, but of course it will cost slightly more than what families are used to when coming from public school. We want to be an affordable solution for your family, so please let us know if you have any concerns or questions.


Enrollment for 2023-24 School Year is Open! Call 985-705-8722 to schedule a Tour!

Returning students have first priority and new enrollment is open to any remaining spots each year. Our enrollment process starts with scheduling a Tour with parents and students. Parents receive an Enrollment Packet including an application, at the tour. Then, students are invited to join us for a Shadow Day to see what a day at Brighthouse is like. Parents turn in enrollment documents, submit an Intent to Enroll form & deposit, and are notified about the enrollment Decision within a week!

A Typical Day

At Brighthouse, school days are Monday – Thursday from 8:15am to 2:45pm. Students and parents can use Fridays for extracurriculars, or they can join weekend events and classes we offer at Brighthouse. Here’s what a typical day at Brighthouse looks like:

Time Subject
8:15 – 9:00 Journaling & Morning Meeting
9:00 – 10:00 Math
10:00-11:00 History
11:00 – 12:00 Art
12:30-1:00 Lunch Break
12:00 – 12:30 Physical Education
1:00-2:00 ELA
2:00-2:15 Clean Up
2:15 – 2:45 Pick Up

Our Staff

Michele Tinker

Head of School
Mrs. Tinker 5
Mrs. Simon

Bethanie Simon

Licensed Professional Counselor

Bethanie Simon is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with clinical and professional experience in both academic and community settings. Bethanie earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Louisiana State University. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, as well as the Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA), and she presented at the LCA conference in 2016. Bethanie has worked with clients ranging from ages 5 to 65 and has been working with Brighthouse Learning Academy for two years, assisting students with a range of social and emotional needs. She has over five years’ experience working with students to help them identify their academic and personal strengths, explore different majors and career paths, and support students with academic, social, emotional, and adjustment-related challenges. Bethanie enjoys working with students individually and in groups using strengths-based and solution-focused techniques. Bethanie’s goal as a Counselor is to work collaboratively with her students to educate, listen, and build the skills and confidence her students need to feel successful in their academic and personal lives.


Ashley Mentel

Spanish Language and Culture Instructor

Ashley Mentel is the Spanish Language and Culture instructor who became a part of the Brighthouse Learning Academy staff in the fall of 2022. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in December of 2021 with two bachelor’s degrees in World Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Spanish, as well as TESOL (degree/certification- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and a minor in Psychology. Ashley also operates her own business, La Tribu 985 Translation/ ESL Services (teaching English as a Second Language program.) Her mission as an instructor is to unify the linguistic divide in our community. By introducing linguistic and cultural topics to the students, we can break the language barrier that divides our society. Aside from her academic/professional life, Ashley enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, spending time with her family, painting/drawing, working with nonprofit organization Peace Makers based in El Salvador, and the organization CCNIS (Consejo Coordinador Nacional Indígena De El Salvador- organization that assists and promotes the conservation of indigenous heritage in El Salvador).

Mrs. Brandy 1

Brandy Martin


Brandy graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology in 2010. Since graduation she has done an array of work in multiple areas as well as owned a couple of her own businesses. Brandy has been a preschool teacher, worked as a Behavioral Line Therapist with children with Autism, as well as started a clothing business for Mental Health and was named 2019 Women's Northshore's Best. Brandy has many interests which include exercise, reading, writing and being outdoors. Due to her extensive range of education and experience this had led her to be very kind, soft spoken, detail oriented, organized, and very determined. She has a never give up attitude, and this is what makes her perfect for this position.

Ms. Jess 2

Jess Blanchard

Art Teacher

Jess Blanchard graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor degree in Fine Art and a concentration in painting and drawing. She has 3+ years’ experience exploring art with children and teens of all ages. Before Jess started working with Brighthouse at the start of the 2022 – 2023 school year, she worked as an art education coordinator for a children’s museum and then as an art teacher at an elementary school. Everywhere she goes she strives to bring an environment where creativity, problem solving, and communication thrive. Jess stays inspired by her students’ courage to create, and she continues to create art herself. She paints, draws, makes collages, and loves to jump into new things like sewing. It is her goal to spread the love of art and to help build confidence in young artists while they explore the many ways of expressing themselves.

Mr. Jonnie 2

Jonnie Tinker

Teaching Assistant

Jonnie Tinker has two years experience working as a teaching assistant for Brighthouse Learning Academy. He has a knack for learning his students’ stories and personalities, making them comfortable and at ease, facilitating a positive learning environment, and he even takes students out for bike rides that they earn with positive behaviors! Jonnie has a vast array of interests that include health and fitness, geography, chess, computers and technology, and much more. He also has four years of experience lifeguarding at neighborhood pools, Franco’s, and the LSU Recreation Academy. Jonnie loves working with kids while having a positive, patient, and reinforcing attitude. He is dedicated to set our students up for a lifetime of success and happiness!

Ms. Rebekah 3

Rebekah McElveen

5th - 8th Math Teacher

Rebekah graduated from Northshore Technical Community College with a Technical Degree in Drafting & Design. Since then she has held jobs in many different fields, but her best role has been raising her own child with learning disabilities. This has given her the experience and patience to work with BLA’s twice exceptional students. In her spare time Rebekah enjoys gardening, swimming, biking and fishing. Rebekah’s calm demeanor, perseverance, and problem-solving skills make her a great fit for teaching math in a simplified and creative manner so that it clicks.


Sarah McNeil

Physical Education & Nutrition Coach

Sarah McNeil came to Brighthouse at the end of the 2020-2021 school year to teach our students Physical Education (PE) and Nutrition. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University and her Master of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Akron. Sarah has worked as a Fitness Director, Fitness Studio Manager, Personal Trainer and owns her own company helping people from all ages and walks of life reach their fitness and health goals. Her approach is to make fitness and nutrition fun and to help students create sustainable, active, and healthy lifestyles. She enjoys traveling the world, paddleboarding, swimming, hiking and running for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her hope is to inspire the kids to find their passion and use it to find ways to incorporate activity into their lifestyle.