Meet Our Staff

Mary Smith, Director/Teacher

 

Mary has been a teacher at Bright Days Preschool since the fall of 2002, and became Director in 2007.   Mary joined the Bright Days Community in 1995 with the enrollment of her first child.  All four of her children have since graduated from Bright Days.  Mary obtained a Bachelor of Science Computer Science Degree from Santa Clara University in 1983 and obtained her AS Degree in Early Childhood West Valley College in 2010.  Mary received her Child Development Director Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in the spring of 2008.

 

Janice Schlager, Teacher

 

Janice has been a teacher at Bright Days Preschool since its inception as a one day a week Children’s Day Out community service program in 1993.  Janice was part of the original teaching staff when Bright Days was licensed in the fall of 1994.  Prior to teaching at Bright Days, Janice was actively involved in a co-op preschool with all four of her children and teaching “Littlest Angels”, a music program for young children.  Janice earned a Certificate of Merit in Early Childhood Education from West Valley College in 1997 and received her Child Development Teacher Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in the spring of 2008.

 

Nina Swain, Teacher/Office Administrator

 

Nina has been a teacher at Bright Days Preschool since the fall of 1996.  Prior to working at Bright Days, Nina worked in the Children’s Center of West Valley College for five years.  Nina earned an Associate of Science Degree in Child Studies and a Certificate of Proficiency in Early Childhood Education, both from West Valley College.  Nina received her Child Development Associate Teacher Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in the spring of 2005.

 

Kristine Rutledge, Teacher

 

Kristine has been a teacher at Bright Days Preschool since the fall of 2005.  Prior to working at Bright Days, Kristine taught for 3 years at a private, non-profit preschool and assisted at De Anza College’s Child Development Center.  Kristine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from San Jose State University in 2003.  Kristine received her Child Development Site Supervisor Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in the summer of 2005.

 

Lisa Denicore-Ballejo, Teacher

 

Lisa began teaching at Bright Days in the fall of 2008.  Lisa earned her Certificate of Achievement in Early Childhood Education in 1985 and her Associate of Arts Degree in 1986, both from San Jose City College.  Prior to working at Bright Days, Lisa had over 20 years teaching experience working with young children at a number of local Community Center Preschools.  Lisa holds a Master Teacher Child Development Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Lisa brings a love of curriculum planning and extensive continuing education through her attendance of Early Childhood Workshops and Seminars.

 

Nina Rutledge, Teacher

 

Nina began teaching at Bright Days in the fall of 2008.  Previously, Nina taught for 8 years at a private, non-profit preschool.  Nina earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Sacramento State in 1976.  She currently holds a Program Director Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Nina brings a love of  reading, crafting, and gardening to the program.

 

Lisa Pauken, Teacher/Bookkeeper

 

Lisa joined the Bright Days staff in the winter of 2009.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and has earned her Child Development units from Cerro Coso College.

 

 Wendy Mantovani , Teacher

 

Wendy began working at Bright Days in the Fall of 2010.  Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton and earned her Early Childhood Education units from West Valley.    Prior to joining the Bright Days team Wendy taught English in Spain and Italy and also worked as a Museum Educator for the city of Campbell.

 

Amy Boyle, Teacher

 

Amy began teaching at Bright Days in the Spring of 2010.  Amy studied Child Development at San Jose State and De Anza College.  Through her life experiences, Amy has gained a passion for supporting and advocating for the educational needs of children with learning delays. She currently holds a Child Development Teacher Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

 

Kristi Guardanapo, Teacher

 

Kristi began at Bright Days in the winter of 2012.   Prior to working at Bright days Kristi worked for nine years for a private nonprofit preschool in San Jose.  She took time off of teaching to have a family and now has three school age children.   Kristi holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from West Valley College.

 

Laura Stegemiller, Teacher

 

Laura began teaching at Bright Days in the Fall of 2015.  Laura was introduced to Bright Days as her niece and nephews attended the program. After working in retail management for eleven years, Laura followed her passion of working with young children to complete her early childhood schooling and join the Bright Days staff. Laura earned her Early Childhood units at Foothill College.

 

Katrina Cokely-Martinez, Teacher

 

Katrina joined the Bright Days staff in the Fall of 2012.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from SJSU in 2008 and received her ECE units from De Anza.   Prior to working at Bright Days Katrina worked in childcare for the YMCA both as a teacher and a supervisor for 7 years.  In addition she has experience as a nanny for the last 10 years.