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Our Staff
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Mr. Vance - Orcutt Road Assistant Director

Greetings BLPS! My name is Vance Fahie and I am honored and excited to work with you and your children on our journey to making lifelong memories through play, exploration, music, dance, art, and freedom of creativity. In my 20 plus years of working with youth, I have cherished the uniqueness that every individual brings into the community. We will navigate through our classroom experience recognizing how to work together through positive guidance, good manners, fairness, listening skills, respect for the environment and each other, and being caretakers and good stewards (clean up). Through the years, I have worked in many different childcare environments from preschool through school age. I have directed and managed City of San Luis Obispo child care programs (Sun N Fun/STAR), taught in a private preschool learning center, directed vacation camps, mentored in overnight camps, worked with special needs children, and directed childcare programs for the YMCA. Through these experiences I have implemented my love and passion for music into my curriculum to enhance learning. Music has impacted my life in so many positive ways and I love sharing it with anyone who will listen. I am excited to be part of such a great team and environment.

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Ms. Jo- Mindbody Co-Site Supervisor 

Hello families! My name is Joanna but many call me Jo. I am excited to be a part of Bright Life Playschool and its close-knit community! I am originally from Poland, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature, and completed my Teacher Training at the University Maria Curie-Sklodowska. In 2020, I obtained an Early Childhood Lead Teacher Certification from UCLA. I have been working in the field of education for the past 17 years and I’ve dedicated the last 10 years of my professional career to understanding and supporting the youngest learners. Over the past decade, I have traveled and worked in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, where I taught at International schools and developed nursery and preschool programs that aligned with the cultural norms and expectations of each country. My work revolved around fostering play, project-based, child-led, and emergent curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. It is my goal to partner with parents and caregivers, and build a shared recognition of the value of uninterrupted play, the importance of allowing for independence and boundary setting, as well as the significance of meaningful interactions and relationships in children’s development. It’s been a fascinating journey of learning and trying to understand other cultures, and I am looking forward to learning from all of you too! My professional interests include brain development, free uninterrupted play advocacy, creating wonder-filled learning environments, childhood psychology with an emphasis on trauma, self-regulation, and respectful child-rearing practices. In my free time, I love to try new foods wherever I go, experiment with recipes, read/listen to books, work with my hands and teach myself new skills, such as sewing, restoring old furniture, crocheting, or block printing.

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Mr. Bryan - Mindbody Co-Site Supervisor & Rainbow's Substitute Teacher

Hello! My name is Bryan Mendoza. I was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Mexico. My family moved to Mexico when I was 3 months old and decided to move back to the United States when I was 12 years old. When I entered school here in the United States, I was only able to compose a simple sentence in English that would allow people to know my name. Overall, it was a difficult process because I could not communicate as well as I wanted to at school. This experience played a major role in why I have an interest in pursuing a career that includes helping children. My interest grew when I began working as a Sunday school teacher at my local church, which I still continue to enjoy doing. I also taught preschool at another local preschool before this, which was a great experience. I was the first one to attend college from my entire family and I obtained an AA in Early Childhood Education. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, Eva, traveling, hiking and spending time with our families. 

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Ms. Katie - Pea Pods' Lead Teacher

Hi there! My name is Katie Whinnery and I am so thrilled to be able to work with Bright Life. I grew up on the central coast and recently moved back after college. I studied Child Development at Humboldt State University and while I was in school, I worked at the Children's Center on campus for 4 years. I love nature and exploring the world around us and fully believe that children learn through play and mess! I love to do anything with art, and being able to incorporate art and nature into the classroom is exciting and fun. My goal is to work with children and their families to support and create an engaging and safe place full of wonder. I'm looking forward to getting to know our families!

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Ms. Cecile - Pea Pods' Co-Teacher

My name is Cecile. I live in AG with my husband and 3 kids! With a toddler and 2 teenagers I spend most of my time as a personal chauffeur  I graduated from Folsom Lake College with my degree in Early Childhood Education and really enjoy the creativity and imagination that this age group brings everyday. I am excited to be co-teaching in the Rainbows room and experiencing what each child will teach me! 

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Ms. Cami- Peapods' Teacher's Assistant 

Hello! I am thrilled to be joining the Bright Life community!

I began teaching nearly 20 years ago in the Tiny Tigers program at SLO High. I have since earned a degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Young Child and Family, and worked and learned in several excellent Bay Area preschools. My amazing colleagues, families, and children I have worked with over the years, including at Google Children’s Center, have taught me so much, regarding both childcare and life, and I am always excited to learn more.

My family and I moved back to SLO this summer to reunite with extended family where my husband and I grew up. We are loving exploring the area with our 8 and 3 year old, visiting parks and beaches we remember. 

I can’t wait to get to know you all soon!

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Ms. Amber - Poppyseeds' Lead Teacher

Hello, My name is Amber Martinez and I have been devotedly working with children and their families for the past twelve years. I began my career as a teacher working with middle school students from low-income families; where I ran speech and debate, music and a cooking class. From there, I found my way to the children to whom I am so passionate about teaching: preschoolers! I started working as a lead teacher at a Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, where I grew and learned so much as a teacher. Coming from the Bay Area, I was able to enjoy the diversity of many different cultures and experiences. When I moved to the Central Coast five years ago, I transitioned into working with the littles, in the infant department at Mindbody. There I found a whole new way of teaching and connecting with babies and their families. Now I am continuing this amazing journey with Bright Life! I have worked with every age group from 0-5 years of age. I am continuing my schooling program at ASU for social work as supporting families is a true calling of mine. I am excited to share this knowledge and experience with your children as we explore the world around us. I am adventurous, love music, cooking and being outdoors.  I love to bring my passions into the classroom! I am committed to giving children a safe and nurturing environment as well. I am so happy to be a part of this community.

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Ms. Sammi - Poppyseeds' Co-Teacher

My name is Sammi Hall. I have lived on the Central Coast my entire life. I was a nanny for three kids, all under the age of five, for two years. I enjoyed watching them learn through play and exploration and that is what sparked my passion for teaching in new, innovative ways. I love it here at Bright Life with all the wonderful teachers and families.

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Ms. Libby - Poppyseeds' Teacher's Assistant

Hello! For those of you who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Mrs. Libby. I started working at BLPS in the Spring of this year. My teaching position was Mr. Bryan's assistant in the Mudpie classroom. I am excited to assist Ms. Bailey this school year in the Rainbow class.

A little more about me, I attended Cuesta College and worked towards my ECE units while I was enrolled. I worked at a school in the area before my oldest son was born. When he was a toddler we moved to the Midwest and I started an in home daycare. Fast forward, my oldest son and daughter-in-law just had my first grandchild. I'm excited that I'm a grandma. The training that BLPS offers for staff is truly amazing. I'm looking forward to the new school year and all the memories that I will treasure with your child. I'm truly honored to have the opportunity to team teach alongside Ms.Bailey. 

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Ms. Cindy - Mudpies' Teacher's Assistant

Hello! My name is Cindy DeMata. I was born and raised here in the Central Coast but I was also
raised for half of my childhood in Mexico. My husband and I are first-time parents to a beautiful
baby boy. Our favorite thing as a family is to go on road trips, enjoy the outdoors, and spend
time with our families. I have worked with children of many ages as a Nanny, a Behavioral
Therapist, and as a Preschool Teacher Assistant. I have obtained a Bachelor's degree in Child
and Adolescent Studies from Cal State Fullerton with a concentration in Family and Community
Contexts. My passion is to support children's creativity and getting to know each one of them is
important, in order to give them the right tools to succeed. My goal has always been to provide a
safe, comfortable, and fun environment for children and their families. I am excited to embark on
this new journey with Bright Life Playschool.

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Ms. Daisy - Raindrops' Lead Teacher 

Hello everyone! My name is Daisy Ceja-Vera and I am from Guadalupe, California; a small town
along the coast. I grew up alongside my three older brothers and my mom and dad. As I reflect
back I always enjoyed learning and as I grew older I found myself helping in the classroom and
guiding younger ones. As a teenager I volunteered in after school programs and realized I was
meant to be in a classroom helping children explore in a safe supportive environment. I knew
that there was absolutely nothing else I wanted to do. I decided to obtain my B.A In Early
Childhood Studies from California State University Channel Islands. This was a huge
accomplishment for me since I was the first one in my family to attend college and get my
degree. My main goal is to provide an environment where they feel safe to explore, observe,
play, make a mess, laugh, and learn! I strive to let our children know that they are capable of so
much and can do anything that they set their mind to. In my free time, I enjoy reading, knitting,
baking, going to new places, and spending time with my family. 

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Ms. Morgan - Raindrops' Co-Teacher

Hello, my name is Morgan Bedard! I am so grateful to be a part of the Bright Life community! It’s a gift to be able to help your children grow and to foster a nurturing learning environment through play, creativity, curiosity, imagination and so much more! 

I grew up in a small town called Frazier Park which was a tight knit community full of friends and family. Our home in Frazier park never had a quiet moment considering I was the youngest of nine. Being a part of such a big family helped sparked my interest in childcare! I sought out opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of children and have been working with kids for the past 5 years! 

I relocated to Pismo Beach in June of 2020 to live with my sister and continue my education at Cuesta college. I recently just graduated with my AA in Social and Behavioral science. I’m planning to get my bachelors in Early Childhood Education! 

During my freetime, I love to garden, read, be with my family and explore the outdoors with my puppy as much as possible!

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your family! 

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Mr. Nolan - Raindrops' & Rainbows' Teacher's Assistant

Bio Coming Soon!

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Ms. Bailey - Rainbows' Lead Teacher

Hey everyone! My name is Bailey Nunes and I am so excited to be a part of the Bright Life family! I’m originally from Visalia, CA where I obtained both my associate's and bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies. I originally went to school to become an elementary school teacher but it wasn’t until I started working with preschool aged children that I truly found the profession for me. Before coming to Bright Life, I was a Lead Preschool Teacher for almost three years at a local preschool.
The most rewarding part about working with children is being able to help them develop into well rounded little humans. My goal as an educator is to create a warm, welcoming, and nurturing environment for them to thrive. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, going to the beach, trying new coffee shops, & antique shopping.    Looking forward to getting to know your child and family!

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Ms. Ali - Mindbody Substitute Teacher

Bio Coming Soon!

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Ms. Holly- Sunshines' Lead Teacher

My name is Holly. I am a San Luis Obispo native. I have stayed close to home and live in Arroyo Grande with my husband, Josh. You’ll find us in our garden or hiking with our dog. I am currently enrolled at Cuesta Community College to complete my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education this year. I have been working with preschool age children since 2018. I have a background in literature based curriculum and a passion for outdoor education. These are such formative and important years for every child. It is my heart to be able to instill a love of learning, curiosity and enthusiasm for all discoveries, big and small. I value open communication, sincerity, and enthusiasm! I am so grateful to be part of the team here at Bright Life!

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Ms. Darcie - Monarchs' Lead Teacher

My name is Dartiane (Ms. Darcie) and I am thrilled to be a member of the community and Bright Life Playschool! I am originally from Brazil, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Health, and worked
for 4 years before moving to Canada, where my children were born. I started to volunteer at my local church when I was 14 and still volunteer today. I began volunteering at my kids' school after I moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 2016 and discovered my true calling: becoming a teacher. Up until the Pandemic I was employed as a paraprofessional in a public Montessori school in Savannah. I chose to return to college to pursue an Early Childhood Education degree when my family relocated to
California in 2021. I speak four languages and enjoy educating kids about the diversity of the world, as well as other cultures and languages. My goal is to foster a love of learning, curiosity, and a passion for all new discoveries.

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Ms. Allie - Monarchs' Co-Teacher

Hi Bright Life Family!  My name is Allie. Growing up with my mom as a Pre-K teacher, I absolutely loved helping out in her classroom from the time I was little, myself. I have worked with children of all ages, but have a special love for preschool age! Prior to Bright Life, I taught in Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, and now here in SLO. I have a passion for animals and love sharing that passion with children through play, fun activities, dance, and art. I am so happy to be here and to get to work with all of your amazing children in the Monarchs class!

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Ms. Mya

Hello, my name is Mya (pronounced like Maya). I am from Portland, Oregon and I moved to the Central Coast during the summer of 2023.

I have loved being around kids from a young age and as I got older, I realized I wanted to work with children. I worked in a couple of day care centers in Oregon as a floater and even stepped in to follow lesson plans in classes when teachers were absent. I then stepped away from the child care industry to try different career options. Once I moved to the Central Coast I knew I wanted to jump back into the childcare industry. Not knowing where to start for my units, I came across Bright Life Playschool who offered a pathway for me to earn post-secondary early childhood education units through a grant-funded Ticket-to-Teach program! I’m going to be assisting in many classrooms, helping out where there is a need, as well as helping the Admin team. I’m excited to grow with Bright Life and build great relationships with these kiddos!

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Ms. Maria

Hi everyone! I'm Maria Aguiar! I was born in Mexico and at the age of six, my parents brought me to the United States where I grew up in Fresno and have lived my whole life! I have three younger siblings and one niece and nephew whom are both two years old. I am a first generation college student with my Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and a certificate on At- Risk Youth. It's safe to say I love children! However; when children are not around, you can find me where the sand kisses the waves and the waves meet the sky or on a hiking trail! Sharing love and smiles is how I take on my days!  I am so happy to have joined the Bright Life Playschool family!

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Ms. Morgan Hall

Hi there! My name is Morgan Hall and I am so excited to be part of the Bright Life family! I grew up in Creston, California on a small farm/vineyard. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with kids of all ages over many years through 4-H, FFA, and childcare. I have over two years of experience working in a preschool setting and am excited for more to come. I am currently a student at Cuesta College where I will be completing my Associate's degree in Child Development and Family Studies. My next goal in my education is to finish my Bachelor's degree at Cal Poly and enter their Masters of Agricultural Education and Teaching Credentials Program. In my free time I love to camp, explore the wilderness, cook, snowboard, do some photography, and spend time with my family and friends. I can not wait to meet all of your kiddos and be a part of their journey here at Bright Life!

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Ms. Sophia

Hello! My name is Sophia. I was born and raised here on the beautiful central coast. I currently live in Cambria with my partner and our daughter. In 2023, I earned my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and Associate Degree in Child Development at Cuesta College. Now, I’m thrilled to be a part of the Bright Life family! In my free time I enjoy being in nature, reading, baking, crocheting and going on adventures with my family. I look forward to connecting and making memories with your child and family!

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Ms. Caren

Hi! My name is Caren. I’m thrilled to join Bright Life Playschool as a substitute teacher to support the dedicated staff at both locations. I have spent 10 years in early childhood education as the owner/educator in a home-based setting in Tehachapi, CA and 2 years here in San Luis Obispo county as an assistant preschool teacher.

One of my goals at Bright Life is to create loving and respectful relationships with each child and their family. I am passionate about children becoming independent and confident learners. Activities I most enjoy doing with them is process art, exploring nature, reading, singing, and snuggling!  I will be at Bright Life temporarily before I move back to Tehachapi in early summer but hope to continue subbing on Fridays when I am in town.

In my free time, I enjoy playing fetch with my Golden, cooking, camping, cards, and concerts with family and friends.

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Ms. Sarah

Hello everyone! My name is Sarah Luallen, and I am from Fresno California...  go bulldogs!!! I relocated to Cayucos with my family. My 11-year-old son is my pride and joy as well as my four cats,  Well what can you say? I just love them lol.  I have been working with children for 19 years, from  Clovis unified to private school, and now Bright Life Playschool. I feel I am talented in  early childhood education, professional with diverse experiences in planning and implementing various activities. I always promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth of children. I'm excited to say I will be at the Orcutt site, and looking forward to becoming part of the work family as the Assistant Teacher in the sunshine room, With Ms. Holly as the Lead Teacher. Looking forward for many adventures with your children, And a great year.

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