MEET OUR TEAM

Jennifer LaMaina
OWNER/CEO

Originally from Manhattan and now living and raising a family in Aquebogue, Jennifer is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) who graduated from Fordham University in 2011. Her resume includes working for Child Protection Services of New York City and the Family Service League, and she is currently an active member of the Parent Leadership Initiative (PLI). In 2015, Jennifer saw an opportunity to fill a niche in the community by offering top-tier Childcare with a central focus on play, learning, love, and nutrition. Jennifer is committed to ensuring that she and her staff work with parents and guardians to guarantee each one of our children have the greatest
opportunity for growth and development.

Sheldine Bryant
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Originally from Barbados "Ms. Shelly" has over fifteen years of childcare experience. From teacher to Assistant Director, Ms. Shelly is well versed in the day to day management and procedures required to operate our facility. Her love for outdoor activity is passed to our students through creative and engaging events, crafts and learning experiences. "Being part of the Bright & Early team is very fulfilling and rewarding as I get to spend my day in an environment where teachers and staff alike share a common goal which is to ensure our children are safe, loved and nurtured.

Dana Youmans
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

After graduating from St. Andrews University in NC, Dana began a professional life dedicated to enriching the lives of children. This journey has included working with terminally and chronically ill children as Director of Paul Newman’s Boggy Creek Gang Camp, at-risk youth as the Director of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Camp, and
as Director of Youth and Camping Services with the Wilmington family YMCA. Dana has been an Assistant Director in a daycare setting and has taught in a traditional educational setting as a fourth and
fifth grade Science and History teacher.
Dana is currently the Program Director at Bright and Early Discoveries where he and the dedicated staff live by the simple goal to laugh, love, and be safe. As Program Director, he believes in building a total
community relationship at Bright and Early Discoveries. This includes the kids, families, staff, and local like-hearted individuals and businesses.

Ashley Barton
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Ashley started with Bright and Early Discoveries as one of our head Preschool Teachers, and was quickly promoted to Assistant Program Director. She has a background in Early Childhood Education and has worked with children for over a decade.  Ashley’s love of teaching children began in high school where she participated in the Early Childhood Occupations training program (ECHO). She had the unique opportunity to teach preschoolers in this program every day for two years.  She also previously worked as a Provider and lead teacher in a Home Day Care setting for three years. Ashley loves being a part of a program where each child can explore, play, and grow in a safe nurturing environment. “We are a great big family here at Bright and Early Discoveries and Discoveries East End and I look forward to getting to know you better as we move into this new year!”

Fabiola Valcin
CURRICULUM SPECIALIST

"Miss Fabby" graduated from CUNY York College with a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences in spring of 2015 and is currently enrolled at Long Island University pursuing a masters in Childhood and Special Education. Fabiola realized she wanted to work with children through her experience as a camp counselor as well as a Kid Club Supervisor. "I have a love for reading that I share with our children. To see them mesmerized from a story we are reading together is just awesome!" Fabiola's calm and patience, combined with a bright sense of humor contributes immensely to our program.

Marianne McClean
LEARNING CORNER
Lauren Johnson
PRE-K TEACHER
Jade Blennau
STEM PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Michelle Hernandez
SPANISH TEACHER

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