Shawn 2014 Shawn Edwinson – Bright Beginnings Preschool Director

I have worked in the field of early childhood for nearly twenty years in a variety of capacities–nanny, preschool teacher, infant caregiver, program coordinator, and Program Director. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education Administration and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies. In addition to serving at Bright Beginnings as Director, I teach early childhood education courses at Sacramento City College. At home, I am mother to a teenage daughter and the primary caregiver for my almost-three-year-old nephew.  Regardless of my education and experience, being a parent has taught me that children can always throw you a curveball! When time permits, I enjoy reading, gardening, and catching up with friends.

I believe that every child deserves the opportunity to feel valued and be successful in a space and place that is supportive and caring. As adults, we can do this by respecting who they are as individuals and where they are developmentally while challenging them to take the next step in their growth. I have a strong passion for facilitating social and emotional development as it provides the foundation for strong relationships, self-worth, and a desire to learn. I am so grateful that we are able to provide these experiences at Bright Beginnings. To add to that, I love that as a co-op, we are able to partner with parents to provide such unique, supportive opportunities for the children.

Holly Holly Clement – Bright Beginnings Preschool Teacher

I have worked in the early childhood education field for over 10 years as a Preschool Teacher, Nanny and After School Program leader.  I could not see myself doing anything else!

I have great passion for the RIE and Reggio Emilia philosophies of care giving and educating young children.  I believe that children should be seen as competent and capable individuals and should be treated and respected as such. My role as a teacher is an observer, co-learner and model. I enjoy providing and facilitating experiences that allow children to learn how to problem solve on their own and
create their own knowledge.  I am currently a student at California State University Sacramento, completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development.  I love to travel and see new places and have lived in multiple cities and states. California is by far my favorite!

During my time at Bright Beginnings, it has been wonderful to see parents so engaged in their child’s early
education.  Participating in a Co-op is a highly rewarding experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Ashley Ashley Bakken – Bright Beginnings Preschool Teacher

I have known for as long as I can remember that I wanted to work with children in a learning and open environment.  As a child, I attended a play based preschool and elementary school and I knew that was the philosophy I would always support and be involved in.  I have years of experience working with children teaching preschool and elementary school.  I attended Sonoma State where I earned a Bachelor’s degree and had the opportunity to teach in their lab preschool.

I believe children learn best in an environment where they have the freedom to explore and problem solve on their own.  I love watching children grow and develop their whole self.  Giving them a safe and supportive place to become independent, struggle and succeed is what I find so important in a preschool classroom.  Seeing a child be successful after trying and trying again is one of the things I love most about teaching!

When I am not in the classroom, I am a wife to my wonderful husband of 7 years and mom to our German Shepherd, Brody, and two cats.  We love being outside and taking day trips to the mountains.  I love to workout, spend time with family and do an occasional puzzle!  I also have the privilege of coaching girls competitive gymnastics in the afternoons.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching and spending my day with so many smiling faces and busy bodies!

JoleenJoleen Bluefield – Bright Beginnings Preschool Teacher

I have been a caregiver, nanny, and preschool teacher for 14 years now, working in the U.K., France, and Greece. I moved to the U.S. 9 years ago, and I have loved learning about the education system and working alongside some amazing teachers. I took three years of child and infant development classes in the U.K. and have been updating my education ever since I moved here. I have been married for 7 years, and I am a parent to a 3-year-old girl called Mia and also a dog mummy to a white poodle called Fitzwilliam. We love living in Folsom and are extremely lucky to have Mia attend Bright Beginnings.

I have taught and cared for children at schools following various different styles and philosophies, but for me the learning through play aspect is the best fit for me as a teacher and for my daughter. I love the freedom to plan messy, imaginative and explorative activities and watching the children really find their way, show their competence, and create more memories. I’ve seen my daughter blossom in the past year and love the learning style the teachers create for her.

My other interests are traveling, family vacations, walking my dog, yoga, reading and being with my friends and family.

Valerie EilertsValerie Eilerts – Bright Beginnings Preschool Teacher

I have been an early childhood educator for over twenty years now. I earned an AS degree in Early Childhood Education and found not only my passion for teaching but a rewarding career as well. While earning my degree I worked in the preschool lab while also helping to start and facilitate a new preschool in Campbell, CA. I’ve since worked in part-time as well as full-day programs. I enjoy the emergent, play-based curriculum and helping children to expand and grow their knowledge. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching is how much I learn from children and the relationships that are built with their families.

I have three grown children, one amazing daughter-in-law, and a beautiful baby grandson. They all are in the field of education in some capacity, either working with young children or young adults. I enjoy our family time and the new traditions we are creating with our ever-growing family. Whenever we get together there are always games, new puzzles, and lots of storytelling.

My interests are varied but I do enjoy cooking, gardening, playing with art materials, and a good book. Some of my favorite books for children are: Chicken Soup with Rice, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Caps for Sale, George Shrinks, and of course all Robert Munsch books.

Phyllis Dinse Phyllis Dinse – Parent/Toddler Teacher

My family includes my husband, two daughters, two senior cats and two chickens. I have been a parent at Bright Beginnings since 2010, when our family began in the Parent Toddler Program.  My oldest daughter graduated from Bright Beginnings and is now a 2nd grader.  My youngest daughter also went through the Parent Toddler program and will be attending her 3rd and final year of preschool as a Butterfly & Explorer.

I hold a BA in Child Development, as well as teaching credentials and an MA in Early Childhood Special Education from California State University, Northridge. I have worked in the field of early childhood education since 2001 as a preschool inclusion teacher and early interventionist.

I have a passion for providing opportunities for children of all abilities to access a variety of materials and activities to develop their social and emotional, self-help, creative, cognitive and motor skills. I enjoy supporting the process of problem-solving and discovery through play. Learning is sometimes a whole body experience- and we like to get dirty! It is my hope that our children will learn to be confident, compassionate, creative, and independent thinkers who will develop a lifetime love of learning.

I truly feel blessed working alongside our families and sharing in the journey as their children plan, tinker, explore and discover. Those ah-ha moments are priceless!

In my free time I enjoy cuddling up with my family and animals, camping, bike riding, and spending time with family and friends on various outdoor excursions.