1. What’s your favorite part about being Bright Horizons’ Center Director?

Being a Center Director for Bright Horizons allows me to be an advocate to better the lives of our young children. This is the best job in the world! I look forward to walking in the door each and every day to see the smiles on the faces of the children, parents and staff and truly know that we have made a difference in the lives of so many.

2.  What are 3 tips you would share with parents who are looking for a preschool program?

  • Visit the center in person before making a decision on which campus you are going to enroll.
  • Be aware of not only the layout of the classroom your child would potentially be experiencing, but also of the drop-off and pick-up arrangements, the outdoor space, space for children when experiencing inclement weather, food and napping arrangements, etc. to see if the center policies a line with your own
  • Most importantly personally meeting the staff that your child will be placed with to ensure your personalities are a good fit. If the parents see and feel comfortable, your child will too!

3. If you had to suggest 5 things every Bay Area family must do, eat or explore, what would that be?

  • Experience the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose and stay the whole day!
  • Take the family for a picnic at the beach. My favorite beach to go to with my family is Pescadero Beach – it’s a hidden gem with pristine white beach and no crowds.
  • Go tent camping in your back yard complete with marshmallows and gummy worms.
  • Read to each other every day!
  • Always spend 10 minutes every day doing what your child wants just the two of you and don’t ever forget!

4. What was your favorite childhood book? Do you have any new favorite kids’ reads you recommend to parents?

I love children’s books and personally own thousands of them. (Yes, really!) Here is a list of some of my all time favorites;

  • As a child, my favorite book was Harold and the Purple Crayon. I loved the Harold could use his crayon it would take him anywhere his imagination would wander!
  • The Listening Walk by: Paul Showers
  • There is a Monster in My Closet by: Mercer Meyer
  • The Kissing Hand by: Audrey Penn
  • I’ll Love you Forever by: Robert Munsch
  • Good Night Moon by: Margaret Wise Brown
  • Go Away Big Green Monster by: Ed Emberely
  • The Listening Walk by: Paul Showers
  • Raising Dragons by: Elise Primavera
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible Really Bad Day by: Ray Cruz
  • Me on the Map by: Joan Sweeney
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by: Lois Ehlert
  • And anything by Mercer Meyer or Eric Carle

Looking for more recommendations to foster early literacy at home? Visit the Bright Horizons Growing Readers website.

5.  What is your favorite art project to do with preschoolers?

Painting with fish, also known as the art of Japanese Taku rubbing. It is an amazing science, sensory and art experience.

You can use anchovies, sardines or any local fish. I usually get 1 or 2 whole Trout fish from the market. Before breaking out the paint, we exam the fish and look at its gills, eyes, scales and tongue. We take note of the smooth, soft and slippery scales. Then, we paint one side of the fish and put a piece of paper on top of it. You can see all of the fishes details including scales, eyes and fins – it’s just like a stamp and the children are amazed! Most children don’t have experience touching wildlife in this fashion so it’s a new and exciting experience for them.