Meet Our Team

laura b. trust

Founder

alan litchman

Chief Financial Officer

vicki milstein

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Jaye Y. Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Fischer-Mueller

Head of School

debra nickerson

Associate Head of School

aisha sanders

Educator

amanda villanova

Educator

marc walker

Building & Program Liaison

tina bryant

Educator

laura bradford

Educator

sharlean davis

Educator

courtney keilty

Director of Enrichment

rosane prior

Director of Human Resources

Susan Gould

Director of Culinary Arts

zach sufrin

Vice President of Finance

Ginny Caroll

Afternoon Academic & Enrichment Coordinator

Aaron Sealey

Educator

Megan Swartz

Educator

Rosalba Reyes Gothers

Educator

Dana Salend

Educator

Allie Carew Lyons

Educator

Eden Johnson

Educator

Kruti pic

Kruti Avadhani

Educator

Matthew Campagna

Educator

Cecelia

Cecelia Hartigan

Educator

LAURA B. TRUST

Founder

Laura established and operates Trust Early Learners with the mission to re-imagine high-quality early education for all children. Laura also founded Global Early Education in 2019 with Vicki Milstein to develop a best practice early learners’ curriculum. Laura’s background is in business having owned and operated manufacturing and retail companies focused on consumer goods world-wide. Laura received her Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Master’s from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Alan Litchman

Chief Financial Officer

Alan founded Trust Early Learners with his wife Laura. Alan’s background is in Finance and Real Estate. He has worked in finance for multiple businesses and has developed retail and commercial real estate all over the country –including the School’s building in Brookline. Alan received his Bachelors’ from the University of Wisconsin, MS from MIT Center for Real Estate, and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Vicki Milstein

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Vicki was Principal of Early Education in the Brookline Public Schools for 21 years. Her experience includes teaching in Pre-K and Kindergarten, college instructor, and Early Childhood Coordinator. She is the author of Integrating Math in Early Childhood Classrooms (Scholastic 2007) and the Global Early Education Curriculum. Vicki has presented at national and international conferences. She holds degrees from Wheelock College and Lesley University.

Jaye Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Jaye is a nonprofit leader with 20 years experience strengthening educational and community-based organizations in Boston, most recently as the Chief Advancement Officer and SVP for Nurtury. Prior to that, Jaye held leadership positions at The Advent School, Mother Caroline Academy, The Dimock Center, and her alma mater Simmons College. She sits on the board of TSNE Mission Works and AFPMA.

Jennifer Fischer-Mueller

Head of School

Jennifer is a passionate educational leader with a demonstrated commitment to excellence and equity. Dr. Fischer-Mueller led the Canton (MA) Public Schools as Superintendent from 2016 – 2021. Previously, she served as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the Public Schools of Brookline (MA) for 13 years. With over 30 years in education, Dr. Fischer-Mueller’s experiences range from classroom teaching to administration, preK – 12.

Debra Nickerson

Associate Head of School

Debra was a Teacher and the Director for 39 years at Les Petits Nursery School in Brookline. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Speech Therapy from Salem State University. She has volunteered at Boston Children’s Hospital holding babies for 30 years and at the Boston Marathon for over 20 years. Deb truly enjoys enriching children’s lives.

Aisha Sanders

Lead Educator

Aisha has been working in early childhood for over 15 years most recently as Lead Educator at TSC Child Care in Cambridge, MA. She is licensed as a Director Level I and II and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wheelock College. Aisha has taught children up to age 8, collaborates and engages with all families, and is passionate about creating meaningful and enriching classrooms and curricula.

Amanda Villanova

Lead Educator

Amanda has taught 1st grade, Kindergarten, and Pre-K including at a Montessori school with children ages 3 to 5 years old. She has a passion for early education and believes children need a secure and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow. Amanda received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Social Sciences from Portland State University, and her Master in Education.

Marc Walker, JR.

Educator

Marc originally from Washington DC, has extensive experience teaching young children, most recently at Cole-Harrington Early Learning Center in Canton (MA) and prior to that at the Freedom School in Boston. Marc received his certificate in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from the University Medical School of South Carolina, and received his Bachelor’s in Child and Family Development from Benedict College in South Carolina

Tina Bryant

Educator

Tina has been in Early Education for 16 years, the last 8 at Nurtury Learning Lab. Prior to that, she taught at Grace Christian Academy and the John Hancock Child Care Center. Tina is a graduate of Wheelock’s Early Educators Program and will graduate with a B.A in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Nazarene College. Tina is a wife, mother of six, and grandmother of six.

Laura Bradford

Educator

Laura was the teacher/director for the Clinton Path Preschool for eleven years. Her earlier experiences include ten years teaching at the Brookline Schools Staff Children’s Center. Laura also taught After school programs, Kindergarten, at the Early Childhood Center at Maimonides School and ran preschools from her home. She holds a degree from Wheelock College.

Sharlean Davis

Educator in Training

Sharlean has been in the early childhood field for 18 years and has always wanted to be an educator. As a high school student she studied early childhood education and knew then she would make it her career. Sharlean is currently continuing her education at Cambridge College with a focus in Special Education. She has a passion for early learning and teaching young children.

Courtney Keilty

Director of Enrichment and 2021-2022 Artist in Residence

Courtney was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has spent the last fifteen years working with children as an after school director, preschool and art teacher, set design and technology manager, and private consultant for families. Courtney practices a project-based learning approach which she believes leads to a deeper understanding and passion for learning.

Rosane Prior

Director of Human Resources

Rosane has been Head of Human Resources and Payroll at Finagle A Bagel for 16 years. Her experience includes recruitment, talent management, training, development, payroll, HR systems, benefit administration, dispute mediation, workers compensation, records management, HR policy development and compliance. Ms. Prior holds a Bachelor’s Equivalent in Arts with emphasis in Education from University of Espírito Santo in Brazil and is an HRCI-certified professional.

Susan Gould

Director of Culinary Arts

Susan has for the last 20 years been running and growing the retail, catering and wholesale businesses at Finagle a Bagel. Susan is the creative mind behind all recipe and menu development and has catered events from 8 to 800. Food is her passion as is the understanding of food as a culinary and cultural experience. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Zach Sufrin

Vice President of Finance

Zach has experience in the finance and accounting fields. Most recently, he worked for a family office where he was instrumental in the financial operations of the company. Zach is driven by helping others and ensuring that their financial goals are met. Zach earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Babson College with a concentration in Finance.

Ginny Carroll

Afternoon Academic and Enrichment Coordinator

Ginny was an elementary school teacher in the Brookline Public Schools for over 35 years. Following that, Ginny was the faculty mentor at an independent school, and taught graduate seminars at Wheelock College. Ginny was the recipient of the Goldin Foundation Award for excellence in education, and the Hope Found Hero Award for her work at The Shattuck Shelter. She is a graduate of Wheelock College.

Aaron SEALEY

Educator

After working for 3 years at Mason Rice After School Program and Beaver Country Day Summer Camp, Aaron is excited to continue his work in education and with youth at Trust Early Learners! Born in Cambridge and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, Aaron has been working with children for 5 years. His commitment to youth development blossomed while working at the Julian Edelman Football Camp and was inspired by a camper who couldn’t participate in the activities due to an injury. While the camper couldn’t do most of the things the other kids could, he made sure he was still involved in the activities. The impact of that experience made an indelible impact and ignited his drive to work with children.

Megan Swartz

Educator

Megan has taught preschool-aged children for the past 18 years. She believes that young children learn best through play, the arts, and exploring nature. Megan has a B.A in Studio Art from the University of Vermont and her Masters in Early Childhood Education, Creative Arts in Learning, from Lesley University.

ROSALBA REYES GOTHERS

Educator

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Rosalba earned her B.S. in Biology and Pharmacology. After moving to the United States, she worked in the medical field for more than 20 years. She earned her M.S. in early childhood from Wheelock College and worked in the Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) for 5 years as a paraprofessional, extended day instructor, and preschool lead teacher. She strongly believes in empowering children by having their voices heard.

Dana Salend

Educator

Dana has taught preschool in the Boston area for seven years. She has a passion for working with children and strives to create an environment where children feel supported to try new things and explore. Dana has a bachelor’s degree from Fisher College in Human Services with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention.

ALLIE CAREW LYONS

Educator

Born in Guatemala and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Allie is pursuing a BA in early childhood education and psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Allie has experience in various educational settings, previously at the Kennedy Day school at Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Willow Path childcare in West Roxbury. Allie strongly believes in creating a community that allows each child to thrive.

Eden Johnson

Educator

Eden has been working with kids and youth ages 0-15 in various settings including summer camps, private care settings, and most recently starting a LGBTQ+ affinity group for students ages 10-15 in Milton, MA. Originally born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Eden earned their bachelor’s degree in Religious studies with a minor in Business Administration from Birmingham-southern College. Eden most recently graduated from Boston University School of Theology with their master’s in divinity and joined TEL after being a summer teacher to high school students in a locked facility setting with the department for youth services. Through their studies and internships focused on ethics, social justice, and trauma, they have concluded that early education is where the foundation is laid for a more justice-oriented society by empowering children to be themselves as they learn to grow with others.

MATTHEW CAMPAGNA

Educator

Matthew has been working in the youth development profession for 10+ years in a multitude of Director roles with Boys & Girls Clubs of Clubs and YMCAs, most recently coming from the Cambridge Montessori School as their Summer Camp Director. Matthew has worked with youth ages 2 – 14, and is extremely invested in creating positive, safe environments for youth to discover their passions and explore them. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human services with a specialization and Children & Family Services from Northeastern University.