Children's Journey Preschool

Staff Biographies

Trisha Vigo - Facility Administrator

Hi! My name is Trisha Vigo, and I am from Casselberry, Florida. I received my Child Development Associate credential, Director's credential, and Early Childhood Education Degree from Seminole State. I’m continuing my education now with the goal of obtaining my Master’s Degree in this field in the future.


I have been with Children’s Journey Preschool since January of 2012. I started here as an assistant in the infant room before I moved to a lead teacher position in our toddler class in late 2012. In the summer of 2012, I was also promoted to supervising teacher. I held both positions until June of 2014 when I was promoted to Assistant Director. I have worked and helped with all of the age groups at CJP from infant through VPK. In 2017, I was promoted to Preschool Director. I have known since I was a small child that I wanted to work with children. I truly believe that their education starts with us. I feel great knowing that what I do makes a difference and paves the way for their future development and education. I want all the children in my care to succeed in everything they do, to feel loved, safe, and excited about coming to school. In October of 2020, I began my new role as Facility Administrator for CJP and Redeemer.


Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my son and a wonderful husband. I also love being in the water whether it’s at the beach or a pool. I love to do DIY projects, take photographs, and spend time with the rest of my family and friends.


I look forward to getting to know your child and family and want to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your child’s development.

Mary Barrett - Preschool Director

Hi! My name is Mary Barrett. I was born in St. Pete, Fl. I moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida. I obtained my Bachelors in Art from UCF and in 2014; I received my Teaching Certificate from Valencia. I am a lifelong learner and enjoy the opportunities to study.


I have been working at CJP since April of 2013, and I have taught in all of the classrooms from Infant - VPK. In 2017, I became the curriculum specialist at CJP until I was promoted to Assistant Director in the fall of 2018. I have always wanted a job where I felt I could help children and make a difference in their life. Working with children to me is such an important job, and I get to have fun at the same time. My favorite thing about teaching is that even I, as the adult, learn new things every day. I want to provide a warm and loving environment for children that helps them learn and grow. In October of 2020, I was promoted to Preschool Director.


Outside of work, I love trivia, arts and crafts, reading, and going to Starbucks. I married my best friend in 2017 and we welcomed our first child, a beautiful baby girl, to the world in 2019. I also have a dog-named Boggie that is a Maltese Shitzu mix and is like another child to me and our little family is expecting our next child in 2021.


I look forward to getting to know your children and family.

Carleigh Parson - Support Staff and Office Assistant

Hello, my name is Carleigh Parson. I have lived in central Florida my entire life and I'm currently enrolled at Seminole State obtaining my degree in psychology! I attended Children’s Journey when I was a child and I served as a youth representative on the church council which is why I was so pleased to join the teaching team in June of 2018. I love working with children because they have such open minds and they’re excited to learn and experience new things. I hope that I am able to give children a positive view of the world and the people around them! I feel we can do this through giving them the best possible experience in early learning so that they are motivated to continue learning and taking opportunities. Outside of work, I love reading and crafts. I look forward to getting to know your family and your child!

Heather Ray - Infant Lead Teacher and Infant/Toddler Supervisor

Hi, my name is Heather Ray and I am originally from Michigan. I moved to Florida with my family in 2004. I graduated with honors from Lincoln Consolidated High School and took some general education classes at the college level. Currently, I am pursuing my Early Childhood Education Credentials with Seminole State College.


I have been teaching at Children’s Journey Preschool since August of 2016 and love the school family we have here. I have taken care of young children in various settings since I was a young adult. I have cared for children as young as one week all the way through 12 years old. I love to see kids laugh and play. It is amazing to watch them discover something new or figure out how something works. When I work with young children, I want to help them grow and learn new and exciting things. I believe that the most important part of early childhood education is providing children with a safe and loving environment to learn, grow, and be themselves. In August of 2020, I was promoted to Infant/toddler supervisor and I am loving sharing my experience and knowledge with other teachers.


Outside of work, I love to craft. I can make many things! I also enjoy painting, bowling, and spending time with my husband. We hope to have children of our own soon.


I look forward to getting to know you and watching your child grow at CJP!

Mercedes Paredes - Assistant Infant Teacher

Hi everyone, my name is Mercedes Paredes. I moved to Florida from Chicago in 2017 to be closer to my daughter and grandchildren. I have my bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in social work, sociology, and liberal arts. I have worked with young children and their families in a variety of settings and entered the early childhood field in 2016. In July of 2017, I joined the CJP teaching team working with the infants. I love working with children because I love to watch them grow and develop different personalities, meet challenges, and achieve accomplishments from day to day. I hope that while the children are in my care, I can teach many things while providing them with love, safety, and security. The most important part of what we do is building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical, and mental development, which will prepare them for a lifetime of learning. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and my family. I am a mother of two and a grandmother to two children as well. I look forward to getting to know your child and appreciate you putting your trust in us to care for your precious little ones.

Wendy Thompson - Infant 2 Lead Teacher

Hi, My name is Wendy Thompson! I am originally from Missouri but moved to Florida with my family! I worked with children throughout my school experience and loved watching them grow and explore! I am a mom of 6 kids and 2 wonderful grandchildren! I want my students to have days filled with moments of learning, loving, and listening to each other! I think that this time in their lives shapes their minds to be our leaders of tomorrow! I look forward to getting to know you and your children!

Lisette Nieves - Infant 2 Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Lisette Nieves! I am from Puerto Rico and spent 10 years there teaching elementary education! I worked with CJP before in our Infant 1 class and am so happy to rejoin our school with Infant 2! I have always loved working with children and I aim to give them all my love for a lasting bond! Outside of work I love to do Zumba or aerobics and go shopping! As a mom it is important that I make all families feel comfortable and safe, as well as involved in their childs growth while they are at school! I look forward to getting to know you and your child.

Jennifer Johnson - Infant Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Jennifer Johnson! I am originally from Colombia, and moved to Florida a few years ago! I worked with children for 12 years in Colombia and have been working with them in Florida since I moved as well. I love working with babies and making learning fun. I just started at CJP in 2021, and will be helping out in our infant classrooms. I believe it is important that we follow the child's cues and support their needs so the always feel heard in our classroom. Outside of work I like to do art with many materials like wood, glass, and ceramics. I live with my husband and our daughter who is in VPK here! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with your child!

Joanna Mantilla - Toddler 1 Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Joanna Mantilla and I am originally from New Jersey. I found myself in Florida when I decided I was ready for a change and I am so glad to be here. I am currently enrolled in college working toward my degree in Education at UCF. I have worked as a culinary teacher for children 3-years-old and up and in a childcare setting working with infants and toddlers. I come from a large family that has always believed it takes a village to raise a child, so it was always all hands on deck. I joined the CJP team in February of 2020 and I am very happy to be here. I love working with children because it is so much more than “earning a living”, it is a career that matters and a career that makes a difference in the lives of many. I hope to provide the children in my care with an environment that makes learning fun to really set the tone for their educational journey. I believe the most important part of early childhood education is showing love and letting children know that there is a community of people there for them. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, doing homework, and playing board games. I see my siblings almost every day and my mother a few times a week, so we are very close. I look forward and feel privileged to be a part of your child’s journey and being able to witness their personal growth.

Janette Seleman - Toddler 1 Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Janette Seleman. I am from Egypt. I moved to Florida in 2009. In Egypt, I worked with children in my church for 7 years. I loved every minute of it. I also grew up with lots of family around me so I was always taking care of the children in my family. I started teaching at CJP in May of 2016. I love working with children because I genuinely love them. I love to cuddle them and make them feel loved. They always put a smile on my face. I want to help the children in my class meet the developmental skills they need to move forward. Outside of work, I love to draw, sing, and spend time with my family. I have been married for 10 years and have 2 beautiful children ages 9 and 4. I look forward to getting to know you and your family!

Adriana Koonce - Toddler 1 Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Adriana Koonce! I am from Bradenton, Florida and graduated recently in 2020. I have been working with children through babysitting for over 5 years and done volunteer work with children up through middle school ages. I absolutely love working with children and sharing the happiness they have about new things everyday. I always want to provide a safe and comfortable environment for children to learn and grow in. Outside of work I love to paint, cook, and spend time with my family! I look forward to seeing you and your child everyday!

Janitzia Nunez - Toddler 2 Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Janitzia Nunez. I was born and raised in Miami Florida and have been in central Florida for a while now. I am currently working toward completion of my training through the department of children and families for childcare. I have experience working with children from previous employment within kids clubs at local gyms, helping when I was younger in my parent’s childcare center, and lots of hands on experience with my own child. I joined the CJP teaching team in August of 2019 after being a parent at CJP since earlier in 2019. I love working with children because it is one of the most rewarding jobs I can imagine having. It gives me the opportunity to inspire children and educate them in new ways. I hope the children in my care always feel encouraged, confident, and successful. I look forward to working them and providing positive reinforcement and building up their self-esteem. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our daughter, Seliah, who attends CJP. I also like to work out, participate in indoor rock climbing, spending time outdoors, and tacos. I look forward to spending time with your child and getting to know your family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their development.

Adalynn Minello - Toddler 2 Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Adalynn Minello. I was born and raised in Florida and have lived local my whole life. I graduated from Lyman High School in 2018 and immediately started taking classes at Seminole State College. I hope to obtain my degree to work in pediatrics in the future.

I have spent many summers volunteering at a soccer church camp with children from ages one through seven. I have also done regular babysitting throughout the years and have played a big role in helping care for my 5 year old nephew. I joined the CJP team in August of 2020 and I am so excited to be here working with the little ones. I love working with children because it’s so important at their age to have the most positive guidance. I hope I can be the one to inspire them and be their positive influence. I want to give all the children in my care a safe and loving place to come to. Somewhere that learning is fun! The most important thing we can do for children is to provide them with a loving and caring environment.

Outside of work, I enjoy playing soccer, spending time with my family, swimming, and visiting the beach. I live with my parents and younger brother who is my greatest friend.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with your children. I hope to inspire, educate, and have so much fun with them!

Stephanie Evans - Toddler 2 Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Stephanie Evans. I was born and raised in Florida. I have worked with children since I was 14 years old and I have completed my training through the department of children and families. I have worked in a few childcare settings since high school, babysat independently, and have 2 children of my own. I joined the Children’s Journey Preschool team in January of 2020. I love working with children of all ages because it is amazing to watch them learn and grow. I hope the children in my care learn to be kind to everyone they meet and feel loved and important while they’re with me. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my children and husband. I look forward to getting to know your child and your family.

Hayley Davis - Toddler 2 Assistant Teacher

Hello, My name is Hayley Davis. I was born and raised in Winter Park, and am currently in college at Baptist College of Florida obtaining a degree in psychology! I have been babysitting and doing work as a nanny for many years before beginning teaching! My parents were also foster parents and I was able to learn and love so much from this experience! It is very important to me to provide a loving environment with positive reinforcement as they grow! Outside of work I love going to the beach and universal with my friends, and sending time with my family! I look forward to building a relationship with you and your child.

Grace Bartlett - EPS1 Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Grace Bartlett and I am from College Station, Texas. I recently relocated to Florida and so far I am enjoying this new experience. After graduating high school, I took some college level courses at Texas A and M University and I plan to continue my education in Florida. I have experience working with children as a Preschool teacher in College Station, volunteering at schools, volunteering as a coach, and I have frequently babysat over the years for various families. In June of 2020, I joined the CJP teaching team and I am thrilled to be here. I love working with children because you can build a great bond with them as a teacher. They trust you and teachers can have an amazing impact on their lives. I hope that the children in my care look at me and know that they can trust me and feel safe while they’re with me. I want them to know that someone will always be there for them when they need us. Patience is a major factor in the Early Childhood Education field because all children are unique and I have been blessed with this quality. Outside of work, I enjoy bike riding, baking, working out, and taking care of my cat. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work with your children at CJP. I look forward to getting to know these children better and helping them learn and grow.

Bianca Castro - EPS1 Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Bianca Castro. I grew up in Mt. Sinai, New York until my family decided to relocate to Florida while I was attending Elementary School. After graduating high school, I attended college courses to become a veterinarian technician, but have since changed my major to Early Childhood Education. I’ve been a part of the CJP teaching team since December of 2016 working primarily with the infants. I have also worked with children from the infant classroom all the way through assisting in a VPK classroom in other settings. I love working with children because when they learn something new it is a very rewarding feeling knowing that I helped them along the way. I hope that I am always able to make learning fun for these precious children and that they have a desire to want to learn more after being with me. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my niece and nephew, participating in Making Strides against Breast Cancer, and watching movies. I look forward to getting to know your family and your child.

Savannah Marsden - EPS2 Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Savannah Marsden. I was born and raised in Florida and graduated from Lyman high school. I have completed my training through the department of children and families and I plan to continue my education in the field of Early Childhood Education.


I’ve spent many years working as a babysitter, caring for family members children, working at another childcare center, and raising my own daughter. I joined the CJP team in June of 2020 and I am so excited to become a part of the CJP family! I love working with children because I am a very nurturing person at heart and I love seeing things through their little eyes. I enjoy the excitement they experience when they learn something new and they encourage me to be as creative as I can. I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to work with children. I hope that I am able to help build confidence in the children in my care and that they always feel happy, positive, and inspired. The most important part about what we do here is allowing children to learn in their own way and making sure that they know their way of learning makes them unique and it is important to us.


Outside of work, I dedicate most of my time to being with my daughter doing fun things like hiking, spending time with family, and cooking.


I look forward to building a relationship with your children and assisting with their growth and development in this crucial stage of their lives.

Casandra Duncan- EPS2 Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Casandra Duncan! I was born in Bronx, New York but have spent most of my life in Florida and am currently enrolling in Seminole State College. I have worked as a director in afterschool programs for elementary age students and in VBS programs in the past. I have always wanted to work with children and find teaching to be so fulfilling. It is so important to me that I teach children to think positively and provide them a safe space to grow. Out side of work I spend time with my family and I love going to the park with my dog. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to getting to know you and your child.

Jessica Belleville - Preschool 3's Co-Teacher

Hi, my name is Jessica Belleville. I was born in Washington and raised in Rhode Island. I wanted to enjoy some sunny weather and new adventures in Florida, so I moved here in 2018. I have many years of experience working with children in various settings and I joined the CJP team in October of 2018 as a floating teacher. In December of 2018, I was promoted to the lead teacher in the Preschool room and I now enjoy co-teaching with Ms. Reba. I love being an important part of young children’s lives and watching them grow over time. I want to make sure every child feels loved and important every day while they’re in my care! Outside of work, I enjoy nature, being outdoors, and I also enjoy cuddling with my cat Lila! My family lives in various states so it gives me opportunities to travel and visit them which I love because I enjoy traveling. I look forward to getting to know your child and your family!. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their life.

Reba Shinn - Preschool 3's Co-Teacher

Hello, my name is Reba Shinn and I was born in Clearwater, Florida. My family moved out of state until 2014 when we returned to Florida. I graduated from Gulf High School in New Port Richey and I am currently attending St. Petersburg College working toward obtaining my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. When I finish that, I plan to transfer to UCF to complete my Bachelor’s Degree. I previously worked in multiple customer service positions, but I gained my experience working with children through volunteer opportunities at Church nurseries and summer camps. I also spent time as a nanny for 2 young children for 4 years. In September of 2019, I joined the Children’s Journey Preschool team and I am thrilled to be here. I love to watch children grow and discover new things. I hope that the children in my care are set up for success by the love, support, and encouragement I provide them on a daily basis. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and my cat, Mei. I also enjoy swimming and working out. I look forward to getting to know your family and your child. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their development.

Sharna Johnson- VPK A

Hello, My name is Sharna Johnson! I am originally from Georgia, and moved to Florida with my family. I have 10 years of experience in the childcare field, and I am trained in Montessori teaching. I have been surrounded by children almost of my life and wanted to become a part of this field to continue this connection with young minds. I find watching them grow from one stage of life to another is the most rewarding gift and I aim to be a positive light in their lives. I have two siblings and three nephews! I also have a dog named Nora! I look forward to getting to know the children and families that make up our school!

Rebecca Parry- VPK B Teacher

Hello my name is Rebecca Parry! I was born and raised in Florida, and recently graduated from Lake Howell Highschool in 2019! At Lake Howell, i worked in their Little Hawks classroom for 3 years with children ages 3-5! I also have spent a lot of time caring for my 1 year old niece! I love working with children because you create lasting positive effects in each others lives. My favorite part of working in this environment is being able to create individual bonds with every child! Outside of work i enjoy writing and spending time with family! I look forward to getting to know your family and child! Thank you for letting me be apart of their education!

Ansley Lyle

Hi, my name is Ansley Lyle and I am from Sugarhill, Georgia! I spent 5 years working in my home church's childcare program including their special needs program and have worked 4 years as a full time nanny. I love working with kids because their success bring so much joy into our lives. I strive to make all children feel heard and equal everyday. Outside of work I love to play volleyball, shop, and spend time with my family! I am beyond excited to start my journey here at CJP and am so grateful to be part of your children's lives!

Gabriela Velez - Support Staff

Hello, My name is Gabriela Velez. I was born in Syracuse, New York and moved to Florida when i was 2 years old! I'm currently a senior in high school and I am working towards my CDA in my Childhood Education Program! I have had the chance to work with kids in many ways through Little Hawks, Aloma Kids academy and VBS events! I joined the CJP team in 2020 and I'm so excited to build relationships with every child here! I think discovery through play and STEAM builds a strong foundation for learning! Outside of work I enjoy doing makeup, spending time with friends, and riding bikes! I look forward to getting to know your family and child!