The Vanderbilt Learning Center
We believe that young children develop their abilities best in a warm, caring and loving atmosphere. We believe that each child differs from all other children in many respects, and each age has its own special needs and characteristics.
Stages of development follow one another in an orderly progression, but this progression moves forward at different rates for different children.
Vanderbilt Presbyterian Childcare & Learning Center allows for the individuality of each child in order to build positive attitudes toward self, others and learning. We strive to provide an enriching program in a Christian setting to all children, regardless of race, religion, creed or national origin.
Your child’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social well-being is utmost importance to us.
Programs for the two and three year olds are for two, three, or five days.
Our four year old program is a five day a week program.
Kindergarten hours are from 8am to 1pm five days a week.
We follow the Collier County Public School’s calendar, start date, end date and times. Children must be either 2, 3, 4 or 5 years of age prior to September 1st of the year for the class they are enrolling in. Preschool hours are from 8:30am to 12:30pm Monday thru Friday. We also have afternoon care, for an additional fee, until 4:30pm daily. Early drop off is available after 7:30am. For either of these programs, you must sign up at registration as there are a limited number of spaces available. For more information, please read our handbook under VLC Forms.
License # C20CO6647
VLC Photo Galleries
Hello, I am Katherine Baron. I have been a part of the VLC family since July 2010, and consider the ladies I work with as my friends and family. I teach PreK-4 and love spending my days with my four and five-year-olds. Each child blooms in a different direction and I teach with this in mind and as a blessing and a guide. I have two amazing children of my own, a son and a daughter. I am an author and freelance writer, writing about family and children. My writings have been published in local family magazines, and online magazines. My books focus on supporting women in their daily lives. I have also published a children’s story, I Beg Your Pardon You Have a Tooth Garden, and enjoy sharing it with my class. I love Naples’ beaches, reading, writing, and spending time with my family.
Hello my name is Diane Byrnes (Burns). I have been married to my husband Eddie since 1998. After witnessing the 911 tragedy in New York on my way to work, we decided to start “a new chapter” in our lives and moved to Naples, Florida. We now have 3 wonderful children, twin girls and one son. Motherhood awakened a passion inside of me for teaching and has taught me to teach with compassion, patience, and understanding. I decided to “turn the page” in my new chapter and became a teacher in 2008. I worked at Wonder Years Pre-School for several years before joining the family at VLC in 2013. I just love and enjoy it at VLC and hope to finish the rest of “my book” here.
Hello my name is Lee Dorozenski. I am currently a PreK-4 teacher and have been part of the outstanding teaching staff here at VLC since 2011. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and I am certified to teach preschool. My teaching career began in the Collier County Public School system where I taught grades, first, second, sixth, and seventh. I am a lifelong resident of Naples, Florida.
My name is Jacqueline Elmer, most people call me Jackie. I have been married to Tom since 1979. We have two children and seven grandchildren. I began my Naples career at First Presbyterian Preschool in 1988 until I retired in 2005. In November of 2005, I joined the VLC family as the Director of VLC. I have enjoyed working with the staff, families, teachers, and mostly the children. I have a wonderful staff of 15 teachers and assistants who educate, nurture, and love our children. Also, I have an administrative assistant who helps me in the office. These people and the VLC parents and students make it a joy for me to come to work each day. With the continued support of staff and members of Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, I am pleased and honored to be a part of this wonderful program and mission.
My name is Angela Gates. I was born and raised in Virginia. After marrying my husband Todd, the two of us moved to Naples, Florida. We have two daughters, one grandson, and a granddaughter. My teaching career began at First Presbyterian Preschool working with Jackie Elmer. In 2006, I accepted the position as a four year old teacher here at VLC. After two years, I moved to the three year old classroom until 2013 when I became the VLC Director’s administrative assistant. Now my days are filled with assisting the Director and supporting the teachers. Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church is a very special church and I am proud to be a part of it and the VLC team.
Hello, my name is Donna Goldblatt. Growing up in Long Island, New York, it never crossed my mind that one day I would be happily living in Naples, Florida. I started a career at the City of Naples Police Department as a 911 Operator. However, motherhood, to my surprise led me to my newest passion for teaching young children. I started in a classroom in 2004 and found my new family here at VLC in 2012. My husband Jimmy and I have 3 children. My desire to continue to teach was solidified when our daughter was diagnosed with Autism. Through her daily struggles and challenges, I have learned to teach with compassion, patience, and understanding.
Hello, my name is Erin Heintz. I have lived in Naples for over twenty years. Our family has been a part of VLC since 2013 when our son started preschool. I fell in love with the school and the wonderful staff. In 2015, I happily joined the VLC staff. I am now the assistant to the three-year-old classes. My husband Anthony and I have been married for twelve years and have two sons. In our spare time, we enjoy the beach and spending time with family and friends.
Hello my name is Jennifer Hewins. I have lived in Naples, Florida for 12 years with my husband, Tim, and our three awesome boys. I have a B.A. in Elementary Education from Rider University. I have been with VLC since 2004. Two years ago, I started teaching the Kindergarten class. My teaching philosophy is based on respecting differences, tapping into talents, and sharing my love for learning with my students. I believe we all have something to contribute and I learn so much from my students each day. I use a multi-sensory theme based instruction in the classroom and believe in a consistent, positive, and respectful approach to all of my students. I am so happy to be part of the VLC teaching staff.
Hello my name is Adrienne Tackett. I have called Southwest Florida my home most of my life. I grew up on Marco Island. I attended the University of South Florida where I received my B.A. in Elementary Education. I taught first grade in the Collier County school system for seven years. I am pleased to say this is my tenth year teaching PreK-4 at VLC. My husband, Scott, and I have been married twenty years. We have two daughters. In our free time we enjoy spending time on our beautiful beaches and working out.
Hello, my name is Dana Wagoner. I grew up in Naples, Florida, and attended Florida Gulf Coast University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. After staying home with my girls for a few years, I was thrilled to begin teaching the two-year-old class at VLC in 2011. This year I will be part-time, assisting the Pre-K4 teachers. I love working with young children and making learning fun! My husband, Alex, and I have 2 daughters, and we enjoy spending family time boating and playing at the beach.
Hello, my name is Rachael Budd. I am born and raised in Naples. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Florida Gulf Coast University. I have two wonderful sons. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and working out. I’m excited to be part of the VLC team.
Hello, I’m Leslie Gentzle. I’m a 4th generation Floridian and happily married with two awesome little boys, who keep me on my toes. I’ve been a part of the Vanderbilt Learning Center family since 2015, when my oldest son became a student in VLC’s Kindergarten program. Since then, my youngest son has been a student at the school and on his very last day of preschool, I became a teacher assistant for the upcoming school year…… I just couldn’t say “Goodbye” to this amazing school and all of the wonderful teachers, staff and families. I can’t wait to get to know all of your amazing children and watch as they grow and flourish throughout this next school year!
My name is Jayme Funigiello and I was born and raised in Naples, Florida. After high school, I went to the University of Florida and attended nursing school, where I earned my RN and worked at NCH specializing in cardiac care. After my first son was born, I decided to stay home and focus on building my family. I now have three boys that keep my hands and heart full. After my boys were old enough to attend school, I was thrilled to become part of the VLC family in 2017 as a teacher assistant. I love working with all the children and seeing how much they learn and grow. My husband, Joe, and I have been married since 2008 and love to go on our boat and take our boys fishing. I also am involved in fostering puppies and volunteering for a local dog rescue.
My name is Stacey Bulloch. My husband and I, both graduates from Naples High, have called Naples home for over 20 years. Upon graduating from the University of Florida we both moved back to Naples. We have two boys together, Harrison and Langston. After staying at home with them and volunteering on the VLC Parent Team while they attended the pre-school, I decided to officially join the VLC staff in 2018. I am honored to be part of such a great team.
I was born and raised in Rhode Island. I moved to Naples in 2005. I attended high school and FSW here in town. I met my husband and best friend here, and we were married in 2015. We are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Olivia and Emma, who have attended VLC and loved it. I started as a parent of VLC and have been lucky enough to start teaching here this year!
Hello, my name is Lori Zajac. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and attended nursing school at The University of Toledo. I spent six years working as an RN specializing in organ transplant and cardiac care. After a few years of staying home with my children, I was thrilled to become part of the VLC family as an assistant in 2018. My husband, Eric, and I have been married since 2010 and have one daughter and one son. In our free time, we enjoy spending time at the beach, paddle boarding, and being outdoors together.
Hello, my name is Bayah Harrison. I am an assistant teacher for our 2-year-old class. I am married with two children who have attended Vanderbilt Learning Center. We have lived in Naples since 2004 and are so happy to be here.
My name is Abbygale Lucarelli, but I am mostly known as Abby. I was born and raised in Naples, Florida. I come from a large Italian family, and I am the middle child of three; I have an older brother and a little sister. I graduated from Barron Collier High School in May of 2019, and I am currently enrolled at Florida Southwestern to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Education. In March of 2019 I started working in the Church nursery here at VPC and I am lucky enough to be apart of the VLC for the 2020-2021 school year!
Jackie Elmer, Director
239-594-9557 (Direct Line)
1225 Piper Blvd.
Naples, FL 34110