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 wellbeing 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 5:00pm 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
My name is Donna Acquafresca. I have lived in Naples for seventeen years. Prior to living here I lived in Massachusetts, where I met my husband Steve and my two children were born. I have worked with children all of my adult life. My first preschool experience was at Naples United Church of Christ from 1995 to 2001, where I taught the three and four year old classes. I have been with VLC for four years. I am the two year old assistant. I thoroughly enjoy working with the two year olds. It is rewarding to watch them grow as they experience their first year of school. The staff and families at VLC have made it a wonderful place to work. I look forward to getting to know all the new families that join the VLC program in the coming years.
Hello my name is Katherine Baron. I have been a part of the VLC family since July 2010. I teach PreK-4 and love spending my days with my four and five year olds. I have two children, 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 love Naples’ beaches, reading, writing, and 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 Lourdes Dolecki. I have been working at VLC since 2004. I take care of the children in the afternoon. I also help in the mornings whenever needed. I love nurturing the children. I have met so many wonderful families over the years and love being part of the VLC family.
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, nuture, 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.
My name is Donna Goldblatt. My husband and I have three children. Growing up in New York, Long Island, 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. Motherhood, to my surprise, led me to a passion for teaching young children. This will be my thirteenth year teaching in preschool. The last three years have been at VLC. My passion 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.
My name is Erin Heintz. I have lived in Florida for 18 years. I worked in a Veterinary office for 15 years, until staying home with my two sons. I have been a part of the VLC family for three years and I am excited to be part of the VLC team.
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.
My name is Brooke Michie. I have my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and I taught First Grade for seven years. Prior to moving to Florida in 2006, I grew up in Pennsylvania . I reside in Naples with my husband, daughter, and Chihuahua named Duke. I enjoy fitness activities, crafts & monogramming, gardening, cooking and baking, boating,and going to the beach.
I feel blessed to have this opportunity to be working at Vanderbilt Learning Center and I look forward to many rewarding days to come.
My name is Bernie Shields. I was born and raised in Boston. My husband Frank and I have three children, two daughters and one son and five grandchildren. We moved to Florida in 1974 and I began my teaching career. When I lived in Boston I was a medical secretary and did not think because…my daughter cried everyday…I would end up being a teacher. As I began my Early Childhood Education classes I soon realized children were my passion and 36 years later here I am and still loving it!
I am so happy to be back working with Jackie and Angela here at Vanderbilt Learning Center. I believe children deserve respect, love and patience…and LOT’S OF HUGS!!! I am proud and happy to be joining the VLC Team
My name is Louise Snyder. I joined the staff at VLC in the 2014-15 school year. Although I am fairly new to VLC, I am not new to the world of early childhood. For many years, I had the privilege of teaching kindergarten in Collier County Public Schools, as well as, Naples Christian Academy. My particular interest is early literacy and how it relates to the development of the whole child. Much of my training and experience, both in developing and applying good curriculum and mentoring new teachers, has been in this area. My husband and I have lived in Collier County for 37 years, raised our children here, and are now thoroughly enjoy our young grandchildren. My life is full of blessings and I love it here at VLC. Early childhood is the best place to be!
My name is Amanda Steinmann. Almost a decade ago I was fresh out of college and looking for a teaching job when (by God’s grace) I walked through the doors of VLC. The director offered me a job that day and now years later she still hasn’t been able to get rid of me! I’ve worked at VLC as an assistant, a teacher, a substitute, room mom, and any other role needed filling. The children are my passion and this job has been such a blessing in my life. What more fun is there than getting to build block castles and finger paint every day! When not at work I am chasing my own two toddlers, who will also attend VLC this fall. In my free time (what’s that again?) I enjoy sleeping, dreaming of future vacations, and reading (although, chances are my book mark isn’t where I left it)!
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 sixth year teaching PreK-4 at VLC. My husband, Scott, and I have been married sixteen 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. I 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 olds class at VLC in 2011. I love working with young children and making learning fun! My husband, Alex, and I have 2 daughters. We enjoy spending family time boating and playing at the beach.
1225 Piper Blvd.
Naples, FL 34110