/Leadership Team
Leadership Team2019-08-26T20:59:21+00:00

Leadership Team

Brightside Academy Ohio is a company made up of strong, talented individuals including the company’s leadership team. Knowing that children learn the most in childhood, the company’s leadership team, along with their respective teams, work to provide all families access to an excellent educational experience for all children enrolled in our programs.

Click on each name below to learn more about our Brightside Academy Ohio leadership team.

Ezra Beren joined Brightside Academy Ohio as the President of Ohio operations after working in the financial services sector. Ezra brings a diverse business and operations background with having over eight years of experience helping companies expand their footprint. Ezra’s hands-on leadership style and creative approach to problem solving has enabled him to execute highly complex programs and initiatives within the various organizations he served. He brings a community service and innovative management focus to Brightside Academy with the goal of expanding our services for children and families of all backgrounds by providing them with the highest quality child care and education. Ezra graduated with honors from Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds a Degree in Business Administration.

Ezra can be reached at eberen@brightsideohio.com.

Monty Stefansky joined Brightside Academy Ohio as Chief Financial Officer. With a diverse business background, Monty worked for numerous years in a private equity firm and helped grow the company’s holdings in the Healthcare Industry with a focus in the Drug & Alcohol Rehab. In addition, Monty specialized in Merger and Acquisitions in various different industries.

Monty focus key role with Brightside Academy Ohio is to stabilize the current operations and to grow Brightside Academy Ohio’s imprint across the state of Ohio and to ensure that our Ohio operation is the premier child care provider available to all families.

Monty can be reached at monty@brightsideohio.com.

Prior to joining Brightside Academy, Jamie was a Vice President at a childcare software company where she helped transform childcare centers using software making them safer, more efficient, and more engaging for parents. This experience has provided Jamie with unique insight into the challenges facing many Early Childhood Education programs and through Jamie’s leadership, innovative approach, and problem solving, she has helped these programs overcome them. Jamie has held various leadership roles in including overseeing multiple childcare centers for the largest childcare provider and has over a decade of experience in the childcare industry.

Jaime can be reached at jamiek@brightsideohio.com.

Kelly Bandfield is an experienced Human Resources Professional and has worked with Brightside Academy Ohio since September of 2015. She is skilled in Talent Acquisition, Risk Management, Employee relations, and HR Strategic Planning . She holds a bachelors degree in Human Resource Management and is a Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional, SHRM-CP, and also holds an American Staffing Association Certified Staffing Professional certification, ASACSP. In her free time Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, running and watching football.

Kelly can be reached at kbandfield@brightsideohio.com or (419) 304-2451

Courtney recently joined Brightside Academy Ohio as the Marketing Director in August 2018. She is responsible for the marketing, communication and business development efforts for Brightside Academy Ohio. In addition to strategic business development efforts, she directs community relations, marketing, and on and offline advertising for the Ohio region. She manages and oversees community engagement, events, charitable contributions, marketing training and more.

She has more than a decade of experience as a marketing professional in both the public and private sectors in different industries including contract food service, automotive and education and has also worked overseas in Kazakstan. Prior to joining Brightside she was the owner and Creative Director of Though My Lynnz Media, a media company that specializes in visual branding, graphic design and web design for small to medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations.

Courtney has a Bachelors of Science in Marketing from the University of Louisville and a Masters in Business Administration from University of Dallas.

She has traveled the globe and loves photography along with other artistic mediums.

Courtney can be reached at charris@brightsideohio.com or (216) 313-0429

Brittany Brown is responsible for championing Brightside Academy Ohio in quality and compliance.  Brittany provides direct support and exceptional leadership to the Academy Directors and staff within their specified region with the expectations that Brightside Academy Ohio’s quality brand is consistently implemented across all locations.  Moreover, Brittany conducts academy visits to audit compliance procedures, analyze teaching practices, support academies and individual staff members to attain high quality instructional practices, and provide professional development support based on staff, academy, area or regional area needs.

Brittany is a passionate early childhood advocate and philanthropist.  In her free time, Brittany likes to write, spend time with family, and is on the board of a non-profit organization, Homeless Hookup CLE. She brings over 14 years of management experience and holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.  Brittany is currently completing her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Brittany is a Tier 3 Ohio Approved Instructor and member of the Ohio AEYC. She has experience as a classroom teacher, education director, academy director, and child care auditor. Brittany joined Brightside Academy in May of 2016. She looks forward to continually driving Brightside Academy Ohio towards providing exceptional early learning environments.  

Brittany can be reached at bbrown@brightsideohio.com.

Tonya Byous is a dedicated member of the Brightside Academy- Ohio team. Tonya has 18 years of experience in the early education field. Tonya Byous has progressed in the ECE field  starting as a classroom teacher,  center administrator, professional development specialist for the CDA credential , adjunct professor at the Cuyahoga Community College Early Childhood department,  and a member of the OhioAEYC.  Using her wide range of experience in  ECE Tonya currently  serves as  the Field Director of Ohio leading the Academy Directors  to provide  quality care to children and families.

Tonya can be reached at tbyous@brightsideohio.com.

Susan has been an educator for over 35 years. Her experiences include teaching and being an administrator in for profit, non-profit, and military centers, public, private, and parochial schools. She holds a CDA Credential, a Montessori Pre-Primary Teaching Certificate, a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ohio Northern University, and a master’s degree in early childhood leadership and Advocacy from the University of Dayton. Susan has written and presented numerous staff trainings for several professional conferences, and has written curriculum for summer camps and preschool. She was a founding member of the Tom Green county chapter of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, published the Dayton AEYC newsletter The Kiteline, and serves on the board of directors for Ohio AEYC.

Susan can be reached at sfrazier@brightsideohio.com.

Katherine Maccagnone has led the current Head Start grant for Brightside Academy in Toledo for the last 4 years, and has 14 years of early childhood education experience   She attended the University of Toledo where she attained a Bachelor’s Degree of Early Childhood Education. Ms. Maccagnone started her career working abroad in Germany with toddlers and preschool children. She then worked at the YWCA of Northwest Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral, where she assisted in enhancing the quality of care they provided for birth-to-school-age children. While there, she coordinated the Step Up to Quality Program, providing mentoring to child care centers and homes with developmentally appropriate practices and administrative functions. She covered sixteen counties, organizing state-approved trainings and technical assistance, serving on various ECE committees, developing state-approved trainings, and coordinating state reports.  At the YWCA, Ms. Maccagnone also worked with several local agencies, including the United Way of Greater Toledo, Read for Literacy, and Harbor Behavioral Health, to create an Early Childhood Literacy Collaborative to increase literacy skills in low-income areas. Partners from this collaborative group meet to review the city and state Kindergarten Readiness Assessment scores, analyze licensing information, and work directly with local child care programs and their families to provide intensive technical assistance. Ms. Maccagnone is an advocate for young children. She was also on the GroundWork campaign. GroundWork is an advocacy initiative working to advance quality early learning and development as the most transformative strategy to improve school outcomes, increase the life-long success of Ohio’s children, and lay a strong foundation for economic prosperity in our state.

Katherine can be reached at kmac@brightsideohio.com