Meet the BFC Staff

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Amie Whitcomb

Executive Director

Amie has 26 years of experience working in the field of early childhood education and social service. She has been a teacher, parent and Director at the Bristol Family Center throughout her career. Amie has a Degree in Early Childhood Education and is passionate about supporting children and families to be resilient and connected. She loves trips to the ocean and enjoys many outdoor activities with her husband, children and dogs.

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Shawna Ploof

Lead Teacher

Shawna is a Lead teacher at the Bristol Family center. She has an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and Human Services. She is currently enrolled at Northern Vermont University working toward a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Shawna lives in Lincoln, Vermont with her husband, two sons, three cats and many chickens! Shawna enjoys road trips, specifically to the ocean, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.

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Abbey Gendreau

Lead Teacher

Abbey is the Lead Teacher for the preschool program as well as Food Program Coordinator. She has been at the Bristol Family Center for 7 years. Abbey has completed the Apprenticeship program through the Vermont Child Care Industries Career Council. She is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in the field of Early Childhood Education through the Community College of Vermont. Abbey lives in Bristol with her dog Marley, whom she enjoys taking hikes with. Abbey assistant coaches the Vergennes Varsity Cheerleading team during her free time. Her hobbies include dancing, swimming, four wheeling, and snowmobiling.

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Alicia Gendreau

Center Teacher

Alicia has worked at the Bristol Family Center for three years and has worked with all age groups within the program. Alicia has recently begun to work towards her Apprenticeship certificate through the Vermont Child Care Industries and Careers Council to further her education in the field of Early Care and Education.  Alicia lives in Bristol and enjoys spending time with her cat, the people that she loves, hanging out by the river, painting, going on hikes, and anything that involves being outside when the weather is nice.

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Alysia Coyle

Infant Teacher 

In High School Alysia attended the Human Services Program at the Hannaford Career Center.  Through this program she volunteered at the Parent Child Center where she was later hired as a substitute while she worked towards her bachelor’s degree.  Alysia started at the Bristol Family Center in 2016, obtaining her bachelor’s in Child and Family Services in 2018.  Alysia is currently exploring routes to achieve her teaching license and master's degree.  Alysia lives in Bristol with her two dogs. She enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring her creativity.

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Heather Osicky

Young Toddler Teacher

Heather started her early childhood education career at BFC in the summer of 2016. Since joining the Bristol Family Center, she has had the pleasure of working in both the Explorer Program as well as the Observer Program, in which she is currently teaching. Heather is currently enrolled in the Apprenticeship Program through the Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council.  Heather lives in Bristol with her fiancé, two children and two dogs. A few of her hobbies include, spending time outside playing with her kids, camping, traveling to the ocean, and enjoying time with family and friends.

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Jessica Ringey 

Young Toddler Teacher

Jessica Ringey lives in Bristol with her husband and three children, Jordyn who is 8, Jensen almost 5, and Jackson almost 4. Both Jenson and Jackson attend BFC and are currently enrolled in the Navigator program. Jessica was a stay at home mom for several years, in addition she took online classes and will have completed her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education by the end of summer 2020. Jessica has worked at a couple of other childcare centers, both in Vermont and New Hampshire, and is very happy to be returning to the field. Jessica has been waiting for the opportunity to work at BFC and couldn’t be more excited to engage and create relationships with the children and families who attend BFC.

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Merichristi Pixley

Older Toddler Teacher

Merichristi has worked in the field of Early Care and Education for 17 years.  She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Merichristi lives in Bristol with her 15-year-old daughter and wide variety of pets.  When not working she enjoys gardening, camping, live bands/shows and random road trips!

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Andrea Butterfield

Older Toddler Teacher

Andrea began her career as an Early Educator in 2001 working as a substitute teacher, this role became a full-time teaching position for her in 2002.  Andrea became a teacher at the Bristol Family Center in 2010.  Andrea has obtained her Child Development Associate (CDA) and well as completed the Early Childhood Apprenticeship Certificate through Vermont Child Care Industries and Careers Council.  Andrea has experience working with children ages 6 weeks through 6 years.  She lives in Starksboro with her husband Jamie, 3 daughters (Sophie, Ava, and Leah) and enjoys camping, taking pictures, cooking, and spending time with family.

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Kia Warren

Preschool Teacher

Kia has been at the Bristol Family Center for 7 years.  She has worked with multiple age groups however is currently in the preschool program. Kia has her Apprentice Certificate through the Vermont Child Care Industries and Careers Council.  She enjoys listening to music, walking her German Shepard, tending to her horses and hanging out with friends.

Natalie Bassett

Preschool Teacher 

Natalie has been at Bristol family center for a year, working with all age groups. She lives in Lincoln with her husband Brett, daughter Maddison and her dog Oliver! She enjoys being outside and spending time with family.

Amie Fitzgerald

Licensed Preschool Teacher

Amie FitzGerald has been an Early Educator for 19 years. She lives in Essex center with her 4 children, 4 cats and a dog. Amie is a licensed preschool teacher at the BFC and has a BS in Early Childhood Education and Administration. She enjoys painting in her art studio, spending the summer at local beaches with her children, poetry and taking photos. Amie is also a co-coach of a men's league softball team. Her dream is to inspire children with art and music and cover the world in language that causes you to pause. This is Amies first year back at the BFC, although many years ago she began her journey in the early ed world in this very building.