Bright Beginnings Nursery School began in 1982 as an outreach program of the Fayetteville United Methodist Church. Under the direction of founder Mrs. Marcia Lee, Bright Beginnings began serving the Fayetteville Manlius community with quality early childhood education programs for three and four year olds. Since that time, Mrs. Terry Doolittle served as Director with distinction for 24 years. During this time, Bright Beginnings expanded the scope of programming to include weekly enrichment programming as well as developing many key partnerships within the professional service community. After Mrs. Doolittle's retirement in 2016, Mrs. Lisa Pilewski assumed the role of Director. She continues to honor the promise of Bright Beginnings and is committed to providing the highest quality, community based early childhood programming.


Bright Beginnings Nursery School is committed to serving the unique needs of each child. We are privileged to see the little one before us and gently walk with them to the next step in their journey. We believe in providing an early childhood education which is rich in play based, experiential learning opportunities. We are committed to child centered, developmentally appropriate practice.


Bright Beginnings is a community based preschool program. Our mission is to serve the children and families in the greater Fayetteville Manlius area (and beyond) with programming for children 3-5 years old. We will provide each child with exposure to the pre-academic, academic and social/emotional skills necessary for school and kindergarten readiness. We will partner with families, school and other professionals to provide the highest quality early childhood experience

Our Staff

Julia Macreery is thrilled to be back for her third year as teacher! She worked as an Art teacher in several local school districts and taught early childhood Art classes at the Fayetteville Y. She has three children, Clara, Owen and Eliza who are all Bright Beginnings graduates. She says, "I can't wait to help the children in the classroom explore, create and discover as their teacher."

Meg Lenish is excited to be working and playing with your children for her 14th year! She lives in Fayetteville with her husband Mike. She is incredibly proud of her sons- John, who is pursuing a graduate degree from SUNY Cortland, Chris who has recently completed a graduate degree from Canisius College & Jeffrey who is a junior at St. John Fisher College (all Bright Beginnings alumni). Meg views Bright Beginnings as a special place where children can grow and learn in a safe, caring environment. She looks forward to having a great year helping your children become excited about learning while having fun!

Lisa Pilewski is incredibly proud to be starting her 8th year at Bright Beginnings and her 3rd year as the Director. She lives in Manlius with her husband Tom. She has 4 wonderful children, Kelsey who is pursuing a PhD at Vanderbilt University, Dan who is a recent graduate of the Cinema and Film Studies and Philosophy programs at SUNY Oswego, Livie who will begin study at the University at Buffalo's Honors College and Brendan who is a junior at FMHS. She is passionate about creating environments in which all children are valued and successful. She cannot wait to get started on another wonderful year of learning and teaching.

Kim Leonard is very excited to be starting her second year as Assistant in Mrs. Pilewski's classroom. Her children Dominic and Sophie are Bright Beginnings graduates. Kim has worked at Bright Beginnings as a Substitute, Gym teacher and Assistant in extended STEAM programs. She says, "I have always loved this program and am so blessed to have the opportunity to work and spend time with your children!"

Professional Network

The program at Bright Beginnings is enhanced by our relationships and engagement with community professionals. They enhance our ability to provide a quality, comprehensive early childhood experience for the children in our program.

Karen Porcello-The Manlius Library: Miss Karen's monthly story time visits are a highlight for the children in the four year old classes. Her ability to captivate, entertain and inspire each child's love of books and literacy is a unique gift and we are grateful!

Eileen Corlett- The Ballet and Dance Center: Miss Eileen has provided the children in the four year old classes with a wonderful beginning in dance with her monthly Creative Movement Program. This program provides each child with the opportunity to enhance small and large motor strength in a fun and dynamic way. We look forward to having her back in the fall.

Trista Phillipson- Little Yogis By Trista: The word, "magic" has been used by the teaching staff at Bright Beginnings with regard to Trista's impact on both the three and four year old classes. Each month, she provides the children the opportunity to engage in a yoga experience which strengthens their mindfulness and related self-awareness/regulation skills. We are grateful to have her with us.

Tom Anzalone- Mr. Song Flower: Mr. Song Flower provides our four year olds with a fun monthly music class. In January, the three year olds begin their monthly visits with Mr. Song Flower as well. His unique brand of silliness, original songs and rapport with the children have made him a local celebrity. Mr. Song Flower visited our Spring Fever camp and performed (with lots of child participation) his original Opera, "Rigatoni". We believe their experiences with Mr. Song Flower enhance each child's love of music.

Marilyn Lebedicker- "Mrs. L" is a retired and esteemed local early childhood educator. Lucky for Bright Beginnings, retirement for Marilyn meant volunteering with us! She provides weekly music and support in the three year old class. Her insights, humor, empathy and compassion are a tremendous gift to our staff and to our children and families.

Additional Collaboration: We are fortunate to have a variety of community partners that enhance our program each year; The Fayetteville Fire Department, The Manlius Police Department, The Rosamond Gifford Zoo, The Revercomb Dental Practice, The Village of Manlius Parks Department, Springside Farm, Eastside Pediatrics/Nurse Josephine Burke, The Fayetteville Post Office, Regan's Acts of Kindness, The Diaper Bank of Central New York, The Fayetteville Manlius School District, The Jamesville DeWitt School District, The East Syracuse Minoa School District, The Chittenango School District and area therapeutic service providers such and Children's Therapy Network. We are always seeking opportunities to expand our community and professional network.