Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Senior Staff


Whitney Leathers, Executive Director

Whitney Leathers comes to the Long Beach Day Nursery with extensive leadership experience and a breadth of knowledge in both nonprofit management and early childhood education (ECE).  She began her work in the field of early childhood in 2001.  She held a variety of direct service positions which provided her with a solid foundation in ECE for over 8 years including: teacher, assistant director, educational programs assistant director, and crisis care worker.  After 8 years in direct service and completion of her BA degree in English, Whitney made the shift into indirect early childhood services with the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Nevada project, which focused on statewide ECE workforce development efforts.  While leading the T.E.A.C.H. Program she was promoted to Executive Director for the Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children (NevAEYC) at which time she began serving a dual role managing both the organizations programs and the nonprofit agency as a whole. Throughout her career Whitney has refined and polished her leadership style and skills. Her path provided her extensive experience in people, project, event, and fiscal management. She was given the opportunities to work diligently on early childhood systems building which fostered in her a love and skillset for advocacy and policy work. Her experiences and education have also developed her strengths in the areas of: board relations, leadership development, collaboration, program development and implementation, grant writing and management, staff development, and strategic planning. In her role as Executive Director for the Long Beach Day Nursery, Whitney hopes to grow leaders from within the organization while also collaborating with outside supporters to build on the LBDN’s solid history to strengthen the LDBN programs and their reach. 

Margaret Blevins, Director of Programs

Margaret has been with LBDN since 2010, serving in varying capacities from: substitute teacher, LAUP Head Teacher, Associate Center Director, and Center Director.  Margaret is an expert in LBDN Programs, Policies and Procedures.  She has successfully lead the East Branch teaching team for the past 3 years in a management capacity.  She has overseen our Department of Ed Title 5 programs, exceeded child care licensing standards, and managed our Early Intervention Program, Food Program, Enrollment, and facilities concerns at the East Branch since 2013.  Some of her highlighted achievements include: leading the program through AEYC Re-Accreditation with a program score of over 100%, passing a Department of Education Program Monitoring Review with 0 errors, revamping our transition processes to align with regulation changes, and has increased average enrollment by 21%! Margaret has completed an HR Certificate Training Program through the Nonprofit Partnership, completed additional units in infant toddler care thru PITC, and is working towards her Program Directors Permit through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  She is certified as a Site Supervisor by the State of California, Commission on Teachers Credentialing.  Margaret received her Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Child Development and Family Life Education from Cal State University, Long Beach. Margaret is a consummate professional, always an advocate for high quality early care and education, and her continued to leadership will be such an asset to LBDN families, children and the LBDN team. 

Stacy Bass, Director of Finance

Stacy Bass has been in the field of corporate accounting and finance for over 17 years.  Her professional experience began in the actuarial field where she gained practical experience in accounting and financial modeling.  She was promoted into management early in her career and received corporate training in strategic planning, team building and business operations.  Stacy has since worked in a variety of industries managing accounting, finance and operations departments.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Dominguez Hills where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. 

East Branch

Monica Lopez Center Director, East Branch

Monica Lopez joined the LBDN team 2015 as Associate Center Director for the East Branch. Monica holds a Masters Degree in Management and Leadership Early Childhood Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education. She holds a Site Supervisor Permit from the California Department of Education Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  She has over 10 years of teaching experience during many of which she served a duel role assisting the Site Supervisor and managing her own classroom at Head Start. Monica enjoys: providing classroom guidance, parent communications, policy and regulation work, providing staff support, and special project work such as the implementation of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).

Sara Vicente Associate Center Director, East Branch

Sara Vicente has been in the early childhood education field since 1997, joining LBDN in 2004 as a teacher at our Memorial Branch (since closed). She received an AA degree in Early Childhood Education and is continuing her education at Cerritos Community College. In September 2006, she was promoted to Associate Center Director.

West Branch

Linda Blackshire, Center Director

Linda has served as the Center Director for the West Branch since February 2000 and has been a teacher for over 10 years. One of her goals is to get the community and neighborhood surrounding the Center more involved with the nursery. With the commitment she has from her teaching staff of 13, Linda is sure to succeed. She received her Associates of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Long Beach City College and is certified as a Site Supervisor by the State of California, Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Natalie Ugalde Associate Center Director, West Branch

Natalie has a wealth of early childhood knowledge, and hands on classroom experience. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Family Life Education and Child Development & Family Studies from Cal State University Long Beach and is currently working on completing her Masters degree in Leadership. She also holds a Site Supervisor Permit from the California Department of Education. Natalie has always known she wanted to work in early childhood education and has enjoyed her time in the classroom and is looking forward to more interactions with staff and parents in her role as Associate Center Director. As Associate Center Director Natalie will be responsible for West Branch facilities, the food and nutrition programming, early intervention, and supporting teachers, families, and her Center Director.