Leadership Team

Brightside Academy 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.

Jack Safer, President & Chief Executive Officer

Jack Safer joined Brightside Academy as the Chief Operations Officer in 2016 after working in the social services and healthcare sector for over a decade. Spending almost 5 years overseeing daily operations, he will shift focus, and work towards the development and expansion of ancillary support systems, which will complement our core ECE program. Through Jack’s commitment and dedication to our communities, he and the team plan to implement a number of initiatives which will include children and families of all backgrounds, a therapeutic nursery model, behavioral and mental health awareness, parent and family support groups, and educator career paths. A key component will also be the establishment of the “Brightside Academy Foundation”

Ray Wojtowicz, Chief Financial Officer

Ray Wojtowicz joined Brightside Academy in May 2007. He holds a master’s in business administration in accounting and finance from the Katz Graduate School at the University of Pittsburgh. He has held multiple positions in the Finance Department throughout the years within Brightside Academy. As Chief Financial Officer, he oversees all accounting functions, grant administration, and CACFP compliance.

Sharen Woodley, Senior Vice President, Operations

With over 20 years in the ECE field, Sharen brings extensive experience as a trainer, leader, and operational specialist. She has trained locally and nationally on topics such as diversity, leadership, classroom management, succession planning, and difficult conversations and behavior modification. Her experience and proven track record of success in training and leading early childhood organizations to success are an extraordinary asset to Brightside Academy.

Raina Kelly, Regional Vice President, Pittsburgh

Raina brings over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. She has held both teaching and management positions throughout her tenure at Brightside. She focuses on team building, management, training, coaching, employee engagement, and bringing high quality to our service areas. Raina is a community partner and takes pride in being able to support and be of service to all families and children.

Bobbi Moyer, Vice President, Human Resources

Bobbi is a seasoned veteran in the area of Human Resources, coming to the team with over 20 years of HR experience.  Bobbi is a certified Senior Human Resources Professional, a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and an Associate Member of the American Bar Association.  She has served on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Panel of Advisors. Additionally, she holds a license in Real Estate.  A graduate of Glassboro State College, holding a degree in Business Administration.  Bobbi will be focusing on integrating HR policies and best practices with consistency and succession planning.  Bobbi will help to build an effective internal culture and employee experience.  She will also concentrate on attracting new talent and implementing onboarding practices as well as creating a sustainable learning system for our staff.

Shawna Starling, Vice President, Intervention and Development

Having served in a leadership capacity within early intervention and special education for over 15 years, Shawna brings passion, drive, and focus to enrich the lives of our staff and students through optimal growth and learning opportunities.  Shawna’s mission is to nurture the early growth and development of young children and nurture the nurturer and cultivate sustainability in communities to achieve long-term positive effects on the global society.

Tracy Sammons-Venonsky, Vice President, Education and Development

Tracy Sammons-Venonsky joined Brightside Academy in January 2010. Coming from a family of educators, Tracy is passionate about the field of education and teacher growth and development. In partnership with her quality coaching team, Tracy supports teachers and leadership in implementing quality standards and best practices, which assists them in providing high-quality educational experiences to the children we serve. Tracy graduated from Rowan University where she obtained a degree in Education. In addition, she holds a highly qualified teacher certification.