The Bridges staff is dedicated to providing the ultimate Christian learning experience for young children.

The Bridges Director and Assistant Director are here to respond to any comments, questions, or concerns.

Director: Denise Finnerty

Denise was born in Trinidad and Tobago. Upon permanently moving to the United States, her top priorities have revolved around advancing in her career and being a mother to her two children. Denise has a background in Interior Design, Management, and Real Estate.

In her free time, she enjoys comedy, yoga, spending time outdoors, and trying things “out of the box”.

Denise started working with Bridges because she is passionate about being an influential force in her children’s lives, and looks forward to influencing the lives of many other families.

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” —John Wooden


Assistant Director: Makenna Bayyat

Makenna has been teaching since 2016 and has worked with children age 6 weeks to 5th grade. She obtained her CDA in high school; and graduated from St. Petersburg College with an Infant/Toddler and Pre-School Specialization, an Early Childhood Associates Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also obtained her Registered Behavioral Certification and has experience working with children with special needs.

Makenna is a Bridges alumni and attended Bridges Preschool when she was 3 years old, which makes teaching here all the more special.

In her free time, Makenna enjoys spending time with family and her beloved dog, as well as seeking out new adventures.


Board Representative: Arleen Demmi-Blanton

Arleen was born and raised in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education.

Arleen has been employed with Bridges since 2011 and is thankful to be a part of Our Lord’s work at Bridges.