Brittain Zimmerman

has been a Preschool Director for the last 13 years, 6 of them being at The Learning Loft at Kid Time Children’s Museum. Her program has a specific focus on play-based learning, developmentally appropriate practices and creating high quality learning environments. She has two children who keep her incredibly busy and loves to be active outdoors. 

Chelsea Hocker

has been working as an early childhood educator for the past 11 years in Josephine County. She is the Education Coordinator at Imagine That… Creative Children’s Center in Grants Pass. Chelsea has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from Southern Oregon University. As a Southern Oregon native, Chelsea loves exploring the mountains and rivers of the Illinois Valley. Her favorite pastime is composing songs with her ukulele.

Darcy Van Duzer

works for Douglas ESD in the Jackson County Early Childhood Special Education program. She has worked for the program for 11 years and is a teacher for the autism classrooms. Understanding autism is one of her passions. For her it is a complex puzzle and she makes every effort to fit the pieces together in order to help the children in the program make sense of their world.

She and her husband have lived in Southern Oregon for 31 years. They have raised 5 children and have 4 beautiful grandchildren. Her personal interests are horse riding and spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys the beauty of the valley and the diversity it offers.

Gema McSoto

joined the Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC)
Nutrition team last year and brings with her 15 years of child nutrition experience in schools. Her years of planning and preparing food for large groups of children who are eating away from home provides insight into children’s eating trends and habits. She is committed to increasing the number of hone day care providers participating in the USDA food program across Southern Oregon and ensuring that they have access to all the resources the program offers. Gema is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish fluently.  

Gema McSoto se unió al equipo de Nutrición de OCDC el año pasado y trae consigo sus 15 años de experiencia en nutrición infantil en las escuelas. Sus años de planificación y preparación de alimentos para grandes grupos de niños que comen fuera de casa proporcionan información sobre las tendencias y hábitos alimenticios de los niños. Ella se compromete a aumentar el número de proveedores de cuidado infantil en el hogar que participan en el programa de alimentos del USDA en todo el sur de Oregón y a garantizar que tengan acceso a todos los recursos que ofrece el programa. Gema es bilingüe, habla inglés y español con fluidez. 

Pamela Deardorff

is the Director of the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education (OCCD) at Portland State University. OCCD manages components of Oregon’s statewide professional development system, including a professional development registry, a trainer program and a scholarship program to serve the early childhood education community.

Pamela holds a master’s degree in education with emphasis in early childhood education and behavior disorders. She has worked in the area of early childhood education for over thirty years.

Rebecca Brown

is a Bilingual (Russian) Early Learning Project Specialist at the Center for Early Learning and Youth Development at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Slavic Languages and Literature at U.C. Berkeley and a teaching credential at Pacific Oaks College with additional studies in Rural Educational Leadership in Northern California and in  Speech and Language Pathology at CSU Northridge.  She has taught kindergarten in public schools and mentored and coached pre-k and kindergarten teachers for more than 17 years.  Areas of interest include equity in access to early literacy resources and teacher support. 

Sasha Tokareff

Specializing in inclusive education, cultural competency, advocacy, trauma informed services, child development and mental health; Sasha Tokareff has been working in social services, education and childcare for 20 years. She has a Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health and a M.S. in Early Childhood Inclusive Education: Curriculum & Instruction, both from Portland State University. Sasha is passionate about building communities and creating systems of care to provide the best possible support to children, families and educators in accessible, sustainable and relatable ways.  

Shauna Tominey

is an Assistant Professor of Practice and Parenting Education Specialist at Oregon State University. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, a statewide initiative aimed at providing high-quality parenting education. Previously, Dr. Tominey served as the Director of Early Childhood Programming and Teacher Education at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. As a former early childhood teacher and family service professional, Dr. Tominey blends practical experience with research to develop and test programs aimed at promoting social-emotional skills for children and adults. Dr. Tominey regularly speaks at local and national conferences and is the author of, “Creating Compassionate Kids: Essential Conversations to Have with Young Children.

Susan Hamilton

holds a MA degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She is an Adjunct Instructor at Southern Oregon University teaching courses Early Childhood Education. Sue has had over thirty years of experience working with early childhood students, infants, toddlers and families. Recently, Sue worked as an Endorsement Specialist with Oregon Rural Infant Mental Health Endorsement, assisting those in Southern Oregon interested in obtaining the Infant Mental Health Endorsement. Currently, she works as an Early Childhood Consultant and Coach 

Trish Roussel

is an Inclusion Specialist with Inclusive Partners, a statewide program of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, which supports inclusive practices in child care settings. Inclusive Partners works with child care providers caring for children who need additional accommodations to support inclusive care and offers such needed supports.  Families, child care providers and other partners are able to make requests for assistance at no cost. Trish believes that all children deserve to have learning experiences that are rich in awe, wonder and excitement! When barriers are created that impede wonder and awe, she knows she still has work to do to remove those barriers.

Cathy Lemble

has 16+ years of experience in early childhood preschool programs and 10+ years of teaching experience in elementary classrooms. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree; Early Childhood/Elementary and holds a valid Oregon Teaching License. She has been an adjunct instructor at SOU, creating and implementing curriculum in the School of Education since January 2015. She has worked with CCRN/SOESD as a Quality Improvement Specialist and continues to work as an independent contractor, creating trainings. She has recently qualified as a Master Trainer and a CLASS assessor.  

Clarissa G. Martínez

is a Dual-Language Content Manager at Teaching Strategies. Prior to joining Teaching Strategies, Clarissa worked as an education specialist at a Head Start program in Oregon and was a bilingual/English as a Second Language teacher in Texas. She is an author of several Teaching Strategies books and resources and is a frequent presenter at early childhood workshops and conferences.

Clarissa G. Martínez es la gerente de contenido de “dual language” en Teaching Strategies. Antes de trabajar con Teaching Strategies, Clarissa era una especialista de educación en un programa de Head Start en Oregon y era una maestra bilingüe/ inglés como segunda lengua en Texas. Es una autora de varios libros y recursos de Teaching Strategies y presenta frecuentamente en talleres y conferencias sobre la niñez temprana.

Ellen Booth

Well-known early childhood educator, Ellen Booth Church spent several years as both a pre-k and kindergarten teacher before becoming an early childhood assistant professor at the State University of New York. She is currently an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University, an educational consultant, keynote speaker, curriculum/product developer, and writer dedicated to enriching the lives of young children and their families. At this time Ms. Church is thrilled to be involved in mentoring preschools in both India and Nepal. In addition, Ms. Church is an author for Gryphon House publishers. In 2015 her book on Social Emotional Development titled “Getting to the Heart of Learning” was released. Her book, “Nurturing Next Generation Innovators” was released in the Fall of 2016. She is also an author of many Scholastic, Inc. books and articles for teachers and parents. She is a popular International keynote speaker at conferences around the world. Most recently she has keynoted in India, Hong Kong, Nepal and Singapore as well as many conferences in the United States. 

Conocida educadora de la primera infancia, ElleBooth Church pasó varios años como maestra de prescolar y jardín de infantes antes de convertirse en profesora asistente de primera infancia en la Universidad Estatal de Nueva York. Actualmente es profesora adjunta en la Nova Southeastern University, consultora educativa, oradora principal, desarrolladora de currículo / producto y escritora dedicada a enriquecer las vidas de los niños pequeños y sus familias. En este momento, la Sra. Church está encantada de participar en la tutoría de preescolares tanto en India como en Nepal. 

Landen Griffith

Growing up with a recording studio in his basement, Landen was surrounded by music. He dabbled with most instruments but gravitated towards drums and percussion. Now living in Southern Oregon, his process centers around experimental improvisation and his compositions are intended to be musical vehicles for exploring sonic space. Landen works at Roots and Wings Community Preschool in Medford, OR, and is endlessly fascinated by the power of music in early childhood development.

Conocida educadora de la primera infancia, ElleBooth Church pasó varios años como maestra de prescolar y jardín de infantes antes de convertirse en profesora asistente de primera infancia en la Universidad Estatal de Nueva York. Actualmente es profesora adjunta en la Nova Southeastern University, consultora educativa, oradora principal, desarrolladora de currículo / producto y escritora dedicada a enriquecer las vidas de los niños pequeños y sus familias. En este momento, la Sra. Church está encantada de participar en la tutoría de preescolares tanto en India como en Nepal. 

Rebecca Tree, M. Ed.

is the Founder and Director of Roots & Wings Community Preschool, an adjunct faculty member at SOU, and a strong advocate for play and reverence for the very short time period we call childhood. She has served in the early childhood field for over 30 years beginning in Colorado prior to moving to Oregon in 1990. She considers herself a research junky when it comes to young children and best practices. Rebecca believes that it will take more than a village to remedy the many curricular mandates and trends that impose not only inappropriate mandates on young children, their families and teachers, but is an unbalanced view of learning and pedagogy in the early years. Rebecca Tree invites all practitioners to become well-educated, well-read and articulate regarding child development and what young children truly need in the early years. She poses the questions, “What is it to be fully human?”, “What do children need?”, “What are schools for?” and “What does it mean to be well-educated?”.

Sheri Berryessa

the owner of America’s Best Kids Sports and Learning, has coached and taught in the gymnastics industry for 30 years. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration, and is a National Instructor for USA Gymnastics. She and her family have lived and conducted business in the Rogue Valley for the past 20 years. She has volunteered for many years in the public schools and has frequently attended school field trips with her own children. Sheri has many certifications in gymnastics as well as CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguarding. She has been influential in many lives of our youth! Her favorite thing about teaching and coaching is the moment when a student really understands something and you see the look on their face like… “I GOT IT”!

Talley Dunn

received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Family Studies from Arizona State University. Previously she worked in Early Childhood and Family Support programs, including Early Head Start, for 45 years. Currently Talley is an Early Childhood Consultant and coaching teachers through the Early Childhood Enhancement Project. Her areas of training expertise include coaching and staff training in working with infants, toddlers, and families. She is a Trainer of Trainers in Circle of Security Parenting, Infant Massage, Positive interventions for children who’ve experienced trauma, and the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework.

Dr. Younghee Kim

 is a child development specialist and professor in the School of Education at Southern Oregon University. Her scholarship includes holistic teaching and learning, core reflection approach to whole teacher development, human potential, presence, contemplative education, and linking play to practice. She is a co-author of the book Teaching and Learning from Within: A Core Reflection Approach to Quality and Inspiration in Education (2013) and a co-editor of the book Imagine a Place: Stories from Middle Grades Educators (2017). She is on the planning team for the international Holistic Teaching and Learning Conference at Southern Oregon University, planned for October 2020 in Ashland, Oregon.

Cecilia Giron

tiene 20 años de experiencia trabajando con la comunidad Latina, inspirando audiencias subrepresentadas en todo el estado de Oregón. Con su liderazgo y compromiso con la comunidad, miles de niños, jóvenes y familias desatendidos han sido impactados positivamente. Al asociarse con distritos escolares y organizaciones sin fines de lucro, tiene un historial comprobado en el desarrollo e implementación de programas exitosos y culturalmente relevantes después de la escuela. En 2013, su trabajo fue reconocido a nivel estatal por la Comisión de Mujeres de Oregón como la receptora del “Premio Mujeres de Logro”. Actualmente, se desempeña como Directora del Programa de Alfabetización Familiar Listo en el sur de Oregón. Presidente del Condado de Washington LULAC Council 40003. También es consultora de LACE, un programa innovador de la Asociación sin fines de lucro de Oregón.

Connor Reese

the Director of Museum Education at Kid Time, represents the ideal mix of responsible adult and fun-loving kid. Raised in his mother’s child care center in wee Pearl River, New York, Connor was introduced to the importance of early learning right out of the gate.

At the age of 12 he picked up a guitar, and spent the next year struggling to learn to play.  Despite taking lessons he says he was “terrible”. But years of practice paid off and his music skills earned him a spot at the prestigious Berklee College of Music where he graduated with a degree in Professional Music.

Felicity Elworthy

teaches parenting education and family support and well-being at Rogue Community College. At Purple Crayon Consulting, she provides training and technical assistance, grant writing, and sustainability planning, services to family-serving professionals throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Felicity’s wide and varied teaching experiences at home and abroad contribute to her inclusive and entertaining style. Twenty-five years as a Head Start family and community engagement manager, family advocate and parenting hub administrator inform her insight into the crucial role of strong, loving parent-child relationships in shaping the healthy society of the future.

Molly Clement

is the Warm Line Inclusion Specialist with Child Care Resource Network. She has years of experience in early childhood special education and is able to offer a wide range of support to early learning programs through phone calls, emails, and on-site visits including:

Ideas and suggestions for making accommodations or adaptations to the child care environment to create inclusive classrooms.

Resources, recommendations, information, and specific strategies to respond effectively to the array of behaviors children may exhibit.

Training opportunities on a range of topics related to child development, child care environment, challenging behaviors, assessment, and inclusion.

Assistance on engaging parents as partners and sharing difficult messages.

Information on services and resources available through other agencies.

Felicity’s wide and varied teaching experiences at home and abroad contribute to her inclusive and entertaining style. Twenty-five years as a Head Start family and community engagement manager, family advocate and parenting hub administrator inform her insight into the crucial role of strong, loving parent-child relationships in shaping the healthy society of the future.

Paula Lynam

earned her M.Ed. at Southern Oregon University, emphasizing holistic early childhood, preventative/therapeutic education and parent enrichment.  Her Waldorf Teacher trainings in Educational Support, Games/Integrative Movement, and Kindergarten are combined with over 30 years Waldorf teaching and consulting experience in Southern Oregon.  Paula is committed to supporting parents and early years practitioners through facilitating classes and workshops on Holistic Philosophy and Practices; Movement and Games; Preventative and Therapeutic Education; Nature and Outdoor Education.  An adjunct instructor at Southern Oregon University, Rogue Community College and Waldorf Teacher Training Eugene, Paula is currently working on a Ph.D. in Applied Eco-Psychology and Art-Therapy. 

Rhonda Schock

AKA Miss Rhonda, founded Great Beginnings Childcare & Preschool, The Great Outdoors (a nature immersed, play based preschool experience) and Great Enrichments (a full bodied after school program) with the belief that play is the foundation on the road to the house of higher education.

Rhonda has been actively involved in all aspects for child care: home care, center care, public school, after school and private care, as well as a community organizer of many children’s events.  In 2017, she obtained her Master Trainer status and has been creating and presenting ECE trainings since that time.

She recognizes that play-based learning is vital, and that current knowledge of human development is constantly updated based on the use of observations, assessments and current best practices. We embrace the belief that when children are engaged in PLAY, that they are learning.

Stacy Campbell

is a licensed speech-language pathologist with over 14 years of experience working with the pediatric population.  Originally from North Carolina, Stacy started her career providing early intervention services in the home setting with a strong focus on pediatric feeding and language development.  She received ‘Master Coach’ training at The Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) Center for the Advanced Study of Excellence (CASE) in Early Childhood and Family Support Practices in Morganton, NC; encompassing coaching caregivers in the natural learning environment using routine based interventions.  Stacy landed in southern Oregon 2 years ago, where she has been serving Jackson County’s early intervention/early childhood special education program.  She enjoys hiking and exploring Oregon’s outdoor activities.

Tiffany Grimes

of Evolutionary Consulting provides powerful trainings and coaching focusing on building resiliency, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. Her focus is to help others influence human behavior through creating an understanding of modern neuroscience and ancient practices. Tiffany is a Master Specialty Trainer through The Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care & Education’s Oregon Registry Trainer Program offering Set Two Trainings in Mindfulness for Early Educators. She is also a consultant, life coach, speaker, and writer. Find her at 

KimberLee Whitney

has spent 30 years as a non-profit administrator providing services for people who live life with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As an administrator she served in an array of roles focused on mission based worked creating positive outcomes within the community for people living with disabilities.  With a background as an Autism Specialist, Employment Specialist, Job Developer, and Behavioral Specialist she brings these perspectives, along with a business management lens to the Department of Human Services child welfare programs for Oregon. As the District Manager for Jackson and Josephine county KimberLee is focused on building lasting community partnerships that will support meeting the needs of families and children.