The COAEYC Nominations and Elections process has a goal to be transparent and is being monitored by Gwen Simmons, Senior Director Affiliate Relations at NAEYC. Click on the links below to view all nominations submitted and the twelve nominations accepted.

Final Nomination Slate

Original Nominations

The COAEYC Nominations and Elections process has a goal to be transparent and is being monitored by Gwen Simmons, Senior Director Affiliate Relations at NAEYC. Click on the links below to view all nominations submitted and the twelve nominations accepted.

Final Nomination Slate

Original Nominations

Lynne L. Bridges — Pagosa Springs, CO

I would like to serve on the COEYC Board of Directors for three reasons. For over 40 years I’ve followed a strong conviction that I wanted to be the voice for children. In an ever changing world (now more than ever) children need someone to be their voice, an advocate and occasionally a protector. Standing up for quality is part of that voice. Being the director of NAEYC accredited center is part of that voice. Being on the COEYC board is part of that voice. Every child deserves high quality early care and education, not just some.

My second reason is the teacher/professionals that love all children as their own and make sure quality is in place for all not just some. They work hard, get very little pay with little or no recognition and still do what they do because of their passion and conviction. I would love to be the voice for them, too, which leads me to my third and final reason.

Rural areas are often left out of the big picture in many ways. As a professional in early childhood we’re asked to follow all the same rules, etc.…as everyone else with little or no financial resource or opportunity. I would love to represent the southwest corner of our state so an accurate description of what’s available or not is portrayed.

Children, teachers and my community; I would love the opportunity to represent them all.

With warm regard,
Lynne L. Bridges

Soren Gall — Denver, CO

In my early childhood career, I have been a member of NAEYC for ten years. Within my time as a NAYEC member, I have enjoyed the professional development opportunities offered by the organization. Including, several NAEYC Annual Conferences and Professional Learning Institutes where I have attended and presented. Attending these conferences has allowed me professional growth, as well as the chance to observe the structural and organizational changes NAEYC has developed, to stay on trends with Early Childhood Education (ECE). Through the national organization, I was also able to serve on the Teaching Young Children Editorial Advisory Board, in addition to proposal reviewer for the Annual conference. At the local and regional level, I served on the Denver Metro District board, through which I attended the Western States Leadership Network.

With this service related to NAEYC, I would be honored to serve on the COAEYC board. With my role at Denver’s Early Childhood Council, it continues to be apparent the changes occurring with the ECE field are vast and ongoing. ECE staff should continue evolving to stay current. I believe it is highly important that we consider the demographic and geographic nature of our field. As an organization that focuses on professional development and high quality, I would like to serve on the board to continue the important aspects where COAEYC can be a strong and productive organization for the early childhood field. As a participant in the discussion revolving around the revised affiliate structure, I would also like to serve on the board to participate in a strong transition to this new structure. One where we consider, and include, the variety of differences held by individuals (i.e. age, race, geographic location, educational experience) that will work with COAEYC.

Soren Gall | Infant Toddler & Family Specialist
Denver’s Early Childhood Council

Cristina Gillanders — Golden, CO

I have worked for 30 years in the early childhood field. My professional career has been characterized by a search for new and better ways to address the needs of young children and their families. I began my career in my home country, Venezuela, where I worked to help teachers promote literacy in young children using developmental appropriate practices. Currently, I am preparing new teachers in Colorado and researching issues related to the teaching and learning of young dual language learners. This work has focused on bridging the gap between research and practice, and in collaborating with teachers to improve their practices in the field.

One of the challenges and opportunities for the early childhood field is addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse population of young children and families. Despite efforts to solve educational inequality, we still face persistent disparities between minority and non-minority, poor and non-poor, and dual language learners and monolingual English children. As educators work to address these differences, they will have the opportunity to take a closer look at current practices and find new ways to improve the early childhood experience for all children.

I believe that CAEYC is in a privileged position to address these challenges. I have worked as a bilingual early childhood teacher, researcher and teacher educator and I believe that if we unite as professionals  we can create opportunities to face these challenges and those of our profession. I had the privilege of serving on the National NAEYC Board and I have been witness to important ways to elevate the profession. Now, living in Colorado, I am excited about the possibilities for COAEYC. I envision our organization as a strong leader in Early Childhood Education in the State and an example of a highly performing inclusive organization.

Lisa Grant — Denver, CONomination declined July 7, 2017

Dana Hill — Denver, CO

My passion for doing what is best for every child, every family, and every teacher is at the core of why I am in the field of Early Childhood Education. And that passion is why I want to serve COAEYC as a Board Leader. This is an exciting time for COAEYC and the direction of the affiliate structure.

I have been in the Early Childhood Field since 1992. My experience has been both in the non profit sector and private for profit sector. In that time I have worn many hats from bus driver and cook to teacher to Assistant Director to Director and most recently as a Quality Lead Director for KinderCare Education in the Denver area, representing the majority of the NAEYC Accredited centers in Colorado. I am passionate about the Strategic Direction of the NAEYC and their priorities.

Together we can move COAEYC to a strong, high performing, and inclusive organization. I look forward to working with you.


Cecilia Hunter — Aurora, CO

I came to early childhood education because I believe in the impact it has.  I started as a substitute in early intervention classes for children who were deaf-blind, many of whom had other medical considerations as well.  Seeing these children, their joy in, and capacity for learning taught me very early that every child has tremendous potential for growth.  When I completed my Montessori training, I realized that my belief in the human potential extends beyond the child, to the adult and to society.

 I want to see COAEYC become the organization that can help me advocate for affordable quality care in Colorado, for living wages for educators, and for regulations and programs which support the best interests of the children and families we work with.  I believe strongly in the ability of professional conferences, including the COAEYC conference, to help in personal renewal and enthusiasm for educators in the field.  Connecting to others helps us remember our goals, our passion for children, and our commitment to providing the community with amazing education.  I want to be a part of making these events amazing and deeply meaningful. Finally, it is critical to encouraging and keeping the best teachers in the profession to pay them a living wage, one which enables them to plan for retirement, raise a family, and be seen as professionals, both in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the world.  I look forward to working with you as we develop COAEYC as an organization which will support the growth and increased professionalism of our community.

Keith W Langford — Aurora, CO

First and foremost, I am drawn to this realm of service as I always find it exciting when an organization seeks to realign mission, values, and goals in the interest of serving their base in a better way.  As our field seeks to improve quality at all levels through QRIS, I see service on the board as another way to walk alongside schools who are striving to do the best they can for the children and families who walk in their doors.  I try to keep current on research trends, and how that might inform best practice in our classrooms.

Beyond that, I like to rebuild and transform what used to be in to a new reality.  I have enjoyed this work with non-profit board previously, with schools, and personally in my own life.  Helping folks to navigate change (and make those sometimes hard but necessary changes) is where a lot of my recent training lies, and I feel like that could be a benefit to the board.

Finally, I am proud to work in this field and am willing to do whatever I can to help raise the professional standing of early childhood education.  I have worked at all levels of the field (short of chef and bus driver), and have seen the level of impact that each teacher can have on a child.  The importance of what we do may be derided by some, but I know beyond a doubt that high-quality teachers equipped to provide high-quality interactions can make a difference in the life of a child!

Keith W Langford
BECC Director

Akane Orlandella Ogren — Boulder, CO

In my life’s experience, prestige or pay have never been the motivators for which a teacher chooses the profession, which means our teachers come from a pool of impeccable people who become a part of this community to do what they love, what they innately want to do. It is my passion to give my energies towards supporting educators in the early childhood field, to advocate for them and the profession.  The heart of education is the passionate, organic nature of it and it is not contingent on age. We have all had the experience of learning great lessons from even the youngest members of our community.

I have worn many different hats in my life: parent, student, volunteer, teacher, and director. I have been in ECE for 10 years and am completing my Masters in Education and Human Development through the University of Colorado this summer. In all those roles, I am best known for my skills of resourcefulness, creativity, and relationship building. Building relationships is the foundation of my parenting as well as my teaching practice. It requires flexibility, openness, and a willingness to participate in active listening, especially through challenging moments and conversations. I would like to use those skills with the CAEYC board, blending respect for traditions and excitement for progressive thinking, as we forge this new path together. Isn't this what education is all about?

Lynne Osheim — Denver, CO

At the core of my desire to serve on the COAEYC board is my need to promote the profession of early childhood education. I have worked in this field for many years and have not seen the profession as a whole keep pace with research that indicates the importance of the early years. I view the opportunity to serve on the COAEYC Board as an avenue to elevate and guide the field of early childhood education through leadership and support. It is with confidence that I share my education and experience. I feel I am adequately prepared to be a highly effective member of this board. My early childhood beliefs and values are closely aligned with those of COAEYC & NAEYC.

Supporting early childhood providers at all levels, in all domains, in all areas of the state is of paramount importance in achieving quality care for children. Policies that promote teaching and incorporate developmentally appropriate practice, early learning guidelines, and address all areas of development are central to a quality program. A major component of quality care is sufficient compensation for the providers.

Working collaboratively, in a positive manner, with all voices being heard is a hallmark of my style. I understand what the roles of board members are and are not. Some qualities I will bring to this position are energy, creativity, and an understanding of cultural & economic diversity.

As a paramount early childhood organization in Colorado, COAEYC is one of the strongest voices available to continue and increase the importance and the agenda of ECE in the state of Colorado, the nation, and ultimately the world. I look forward to being a part of this vital process.

Benjamin Riepe — Centennial, CO

People working in the field of Early Childhood Education are responsible for learning and mastering best practices throughout the course of their career. Children of all abilities and backgrounds deserve care from people with the very best tools in their teaching toolkits. I am a person who has the background to identify and provide the kinds of tools people need. I work well with others, have a wealth of strategies, and I am able to share these without dominating the floor. Creativity is a natural strength of mine, but I have learned to be systematic and organized through necessity.

My experience as a teacher and coach gives me a great understanding of the challenges that face teachers and their professional development. Having that experience has given me a passion for dissemination of evidence based practices. My work with the Pyramid Plus Center gives me an understanding of the challenges of providing PD in rural communities.  I have returned to school to obtain my master’s degree in Early Childhood, providing me another opportunity for perspective. Colorado is full of amazing Early Childhood Educators and it is always wonderful to expand my understanding and grow from others. Sharing what I have learned in support of COAEYC would be an absolute honor.

Thanks for your consideration,
Benjamin Riepe

Lori Sheerin — Pueblo, CO

I have spent more than 30 years working in the field of Early Childhood Education. Memberships include NAEYC, COAEYC, CEC, The Autism Society, Pueblo Early Childhood Council, Pueblo County Interagency Coordinating Council, and the Pueblo City/County Health Department’s Developmental Screening Workgroup.

I truly believe in the vision of NAEYC: “all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential’. The potential of every child, no matter their perceived abilities or disabilities. NAEYC/COAEYC has held this as its mission since inception. To meet this goal, it is imperative that the organization focus on matters in support of the mission. These include: Professional Development; Early Childhood Work Force; Advocacy; expanded Accreditation; being Champion’s for Children. This can only be accomplished with a strong workforce and association membership to drive the mission. COAEYC is in a unique position to influence the practice, policy and research of Early Childhood Education in the state of Colorado. It is the Board that drives this work on behalf of association members. I believe that I have the experience necessary for such an endeavor; having worked in a variety of Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education settings such as classrooms, school resource, community resource, Early Intervention, Autism learning centers, in-home Early Childhood programs, and in-home Autism programs. In addition, I served on the Board of a Lutheran School in Centreville Virginia for eight years, two as Chair of the Board. As such, I am well versed in the workings, policies, and ongoing operations of a Board such as COAEYC’S. I look forward to this opportunity and am eager for your support in this endeavor.

Many thanks,
Lori A Sheerin, M.A.Ed.

Crystal Stueve — Westminster, CO

As early childhood educators, we are all aware the first five years in a child's life are the most important, but do we all fully grasp how integral we are to the growth and success of each child, making ours one of the most important professions? Do early childhood educators see themselves as professional and furthermore, does the community around them view them as professionals? Just as the COAEYC mission statement proudly declares, “We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children,” I feel I would be an asset in achieving these goals. I strongly believe given the opportunity to serve on the COAEYC board, I would do my best to affect change and support early childhood practitioners with the ultimate goal of improving the way early childhood practitioners are viewed by themselves as well as their communities.

Until 7 years ago, when I became a mentor teacher at the private school where I worked, my passion had always resided in the classroom. It was through the process of mentoring other teachers that I discovered my passion for professional development and coaching.  As I moved into the director's position at Head Start of Longmont, this passion only grew stronger. Together, through quality professional development, coaching and mentoring, all the while engaging with our legislators and community through grassroots advocacy efforts, we can elevate the professionalism of those in the early childhood field, including the compensatory wages we know they deserve. I believe with my 25 years of experience in the field, including excellent leadership and advocacy skills, I can aid this board in bringing recognition to those who chose to serve in this honorable profession as professionals and integral members of the communities in which they serve.



Based on feedback from you, our membership, as well as input from NAEYC, COAEYC's is working to become the highly performing, inclusive and transparent organization you have asked for and our national charter requires.

As part of that process we are pleased to share the COAEYC bylaw changes currently underway.

For your reference below you will find the current NAEYC bylaws, sample bylaws provided to all affiliates from NAEYC, CAEYC's current bylaws (ratified in 2008), and a draft set of revised COAEYC bylaws.

A nonprofit consultant, working to ensure compliance with NAEYC requirements as well as legal standards and industry best practices, drafted the revised COAEYC bylaws.

Once elected the COAEYC Board will review and modify both the bylaws and board leadership positions to bring these items into compliance with the revised NAEYC standards for Affiliates.

While the bylaws must reflect NAEYC and legal requirements as well as industry best standards, they, along with the board policies, are what govern how our organization is run.  So your input on these documents is important.  Please share your feedback and thoughts on the draft bylaws.  Once elected the board will take your comments into consideration during the review of the organizational bylaws and other governing documents.

Member feedback, questions and comments are encouraged!  Please send your thoughts to

Resources: Bylaws

Link to NAEYC Bylaws:

Sample NAEYC Affiliate Bylaws:

CAEYC 2008 Bylaws

COAEYC 2017 Bylaws — Proposed


PO Box 200446 Denver, Colorado 80220 l l 303-791-2772



Introducing the 2017-2018 Board Members:

The COAEYC Nominations and Elections process has a goal to be transparent and is being monitored by Gwen Simmons, Senior Director Affiliate Relations at NAEYC. Click on the links below to view all nominations submitted and the twelve nominations accepted.

Final Nomination Slate

Original Nominations