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Khatira Amn
Member at Large

Khatira is an Early Childhood Education Policy Advocate with the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. She emigrated from Afghanistan where she worked as a civil rights lawyer to promote equality for women. She now serves to improve the lives of dual language learning children and families by influencing legislators' and policymakers' opinions and activities.

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Meghan Leclerc
Member at Large / Teacher Seat

Meghan Lerclerc is a preschool teacher at the CSU Early Childhood Center in Fort Collins. She has an M.A. in Education and Human Development (Early Childhood Education), and is currently a graduate fellow in the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program. Her goal is to advance the field of Early Childhood through policy, advocacy, and legislation, and to use her position on COAEYC’s board as a way to raise her voice for teachers all over Colorado.

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Erin Ellis
Member at Large

Erin is a former preschool paraprofessional in a mixed age classroom from 2014-2017 in Denver Public Schools and is very passionate about always doing what is best for the children and their families. She also has extensive experience in Head Start through an Aurora, CO program from 2001-2014.  During this time, she served as a Family Development Intern and Administrative Assistant for the five Early Education centers that the program operated.  She is a proud member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children & the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children since 2018 and has focused on Policy/Advocacy work for Early Education at the Colorado level.  

Her current role within the Denver Public Schools Early Education Department is Office Support where she focuses on purchasing, community sites support, and family communications for all preschool and Kindergarten families who are requesting more information about the overall enrollment process.  

Erin’s areas of interest for Early Education are Family/Community Engagement and recognizing families as the students’ first teachers.  Second, how to further highlight the importance of  equity and inclusiveness.  Finally, how to continually elevate the essential role that Early Education serves as the foundation for all of a child’s future learning and development.  Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of Colorado Denver & a Master of Science in Teaching & Learning from Colorado State University Global Campus. 

MEET OUR GOVERNING BOARD & STAFF

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Jennifer Spires
Chair

Jennifer is an early childhood policy advocate and former early childhood educator. She has over fifteen years of experience in family child care, nannying, Title I elementary school, and Reggio Emilia inspired preschool, and understands firsthand the experience of early childhood educators. Upon relocating to Colorado, Jennifer shifted her focus to advocating for children, families, and educators at the Colorado and US Capitols. She is the Denver Legislative Volunteer Leader for Save the Children Action Network and represents COAEYC in several statewide policy committees.

 

Jennifer is passionate about affordable, accessible child care, giving early childhood educators valuable tools to advocate for children, and as the descendant of a Native American Residential School survivor, ensuring equitable practices and policies in early childhood. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Oklahoma.

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David Walz, Ed.S.
Treasurer

David earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University in 2009. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer where he served the people of El Salvador between 2010 and 2013. There he taught reading, math, environmental sustainability, and educational practices. Once he returned David then spent two years working as a bilingual family educator and home visitor for Early Head Start through the University of Kansas Medical Center at Project EAGLE and then went back to graduate school at the University of Missouri - Columbia, where he studied school psychology and earned his Master’s in Education as well as his Education Specialist Degree. Once he graduated, he and his family moved to Denver Colorado.   David currently works as a bilingual school psychologist and advocates for people with disabilities for a non-profit organization. In his free time, David enjoys going on hikes, fly fishing, remote camping, and playing video games with his daughter.

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Nicole Lamb
Secretary / Student Seat

Nicole Lamb is an Educator with extensive experience in early childhood both in the public and private sector and is also a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Education: Equity and transformation from Colorado State University. She serves as an advocate volunteer with Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) and the Colorado Montessori Association (CMA). Committee work includes the Bylaws/Policy committee with the Kiwanis Club and the steering committee with The Women's Foundation of Colorado (WFCO). She proudly serves on the Alaska Montessori Association (AMA) board and most recently on the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children (COAEYC) supporting educators, families, and local agencies all working to improve the lives and education of our young children.

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Heather Blanco
Member at Large

Originally from Sonoma County, California,Heather moved to Colorado in 1996. Her professional career has included teaching elementary school, corporate training and development, and quote analysis. But it was working as a Lead Teacher in a preschool for 10 years that cemented her love for early childhood education. She feels very grateful to be working in such a rewarding field that makes an important impact on our future. Heather joined the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County in July of 2019 as a Early Childhood Coach and is currently the EArly Care and Education Director.  Heather has her Bachelor of Science in Human Development from UC Davis and her Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education from CU Denver.

 

Outside of work, Heather’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband Ruben and daughter Sofi. Some other favorite activities include being with friends, camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, traveling, throwing the ball endlessly for her dog, listening to podcasts, playing tennis, and going to see live music.

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Lindsay Kennedy
Member at Large

Lindsay is a passionate advocate for young children, early childhood, as well as for early childhood educators. Her early education philosophy is to give children ownership over their educational experiences all while connecting adults and society at large to the world and wonder of childhood. She is committed to making high-quality, affordable early education accessible and equitable for all children and their families as well as seeking to strengthen our field and to help all of our professionals grow in their practice. She has had almost twenty years of experience in the field in many roles ranging from a nanny to an Infant Nursery Supervisor to a Toddler Teacher to a Director to her current role as an Early Education Coach for a head start program. She also volunteers with a creative problem-solving program called Destination Imagination which teaches children, ranging in ages from 5 to 22, to be the innovators of the future by combining the arts, sciences, and technology with creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving. The program shows children and adults how capable, competent & sensational every child can be when given the space to be as well as helping them become well-rounded human beings. Lindsay holds a MA in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from the University of Colorado Denver and also, holds a Colorado birth to 3rd-grade teaching license. 

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Roman Hollowell
Member at Large

Roman J. Hollowell is currently the Owner/Director at Kids 4 Real Inc. He has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Leadership of Organizational Change from the University of Denver. After working on a college campus for seven years, Roman transitioned into early child care in 2012 when his mother passed away. His mother created her passion (child care center) in September of 1993. It was important to him to continue her legacy but it was most essential to him that her creation continued impacting the northeast community and the future leaders of tomorrow. Roman’s life and career changing decision in 2012 has been one of his best yet.

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Enola Garland

Interim Executive Director

Enola is the part-time Interim Executive Director at COAEYC and the only member of staff. She has been in early childhood education since 2013, and recently transitioned out of the classroom to work full-time in the nonprofit space at the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance. She has taught in Colorado Preschool Program, Head Start, and community-based non-profit programs. During her time as a teacher, Enola experienced the benefits of coaching and peer-mentor relationships, and to pay that forward, she has been a mentor through the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County’s Expanding Possibilities in Early Childhood workforce development program, is a Teachstone CLASS Pre-K Observer, and has her Early Childhood Trainer credential through PDIS. 

VIEW THE CANDIDATES FOR THE UPCOMING BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION