Khatira Amn

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.

Meghan Leclerc

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.


Lori Sheerin,


Lori Sheerin has spent the past 35 years working as an Early Childhood Special Educator, Developmental Therapist, PLAY Project Consultant, Kindergarten teacher, advocate and parent educator. She is the director of AUsome AUtism Families in Southern Colorado. She has worked in both public and Independent schools as well as not-for profit agencies. Her current ECE (B-8) specialities are in the areas of medically fragile children and Autism Spectrum Disorder.



Nathaniel Cradle


Nathaniel Cradle supports the organization and is the Director of Strategic Management and  Business Development and CO-Founder of Venture for Success Preparatory Learning Center.  With over 15 years of experience in developing preparatory centers, he provides  management and oversight in areas including finance, strategic marketing and risk analysis.  

Nathaniel Cradle has been with the Colorado Association for the Education of Young  Children for one year and is currently Volunteering his time for a second Term, in the capacity  of the board chair, after his recent position as the board secretary in 2019.  

Nathaniel has degrees in several fields, including a Master of Business Administration  (M.B.A.) in Strategic Management, Regis University and a Bachelor of Science in Business  Administration, Regis University and finally an Associate of Applied Science in Marketing,  Community College of Aurora, Aurora, CO.


Jennifer Spires


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.


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.


Patricia Amat-Matus

Patricia is a professor of early childhood education at Community College of Denver. She holds a Master's degree in Child Development and Disabilities, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors. In addition to her work at CCD, she teaches Expanding Quality Infant and Toddler Care, Pyramid Plus, and is a Conscious Discipline certified trainer.


As a researcher, professor, mentor, mother, and grandmother, Patricia believes that early childhood is the most important stage in the life of a child.

Enola Garland

Interim Executive Director

Enola is the part-time Interim Executive Director at COAEYC, and the only member of staff (so be patient, please!). Enola has been an early educator for 8 years, and currently teaches preschool in a Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) classroom with children 3-5 years old in Fort Collins, CO. Enola is also a mentor teacher, CLASS Pre-K Observer, and a fierce advocate for early childhood education and educators.

You can reach her at