Sonoma County Office of Education

Child Care Planning Council

Member Bios

Meet some of the members of the Child Care Planning Council.

Carrie Anabo

Community Representative

Member Since: Nov. 2013

Carrie AnaboJob Title
Happily Retired

Affiliations
Advisory Board, Roseland University Prep
League of Women Voters
Great Books Council of San Francisco
Brady Campaign of Sonoma County
San Francisco Opera Guild
No Name Women’s Group

Employment History
Entered the child care field 25 years ago as the Executive Director of the Child Care & Learning Center in Little Washington, VA
10 Years R&R Director, 4Cs of Sonoma County
One year Office Manager/Case Manager, PACEAPP

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
The well-being of children is of great concern to me. Children cannot vote nor do they have money for lobbyists. Concerned adults need to advocate for children’s causes.

Michelle Bendyk

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2017

Michelle Bendyk Job Title
Program Planning and Evaluation Analyst, Sonoma County Human Services

Affiliations
SonomaWORKS Housing and Child Care Analyst
Sonoma County Human Services VITA Coalition Representati

Employment History
I have worked for Sonoma County Human Services for the last 26 years,holding nine different positions ranging from Eligibility Worker, to EmploymentCounselor, Coordinator, to Supervisor and Analyst. Each of these positions has involved workingwith families and providing supportive services to those in need.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
There is nothing more rewarding than being able to help out in our community andbeing part of a family’s trajectory towards success. So much begins in childhood and is carriedinto adulthood that it is vital to become involved early.

Debbie Blanton

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: April 2001

Debbie Blanton Job Title
Preschool Principal, Special Education Program
Sonoma County Office of Education

Affiliations
Council for Exceptional Children
Infant Development Association (IDA)
SRJC ECE Advisory Committee
SSU ECE Advisory Committee

Employment History
I began working with young children as an undergraduate in Michigan, then moved to San Francisco where I worked with the Head Start Program. Relocating to Sonoma County, I continued with my career at CAP Sonoma Head Start and moved into the SCOE Special Education Program, where I have been working for the last 12 years.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
As an undergraduate, I found my passion working with young children. I continued working in early childhood education programs and focused on children with special educational needs. I am involved in work supporting young children and their families to remove barriers and help them access services and become members of their communities.

Missy Danneberg

Community Representative

Member Since: June 2008-Aug. 2015 | July 2016-present

Missy DannebergJob Title
Adjunct Instructor, Santa Rosa Junior College
Lecturer, Sonoma State University

Affiliations
Sonoma County Association for the Education of Young Children

Employment History
Early Childhood Education (ECE) college instructor since 1985. ECE program administrator in a variety of types of programs since 1976.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Early childhood education has been a passion of mine since working in a child care program in high school. I am especially committed to improving the quality of ECE programs through improving teacher pay and training.

Soledad Figueroa

Discretionary Representative

Member Since: Jan. 2015

Soledad FigueroaJob Title
Executive Director, River to Coast Children’s Services

Employment History
I began working with children and families in 2005 as a Receptionist and Resource and Referral Counselor at River to Coast Children’s Services. Shortly after, I started working in the Case Management Department, where I was able to help the families and children directly. I have also worked as a Child Safety Technician and Office Manager. I recently became the Executive Director. During these past nine years, it has been my pleasure to work with children and make a difference in their lives.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I believe that, as a community, we can support the well-being of children by helping them with resources to meet their needs and providing opportunities.

Lisa Grocott

Discretionary Representative

Member Since: Jan. 2015

Lisa GrocottJob Title
Director Head Start/Early Head Start, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County

Affiliations
Board of Directors, Extended Child Care
Board of Directors, California Head Start Association

Employment History
22 years in the field of early care and education, including 18 years at Head Start.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Children and families are at the core of what makes communities strong. I am passionate about supporting parents as the primary educators of their children and helping them to be advocates for their family. Connections to schools, communities, education, and resources are the foundation of family well-being which in turn benefits our society as a whole.

Rebecca Hachmyer

Child Care Consumer

Member Since: Oct. 2011

Rebecca HachmyerJob Title
Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Berkeley, School of Education

Affiliations
Graduate Student Instructor, Developmental Teacher Education Program, UC Berkeley GSE
Co-Leader, Together We Will Stand Indivisible, Petaluma (community organizing & activism)
Consumer Seat, Child Care Planning Council of Sonoma County
Committee Member, Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature
Children’s Book Reviewer, Horn Book Guide

Employment History
Lecturer, Sonoma State University, Department of Early Childhood Studies (2016)
Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, (Various 2012-present)
Children’s Book Specialist at Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol (2011-2012)
Lead Teacher, North Bay Children’s Center at Cherry Valley (2009-2011)
Lead Teacher, Fairfax San Anselmo Children’s Center (2008-2009)
Educator, Willowside Middle School, Oak Grove Union School District (2007-2008)
Child care provider/Camp Counselor, various (1996-2012)

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I had access to incredible teachers throughout my life as a student, and I want all children to have the same opportunity to be inspired and supported to grow. Because of my commitment to equity, inclusion, and representation, I am dedicated to identifying and working toward evidence-informed, scalable, locally-minded solutions that make the field of child care and education stronger and better for all children, families, and providers. It is my goal to be both a leader and an ally in the field.

Megan Hede

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Mar. 2005-Jan. 2007 | Sept. 2017-present

Megan HedeJob Title
Owner / Teacher Peek-A-Boo Playhouse Community Preschool

Affiliations
Board President Sonoma County Child Care Association
Board Member SCAEYC
SRJC Child Development Advisory Board
CA Mentor Teacher

Employment History
I have owned and operated an inclusive family child care for over 20 years.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I believe that inclusion works! Children who learn together, learn to live together.

Kathleen Kelley

Community Representative

Member Since: June 2009

Kathleen KelleyJob Title
Program Manager, Early Learning Institute

Affiliations
First 5 Sonoma ECE Committee
SRJC Child Development Advisory Council
Mentor Selection Committee
Mark West Elementary School Site Council

Employment History
I have worked with young children and families in a variety of settings for over 20 years. My professional career started in Michigan where I gained experience in special day class programs, family child care, and campus lab school settings. I landed in San Francisco after college and taught at the Tenderloin Childcare Center for 6 years. When I moved to Sonoma County in 2000, I left the preschool classroom for early intervention work at the Early Learning Institute. I am currently the program manager for the Behavioral Consultation Project, a program providing consultation to childcare and preschool programs throughout Sonoma County.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
My passion is working with the community to build high quality early care and education programs that are supportive of children, families and teachers.

Emma Kerns

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Dec. 2017

Emma KernsJob Title
Preschool Director, Sonoma County Family YMCA

Employment History
Humboldt Educare 2013
US Coast Guard 2014-16

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I’ve wanted to work with kids for as long as I can remember. I love being an active participant in children’s lives and also being a resource for families.

Susan Langer

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2017

Susan LangerJob Title
Program Specialist for the Sonoma County SELPA

Affiliations
CASP
ACSA
CCPC
UCLA Alumni

Employment History
I was a kindergarten teacher for six years, then a School Psychologist for Sonoma County Office of Education for 13 years. For the last four years, I was Principal of Special Education and Preschool in Sonoma Valley.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I believe that all children have the right and access to a quality education. I am a mom of two boys and I know how hard it is to navigate the educational programs in our county. I also believe in including children with special needs in general education settings.

Alicia Morales

Child Care Provider

Member Since: June 2015

Alicia MoralesJob Title
Area Director, Boys and Girls Clubs of Center Sonoma County

Affiliations
Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Employment History
I have been in the field of education for 15 years. I was a preschool teacher for several years before working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County. I have worked for my current organization since 2012.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I am very passionate about youth development and ensuring that through our programs we enable all youth to be successful, responsible, and caring adults.

Jason Riggs

Child Care Consumer

Member Since: June 2015

Jason RiggsJob Title
Executive Director, Extended Child Care (ECC) Coalition of Sonoma County

Affiliations
California Child Development Administrators Association (CCDAA)

Employment History
Prior to joining ECC, I was the Region 1 Lead for after school programs at the Mendocino County Office of Education. My prior experience also includes administration of after school programs for the Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I deeply believe that Expanded Learning Programs (before school, after school and summer learning) are a vital part of the education system preparing children and youth for college, career, and community success.

Marianne Schwarz-Kesling

Community Representative

Member Since: Sept. 1994

Marianne Schwartz-Kesling

Job Title
Employment Services Advisor, SRJC CalWORKS

Affiliations
Strategic Planning Task Force, SRJC
SRJC Institutional Planning Council
Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless

Employment History
After teaching in a college prep high school in San Francisco for 8 years, I moved to Sonoma County in 1982 and opened a small business teaching and directing theatre arts for K-12 children. I joined the staff of 4Cs of Sonoma County in 1987, and eventually became Director of Early Care and Education subsidized child care programs. I served at 4Cs for 17 years while also finishing an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and opened a private practice. I joined SRJC CalWORKS in 2009, closing my private practice in 2010 and becoming full time permanent staff at SRJC.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I am devoted to recognizing the unique and special gifts and potential in each child and being a part of helping them reach their dreams over the course of their lifetimes.

Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: Dec. 2017

Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber

Job Title
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Studies, Sonoma State University

Affiliations
The American Montessori Society (AMS)
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Employment History
Preschool and Toddler teacher (6 years), Preschool director (8 years), Early Intervention specialist (3 years), University professor (25 years), and Master's Program Director concurrent with university appointment (15 years)

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Without an advocate, children have no voice. We who are in a position to speak on their behalf have an ethical and moral obligation to share our knowledge and experience on their behalf.

Lori Siebler

Child Care Provider Representative

Member Since: June 2018

Lori Siebler

Job Title
I have been with the 4Cs of Sonoma County for the last 13 years.

Affiliations
Parent Voices

Employment History
Resource and Referral Director, 4Cs of Sonoma County

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
The best way to create a strong, healthy community is to create strong, healthy adults and the best way to achieve that is to support the growth and development of all our children.

Jennifer Stanley

Child Care Provider Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2017

Jennifer Stanley

Job Title
Director, Waugh Kids Care and Wallabies Preschool

Affiliations
Kappa Delta Pi
International Literacy Association
Council for Exceptional Children

Employment History
RSP Teacher, General Education teacher (K-6), Reading Specialist, Junior College teacher (Los Rios and Sierra College).

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher/work with children since I was in 6th grade. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

Melinda Susan

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2017

Melinda Susan

Job Title
Director, South County Consortium

Affiliations
Association of California School Administrators
National Association of School Psychologists
California Association of School Psychologists
Special Olympics Northern California,
SSU Special Education Community Advisory Committee

Employment History
I started my educational career as a School Psychologist with Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) in 1999. I became a special education Principal at SCOE in 2007. In 2014, I became the Director of the South County Consortium. I supervise programs for students with moderate to severe disabilities (preschool-high school) as well as the non-intensive preschool program. I was also an adjunct faculty at Sonoma State University in the Counseling Department for 10 years.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I can’t imagine doing anything else. Children need our most intense support and attention. We need to help them to develop empathy, reasoning, resilience, social skills, and coping strategies so that they will be independent and successful adults who contribute in a positive way to our society.

Heather Sweet Krikac

Community Representative

Member Since: Oct. 2010

Job Title
Program Manager, Social Advocates for Youth, Youth Crisis Services

Employment History
I have worked in social services for the past fifteen years as a therapist, case manager, supporter, and advocate for children and families. The experiences and stories I have been privileged to witness, hear, and participate in has led me to a career in support of those who do not yet have a voice of their own.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
The health, happiness, and well-being of children makes the world a better place today, tomorrow, and beyond!

Sonya Valiente

Discretionary Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2015

Sonya ValienteJob Title
Preschool Director, Sonoma Valley Unified School District, El Verano Preschool

Affiliations
California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Employment History
I have been working at El Verano Preschool as a director for 2.5 years. I was a site supervisor and lead teacher at YWCA’s A Special Place Preschool.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I want to give children the best Early Childhood quality program and wake up their curiosity in their early years. I want to teach them the tools to be successful in life.

Cathy Vaughn

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Dec. 1991 (Original/Charter Member)

Cathy VaughnJob Title
Director, Montessori School of Sonoma

Affiliations
Professional Association for Childhood Education (PACE)
Montessori Association
A Women’s group

Employment History
I started the Montessori School (licensed for 24 preschoolers) in 1972, renting from a church. In 1984, I built our current facility (licensed for 86 children) that now serves infant, toddler, preschool and after school care children.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Children make your life important. —Erma Bombeck

Margie Vondrak

Discretionary Representative

Member Since: Dec. 1991 (Original/Charter Member)

Margie VondrakJob Title
Retired

Affiliations
Rohnert Park Tennis Association Coordinator (2010-2014)
Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, Chairwoman (2006-2007)
Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors (2004-2007)
Committee Member, First Annual Rohnert Park Art & Wine Festival (2007)
Rohnert Park Business Showcase, Chairwoman (2007)
Effective Supervisory Certificate, The Child Welfare League of America (2002)
NBRC Board of Directors and Vice President (1988-1993)

Employment History
I recently retired as a Program Director for Dungarvin Behavioral Program. I was the Program Director for the Therapeutic Behavioral Program and the Family Education Center under LifeWorks as well as the Regional Director for PACEAPP. I became active with the Sonoma County Planning Council in 1999 during its inception when I was employed by 4Cs as the Special Needs Child Care Coordinator for ten years.

I am one of the original members of the Council, having been a member for 16 years. I have been an active member on the Executive Committee serving on all Executive positions of the Council including two terms as Co-Chair and three terms as Treasurer. I have chaired numerous subcommittees over the years assisting in the development of many programs (AB212, CARES, Gateway to Quality) as well as acted as the Interim Child Care Planning Council Coordinator before hiring our current Coordinator. I have been on the Finance Committee for 10 years. I have had experience and background in Budget Management as a Director of other state and social service programs.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I believe that providing quality early care and education is one of the essential tools necessary for the well-being of all children. Providing children the accessibility to a quality environment in their early years will give them the opportunity to be successful and productive members of our community. This is crucial to the future strength, stability and sustainability of our country.

Terry Ziegler, MA

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Feb. 1993

Terry ZieglerJob Title
Executive Director, Mt. Taylor Children’s Center

Affiliations
Mentor Director Committee

Employment History
I opened Mt. Taylor Children’s Center in 1991, Mt. Taylor Too in 1997, and Mt. Taylor Three in 2006.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Quality education and care of young children directly impacts not only children and their families but communities. It is a gratifying experience to be part of this process.


Melanie Dodson

CCPC Advisor

Council Member: Jan. 2009 - Aug. 2017 | Advisor: Sept. 2017

Melanie DodsonJob Title
Executive Director, Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs) since 2008

Affiliations
Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Board
SRJC Child Development Advisory Board
First 5 Professional Community Advisory Committee

Employment History
4Cs Assistant Executive Director, 2004
4Cs Child Care Resource & Referral Director, 2001
Kenwood School, director of the after-school program
Roseland School District, elementary school teacher

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Early childhood development has always been a personal passion and being the mother of two young children continues to inspire my commitment to the field and our community’s investment in our children.

Lara Magnusdottir

CCPC Advisor

Council Member: Nov. 2008 - Dec. 2014 | Advisor: Mar. 2017

Lara MagnusdottirJob Title
Public Policy Director, Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs Sonoma)

Affiliations
Board of Directors, California Child Care Resource & Referral Network

Employment History
Employed at Language Line Services as a Recruiter, Human Resources Director, and Interpreter Resources Director for 13 years
Joined 4Cs in 2006 implementing the state-mandated Centralized Eligibility List, and Resource & Referral Director 2008-2014
Spent 2015 in the Philippines, teaching English, volunteering at a local orphanage and a school library, as well as traveling in Asia and learning how to scuba dive
Returned to Santa Rosa and to 4Cs in 2016 as a Public Policy Director

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
There is no work that is more important than supporting our future leaders and citizens. I believe no child should have to carry the responsibility for the circumstances of their birth, and that every child should have the same opportunities to realize their potential. I also believe that our community deserves the full participation of that potential to make it a better society for all. Plus, this work is incredibly rewarding, I get to work with so many wonderful people, and I absolutely love what I do!

Ed Sheffield

CCPC Advisor

Advisor Since: Jan. 2010

Ed SheffieldJob Title
District Representative for Assemblymember Jim Wood

Affiliations
Santa Rosa City School Board Trustee, elected November 8, 2016
Sonoma County Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Advisory Board (2009-present)
City of Santa Rosa “Measure O” Oversight Committee (2009-present)
Sonoma County Conservation Action, Board of Directors (2013-present)

Employment History
District Representative, California State Assembly, Representing Assemb. Jim Wood (2015-present)
District Director, California State Senate, Representing Senator Noreen Evans (2010-2014)
District Representative, California State Assembly, Representing Assemb. Noreen Evans (2008-2010)
Congressional Staff Member, U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (2005-2008

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
An investment in the health and well-being of children is an investment in our future.