Sonoma County Office of Education

Member Bios

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

Lisa Bell

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Jan. 2020

Lisa BellJob Title
Preschool Director/Educator, Sonoma Valley Unified School District, Sassarini Preschool

Affiliations
Sonoma SEAC preschool representative
Embedded Instruction- Inclusive Preschool Practices

Employment History
I started my career at Valley of the Moon Nursery School in Sonoma in 1999. I have worked at Montessori of Sonoma and Moldovan Academy. I have been a Director for over 5 years, three of which in our public school district site at Sassarini.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
As a young child I struggled in school with dyslexia, ADHD, speech and comprehension issues. I believe in the power of teaching to all children's strengths. I am thankful for the resources I had as a child and I want to be that person that helps children and their families get the resources they need. Early intervention and advocacy are my passion.

Jessica Borland

Child Care Provider

Member Since: Jan. 2022

Jessica BorlandJob Title
Coordinator of Child Development Programs

Affiliations
CACEYC

Employment History
I have worked in many different aspects of the child development field. I have been a Nanny, the owner of a family childcare facility, a preschool teacher, a site coordinator, and a director, and I currently oversee UPK and after-school programming for a school district.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I love watching the development of children and know how important family support is to the well-being of the child. I want to help guide resources and be part of the county's child care conversation.

Bryan Clement

Community Representative

Member Since: April 2021

Bryan ClementJob Title
Director of Partnerships and Policy at Dovetail Learning

Affiliations
Equity in Education Initiative, Sonoma County
Gravenstein Health Coalition Bard Member
PACEs Connection Steering Committee Member
NTTAC Facilitator for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health Services

Employment History
As a former teacher and principal in Marin County, I came to Dovetail Learning to develop and train educators is social emotional learning, trauma-informed healing centered schools, and I am a contributing author of We Are Resilient, a research-based mental health promotion approach for educator, provider, and family wellness.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I have always been drawn to education. My father and grandfather were educators, and it was clear the impact they had on students. I love and appreciate the transformative teachers I was fortunate to have who helped me learn along the journey of life. Simply, being with kids brings me joy (including my own three children).

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.

Alice Hampton

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: Sept. 2015-present

Alice HamptonJob Title
SRJC Child Development Instructor, Sonoma County Coordinator of California Early Childhood Mentor Program

Affiliations

Employment History
Ten years working as an ECE teacher with Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, and Afterschool Child Care. I have been teaching at SRJC since 1997.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
During my 20+ years living in Sonoma County, I have been a child care provider, consumer (2 boys of my own), and trainer for the ECE workforce. I believe that caring for our county’s children is our most important work for our future.

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.

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.

Lara Magnusdottir

Discretionary Representative

Council Member: Nov. 2008 - Dec. 2014 | Dec. 2021 - present

Advisor: Mar. 2017 - Dec. 2021

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

Affiliations
Board Member and Chair of Public Policy Committee and California R&R Network
Member of Public Policy Committee EveryChild California
Board member Extended Child Care Coalition
Co-Leader of Northern Directors Group

Employment History
Before joining 4Cs in 2006 as CEL Director, then R&R Director, then Public Policy Director, I worked at Language Line Services in Monterey for 13 years, in a variety of positions, latest as Director of Recruiting.
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?
I look at our work as a social justice and equity advocacy. I believe a society that provides opportunity for all to be their best and to thrive is a more healthy society and results in a higher quality of life for all. Our children deserve the best from their environment!

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)
California Afterschool Network (CAN) leadership committee

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.

Chris Sorg

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: April 2021

Chris Sorg

Job Title
Program Planning & Evaluation Analyst-Human Services, Employment & Training, County of Sonoma

Employment History
I currently work for the County of Sonoma, Human Services Department, Employment & Training. For the past 8 years I have worked as an Employment and Training Counselor, Coordinator, and currently as an Analyst for child care and other programs.

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
I think this is an opportunity for children to learn, socialize and start building the foundation for successful futures. These are the same reasons that both of my children attended child care prior to kindergarten.

Heather Sweet Krikac

Community Representative

Member Since: Oct. 2010

Heather SweetJob 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 Vaughn 2021Job Title
Director, Montessori School of Sonoma

Affiliations
EveryChild, California
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.

Renee Whitlock-Hemsouvanh

Child Care Provider

Member Since: 2018-present

Renee Whitlock-HemsouvanhJob Title
Director/Co-Founder, Child Family Community

Employment History
Family Child Care, 8 years
Center owner and Director, 12 years
Multiple center co-owner, 5 years

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
Children have the right to feel safe, secure, and have hope for the future.

Steven Worker

Child Care Consumer

Member Since: Nov 2021

Steven WorkerJob Title
4-H Youth Development Advisor (Sonoma, Marin, & Napa counties), University of California Cooperative Extension

Affiliations
SF North Bay Science Discovery Day (www.northbayscience.org)
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
National Association for Research in Science Teaching and Learning (NARST)
National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP)

Employment History
With the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (Cooperative Extension):
4-H Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Coordinator (2009-2016)
State 4-H Program Representative for Youth Leadership, Recognition, and Technology (2001-2009)

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
My passion is providing quality informal, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) experiences to help young people become interested and curious in STEM, scientifically literate, and support their transition to being happy, thriving, and civically engaged adults.


Yajuan (Vivian) Xiang

Public Agency Representative

Member Since: November 2021

Yajuan XiangJob Title
Associate Professor; Sonoma State University

Affiliations
A member of American Educational Research Association

Employment History
Associate Professor at Sonoma State University since 2019; Assistant Professor at University of Southern Indiana from 2014-2019; Adjunct Professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo from 2012-2014; Lead Teacher at Early Childhood Research Center at SUNY at Buffalo from 2008-2013

Why are you involved in work that supports the well-being of children?
It truly takes a village to raise a child. Children and families are at the core of building a strong society. I am passionate about supporting children's well-being and learning through developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically sustaining and authentic experiences with a collaboration with families, schools and the community.


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.