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Meet the Staff

Nancie Linville

Director of the Office of Early Learning & School Readiness

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Nancie has an extensive background in early childhood, business development and technology. Nancie's thirty year career includes serving as Vice President of the Institute at Clayton Early Learning. Key Institute programs included leading the statewide Strengthening EC Professional Development through Community Colleges, Buell Early Childhood Leadership program at the graduate level, coaching and program evaluation for School Readiness, Denver Preschool Program and Early Reading First.

Nancie also served as Vice President of Business Development at Educare Colorado during the initial statewide roll-out of the Qualistar Rating, as Director of New Business Development at the Community College of Denver to expand early childhood education programs and has worked extensively with K-12 school districts across Colorado. Nancie was also Director of Corporate Relations and Coordinator of Best Practices in Education at the Education Commission of the States, working to promote positive large-scale systems change in early education and public school reform.

Her hands-on early childhood experience includes serving as Director of Russell Child Development Center, a Kansas non-profit early intervention special education organization serving 300 families. Nancie earned her M.S. in Educational Leadership at Kansas State University and her B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education at Emporia State University.

Kathleen DeVries

Co-Director, Early Childhood Professional Development System

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Kathleen has more than thirty years of experience in early childhood education. Her involvement in the field includes preschool and elementary teaching, consulting and mentoring, and – most currently – teaching early care and education professionals at Red Rocks Community College. Additionally, she has served in a variety of positions in the community including work with Jefferson County Schools, Colorado Department of Higher Education and Colorado Department of Education.

Kathleen served as Early Childhood Education discipline chair with the Community College Faculty Coalition during the recent NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Departments project. Kathleen has served on both the P-3 Task Force and Colorado’s Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory and in the development of Colorado’s EC Professional Development Plan and the Early Childhood Competencies Framework for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators.

Kathleen holds an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Colorado Denver.

Sondra Ranum

Co-Director, Early Childhood Professional Development System

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Sondra has been the Assistant Program Director for the Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care Initiative at the Colorado Department of Education since 2008 and was previously a Professional Development Coach with Clayton Early Learning. Additionally, Sondra serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Colorado Community College System and the University of Colorado. She has been actively involved in the work of the P3 Professional Development Advisory Team and the Colorado Coaching Consortium including the development of the Early Childhood Coaching Certificate at UCD.

Sondra has an MA in Educational Psychology, Human Development and an Advanced Infancy Certificate from UCD; she holds a Level IV Early Childhood Credential and is approved as an Advanced Trainer through TTASC.

With 25 years of experience in the field of early childhood as a teacher, administrator, trainer and coach, Sondra is most passionate about meeting the needs of Colorado’s youngest children and the ongoing professional development for those who work with them.

Jennifer O'Brien

Data and Communications Manager

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Jennifer has served as the Data Coordinator for the Early Childhood Professional Development Team at the Colorado Department of Education. She has worked in a variety of settings to promote the well-being of children and their families. Jennifer has experience with multiple evaluation projects including a children’s mobile dental unit, an Early Head Start fatherhood program and an early childhood educational stipend evaluation. She has been actively involved in the P-3 Professional Development Advisory Team and the TQRIS Next Generation work. She has been involved with early childhood professional development for over a decade and is particularly interested in how data can support the early childhood workforce.

Jennifer has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Colorado State University.

Kasey Herndon

Early Childhood Professional Development Grants & Program Coordinator

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Kasey moved to Colorado from Illinois in July of 2012. Kasey previously worked as a teacher's assistant at Laradon Alternative School and taught beginning piano to students under the age of 8 in the Denver Metro area. Kasey received a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance at Western Illinois University in 2012 and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from Regis University in 2014. Kasey brings skills in administrative support and student support services from her years at Western Illinois University. She was hired as the ECPD Team Support in August of 2013 and expanded her roles in July 2015 as the Grants & Program Coordinator.

In her free time she is a member of nonprofit volunteer committees for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and other local nonprofit efforts. She is also an active member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. She was active through Alpha Tau Chapter based in Albuquerque, NM until she charted the first LTA chapter (Alpha Psi) in Colorado during the summer of 2015. She currently serves as the Alpha Psi's Chapter Secretary.

Ellen Coker

Early Childhood Regional Coaching Consultant

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Ellen Coker began her professional career with the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Program working in five rural counties developing and implementing adult education and 4-H youth programs. After completing a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, she worked as a Human Development Specialist for Iowa State University. Career opportunities for learning and growing have presented opportunities to teach in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies for three years, work with an adult literacy program, coordinate a home visitation program as part of a prevention of child abuse team and work with Early Head Start. In 1999, Ellen began to focus on work that involved and benefited infants, toddlers and their families and caregivers. She and a colleague produced two films in collaboration with CSU and the Poudre School District. Ellen worked with the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County in a variety of capacities including teaching and coaching for the EQIT program, ITERS, Pyramid and the Ounce Scale and Cradling Literacy. She currently serves as a member of the Larimer County Touchpoints Team and teaches for Front Range Community College at the Larimer Campus. In 2006, Ellen began working with the Expanding Quality Initiative at CDE helping to edit the EQIT curriculum. She continues her involvement with EQ Initiative as a RELATE Coaching Trainer and as a member of the EQ faculty.

Mary Hamilton- Early Childhood Regional Coaching Consultant

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Mary Hamilton has been working in Early Care and Education Programs for over 30 years. She served as the Director of Professional Development for a large national child care organization, working to develop a highly qualified workforce, including Director Training and leadership development, New Hire On-boarding, and CDA programs. Prior to that, she was the founder and operator of three on-site NAEYC accredited childcare centers, one located on the campus of Colorado State University, and two others at hospitals in Colorado. In each of these roles she has worked both formally and informally to develop systems for coaching and mentoring. Mary has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from Bucknell University, a Master’s of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University, and an Advanced Infancy Certificate for UCD. She holds a Level IV Early Childhood Credential and is an Advanced Trainer. She has taught at Aims and Front Range Community Colleges, and at Colorado State University, and has been an Expanding Infant and Toddler Quality trainer for the Colorado Department of Education. No matter what her role, Mary strives to motivate and inspire others to share in her passion for doing what is best for children and their families. Respect, active listening, collaboration, and refection drive her work in an environment of joyful learning.

Stephenie Hickman

Early Childhood Regional Coaching Consultant

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Stephenie Hickman has 17 years of experience in early childhood education. Her tenure includes work with children from birth to five with developmental disabilities and delays, teaching, family engagement, mentoring, and coaching early childhood professionals. Stephenie has worked directly with families and teams in the development of Individualized Family Service Plans as well as Individualized Education Plans. She served as a School Readiness Consultant for the Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council. Most recently Stephenie was the Education Manager/Instructional Coach, at a local school district, responsible for monitoring child outcomes and developing targeted ongoing professional development, technical assistance and coaching to early childhood educators in Head Start and the Colorado Preschool Program. Additionally, Stephenie has experience administering high quality assessment tools including ECERS, ITERS and CLASS. She has enjoyed facilitating and coaching with the Incredible Years Parent Group as well as for Colorado’s Expanding Quality in Infant and Toddler Care Initiative. Stephenie earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and is pursuing her Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. Stephenie’s experience and passion for all children and families has only strengthened her mission for promoting high quality, developmentally appropriate and family-centered early childhood programs.

Megan Prior Rogers

Early Childhood Regional Coaching Consultant

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Prior to joining the team at the Colorado Department of Education, Megan worked as an Early Language and Literacy Consultant as part of Ohio’s State Support Team by providing coaching and technical assistance to practicing Preschool teachers in Ohio. Additionally, she supported the implementation of state initiatives regarding Ohio’s Early Learning Challenge Grant and provided professional development to area teachers. Over the course of her career, Megan has served in a variety of settings including teaching at the preschool and elementary levels, consulting, coaching, and as a director of a preschool program. She has also served on several committees to promote Early Childhood Education including Preschool to Kindergarten transition initiatives, Ohio state-wide professional development committees, and K-3 standards writing committees.

Megan earned her Master’s in Education from Kent State University where she focused her research on refugee education.

Mary Dodd

Early Childhood Regional Coaching Consultant

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Prior to moving to rural Colorado in 2009, Mary Dodd had a long and varied career as an early childhood professional in Texas that included: teaching and supervising interns in a Special Education program at University of Texas at Dallas; providing home and center-based services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities and their families in an inner-city school district, as well as leading the assessment team for 0 – 5 year-olds; directing a Part C (early intervention) program; teaching and directing research in Early Childhood Disorders at UTD for 25 years; and providing direct and consultative services to families of children with various disabilities. Mary earned her BA from University of California at Berkeley in Social Sciences eons ago, and her MA from Northwestern University in Language and Learning Disabilities. She has advanced certification to work with young children with disorders in relating and communicating from the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders, is a Profectum Fellow and is an advanced Level Trainer. She was one of the founders of the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, and was on the Board of Directors for many years. She taught reflective supervision, and continues to receive it monthly. In early 2011, she began volunteering for the Montelores Early Childhood Council in a variety of capacities and was hired in 2013 as Chief Knowledge Officer. She is an Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care Instructor and Coach for MECC and for the Early Childhood Council of La Plata County. Mary loves working with adult learners on behalf of young children and their families.

Sharlene Chiappetti

Early Childhood PDIS Support Staff

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Prior to arriving at CDE, Sharlene worked at The Partnership for Families & Children. During the fifteen years she worked there, she supported the organization in multiple capacities. When she was working with the program, Early Childhood Connections, she collaborated in numerous trainings and conferences, assisted with public awareness outreach, and helped create a monitoring tool for the programs across the state. Sharlene also had the opportunity to support the organization’s IT needs. She managed a variety of websites and a learning management system, created specialized reports and databases for staff and grantees, monitored their server, and set-up and managed all the computers.

She continues to fuel her interest in databases by her ongoing education in SQL and database administration, and balances the technical overload with her passion for supporting kids to achieve their best, from early childhood on through high school.

Joseph "Jody" Lehman

Early Childhood PDIS Support Staff

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Joseph “Jody” Lehman has over a decade of Early Childhood Education experience. He served as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Warren Village, a nonprofit whose mission is to help low income, single parent families achieve personal and economic self-sufficiency—and to sustain it. At Warren Village, Jody taught at-risk children with the aim of providing them with the academic and social tools to be successful in all phases of life. He then worked as a Program Developer for the Children’s Museum of Denver focusing on early learning and family engagement. Most recently, Jody taught at the Children’s Outreach Project, a therapeutic learning center in Federal Heights.

Jody is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at CU, Denver with a focus on education policy.

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