Gary Burris | Executive Director
As Assistant Director for Quality at the Department of Early Learning, Gary led licensing policy and continued quality efforts begun in the DSHS Division of Child Care and Early Learning. He worked to professionalize the early learning workforce by easing access to college courses, providing scholarships, and delivering wage enhancements tied to higher education. He worked to improve the quality of licensed homes and centers and school age programs through national accreditation efforts and facility grants and loans. At the Oregon Children and Families, Gary’s unit provided state level support such as best practices, staff training and program consultation for community home visiting, positive youth development, child care, family centers, court advocates and relief nurseries. He played a leadership role in carrying out the Oregon’s Children’s Plan – a comprehensive interagency effort to coordinate services for children and families. Most recently with EOI in Seattle, Gary researched and advocated on early learning, asset building, and retirement policy. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Evergreen.
Steve Hyer | Director of Finance and Operations
I grew up in Olympia and received my degree from the University of Washington.
Allison Woody | Office Manager
Early Achievers Staff
Kristin Gomez | Early Achievers Regional Coordinator
Lee Ann Bryant | Early Achievers Consultation Manager
Sandy Maldonado | Early Achievers Consultation Manager
Ann Chihan | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Clallam & Jefferson Counties
Jessica Beckett | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Clallam & Jefferson Counties
Kelsi Millet | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Clallam & Jefferson Counties
Kathryn Arthur | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
Nattie Diaz | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
Kelsie Curtis | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
Michael Snow | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
Sabrina Perry | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Grays Harbor County
Natalie Chavez | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Grays Harbor County
I am beyond excited to serve my community as a member of the Early Achievers team alongside caring and committed providers who strive to provide excellent care for children. I am passionate about supporting children in the early childhood years-a time that is so precious and so important. Grays Harbor is my home; I grew up here and returned after college to work hard to meet needs in my community. I currently live in Aberdeen with my husband, our baby girl, Fiona, and our fluffy dog, Roscoe. I look forward to working with the network of providers in Grays Harbor to support our youngest community members during this crucial period of growth and development. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Western Washington University with additional credits in Early Childhood Education. I served as a Center Director for nearly 5 years before transitioning over to Early Achievers in December 2016. I have also worked as a volunteer teacher in the 2-3 year old classroom at my church for the last 4 years. Hablo español y sería un placer trabajar con Proveedoras que se dedican al cuidado y a la enseñanza de niños en ambos lenguajes español e inglés.
Terri Sutovich | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Mason County
I have been dedicated to the Early Childhood Development field for over 20 years and I am just as passionate about it as I was when I received my CDA in 1992! Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with children and families all over our great country as an Assistant Teacher, Teacher, Assistant Director, Director and Program Supervisor. I am very excited about working with the providers in our community as a Technical Assistance Specialist with the CCAC team!
Yvette Dear | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Kitsap County
I joined Child Care Action Council in October of 2015. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Services. I previously worked in various Social Services roles which include teaching The Incredible Years parenting class and working with foster children with behavioral aggression and developmental disabilities. Prior to that I volunteered at an adult day center working with adults and elderly with developmental disabilities. I enjoy working in this field because I enjoy having a hands on approach to making a difference in young children's lives and how that connects with their families and the community I serve in. I live in Bremerton with my husband and two children- Stella, a precocious preschooler, and Harper, a sweet and tender toddler.
Alissa Davi | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Kitsap County
Hello, my name is Alissa, and I am elated to join the Child Care Action Council team! I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Development and have vast experience working with children and child care centers over the last 10 years. Before joining Child Care Action Council, I worked in various licensed child care centers and also held positions to collaborate with teachers and directors to implement a range of new practices to enhance the children's learning and development. Drawing from my background in child care centers and working with directors, I am excited to begin assisting providers in their journey through Early Achievers!
Emily Long | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Kitsap County
Hi there! My name is Emily and I joined Child Care Council Team October of 2016! I acquired my Bachelor’s degree in Human Services at Western Washington University, where I was able to work in a Montessori setting, and where built my passion for education for the “Early Achievers” that are constantly changing and deserve support through these years of impression. I recently came from an extensive background working with Foster Youth and Families in the Kitsap and Pierce Counties where I focused more on expediting goals case by case in order to ensure family preservation. I am currently an active instructor for the Incredible Years Parenting Program, and advocate for this curriculum. I also have a vast experience working with children and child care providers since I was 16 years old, to the present. My passion is children and their education, while supporting them through their mental and emotional growth. I believe that we are all constantly growing, no matter the age, and as much as we pour into these children, they are in return pouring into us! The more we foster this investment, will it be nothing short of beneficial and rewarding in future!
Debbie Roberts | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
I am new to the CCAC team, but not new to the early learning field. I began my career as a teacher for a state funded preschool program, which eventually became a demonstration site. Following that I served as a multisite director for state funded preschool and family support programs. Later, I served as a professional development trainer for early education teachers and administrators. Over the years I have worked way way through through school and have a master’s degree in human development, a teaching credential with a special emphasis for birth through third grade, and an administrative services credential. My mission is to grow and stretch myself and to grow teachers. I love to see how proud teachers are of themselves when they achieve their goals. I have two children and two grandchildren and they are the delight of my life.
Heidi Scott | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Kitsap County
I joined Child Care Action Counsil in May, 2016, after nearly 17 years of working in the field of Early Childhood Education. After receiving my B.A. in Social Work in 1996, I almost immediarely began working for a local Head Start program, which lead to my inevitable ECE career. As a military family, my husband and I moved frequently. From Connecticut to Hawaii, and many places in between, I worked in various Head Start programs and private child care centers as a preschool teacher in traditional, as well as inclusive classrooms. I spent a few years as an Early Head Start Home Visitor for Infants and Toddler and spent 5 years as a Training and Curriculum Specialist for Naval Base Kitsap Child and Youth Programs, where I trained and mentored teaching staff in all aspects of child development and curriculum. I am grateful that my travels gave me the opportunity to engage with families from many different cultural, developmental and socioeconomic backgrounds, and I gained a deep appreciation for the importance a child’s family and culture play in their development and education. I learned that wherever you go, families want the same thing for their children, which is high quality care and education for their chidlren. I am thrilled to be working for the Early Achievers program where I can use the skills I have gained to help child care providers in Kitsap County do exactly that, which is to ensure that quality care and education is availible to all children.
Tracy Mitchell | Early Achievers - Early Learning Consultant - Thurston County
Connie Dougherty | Professional Development Administrator
I am the Professional Development Coordinator and an instructor for the Child Care Action Council. I've been with the agency since 2008 and I love my job because our training and consultation programs allow me to empower early childhood professionals even as I learn from them. I believe everyone who works with children has something to offer others! My background includes time as a licensed family child care provider, a preschool teacher, and a private school principal.
Jean Hill-Miller | Infant & Toddler Coach/ Early Learning Consultant/ STARS Coach
I have been involved in the Early Childhood field for too many years to count! I’ve been an owner/director of corporation serving infant to third grade for over 20 years, taught elementary grades in Australia and England and worked with Head Start for 13 years. I retired and moved to Olympia in 2007 to be near family, where I proceeded to “flunk” retirement. I started as a contracted trainer for CCAC by teaching Bridges classes at Centralia College and SPSCC. I served as a Parent Educator for Centralia College for 3 years, and teach ECE classes at SPSCC. I feel so lucky to have landed right where I am, being close to my loved ones and living my passion of giving back the knowledge, experience and compassion I have gained over the years to the folks that are in positions to influence so many lives at an impressionable age.
Heidi DeVries | Infant & Toddler Coach/ Early Learning Consultant/ STARS Coach
Hi my name is Heidi DeVries and I have just recently joined the Child Care Action Council and cannot say enough about how excited I am to be taking the next step in my professional career by working and learning from such an amazing staff dedicated to children and teachers. Previously I have worked as a preschool and toddler teacher, nanny, and I also lived at an orphanage in the Philippines for three years working with children of all ages. I have always had a passion for working with children and am especially passionate about students with behavior challenges. My role here at the Child Care Action Council will be to work as an infant/toddler mental health and early learning consultant. I will also be teaching classes at CCAC. I look forward to mentoring teachers to better support their students and provide high quality, meaningful learning environments and opportunities.
I currently hold a BA in ECE and Administration and a MA in Education with specializations in ECE and Special Education. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you!
Rose Tiller | Infant & Toddler Coach/ Early Learning Consultant/ STARS Coach
Hi, my name is Rose Tiller. I have worked in the early childhood field since 1989. I was the first student to receive an Early Childhood Certificate from Centralia College. Since then I have achieved an AA in early childhood from Centralia College and a BS from Concordia University. For 25 years I was a lead teacher at the Centralia College Children's Lab School. For three years I taught cooperative preschool. On the side, I mentored for the Bridges to Education Classes and taught workshops and parenting classes. I believe in early childhood education. I am passionate about social/emotional development for children. This gives them the tools to be successful for life. I have two children and three grandchildren.
Fran Williams | Family Services Program Manager
I have worked at Child Care Action Council since 2008. I have a MA in Counseling, Infant Toddler Endorsement, and I have worked with families and children birth to teens. I have seven years of experience as a teacher of my own preschool. I worked with preschool classrooms with "Tools of the Mind", and advocated for professionals in the Early Learning field. My current duties include services to Family, Friends, and Neighbor caregivers including facilitating Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups; and program manager to Raising A Reader. We have a great CCAC team to help manage all our wonderful programs. Quality early learning and childhood experiences help children and families thrive. I love to help make this happen!
Maira Ramirez | Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Group Facilitator
I've recently joined Child Care Action Council as a Kaleidoscope Play & Learn group facilitator. I hold a Bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College where I studied Sociology and Cultural Studies through interdisciplinary curricula. For the past three years I have been working with, and advocating for K-12 youth. I am very excited about expanding my work into early childhood education! My goal as a Kaleidoscope Play & Learn group facilitator is to create more accessibility of our program and share resources with communities that are too often under served. I am passionate about equitable education and helping children soar!
Isabel Escobar | Parent Educator/Home Visitor
Bio coming soon
Chandler Fry | Raising A Reader Program Coordinator
I have been in the field of early childhood development for over seven years. I believe it is our paramount duty to ensure that children receive the appropriate resources to develop the linguistic and cognitive skills that will aid them in school and throughout their life. I could not be happier to be in a position where I can make this happen. I have a BA from the Evergreen State College with 3.5 years spent at Western Washington University. My work in a family child care home gave me experience with the many difficulties and joys of working with young children. These experiences helped shape me into the person I am today. When I am not working, you can find me disc golfing and hanging out with the world’s most adorable dog; Ollie. I am incredibly excited to be a part of the CCAC team and I look forward to the future.
Nancy Hobson | Provider Services Coordinator
I have worked at Child Care Action Council Resource & Referral for over 13 years. Before that I had worked in child care centers in the Olympia area for over 35 years. I started out as an aide and worked up to being a director. In my present position I work with parents and providers through Margies Crisis Nursery and the Homeless Child Care Program. I keep our NACCRRA provider data base up to date. I enjoy helping people and if I don't know the answer I am willing to try and find the answer for you. I enjoy working with providers and helping them get excited about training and now EA and QRIS. It will help us all do a better job for children.
Danielle King | Safe Kids Thurston County Coordinator
I have been the Safe Kids Thurston County Coordinator since 2011. I have many years experience with children: first, with my own; then years volunteering at school; and also as a preschool teacher and director. I would tell the preschool staff that our top priority was to ensure our students were in a safe environment - then we could get to our vital work. This is essentially why I love coordinating the Safe Kids Coalition in Thurston County. No child should be harmed due to the lack of knowledge or funds to provide safety devices - whether it be car seats, life jackets, bike helmets, or smoke detectors. I have a degree in Art and Art History. Besides painting in my spare time, I care for my three boys, my husband, and Max - the world's most perfect dog.