2020 Governing Board Candidates

Diana Charbonneau - Member at Large West

Lead Teacher: Tiny Trees Preschool (Outdoor Forest Preschool)

I come to this work as a committed and ever learning anti-racist educator and citizen. In joining the board, I seek to understand how WAEYC and AEYC are serving our communities; I want to support and help drive the work forward.  Currently I am a lead teacher at a forest preschool, Tiny Trees. We use High Scope and Teaching Strategies Gold. I am helping to forge the way for this emerging trend in early education in the US. I am also an WA OSPI Fellow in the Early Learning Track. My previous teaching includes indoor preschool, elementary and special education K-5, before -and after school programming as well as naturalist teaching in environmental education.  I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching, with elementary and special education teaching certificates.  I also spent six years as a non-profit consultant for evaluation and research in public health. I have supported many organizations to identify and measure their key strategies and outcomes.

Christyn Dundorf - Member at Large West

Outreach and Development Coordinator

Teaching Preschool Partners

Christyn is currently works at in Profession Outreach and Development Teaching Preschool Partners in Portland Oregon. Specifically she Coordinate professional outreach and professional development for Teaching Preschool Partners, an organization supporting the use of Inquiry Approaches in publicly-funded preschool programs and infusing those approaches up into the early grades. Developed multiple, Oregon-approved Set 2 training sessions to support work of the organization. Provide ongoing classroom coaching for associated programs, schools, and districts. She has served on a number of boards including the Oregon Child Development Coalition and a Governing Member of the OAEYC. 

Jessica Ferreras-Stone - Member at Large West

Assistant Professor of Elementary Education

Western Washington University

My passion and interest in the field of education are grounded in equity, diversity and multicultural education.  For this reason, my research builds upon these important issues.  For example, I recently presented my research findings at NAEYC’s national conference in Nashville

            One asset I can bring to WAEYC is my strong community.  As a mother of a preschooler, I am connected with many preschool services.  As an educator I work closely with primary school teachers, administrators and district partners to promote diversity and inclusion in our schools.  I have also worked with Native tribes to help schools implement Indigenous curriculum.  As a university professor, I have found new ways to engage students in these important topics which includes assigning podcasts focused on these topics.  It’s been so rewarding to see students enjoy these podcasts so much that they recommend them to friends and family. 

            One reason that I am so passionate about multicultural education is that I am the daughter of Cuban refugees.  As such I am bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.  I work hard to help my son be proud of his heritage, yet I cannot accomplish this goal alone.  I need schools to honor and praise this heritage in order to meet this goal.  Through my involvement in WAEYC, I hope to offer ideas of things early childhood centers can do to foster this pride in our young diverse learners. 

Karen Kirshenbaum- Member at Large West

Training and Curriculum Specialist

Naval Base Kitsap Child and Youth Programs 

An experienced early childhood professional with strong early childhood education/background; adult educator with considerable program/staff management skills, experience teaching both adults and young children and creating new training programs for city, federal, college, and private child development centers/licensed family childcare homes; solid track record as a Professional Development Specialist for the CDA credential, a presenter at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Family Child Care (NAFCC) and local Association for the Education of Young Children conferences in Colorado and Europe, a NAEYC assessor, a NAFCC observer, past President of Pikes Peak Association for the Education of Young Children, Past President for the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children (CO AEYC), BA Elementary Education/Sociology 1975, MS Child Care Administration, 1987, Doctorate of Education, 2000

Teressa Lenear- Member at Large West

Co-Leader Teaching Umoja Participatory Action 

Goddard College 

Theressa Lenear began her journey in early childhood education as a Head Start parent in 1969 in Fairbanks, Alaska. In that time, she has worked with many young children in multiple settings in both Alaska and Washington state. Her current focus centers on teaching, mentoring and coaching those wishing to strengthen their skills in providing services and resources relevant to the diverse children and families in their communities. She earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degree in Human Development with a specialization in Bicultural Development from Pacific Oaks College Northwest. She is a faculty member at Goddard College in the Education BA/MA degree program and a part time instructor at Highline College in the education department.

Working in her community is a cultural expectation and a collective responsibility. Theressa co-leads the Teaching Umoja Participatory Action Research 15 Year Commitment with Dr. Sharon Cronin, examining ethnic identity, bicultural, cross-cultural and triliteracy development of children of color. This work has been a collaborative effort with diverse co-researchers from across the United States and the communities of Port Royal and Moore Town, Jamaica. As a member of the African American Childcare Task Force and the Culturally Relevant Anti-Bias Education, Theressa is actively engaged working with others on issues of equity and social justice. 

Her 6 grown children, 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren are her inspiration and keep her grounded in the work.  

Diana Stokes- Member at Large West

Professional Development Specialist

Department of Children, Youth, and Families 

Diana Stokes is a Professional Development Coordinator for the Department of Children, Youth and Families. As a member of the Professional Development team, her work focus is staff qualifications and standards alignment, as well curriculum development. She brings her educational background in ECE and field experience to her everyday work to support Washington’s early learning workforce. When not at work, Diana keeps busy through Scouts with her two boys and enjoys hiking and camping throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Rachel Franz - Membership Co-Chair


Tiny Trees Preschool 

Rachel Franz (she/her) is a fierce advocate for young children. A founding Director and teacher at Tiny Trees Preschool- the nation’s largest all-outdoor preschool, Rachel works to connect families, professionals, and children to nature and socially/emotionally healthy opportunities. Rachel has a deep history of national and local advocacy as a founding member of the NAEYC Young Professionals Advisory Council and a board member at the PNW Chapter of WAEYC and the Washington Nature Preschool Association. She earned her M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from Champlain College, focusing on nurturing preschoolers’ self-control in an ‘instant gratification society.’ Rachel is a certified HighScope trainer, Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach, and runs a consulting business, Twig & Thread Consulting, offering workshops on intentional outdoor learning, anti-bias education in public spaces, materialism in early education, and more.

Kim Thiede- Membership Co-Chair

Kindergarten Teacher

Discovery Primary School 

My name is Kim Thiede. I have lived in Tacoma Washington for 15 years with my husband and three daughters. I have both worked in the early childhood field and have been a member of NAEYC for almost 10 years. I currently hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and I am pursuing a Masters of Education in Social-Emotional Learning at The University of Washington, Tacoma. Since pursuing teaching in the early 2000s I have taught young children in a variety of settings including private preschool, publicly funded preschool, literacy centers, first grade, and currently kindergarten. In that time I have experienced the vast disparities in these educational settings. I believe this experience may offer a diverse perspective.

I started serving on the board for the Peirce County Chapter of WAEYC in 2013 as a Member-at-large. Since then I have served as a chapter-representative, VP of Public Policy, and currently serving as President. I have also served for one year on the WAEYC governing board as a member-at-large and Membership Chairperson. During my time with WAEYC and Pierce County Chapter, I have enjoyed working on projects such as the  As a Teacher Grows Conference, the Teaching Equity Conference, Power to the Profession, and other small professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals in our communities. I am passionate about providing high-quality and culturally responsive professional development for all members of our community. 

It brings me great joy to work on these projects; however, the most rewarding aspects of my service has been spent building relationships with the incredible network of early childhood professionals in Washington state while out in the community. I very much enjoy spending time engaging with people throughout the ECE profession and hearing their stories. I would like to commit my time with WAEYC to building membership and community that fosters equity, accessibility, and advocacy for young children, their families, and the professionals that serve them. I feel that the mission and values of WAEYC strongly align with my own values as an educator and community member therefore I believe  I would make a strong addition to the WAEYC  membership team. 

Nancy Spurgeon- Secretary 


Self Employed and Wenatchee Valley College

I have worked in the Field of Early Childhood Education (ECE) since 1978. I returned to the Wenatchee Valley in 2009 when I became the Director of ECE at Wenatchee Valley College.

My geographic location provides a prospective that I believe is needed on the WAEYC board. North Central Washington is over ten thousand square miles and it population is sparse. The largest cities are Wenatchee, Omak, and Moses Lake.

I have attended at least six NAEYC Annual Conferences, four NAEYC Professional Development Institutes, and numerous WAEYC conferences. I was one of the founders of the annual Snohomish County Rejuvenate conference. I have served as a local affiliate president, treasure, membership chair, Snohomish County AEYC representative to WAEYC, WAEYC Member at Large and for the past three years the WAEYC secretary. I am very involved with the NCW Regional Coalition and am the Regional Advisory to the Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) to Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). I have been involved with advocacy work throughout my career and have testified for Early Learning in Olympia several times. Although I have recently retired from my fulltime position at WVC I continue to stay involved in Early Learning through training, consulting and advocacy work.