Who We Are

The Alliance for Early Childhood Board of Directors


Our Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals committed to The Alliance’s mission and vision and is comprised of both At-Large Members and School Representatives.

The Alliance for Early Childhood 2018-2019 Executive Board Members and Staff.

The Alliance for Early Childhood 2018-2019 Executive Board Members and Staff.



Kate Anderson, Treasurer

Mary Kathryn Black

Allie Blackburn

Holly Bressler

Sydney Clark

Paige Dempsey

Laura Donkel

Shara Godiwalla, VP Evaluation

Paige Goettel, Enrichment Series & Roundtable

Stephanie Graves, Funds Manager

Kathy Hardy

Kathryn Martin

Gina Mathews

Tracey McDowell

Mari Pagone-Franklin, President

Sheila Proeve

Emily Rose, District 36 Liaison

Stacy Sunderland, Let’s Play! Chair

Emilee Wolfe, Vice President, Let’s Play Chair

Janelle Wood, Membership Chair

School representatives

A Joyful Noise Preschool, Tara Stafford        

All Things Bright & Beautiful, Lucas Cunningham

Christ Church Children’s Programs, Patty Lea

Crow Island School, Kristen Hagan

Family Action Network, Lara Scarborough, Communications

French School, Andrea Carolus & Ashlee Cummings

Greeley School, Alexandra Van Beek

Hubbard Woods School, Lyn Aleshire, Special Needs Roundtable   

Joseph Sears School, Liz MacIntosh

Middlefork School, Patricia Gainsberg, Secretary

Northfield Community Nursery School, Allison Gaetano

North Shore Country Day School, Mayja Pastrana

Sacred Heart School, Julianna Salvi

Saints Faith Hope and Charity School, Celia Sinclair

The Goddard School of Skokie, Mary Fratini & Arianna Lopez

Willow Wood Preschool, Amanda Kielman

Wilmette Community Nursery School, Emmy Fogarty

Winnetka Community Nursery School, Liz Kubiak

Winnetka-Northfield Public Library, Sheila Cody   

Winnetka Public Schools, Trisha Kocanda & Kelly Tess

Winnetka Public School Nursery, Katherine O’Connor


Additional Member Schools and Organizations board members

Baker Demonstration School, Denise Boswell and Carly Andrews

Chicago Botanic Garden Nature Preschool, Ann Halley

Family Service of Glencoe, Kathy Livingston and William Hansen

Glencoe Kindergarten Class, Shayna Plankar and Natalie Brown

Harkness House for Children, Patti Ruffin

Lincoln Park Zoo

NSSED, Kendra Wallace

Ravinia Nursery School, Kathy Olsen

Ronald Knox Montessori, Blythe Silva

Rose Hall Montessori, Stephanie Larson

St. Francis Xavier School, Colleen Barrett and Chris Zeman

St. Joseph’s School

Trinity Church Nursery School, Sue Gaertner


Member Schools and Organizations With Advisory Board Members

BackYard Nature Center, Daniel Kielson and Linn Carey

Counseling Center of the North Shore, Bob Sanfilippo

Glencoe Park District, Paul Goedjen

Glencoe Public Library, Ann Finstad

Glencoe School District #35, Dr. Catherine Wang

Josselyn Center for Mental Health, Mike Scholl

Kenilworth Park District, John Kiwala

Kenilworth School District #38, Dr. Crystal LeRoy

Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago, Stephanie Bynum

Music Institute of Chicago, Guinevere Grimstad

Northfield Park District, Jim Reuter

NSSRA, Dani Kern

Pathways.org, Melissa Eichstead Medellin and Sarah Kerndt

Sunset Ridge School District #29, Edward Stange

The Volunteer Center, Barb Tubekis

Wilmette Park District, Olga Miklasz

Wilmette Public Library, Andrea Vaughn Johnson

Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce, Julie Yusim

Winnetka Community House, Patti Schmidt Ruiz

Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce, Terry Dason    

Winnetka Park District, Toby Ross



Abby Adams, M.D.

Dr. Marcia Adelman

George Alexoff

Jennifer Arra

Cindy Brady

Mary Pat Collins

Dr. Mary Frances Greene

Mary Herzberg

Dr. Peg Hoskin

Joni Johnson

Mary Johnson

Anne Kelly

Maria Kurt

Michelle McKenna

Dr. Julie Pfeffer

Barbara Plochman

Diana Mendley Rauner

Cindy Ritchell

Merle Scharmann

Louis Weiss, Ph.D.


Dr. Donald Monroe


Dr. Thomas Hagerman, NY

Dr. Mary Herrmann, IL

Jane Holtz, CT

Char Howland, IN

Dr. Becky van der Bogert, FL

Dr. Linda Vieth, IL

Patty Washburn, WY


Julie Ann Carroll

Kelley Fead

Debbie Morton

Val Maniscalco

Linda Ball

Kristen Poggensee

Susan Gould

Susan Schmitt

Erika Kreisa

Cindy Brady

Tracey McDowell

Robin VanderMolen

Christie Baker

Amber Farashahi