Board of Directors 

WSA Board Members

Photo of Rekah Strong- President of WSA Board

Rekah Strong

President Elect

Educational Opportunities for Children and Families

Vancouver, WA

End of Term: Dec. 22

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Rekah joins EOCF from United Way of the Columbia-Willamette where she served on the executive leadership team as the Chief of Operations and Equity Officer. At United Way, her primary responsibility was the management of internal operations including Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Technology. Under her purview United Way was recognized for building an inclusive culture.

She previously served as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Clark County where she worked across multiple government sectors developing inclusion strategies for county administration. Prior to working with Clark County, Rekah spent over a decade working for the State of Oregon to improve outcomes for children and families in Oregon’s child welfare system. More recently, she was reappointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve as a Clark College Trustee and actively advocate for education. Rekah comes to EOCF after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Work Research.

Sarah Brady

Community Representative

 Child Care Resources

End of Term: Feb 2021

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Dominique Alex

Vice President

Community Representative

End of Term: Dec. 22

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I am a native Seattleite with strong African America, Native American, Latina and Polish roots. My husband and I have 4 children ages 6, 11, 14 and 15 and spend most of our time enjoying each other’s company; cooking together, engaging in sports, playing board games, dancing and traveling to nearby cities to explore. I attended the University of Washington for my undergrad work majoring in multicultural History, and later earned my master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. I have worked in several capacities in the early childhood field including teaching, advocating, coaching, training, mentoring and operating varying early childhood programs in the greater Seattle area.

As a child, I always wanted to work with children. I helped in the small nursery at church, tutored throughout high school and college and advocated for social justice rights with my parents and family at local events. Having a father that ran a drug and alcohol recovery program and a mother who ran the King County Detox center, led me to live a life with love and compassion towards people in every station of life even if you were the underdog. I believe that when you are in a position to help others, you do. Leading by example with love has always been at the core of my existence. One of my favorite quotes that I will leave with you is: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Michelle Murphy

Head Start Staff

Lower Columbia Community College

End of Term: 

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Kevin Rutherford

Past President

ESD 113

End of Term: Feb. 22

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I’m a twin from a military family. I moved to Washington 28 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, VA. I’ve been married for 25 years. My two sons, both in their 30’s, went through Head Start.

My wife and I have been raising my great-niece and nephew since they were 2 and 3, and now they’re 6 and 8.

I’m a retired bricklayer. I used to be a race car driver and have been a horseback rider all my life. .

I’m passionate about WSA fighting for kids their parents and guardians and kinship care also helping teachers and staff get better pay.

Connie Mueller

HS Director

Kitsap Community Resources

End of Term: Oct 2021

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Connie has been working in the field of human services for over 20 years as a volunteer and as staff. Her career has been devoted to at-risk families and children from newborn to teens. In 1989, she co-founded the Bainbridge Island Teen Center for youth that needed a safe, supervised and drug-free place to hang out, do homework or get a hot meal.

Connie was the Director of Bainbridge Youth Services for 12 years prior to coming to Kitsap Community Resources as Operations Manager for Head Start/Early Head Start/Early Childhood Education Assistance Program (ECEAP) in 2002. In 2004, she became the Director of the Early Learning and Family Services Division encompassing Head Start/Early Head Start/ECEAP, WIC, The Parenting Place (parenting support classes), Food Services/Meals on Wheels, and Kitsap Youth in Action, an out-of-school program for at-risk youth grades 7 to 12.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services Management, an AAS in Social and Human Services, certified in Human Services Management from the University Of Washington School Of Social Work, and 2009 graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program. Past President of the Washington State Association.

Nicole Ethridge

ECEAP Parent

Rural Resources

End of Term: Dec. 22

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Danielle Rasmussen

ECEAP Director

Catholic Charities Central Washington

End of Term: Feb 2022

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Jessica Heavner

EHS Parent

Children’s Home Society

End of Term: Feb. 22

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Belinda Laju

Head Start Parent

Tacoma Community College

End of Term: Feb. 22

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Kathryn Sharpe

At Large Parent

Arlington Apple ECEAP

End of Term: Feb. 23

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Ellen Lund

EHS Staff

Mid-Columbia Children’s Council

End of Term: Feb 2022

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Elle Taylor

ECEAP Staff

Rural Resources

End of Term: Feb. 21

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Latisha Conley

Staff At-Large

Frank Hewins Early Learning Center

End of Term: Dec. 22

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Sheryl Fryberg

AI/AN Representative

Tulalip Tribes

End of Term: Dec. 22

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Sheryl Fryberg is the Director for Betty J Taylor Early Learning Academy. The Academy provides care for Birth to five with 104 at birth to three and 170 at Preschool.

Sheryl Loves spending time with family doing cultural activities such as canoeing, singing, and ceremony. Sheryl has 24 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren if which 9 live next door.

Sheryl has worked with Tulalip Tribes most of her life and plans on retiring from this work at the Academy.

WSA Staff

Joel Ryan

Executive Director

WSA Head Start and ECEAP

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Joel is the Executive Director of the Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP (WSA).  Joel’s is committed to making sure all children live up to their fullest potential. He is also passionate about ensuring that parents have a voice in policy making and key tables. He’s most proud of his work advocating for Head Start and ECEAP funding and improving the child care subsidy system so that it’s easier to access and more affordable for parents. Previously, Joel was the government affairs director at the National Head Start Association and spent a year teaching in a Head Start classroom as an AmeriCorps member. His reading of Cat in the Hat is still famous and he received loud cheers from 3 and 4 year olds in attendance. Joel is married and has a 13 year old that is a lot of fun and energetic. Because his daughter is doing school at home Joel is serving as a school custodian, librarian, and cafeteria worker. His daughter would also like to remind everyone that he cannot make raviolis correctly as he overcooks them and they fall apart. When he’s not working he’s typically outside running, playing basketball, coaching, or watching his beloved Boston sports teams (yes you can boo!). He’s also proud to serve on his daughter’s middle school PTSA, the Family Treatment Court of King County, and the Governor’s Serve Washington Commission. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University and a law degree from American University.

Katy Warren

Deputy Director

WSA Head Start and ECEAP

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I grew up in Wenatchee (with lots of summer time in Chelan) and upon graduation, chose the college that accepted me that was geographically farthest from Central WA, even though my family is awesome. Needed a little breather. Imagine growing up where your father is the local judge and your family has lived there since 1910. Yeah, not a lot of privacy.

After college I worked in DC for 4 years as legislative assistant and Press Secretary for Rep. Sid Morrison, (R, Zillah) and then went travelling off to central and South America for a while. I have worked as a cafeteria dishwasher, a public engagement consultant, an insurance adjuster assistant, a database developer for a weatherization program, a part-time interpreter, a waitress in a pancake house, a census taker, a focus group facilitator, an English as a Second Language teacher in Vietnam, a bookkeeper back when we wrote things on ledgers, a title company clerk, and a Spanish drill instructor. I love to travel and have been to 34 countries and have lived in Mexico, Spain and Vietnam. Now I try to make the world a better place for children and families by hassling elected officials and bureaucrats. I write children’s books for my niece Eliza, who is also the person upon whom I experiment with all the CLASS instructional support strategies I learn while walking through trainings.

April Messenger

WSA Parent Ambassadors Staff

 

 

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Scarlett To

Program Associate

WSA Head Start and ECEAP

 

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