Online Trainers

Berni Howe, M.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Berni received a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s in Child Development from University of Nebraska Lincoln. She has worked in early childhood since 2002 in a variety of roles including teacher (birth-5), before and after school care provider, child care center director, enrichment program coordinator and in her current role as a trainer and technical assistance specialist. Berni is also active with early childhood organizations in the state, serving on the Executive Board of the Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children. Her professional interests include inclusive early childhood education and project-based learning.

Bray Jermark, B.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Bray has worked in the early childhood field for 15 years. She received her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University. Her experiences include being a teacher of children birth to 5, director of an early learning program, family child care provider, and Head Start classroom teacher. 

Chelsea Schulte, M.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Chelsea has been working in the field of early childhood education since 2012. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University and is licensed through the State of Kansas in Early Childhood Unified, birth through kindergarten. She has experience working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. Most recently, Chelsea worked as an early childhood special education teacher serving young children with special needs in a district setting. Further, Chelsea is active in her state as an advocate for promoting quality early childhood programs by serving on the Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children Board of Directors.

Jamie Jellison, B.S.

Curriculum Development and Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Jamie has worked in early childhood education for 18 years.  Her career has consisted of teaching children birth through school age, adjunct early childhood instructor for Butler Community College, early childhood online course developer, and assistant director.  Jamie has a bachelor's degree in Individualized Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Leadership from Charter Oak State College.

Ruddy Benavides, M.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Ruddy received a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies & Human Services and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages/Spanish, both from Kansas State University. She went on to complete her Master of Science in Child, Youth & Family Studies from the University of Nebraska. Additionally, she has a Grant Writing Certificate from Fort Hays State University. Ruddy started her career with K-State Research & Extension, working with the 4-H Youth Development State Office in developing culturally relevant programming for staff and volunteers in extension across the state. She has a variety of experiences in informal education, after-school programming, adult learning, and parent education/support. Born and raised in a rural town in western Kansas to immigrant parents, Ruddy grew up as a dual-language learner, becoming fluent in both English and Spanish. 

Sherron Field, B.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Sherron has worked in the early childhood field for twenty years. She began her career in 1999 as a family child care provider.  In 2011, she joined Child Care Aware of Kansas; during her time with the agency she worked as an Infant-Toddler Specialist, KQRIS coach, Regional Coordinator and most recently as an L2Q Community Consultant.  She has an AAS in Early Childhood Education from Cloud County Community College and a Bachelors in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University.  

Star Robinson, B.I.S.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Star has worked in the Early Childhood field since 1997. She has worked in all program types with infants through school age as well as a Center Director and an Administrator. She also worked as an Infant/Toddler Specialist with Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas for about 5 years including the KQRIS program in Douglas County. Most recently she worked for KDHE in Child Care Licensing as a Regional Administrator.  She has an A.A. in Early Childhood Education and a B.I.S. in Child Care Administration. 

Tara Glanton, M.A.

Training & Technical Assistance Specialist

Tara has worked in the early childhood field in various roles for about 12 years.  Such roles included early childhood teacher ages 3-5, community resource para educator USD497, Positive Behavior Support Coach/Trainer/Coordinator, Assistant and Executive Director of a community based non-profit child care center, and adjunct for Highland Community College.

Vicki Sutton, M.S.

Program Coordinator

Vicki has worked in the early childhood field for approximately 20 years.  She has experience in army and civilian programs that include home and center-based care with roles that include direct care, training, technical assistance, administration and research.  In addition to teaching and course development for KCCTO, she currently conducts Pre-K educational research for Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute; an adjunct faculty in early childhood for Southwestern College; and holds an Accreditation Council Member position with the National Association of Family Child Care. Vicki completed a Master’s of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specialized in Early Childhood Education from New Mexico State University.

Alissa Huibsch, B.S.

Alissa has been in the early childhood field since 2004, where she began exploring her passion for educating young children at Kansas State University.  Alissa has held a variety of positions within early childhood education to include a classroom Teacher, Education Coordinator, and Assistant Director.  Further, Alissa has worked in a variety of community based facilities in which some focused primarily on special needs.  

Amy Lawson, B.A.

Amy has a bachelor's degree in Human Development & Family Life, specializing in Early Childhood Education, from the University of Kansas.  Amy has worked in the field of early childhood education for approximately 25 years as a Pre-K teacher, school director, and trainer; primarily in university or hospital employer-sponsored schools.  Amy also has experience as director of a non-profit resource and referral agency, providing funding, training and support to family child care providers, and most recently as a child care licensing investigator for abuse and neglect for the state of Texas.  Amy is currently the director of a church-based school serving 250 children in Dallas, Texas.  She is passionate about health, safety, and risk management; as well as providing high quality early childhood education.

Amy Palmer, M.S.

Amy started her career in early childhood 15 years ago and has held a variety of positions, including classroom teacher, trainer, education specialist, administrator, advocate, social services worker, coach and mentor. She received a master’s degree in Child Development from Erikson Institute in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Human Development and Family Studies. 

Gayle Davis, M.S.

Gayle completed her Bachelor's and Master's of Science degrees in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University.  She has taught in multiple nationally accredited child care centers and has experience working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.  Gayle has worked with a variety of professionals within the field to provide care and education to the children in her classrooms.

Linda Logan, B.S.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University, Linda's career in early childhood has spanned over 30 years.  Among her many experiences with young children and their families, she has worked as a child care center director, preschool and kindergarten teacher, Head Start Education Coordinator, and provided local, statewide and national professional development to early childhood professionals.  In her work with KCCTO, she has developed several of the courses offered both online and face to face and is currently the KCCTO Program Coordinator.

Matt Connell, M.S.

Matt Connell started his early childhood career nearly 10 years ago and moved to Western Kansas as an Early Childhood/Special Education teacher.  He holds a Bachelors of Science in Childhood/Special Education from Keuka College (New York State) and a Masters of Science in Unified Early Childhood/Special Education from Emporia State University. He serves as the Governors Appointed Chair to the Kansas ICC and an Adjunct Faculty Member of Early Childhood Education at Barton Community College. Throughout his career, he has provided professional development to early childhood professionals, special education and general education staff at dozens of school districts in and around the State of Kansas.

In-Person Trainers

Amy Boyd

Bourbon County
amy.d.boyd@gmail.com

Chuckie Hessong

Crawford County
chuckiehessong@ksu.edu

Dawn Flores, B.S.

Crawford County
dawnmflores75@gmail.com

Kari Cronister

Crawford County
kcronister@pittstate.edu

Lana Messner

Douglas County
Tallgrass.Consulting@gmail.com

Laney Roths

Ellis County
laneydroths@gmail.com

Kari Mau

Geary County
kari_berrie@yahoo.com

Yvonne Davis

Geary County
yvonnedjones2@gmail.com

Shana Schmidt

Harvey County
shana.schmidtlpc@gmail.com

Aspen Robb

Johnson County
arobb@childrenslighthouse.com

Nili Luo

Sedgwick & Cowley Counties
cctqian@yahoo.com

Brenda Hawkins

Douglas County
brenda.hawkins@hotmail.com

Jenette Turpin

Finney County
jenetteturpin@gmail.com

Bradford Wiles

Riley County
bwiles@k-state.edu

Megan Sauer

Sedgwick County
msauer@usd226.com