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Council Members

The College of Early Childhood Educators is governed by a 24-member Council. The Council comprises 14 members elected by members of the College and 10 members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council. The Council develops and approves policies regulating early childhood educators in Ontario.

 

Elected Council Members

Publicly Appointed Council Members

Council Chair: Kristine Parsons RECE

Vice Chair: Laura Urso RECE

Aliya Amin RECE

Katherine Begley RECE

Julie Cyr RECE

Kim Cole RECE

Lindsey Dann RECE

Millicent (Millie) Forbes RECE

Mark Francisco RECE

Yalin Gorica RECE

Ela Smith RECE

Stacee Stevenson RECE

Richard Stronach RECE

Teresa Sulowski RECE

Geneviève Breton

Mary Broga

Adesua Ezeokafor

Richard Filion

Shernett Martin

Elected Council Members

District 1 – North and North East Region

Lindsey Dann RECE, RC

Lindsey holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education, a certificate in Leadership in Early Childhood Education, and a certificate in resource consulting. She’s worked in the profession for nine years, including her role as Childcare Supervisor and Faculty Advisor for ECE students. She has also served as Chair of the Thunder Bay and District Supervisors Network. Lindsey is currently a Childcare Site Supervisor and member of the Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee for Confederation College.

Laura Urso RECE: Vice Chair

Laura is a proud Early Childhood Educator with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Sociology. She has 34 years of experience in the early years’ sector. Laura has worked with children and families in child care, family resource, inclusion, and special education, and in leadership roles in program management and coordinated community planning.

For the last 15 years, Laura has held the position of Coordinator of Quality and Early Years Programs in the City of Greater Sudbury’s Children Services Section. Her current responsibilities include leading the quality improvement program, overseeing the EarlyON Centres and the inclusion program, coordinating the efforts of the community planning network and supporting the early years sector with opportunities for reflection and professional learning. Laura is a committee member of the ECE Program Advisory Committee, Cambrian College.

District 2 – East Region

Julie Cyr RECE

Julie is currently Manager of Early Learning at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She has worked with children and families in various settings for more than 30 years. She has held positions in early learning and care such as a Director of child care, an integration adviser supporting registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and families for the inclusion of children with special needs and a variety of roles working in both French School boards in Ottawa. Julie has served as a representative at many community tables and associations such as the AECEO, the Regroupement des services à l’enfance, the Comité aviseur, La Cité Collégiale, and currently on the Child Care and Early Years System Planning Advisory Group for the City of Ottawa. Her passion for early learning and care continues to drive her work to ensure children and their loved ones have access to caring, diverse, equitable early learning environments.

District 3 – South East Region

Richard Stronach RECE

Richard is a professor in the Early Childhood Education program at St. Lawrence College. Richard holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Sheridan College, B.A. in psychology from Brock University and a Master of Adult Education degree from St. Francis Xavier University. Throughout his 27-year career, Richard has taken on a variety of roles in early childhood education that include working as supply staff, classroom lead, centre supervisor and as an education consultant supporting ECEs working with children and families. Richard has previous experience working with the College, having served as a non-Council member on the Complaints Committee for three years before being elected to Council in 2021.

District 4 – Central East Region

Millicent (Millie) Forbes RECE

Millie is a Quality and Contract Compliance Advisor with the Regional Municipality of Durham, Children’s Services Division. There, she conducts quality assurance inspections, provides training to early learning teams, collaborates with community partners and leads sessions in various Communities of Practice.

Millie holds diplomas in Infant and Early Childhood Education from Mothercraft Canada and Early Childhood Education from Humber College. She earned an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood from the University of Guelph-Humber. In 2010, Millie obtained a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Management from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

With more than 35 years of experience in early learning, Millie started her career as a supply teacher for the Nursery Support Services and later served as an educator, assistant director and director with the YMCA of Greater Toronto and as a Supervisor with the Region of Durham Children’s Services Division.

As a Quality Advisor, she believes in and offers a collaborative and supportive approach to child care and early learning professionals. Millie strongly believes that early childhood educators are essential contributors to healthy societies. She currently serves as a committee member of the Durham Region Child Care Forum PET Committee in support of the development of Communities of Practice specifically with addressing Anti-Black Racism, and as a committee member of Best Start Durham, supporting the Early Years community in Durham.

Stacee Stevenson RECE

Stacee’s current role is Supervisor of Extended Day Programs at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. She graduated from the Child and Youth Worker program at Centennial College and holds a diploma with high honours in Early Childhood Education from Seneca College. Stacee has been in the early learning field for more than 20 years both as an educator and in leadership roles. She started her career with the YMCA as an educator where she, in collaboration with her team, implemented an innovative curriculum to leverage the importance of play-based learning. Stacee’s passion is working with children who have exceptionalities. Her goal is to help Early Childhood Educators see the benefits of mindful planning, reflection and seeking learning opportunities to support their work with children and families.

District 5 – Toronto Region

Aliya Amin RECE

Aliya is a Program Support ECE at Victoria Village Children’s Services, where she implements programs to foster a welcoming and stimulating environment to meet the unique needs of children.

Aliya holds a Certificate in Early Education Leadership from Harvard University, an ECE diploma from Centennial College and a Bachelor of Arts from York University. She brings her educational background and knowledge in policy to her ECE practice and when collaborating to develop age-appropriate, inclusive materials for children.

Aliya is a Canadian-born Guyanese woman of Muslim faith, who brings her identity to her work as she advocates for equal opportunities for marginalized communities and accessible and inclusive learning environments for children of all abilities.

Katherine (Katie) Begley RECE

Katherine (Katie) Begley RECE holds a Master’s of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Guelph-Humber. She has been a sessional instructor for more than 10 years at the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College in Early Childhood programs. She also taught at Seneca College and Durham College.

Katie’s research and academic career has made her a passionate advocate for practical solutions to reduce child poverty. Currently, she is incorporating lessons about food insecurity into the early childhood curriculum to prepare students with knowledge and strategies to help children and families.

Katie brings to council a wealth of knowledge, awareness and perspective about early learning across the GTA, including insight into the circumstances current RECEs and new graduates face.

Mark Francisco RECE, RSSW

Mark Francisco has been an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) since 1999. He holds an Early Childhood Education Diploma and a Social Service Worker Diploma from Seneca College. He was newly elected as a council member of the College of Early Childhood Educators as of June 2022.

In addition to working as an ECE at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Mark is also a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Mark’s interests include fostering children’s healthy development and well-being through physical activity.

He believes in challenging himself to develop his personal and professional goals through his passion for learning. As a newly elected member of Council, Mark is looking forward to making a positive impact in the sector.

District 6 – Central West Region

Kristine Parsons RECE: Council Chair

Kristine holds both a diploma in Early Childhood Education and a human resource certificate. She started her career as an early childhood educator, 31 years ago, at RisingOaks Early Learning (formerly Owl Child Care Services of Ontario) and is now the Director of Operations. She has served as a Canadian Delegate at the World Forum on Early Care and Education. Kristine is an active member in the child care community as she participates in several Waterloo Region child care initiatives, and is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association.

Dr. Yalin Gorica RECE, EdD

Yalin is a full-time faculty member in the School of Education, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan College. Yalin holds several credentials, including a diploma in ECE from Algonquin College, a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies from Carleton University, a Master’s in Education from the University of Ottawa and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Calgary.

Throughout her career, Yalin has held various positions in the early years and educational sectors that include working in childcare to support the holistic development of young children and teaching College ECE programs. An advocate of inquiry-based experiential learning, she initiates and implements international collaborations among institutions and ECE professionals to enable explorations of early years pedagogy and curriculum in different countries. As an active member in the community, Yalin volunteered and served as a school council member and worked with Peel Children and Youth Initiatives Research and Evaluation Committee. She is currently a member of Special Education Advisory Committee representing the Association for Bright Children of Ontario at Halton District School Board.

From 2018 to 2020, Yalin served as a non-Council committee member on the Registration Appeals Committee before being elected to Council in 2020.

District 7 – Hamilton/Niagara Region

Kim Cole RECE

Kim is the Executive Director of A Child’s World Family Child Care Services of Niagara. Throughout her career, she has supported early childhood educators, children and families in different leadership roles such as program coordinator, administrator, supervisor, mentor and board member. Kim was a mentor in the College’s first Leadership Pilot. She is highly involved in the early years community and believes in learning each and every day from others. Kim currently serves as Chair of the Early Childhood Community Development Centre, Vice-Chair of the Port Colborne/Wainfleet Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of Quality Child Care Niagara, and Past Chair of Child Care Sector.

District 8 – South West Region

Ela Smith RECE, MSW, RSW

Ela’s spirit name is Gee waniway eekwe (Whirling wind woman). She is bear clan displaced through colonization. Ela holds an Early Childhood Education Diploma, a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study. She demonstrates her passion for equity and anti-racist practice through her work as a full-time faculty member in the School of Community Studies at Fanshawe College and as sessional faculty with the University of Toronto in the Indigenous Trauma and Resilience MSW program.

Much of her career has focused on working in mental health and advocacy, including roles as the Executive Director at White Owl Native Ancestry, Program Director at Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centers, as well as an Indigenous Curriculum Development Specialist. Ela works from a wholistic trauma-informed pedagogical perspective that works to empower people to critically reflect on how their practice impacts the world. She currently serves as Chair of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Board of Governors, influencing change for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children and families within child welfare, and as a board member of the Grand River Hospital Foundation.

Teresa Sulowski RECE

Teresa is currently the Supervisor of Children’s Services with St. Thomas-Elgin. With over 30 years of experience working with children, she has also worked for the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario and the London District Catholic School Board. She also teaches part time in the Early Childhood Education programs at both Fanshawe College and Conestoga College.
Teresa holds diplomas in Early Childhood Education and Human Resource Management from Fanshawe College. She earned a degree in English from Western University and also has her Bachelor of Adult Education from Brock University. Most recently she completed her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Adult Education from Athabasca University. She is very passionate about supporting children and families in accessing quality child care, and is an advisory committee member of STRIVE.

 

Publicly Appointed Council Members

Geneviève (Gen) Breton – Ottawa

Fluently bilingual, Geneviève is a public affairs and communications strategist with years of proven visionary leadership in the private business sector, Parliament and the Government of Canada. This trilogy of experience, skills and depth of knowledge help her bring a “big picture” perspective on the intertwined complexities of the Canadian political and socio-economic landscape. In 2017, Geneviève rolled out a highly-successful marketing and media relations campaign for the re-opening of the Canada Science and Technology Museum and led the corporate branding of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. Geneviève is Chief, Corporate Communications of the Cement Association of Canada.

Mary Broga Ph.D., C.Psych. – Windsor

Mary is a registered clinical psychologist who has practiced in the field of child and youth mental health for over 30 years, both as a clinician and as an administrator. Mary earned her doctorate degree from Western University. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Windsor in the Psychology Department. She is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the Canadian and American Psychological Associations, the Ontario Psychological Association for which she served as President for two years, and the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis – Ontario Division for which she also served as President for two terms. Mary received the Elizabeth Manson Award for community service in children’s mental health from SickKids in 2007 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She is in private practice and sits on the Boards of the Windsor Family Health Team and the Hospice for Life Foundation.

Adesua Ezeokafor CFA, CPA, MBA – Oakville

Adesua is the Director of Finance at Noetic Foundry, an operating company building psychedelic biotechnology startups, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.

Before this role, she was the Associate Director of Canadian Financial Operations at Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Hamilton, Ontario. Prior to this she led the Finance & Performance Analysis team at Phillips 66 Canada, a multibillion-dollar energy corporation.

Adesua also led the Phillips 66 Canada women’s network. There, she led a campaign to raise awareness for dozens of kidnapped girls in remote Nigerian villages.

Adesua is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She obtained her MBA from the University of Houston, Texas, and her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Benin.

Richard Filion – Sturgeon Falls

Richard Filion was appointed to the Council of the College of Early Childhood Educators as of March 2022. He has served as a municipal councillor from 1999-2004 in West Nipissing and has held roles including Deputy Mayor, Chair of Planning Board, Sturgeon Falls Hydro Board member, Environment Committee member, and Municipal Representative to the Nipissing Health Unit.

He has previously served as a member of the Convocation of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a member of the Council of the Ontario College of Teachers. For 18 years, Richard served as an elected member of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons and served a term as President.

Richard practiced dentistry for 42 years in Sudbury, Ontario and has since retired.

Shernett Martin – Vaughan

Shernett Martin is an award-winning, experienced equity and inclusion consultant, speaker, workshop developer and facilitator. She has taught elementary school, high school and at the college level. Shernett is the recipient of the Women Who Lead Award, The National Council for Canadian Muslims’ Human Rights Award, the Canada 150 Community Service Award and the African-Canadian Achievement Award for Community Service. Shernett was also featured in the publication 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada. As well, she has written two university courses on equity and inclusion and has trained employees and volunteers in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Shernett is an advocate and community volunteer with several organizations. She has authored published articles on student learning, achievement and poverty in the classroom alongside a children’s book. Shernett continues to follow her passion of working on behalf of marginalized communities. She currently serves as Executive Director, ANCHOR – African-Canadian Coalition against Hate, Oppression & Racism (formerly Vaughan African Canadian Association).