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. ​​

​​Ele​cted Council ​​Members

​Publicly Appointed Council Members 

Laura Urso RECE​

Lori Huston RECE

Julie Cyr RECE

Gillian Jackson, RECE​

Stacey Lepine, RECE​

Kim White, RECE

Karen Guthrie, RECE

Nancy Roscoe, RECE

Richard (Dick) Winters, RECE

Cynthia Jefferson RECE​

Kristine Parsons RECE

Susan (Darlene) Edgar, RECE: President

Karen Kennedy, RECE​

Teresa Sulowski, RECE

​Ann Robichaud-Gagné (bilingual)

Christine Forsyth (bilingual)

François Bertrand ​

​Karen Damley CA, CPA

Larry O’Connor

Nerene V​​​irgin​

Rosemary Fontaine ​​


​Elected Council ​​Members

District 1 – North and North East Region

​Laura Urso RECE

Laura Urso holds both an Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology. She has been involved in the ECE sector for the past 30 years, 12 of which she spent working with a northern municipality in Ontario. Laura currently works as a Program Coordinator for children’s services for the City of Greater Sudbury, where she leads the quality improvement program, Early ON Centre transformation, community partnerships, early years planning and professional learning. Laura has previously served as a Non-Council member of the Standards of Practice and Registration Committees.

Lori Huston RECE

Lori Huston brings 20 years of experience in the early childhood education (ECE) sector. She has been involved in post-secondary ECE curriculum teaching and writing, community capacity building and policy work. Lori started her career coordinating programs in children's services in Northwestern Ontario. Since 2009, she has been working in Aboriginal ECE post-secondary education, coordinating and developing training programs for students from remote northern communities. Her current responsibilities include program delivery, evaluation and accreditation and policy and standards development. Lori is also a certified family support worker with a diploma in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services. From 2014-2017, Lori was a steering committee member for the Now Play Project, which builds community capacity.  


District 2 – East Region

​​​Julie Cyr RECE

Julie Cyr is an Early years administrator at the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) in Ottawa. During her 27 year career in the early childhood education sector, Julie had the opportunity to work with children and parents in various settings. Julie spent five years as an integration adviser supporting registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and families for the inclusion of special needs children. She also worked as an educator before taking on the role of director at an Ottawa child care centre. Julie went on to work for the Ontario Early Years Centres as interim director and community liaison. Since the beginning of her career, she has been serving as a representative on many community tables and associations such as the Regroupement des services à l'enfance the Best Start planning tables at the Directors' table and the Table de planification francophone, as well as Best start tables in the County of Renfrew, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Dist​rict 3 – South East Region​

Gillian Jackson, RECE

For more than 25 years, Gillian Jackson has brought her energy and experience to the fields of early childhood education and community development. Gillian currently works with KidsInclusive - Kingston Health Sciences Centre, supporting the implementation of Coordinated Service Planning and the new Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Worker program. Starting in 2008, Gillian worked for Developmental Services of Leeds and Grenville, where she focused on supporting children and youth with special needs and their families, in licensed child care, in school, and in the community. Previously, Gillian coordinated the Better Beginnings school readiness and parenting programs for the Kingston Community Health Centres, and led community outreach for Global Child Care Services in Ottawa and the Ontario Early Years ​Centre in Leeds & Grenville. She graduated with honours from her early childhood education program, and holds a master's degree in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University and a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa.  She worked at the Early Learning Centre lab school and taught part-time in the Early Childhood Education program at Algonquin College for nine years.  She was one of the mentors for RECEs through the College's Leadership Pilot Project from 2013-2014. Gillian is a former board member of the AECEO's Ottawa Valley branch. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Brockville and Area Community Foundation.​ 


District 4 – Central East Region

Stacey Lepine, RECE

St​acey is the Vice President of the College and sits on the Registration Committee and Complaints Committee and previously sat on the Standards of Practice committee. Stacey is the manager of the Early Years and Poverty Strategy Departments at the Durham District School Board in Whitby, ON., previous to that, she was the General Manager of Child, Youth and Family Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto.  She has served on advisory committees for Durham College and Seneca College. Stacey has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She has provided leadership to diverse early years settings including licensed child care centres, Ontario Early Years Centres, full day kindergarten and school-based child care environments. Stacey has also held positions in philanthropy, volunteer development, recreation and community development.  Stacey is currently taking executive leadership courses at the Schulich School of Business, she is a lifelong learner who stays up-to-date with new opportunities in the sector.​​​

Kim White, RECE

Biography coming soon.


District 5 – Toronto Region

​​Karen Guthrie, RECE

Karen is a Children’s Services Consultant with the City of Toronto. She has worked for more than 30 years as an early childhood educator in urban and rural communities, in child care ce​ntres and home child care. She has also served in supervisory and administrative roles in non-profit agencies and for the government.

Nancy Roscoe, RECE

Nancy is in her second year as an elected member of the College Council. She has worked in the early learning and child care field for over 30 years, working as a frontline educator and centre supervisor. She has also been a Program Manager with the City of Toronto, Children's Services for the past 16 years. In her current position Nancy manages a number of City owned and operated centres and is the lead for curriculum and program development, IT system development and employee training and professional learning.​​

Richard (Dick) Winters, RECE

Dick has served as a member of the College's Council for the last eight years. He has served on the following committees: Standards of Practice, Nominations, Registration, Executive, and the new​ Finance and Audit Committee since its start in 2016. He is a retired early childhood educator, having worked with City of Toronto Children's Services in a variety of roles for 30 years. Dick continues to contribute to the profession through his work with the College of Early Childhood Education and the Special Education Advisory Committee for the Toronto District School Board.

District 6 – Central West Region

Cynthia J​efferson RECE

Cyndy Jefferson is the General Manager of Child Care services at the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo, where she oversees 14 licensed Child Care locations and 22 licensed Youth Development programs. She started her career at the organization as a supervisor and subsequently took on the role of Director of Child Care Operations before moving to her current position in 2007, where she also provides training on Child Protection & Safety Awareness. Cyndy has played a key role in the implementation of the YMCA Playing to Learn & YMCA A Place To Connect curriculum and continues to support educators in their continuous learning. Since 2005, Cyndy has been a member of the Children's Planning Table of Waterloo. For the past four years, she has also chaired the Early Years Advisor Committee (EYAC), a forum involving community stakeholders that support the implementation and ongoing operation of early years' programs within the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) schools. She is also the former chair of the Child Care Network of Waterloo Region (CCNWR). 

Kristine Parsons RECE

Kristine Parsons started her career as an early childhood educator at the Owl Child Care Services of Ontario. She holds both a diploma in early childhood education and a human resource certificate. Kristine spent nine years as a supervisor before transitioning to the role of director of operations. Kristine is also a part-time faculty member in the Child Development Practitioner (Apprenticeship) program at Conestoga College. She is the former chair of the Child Care Network of Waterloo Region and former co-chair for the Continuing the Momentum mentoring pairs program. Kristine currently sits on the Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centre Planning Committee and the Children's Planning Table for the Waterloo Region Community Services. 

District 7 – Hamilton/Niagara Region​

Susan (Darlene) Edgar, RECE: President

Darlene is currently the Director of Children's Services with Niagara Region. She is responsible for the systems management of child care and related services in Niagara. Darlene previously worked at and managed child care centres, home child cares and Ontario Early Years Centres. Additionally, she was employed at the Early Childhood Community Development Centre (ECCDC) as the Community Coordinator, working with Boards of Directors and staff and also taught Continuing Education at Niagara College in various courses in Supervisor Administration and Leadership. At the June 2017 Council meeting, Darlene was elected as President. She has also served on the Registration Appeals and Complaints Committees.

District 8 – South West Region

Karen Kennedy, RECE 

Karen Kennedy has over 20 years of experience working with children and families. She started her career as a teacher's assistant while attending night school to complete her diploma in Early Childhood Education at St. Clair College. Since 2003, Karen has been instrumental in developing and delivering family resource programs with the Ontario Early Years and, now, EarlyON Child and Family Centres (CFCs). She is a certified family educator, home child care educator and resource teacher. Karen also served on the College's Registration Committee for two years as a non-Council committee member. Karen currently works as an Early Years Educator with the EarlyON Child and Family Centre in Chatham-Kent. She is also completing her Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber.   ​

Teresa Sulowski, RECE

Teresa Sulowski is an educator and a community leader from southwestern Ontario. Teresa spent 13 years as a regional manager for the YMCA of Western Ontario before joining the London Catholic District School Board as an early years' specialist. With a degree in Adult Education and a diploma in Early Childhood Education, Teresa has been involved in curriculum development and taught at Fanshawe College. She recently served on the board of directors for Childreach, a non-profit organization in London, Ontario, that supports children and parents. Teresa is currently the Supervisor of Children's Services for the City of St. Thomas. She is also finishing her master's degree in Integrated Studies at Athabasca University. ​​


Publicly Appointed Council Members 

Ann Robichaud-Gagné (bilingual)


Ann Robichaud-Gagné, now retired, worked as an elementary school teacher and a curriculum co-ordinator for 38 years. She taught Junior Kindergarten (for 13 years) up to Grade 8 in French and English. As a curriculum co-ordinator, she designed and presented over 100 continuous teacher training sessions in literacy, numeracy and Kindergarten for the French school board and the Ministry of Education. She also wrote a curriculum for three-year-old preschoolers with supporting documents for early childhood educators, administrators, teachers and parents.

Petits pas à trois is now being used in more than 15 classrooms and is a big success among students and parents. Convinced of the merits of a quality education in early childhood and that every child can succeed to the best of his or her capacity, Ann supports leadership in learning communities. This commitment led her to teach the Kindergarten course on a part-time basis at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. During her career, Ann developed her competence in communication skills, leadership and team building. She brings to the Council of the College of Early Childhood Educators enthusiasm, professional knowledge and expertise of early childhood education. 


Christine Forsyth (bilingual)


Christine Forsyth served as Chair of the Transitional Council, appointed by the Minister of Children & Youth Services, to establish the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE). Christine has worked in the area of professional self-regulation for more than 20 years. She was a member of the Executive, Discipline, Quality Assurance and Registration Appeals committees of the College of Nurses of Ontario for five years. Christine was also the Chair of the Transitional Council that established the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has served on the CECE Executive and Registration Appeals Committees and currently serves on the CECE Standards of Practice Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Registration Committee.

Over a 40-year career, Christine has held senior public policy, regulatory, governance, executive and strategic leadership positions in the public, not-for-profit and private business sectors in Canada and internationally. Christine provides leadership services and strategic policy, planning and development advice to a wide range of public and private sector clients and for many years has been an instructor in the professional programs at the University of Toronto and at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

François Bertrand 


François was hired by the public school board of Prescott-Russell as a financial controller in September 1981. He continued to work in the financial field for 31 years, 17 of which as the business superintendent and treasurer of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. During his professional career, François has participated in several working committees for the Ministry of Education and for various associations. He continues to be involved in the implementation of early childhood services for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario since his retirement in March 2013.


Karen Damley CA, CPA


Karen Damley is Principal of Damley & Associates, a strategy and business consulting firm. She previously worked as an executive in various global financial services organizations based in North America. Ms. Damley is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. Her community involvement includes serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Centennial Infant & Child Center and a mentor for The Mentoring Partnership - a TRIEC Program. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Toronto.

Larry O’Connor


Larry O'Connor is a retired resident of the Haliburton Highlands and a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Larry is the volunteer Host of a monthly Indigenous radio program on Canoe FM 100.9 called "Tales from the Big Canoe". He has also sat on the Network's Aboriginal Sub Committee in Durham Region and a public member of the Haliburton-Kawartha Children Services Network, early learning sub-committee. Larry is a former mayor of the Township of Brock, a long serving member of Durham Regional Council and served as an MPP for the riding of Durham-York in the Ontario Legislature. He has volunteered as a board member for Sunderland Child Care and as an In-School Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. 


​Nerene Virgin​


Nerene Virgin is a journalist, performer, educator and television host. She began her career as an elementary teacher. Nerene attended Brock University, earning certification as a Special Education Teacher, then piloted programs for the intellectually gifted. In 1980, she began work in educational television as “Jodie” on TV Ontario’s award-winning show Today’s Special that aired across Canada, the United States and internationally. In 1988, she joined CBC Ottawa’s news program Newsday as the Community/Weather Reporter. She then launched Eye On Toronto on CTV. Nerene rejoined CBC in 1996, moving to Calgary to host Newsworld’s evening news and Coast To Coast. She returned to Toronto to launch the weekend National Saturday Report on CBC’s main network and Newsworld, then moved to CBC Newsworld International as the dayside anchor, broadcasting into some 20 million U.S. homes, including the Whitehouse. 

When Nerene left the​ CBC, she returned to Brock University to earn a Teaching English as a Second Language certification. She then travelled to Inner Mongolia with a contingent of ESL educators. She is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. In 2007, conscious of the need for diversity among politicians, Nerene ran in the Ontario Provincial Election. She is presently on the Board of Directors of Phoenix Place, a Hamilton second stage home for women and children impacted by domestic violence. She is a public speaker frequently called upon schools and organizations to share presentations on Black History and achievement. Nerene is currently working with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to weave relevant Black History through the curriculum. Nerene is appointed to the Hamilton Committee Against Racism and is authoring stories based on Canadian Black History. 

Rosemary Fontaine 


Rosemary is a retired elementary school teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She was active with the local Catholic Teachers Association and chaired the Metro Catholic Teachers Long Term Disability Board for two years.  She was elected to the Council of the OCT for two terms and was a member of the Executive, Discipline, Fitness to Practise and Human Resources Committees. Rosemary has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. She also has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto. A public member of Council since 2012, she has served on the Discipline, Fitness to Practise, and Registration Appeals Committees.  Currently Rosemary is a member of the Nominating and Complaints Committees. ​​