2018 Governing Board Candidates

Keri Krout-President Elect

Program Manager for Western Washington AS Child Development Center


Hello fellow educators! I have worked professionally with children and their families for 30 years. I began this journey by working closely with Bev Bos in Sacramento, CA. From Bev I learned the importance of early childhood education, and being absolutely committed to the work we do. I have been a Director of a nationally accredited preschool, I’ve been a co-owner of a child care center, I am a certified parent coach, and I currently work as the Program Manager of WWU’s AS Child Development Center. I also provide keynotes at conferences throughout the country, and workshops such as at NAEYC’s conferences in Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Support WAEYC’s vision:

I will strive to be an advocate for those who work professionally with children. A quality education should be available and affordable to all who want to make a positive difference in the lives of the children they work with. Quality programs are challenging to create and quite frankly keep financially afloat. While Washington State has developed programs such as Early Achievers that is dedicated to best practices, we need to continue the momentum and seek support from communities, elected state officials, and the national level. I would like to be a part of this effort!

Enhancing diversity:

Our diversity, and our personal stories of despair and triumph are who we are. I would like to encourage safe and accepting dialogues for all who work with children. Our perspectives, our stories enhance the work we do with children and their families. WWU’s AS Child Development Center is committed to inclusion, and we embrace diversity! We have begun participating in online learning with Dr. Kathy Obear from the Center for Transformational Change. Her work inspires me to be and do better.

Specific skills:

It took decades for me to earn my degrees. As a young working mother I would take a night class, nurse a baby, and repeat. Education has the power to elevate! My education opened professional doors for me, and allowed me to provide for my family’s needs. I am passionate about educational opportunities for all, and recognize the importance of having mentors to help show us the way. I have attended community political events in the effort to reach out to those who have the power to support the work we do. As a keynote speaker, I have traveled internationally training educators, and more importantly learning from them. I understand and support educational opportunities such as conferences, live podcasts, as well as gathering together to share what we know and what we want to know.

Brenda Boyd-Vice President

Associate Professor Human Development

Executive Director, WSU Children’s Center

I am humbly submitting my application for Vice-President of the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children. I do so out of a sincere desire to see the organization grow into its new status as a recent re-affiliate of the national organization. This reaffiliation with NAECY has allowed WAEYC to revision itself and consider how to meet the needs of its members. I would feel honored to be able to support the growth of the association in this pursuit. WAEYC is at an important stage in its development. The association is beginning to grow into its potential to be a voice for professionals in the state and I want to be a part of that process. I believe I am well-suited to fill this position because of the variety of roles I have played in the association. Below is a list of those roles:

  • Member at large
  • Co-Chair of the Advancing WAEYC’s Statewide Leadership steering committee
  • President
  • Selected to interview for member at large of National AEYC Governing Board
  • National Affiliate Council Representative
  • Conference Planning Committee Chair
  • Interim Vice-President
    • A NAEYC member for 30 years
    • Worked in ECE for more than 30 years (child care and preschool teacher, director, trainer, professor, researcher)
    • Degrees in ECE from Oregon State (B.S.) and Colorado State (M.S.) Universities and the University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
    • Served on the WAEYC board in a variety of capacities since 2007


During my presidency of WAEYC, I was involved in the work of the National Dialogue, the initiative to examine the mission and structure of NAEYC. I have been involved with the board as the results of the National Dialogue (the reorganization of affiliates and chapters) have come to fruition. I have experienced the results of these changes and remain excited about how these modifications can provide opportunities for growth of the association and its members. I am excited about continuing to support this work.


In addition to having served on the WAEYC governing board, I have other experiences that I feel qualify me to take on this important job in the organization. I have served as the co-president of The EC Teacher Prep Council of WA and continue to be involved in that organization. I also sit on my local school board in rural eastern Washington. Living and raising a family in a small town in eastern Washington has allowed me to bring the perspective of the east side of the state, which sometimes feels overlooked. I also serve on the Washington Early Childhood Education Workforce Council. I have worked for over 30 years in the field of early care and education as a provider, a director, an adult educator, a professor and researcher. In each of these roles I have worked for increased status, compensation and education for those working with our youngest learners. This continues to be the mantra that guides my professional life and one which I will bring to leadership in WAEYC. My work as a university professor allows me to bring the perspective of higher education as it applies to the preparation of our profession. Higher education as an entity represents an important partner for AEYC’s and I would like to see that linkage strengthened in Washington. Recently, I have become the executive director of our campus based child care facility in Pullman. Having oversight responsibility for a large child care facility has allowed me to remain rooted in the daily challenges of high quality early care and education. This experience provides me another point of view that will assist me in serving the AEYC members of Washington.



  • A NAEYC member for 30 years
  • Worked in ECE for more than 30 years (child care and preschool teacher, director, trainer, professor, researcher)
  • Degrees in ECE from Oregon State (B.S.) and Colorado State (M.S.) Universities and the University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
  • Served on the WAEYC board in a variety of capacities since 2007
  • Lives in rural eastern Washington and works in the department of Human Development at Washington State University. As a professor, teaches ECE coursework, serves as the lead faculty in the ECE program, and is the executive director of the WSU Children’s Center, a campus-based child care program licensed to serve 170 children of faculty, staff and parents.

Michael Browne-Member-at-Large

Marketing and Events Coordinator, Hilltop Educator Institute

The state of membership organizations, service clubs, formal committees etc. is on a sharp and steady decline. Once considered the backbone of community life in America, is now a tangible loss to the community. In an effort to stop the organizational bleed of voices, perspectives and members, I bring a marketing mind, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an equity lens to the governing board of the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAYEC) to help WAEYC reinvent, rejuvenate and revitalize itself as it enters a pivotal moment in its lifecycle.

With experience working in the U.S., U.K., and Spain, I have a proven track record of making communities stronger, more interesting and more engaged. I am able to use my knowledge of

both English and Spanish to communicate, empathize, provoke and challenge norms and perspectives to ensure we add quality to the lives of our members and ultimately our youngest stakeholders - children. In my current position, I work as a Marketing Coordinator at a Preschool, focusing on professional development for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) community in Greater Seattle. My effort there has seen the professional development side of the preschool blossom in 16 short months. As part of this evolution, I have shifted the preschool's strategy from the occasional blog and one-off events, to a coordinated and integrated system which now offers a vast amount of resources several weeks before, during and after events as well as throughout the entire calendar year on various issues affecting ECE today.

In the day to day operations, I plan to build on what WAEYC does so well but over the course of my position as an elected official, I plan to position WAEYC as an organization that identifies, connects and cultivates the next generation of leaders across the state. By investing our time in creating an environment where people are intellectually stimulated, we will create an environment where people are willing to invest their time and money in, thus creating a vibrant and healthy organization for years to come!

As I continue to connect with various coalitions, think-tanks, city officials and youth advocates, I'll be able to tap into resources, bring innovative ideas, and use my marketing skills to help create a utopia where WAEYC vision, becomes a reality. Considering my professional experience in both ECE and non-ECE organizations, my dedication to advancing the issue of social justice in ECE, my knack for improving levels of engagement, and the countless other intangibles that has served me well in my current and previous roles, I'm led to believe that I would be an asset to WAYEC as a Member-at-Large West

Sharene Leek--Member-at-Large

Early Achievers Point of Contact/Adjunct Professor, Pierce College

A little about me: I worked in the Early Childhood field for 23 years, before moving into Higher Education where I have been the past 7 years. I hold an associate degree in ECE, a bachelor’s degree in ECE with an emphasis in administration, a master’s degree in Early Childhood with an emphasis in adult teaching, and am currently working on my doctorate degree. Professionally, I am the Point of Contact for the Early Achievers Grant at Pierce College, teach in the ECE department at Pierce College.  Additionally, I consult childcare programs going through Early Achievers, am a PD Specialist for CDA, have an early learning environments certificate which allows me to consult in that area, and am a MERIT trainer. I am honored to be nominated for a WAEYC board position. I have served on the Pierce County Chapter of WAEYC (formally PCAEYC) for the past 7 years and have found it extremely rewarding even though there is work involved and causes to advocate and support. Prior to my involvement in Pierce County, as a provider I would often attend my local king county affiliate conferences and the annual WAEYC conference. I am passionate about my Native heritage and support our languages being restored.  Additionally, Washington has been my family home for many generations and supporting the next generation through equity, diversity, and inclusion is something we all should strive for. 

Kim Thiede-Member-at-Large

My name is Kim Thiede, I am an early childhood educator currently teaching first grade in Fife Washington. I have lived in Tacoma Washington with my husband and three daughters for 13 years. This is my seventh year teaching in the early childhood field and 5th year serving with PCC of WAEYC. Continuing education is of great value to me and I have enjoyed working on professional development projects, such as, the As a Teacher Grows Conference in Pierce County. Having taught private and public preschool in Tacoma, and most recently kindergarten and first grade in Auburn and Fife school districts, I have a clear understanding of the challenges early childhood educators are facing today. I would like to take this opportunity to become better informed and more deeply involved in the community to help advocate for students, families, and early childhood professionals in their highest need areas.