Who We Are
Whatcom Center for Early Learning offers a comprehensive, educated, and experienced staff.
2001 H Street - Bellingham, Washington - 98225
E-mail: email@example.com - Phone: (360)-671-3660
- Executive Director – Mark Moder
- Outreach & Development Director – Erin Malone
- Billing & Office Coordinator - Heidi Sechrengost
- Director of Early Intervention - Ann-Marie Sather
- Occupational Therapists – Patty Bunge, Emily Sabelhaus
- Speech-Language Pathologists - Kristin Clements, Jennifer Kurtz, Bryn Burge, Jessica Parrish
- Physical Therapists – Alis Tortorelli, Bridget Boylan
- Early Education Specialists – Erin O’Moore, Christine Wasserman, Amelia Bacon
- Family Resources Coordinators – Rebecca Den Beste, Julia Renner, Coco Breen, Amelia Bacon, Iris Dunaway
- Classroom Teachers – Sue Wu, Helena Hiltner
- Classroom Assistants – Yolanda Calderon, Monica Wallace
Click here to read about our history.
Meet the Staff
"I love all the amazing, high quality people I get a chance to work with at WCEL."
Mark brings over 30 years of non-profit experience to his position, and began as the Executive Director of WCEL in April of 2017. When not leading the organization, Mark loves to hike and is a passionate Gonzaga basketball fan.
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"I enjoy watching young children learn and explore what is around them."
Ann-Marie has worked at the Whatcom Center for Early Learning since October of 2010. She has a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and Development from Western Washington University and prior experience as a home educator and case manager.
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"I enjoy creating partnerships in our amazing community and educating those who don't know about Early Intervention."
Erin has been with WCEL since 2012, serving as both Office Manager and Program Manager before stepping into Outreach & Development. She graduated from Fairhaven College in 2005 and has worked with a variety of non profit organizations for over 20 years. When not presenting to the public or writing grants, she can be found digging in the garden, dancing to live music or road tripping with her family.
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"I am at WCEL for the people, the sense of camraderie, the opportunity to learn new things while hearing the joy of the children as we work - what's not to like??"
Heidi was born and raised in Anacortes, Washington, and has made Bellingham her home since 2005. She brings over 30 years of experience working in medical offices, and became the biller at WCEL in the winter of 2017.
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"I look forward to learning, laughing, and playing with the families."
Coco moved to Bellingham in 2008, attending Western Washington University to obtain her Human Services degree, focusing on holistic and healthy development. During Coco's time as a student, she worked as a intern in a variety of capacities at an orphanage in Argentina, with Child Protective Services as well as Head Start here in Bellingham.
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"I get excited about meeting a wide range of families and walking alongside through their experience of early intervention."
Julia joined in the fall of 2013 after working as a Housing Case Manager at the Opportunity Council. She moved to Bellingham from Germany in 2010, previously earning degrees in Social Work and Family Therapy in Berlin. She has spent many years working in families' homes.
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"I enjoy helping families learn how to advocate for themselves and for their children while feeling empowered at the same time."
Rebecca has been at Whatcom Center for Early learning since November of 2013. She graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Human Services and has since worked in the social services and early childhood field as a Head Start teacher and childcare provider.
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"I love the quality of care invested by Whatcom Center staff and the fact that my family has personally benefited from early intervention services."
Amelia has worked in and around Whatcom county for over 30 years, and joined the WCEL team in spring of 2017. She brings the wisdom and experience of both an early childhood educator as well as the mother of a special needs child. Amelia also enjoys knitting, riding her bicycle and going on road trips.
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"I'm excited to help families in our community feel empowered and supported as they navigate the unique experience of early intervention."
Iris joined the WCEL team in September of 2017 after many years as a beloved preschool teacher in Bellingham. It was through this work that she discovered a passion advocating for children and supporting parents. Iris is a graduate of WWU and, when not at work, is usually busy with her family (including a son with special needs) making art, playing games and spending time in nature.
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"I love getting such a unique view into the lives of families with children with special needs. I also enjoy working closely with a cohesive, skilled team of professionals."
Alis became a part of Whatcom Center for Early Learning in the fall of 2012. She has a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Mayo School of Health Sciences.
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"The best part about working here getting to work with such a wonderful group of people."
Bridget joined the group in November of 2014. Before working at Whatcom Center for Early Learning, Bridget worked with children for over fifteen years in a variety of settings.
"I consider it an honor to collaborate with parents and caregivers to help support, promote, and enhance their child's development during these most formative years."
Emily moved from Colorado in 2011, working at Seattle Children's Hospital in the inpatient rehabilitation and pediatric cancer care services wings, and often hearing parents share very positive feedback about their experiences at WCEL. She is looking forward to impacting the lives of kids and families in their natural environment, far away from the confines of the clinical setting. In her free time Emily enjoys being outside as much as possible and most of all loves exploring the great PNW on her mountain bike.
"It is a privilege and honor to work with such a great team, providing a wonderful service to families."
Erin joined the team in September of 2010. Erin has more than thirty years experience working in the field with infants and toddlers as a caregiver. She has worked with children in a variety of programs and settings, which has allowed her to gain a broad, diverse skills set.
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"Early intervention has always been a passion of mine. I especially enjoy working with families to support their early learners."
Before joining WCEL in August of 2016, Christine attended Western Washington University and graduated in Early Childhood Special Education in 1998.She has experience teaching and working with children in different school aged settings in Washington, New York and New Jersey.
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"I absolutely love spending time with a child and his or her family in their home to get the entire picture of each family's dynamics."
Bryn became part of Whatcom Center for Early Learning in August of 2015. She received a B.A. in Speech and hearing Sciences from Washington State University and then an M.S. in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands. Bryn has 15 years of experience as a pediatric SLP and has been doing home visits for early intervention for the past 12 years.
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"My favorite part of working at the Whatcom Center for Early Learning is getting to know the families and working with a wide variety of special needs."
Jennifer joined Whatcom Center for Early Learning in 1989 straight after graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of the Arts in Speech Pathology/Audiology and a Master of the Arts in Speech Pathology. She has a Cerfiticate of Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.
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"The dynamic process of working with children and their families is what motivates me."
Kristin joined Whatcom Center for Early learning in 2005 to participate in the Sensational Toddlers program with her son. After attending graduate school, she came back to officially become a part of the team in 2011. Kristin has worked as a private clinician at Connections SLP and brings with both her experience and energy.
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"I am excited about the relationships I get to build with families as we journey together to build brighter futures for their children and themselves."
Jessica joined our team in 2017 after several years working at another outstanding EI center in the Seattle area. She originally received her SLP degree from WWU and, after trying clinic-based work, has found a particular passion for early intervention.
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"We have a great staff team, and dedicated families. I am jazzed that families are a vital part of the team."
Patty began in July 2015 at Whatcom Center for Early Learning. She has twenty years of experience practicing as an Occupational Therapist. She has worked in a variety of settings: in an intensive care unit, a hospital, a private clinic, home care, and long term pediatric care.
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"I am excited when children are able to do something new, something that once seemed insurmountable. I always believe that we have no idea how much children are capable of, with the right support."
Sue has been working at Whatcom Center for Early Learning since 2009. She began her teaching career as an early childhood special education teacher. Since moving to Whatcom County in the 90's, she found a love for working with infants and toddlers and their caregivers. She brings with her experience, both as a parent and adult educator, and a teacher of young children.
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"One of my most memorable moments at WCEL is when one of the children grasped my hand and tugged me to play with him, with no words, my heart skipped a beat."
Yolanda started with Whatcom Center for Early Learning in the summer of 2015. She works as an assistant teacher at the Whatcom Center for Early Learning. She has a love of early childhood education and finds it very self-enriching.
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"I especially love watching little ones blossom into being all they can be on their own special timelines."
Monica began at the Center in 2011, working in classes both at the Big Blue House as well as weekly Toddler Time classes in Ferndale. She took some time away and recently returned to WCEL in 2017. Monica has a genuine love of play and of working with the challenges that special needs kids and their families face. She is raising two boys who came into her home as foster/adopt special needs kids.