Carolyn Parkes

Who We Are

As a non-profit society, the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by its member base, with terms lasting for one to three years. The board oversees the day-to-day operations of AECEA and its strategic direction, working in collaboration with staff members and community stakeholders to strengthen and support the early learning child care workforce in Alberta. Board members have a responsibility to foster the continued growth and development of the early learning and child care workforce, complete with a competent system of high-quality early learning and child care for its members. 

The Board of Directors typically recruits new board members on a yearly basis. A call for nominations is made prior to its Annual General Meeting in September. AECEA seeks to balance the geographic representation on its board and solicit specific professional skill sets in potential nominees based on current organizational needs.

Board members must be voting members of AECEA, have the ability to think at a systems level, work collaboratively, have a desire to strengthen and support the broader early learning and child care community, and have the time to devote to a working board. AECEA provides board members with an opportunity to network with other professionals and gain experience and knowledge in areas such as leadership, finance, policy development, and board development.

Our Staff

Mary-Frances Smith (she/her)
Executive Director

Laura Pratt (she/her)
Program Coordinator

Ayan Ali (she/her)
Administrative Assistant

Chloe Burrows (she/her)
Administrative Assistant

Special Advisors

Nicki Dublenko

Tami Magnes

Our Board of Directors

 Amanda Rosset

Amanda Rosset


Read Amanda's Bio

Amanda has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for almost 20 years in preschools, school age and mixed age early learning programs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education with certification in Special Needs and Infant Toddler. In the Northwest region, Amanda oversees contracts for three prevention and early intervention programs that advocates for high quality, inclusive care in the early years for the betterment of children and families throughout the region. Amanda is also a distance instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College and is a member of the Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus. She forms her own practice around advocating for all children to have the right to equitable learning opportunities that promote the unique value and dignity of families we encounter; something which she believes must be embedded within the practice of early childhood educators. 

Carolyn Parkes

Carolyn Parkes


Read Carolyn's Bio

Carolyn has worked and volunteered in the field of early learning and child care for over 20 years and graduated with a Master of Education in Early Learning from the University of Alberta in 2012. Carolyn teaches in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies program at MacEwan University and is a member of MacEwan's Flight Research Team. Before working at MacEwan, Carolyn held a senior leadership position for Roots of Empathy, a non-profit organization offering socially innovative and award-winning programs for children. Carolyn's previous board experience comes from being actively involved in the child care program her children attended. She was Board President for three years and stayed on as a community board member after her two children had outgrown the centre. 

Tami Vick

Tami Vick


Read Tami's Bio

Tami has been working in the Early Learning and Childcare field for over 23 years. She has worked as a classroom educator, an Assistant Director, and a nanny and is currently the Executive Director at Inglewood Child Development Centre for the last 4 and a half years. She graduated from Mount Royal College with her diploma in ECE and has continued in lifelong learning by taking various courses, training and webinars to keep up with new research and development in the ELCC field, including the Alberta FLIGHT curriculum framework. 

She enjoys spending her time away from work with her dog going for walks and training and spending time with family and friends.

Stephanie Short

Stephanie Short


Read Stephanie's Bio

Stephanie is a dedicated professional with a strong commitment to the field of early childhood education. She completed her Early Childhood Education Diploma in British Columbia, where she specialized in Infants and Toddlers as well as Special Needs. Her commitment to enhancing her expertise led her to pursue additional certifications, including Preparatory Sign Language, Brain Story, and FLIGHT Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework through MacEwan University.

Currently, Stephanie is eagerly awaiting approval to pursue her Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education Degree at Capilano University in the upcoming fall. Over the past few years, she has demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to supporting educators and enhancing their skills, knowledge, and capacity when working with children and their families. Stephanie is a strong advocate for high-quality care for children and is actively engaged in shaping what this standard looks like, particularly when working on the front lines of early childhood educators.

Marilyn Armstrong

Marilyn Armstrong


Read Marilyn's Bio

Marilyn has over thirty years’ experience working in Early Learning and Childcare and Early Intervention to support the belonging of all children and families.   She has a diploma in Early Childhood Education and a degree in Human Services Administration.  For the past eight years, Marilyn has been managing the ASaP Project, an innovative adult capacity building approach from the GRIT Program.  ASaP provides professional learning and coaching to Early Childhood Educators to ensure high quality inclusive environments that enhance the well-being of educators, children and their families.  Marilyn has had the pleasure of collaborating with Early Learning and Childcare programs across the province and has presented at conferences locally and across Canada.  In her spare time, Marilyn likes to spend time with her family, read, paint, and play outside!

Shirley Rempel

Shirley Rempel


Read Shirley's Bio

Shirley has been a frontline early childhood educator for almost 24 years, having worked in child care centres both in Alberta and Manitoba. Shirley has her Level 3 Early Childhood Education certification. For the last almost 13 years, she has run an approved family day home in Southern Alberta. She is honoured to work alongside families on a daily basis and loves the benefits found in mixed-age group child care. She has worked with all ages of children, in infant/toddler programs all the way to school age. This is her first year on the board of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta but has been an active member for a few years. She has taught a number of workshops to Family Day Home Educators throughout the years, and recently completed the FLIGHT Training through MacEwan University and the Self Reg for Early Childhood Development Certificate Program through The MEHRIT Centre, and is now a Shanker Method Champion. Shirley has also been a Wonder Led Guide for the Wonder League Certification Cohorts through Fairy Dust Teaching for the last two years, having finished the certification in 2020 herself.

Annalise Yuzda

Annalise Yuzda


Read Annalise's Bio

Annalise has been in the field of early learning and care for 34 years. She has been fortunate enough to work in Child Care at the YMCA of Northern Alberta for 32 years and is currently the Vice President of Child Care. Her role includes overseeing the operations of over 50 child care programs in Edmonton and area, Grande Prairie, and Fort McMurray.

Most of her work has been dedicated to advocating for children, families and educators for a system of early learning and care that is affordable, accessible, high quality, and inclusive.

She is currently a member of the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care, the Steering Committee for Child Care Now Alberta, member of the Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies Academic Advisory Council at MacEwan University and a member of the Early Learning & Child Care Program Advisory Committee at NorQuest College. She is excited to work collaboratively with the other Board Members at AECEA to enhance and support the ECE workforce.

Letitia Gole

Letitia Gole


Read Letitia's bio

Letitia has worked in Early Learning and Child Care for 17 years, the past 8 of which she has spent as the Executive Director of BGC Olds and Area. Letitia holds a diploma in Early Learning and Child Care, post diploma in Health and Human Services Management and is currently pursuing a Degree in Human Services Administration. Letitia firmly believes that the key to providing high quality childcare is creating a skilled and diversified workforce and ensuring that the mental health and wellbeing of Educators is taken care of so that they can provide the best quality of care. Outside of work Letitia has two littles of her own, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and walking their chocolate lab Lucy.  

Tamara Ford

Tamara Wood


Read Tamara's Bio

Tamara has been working in Early Childhood Education for 20 years. She has worked as a classroom educator, an Educational Assistant, an owner/operator of a child care centre and is currently the Program Director at Thornhill Child Care - VIK Academy for the last 4 years. She has completed the Alberta FLIGHT curriculum framework and is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education with the University of New Brunswick. 

She has 3 grown children and a grandson and loves spending all her extra time with her husband and family enjoying the outdoors.

Previous Board Members

AECEA is grateful to the scores of board members who served the association over the years. These people have added so much value to the association through their many many hours of volunteer time and their invaluable expertise. Their contributions are valued and celebrated as their legacy lives on.

Andria McCrae

Angela Pottier

Anya Dodd

Aparna Mahay

Brenda Jones

Brenda Sauve

Carol Langner

Carol Sullivan

Cheryl Joynt

Chris Eckenswiller

Christie Scarlett

Christina Pickles

Dana Soare

Darrell Giraldeau

Dawn Eagles

Deb Mytruk

Debi Pagee

Deirdre Leighton

Diane McKean

Donna Morrison

Dorothy Commandeur

Elizabeth Simmons

Enola Nygren

Gail Moulder

Gillian Richards

Heidi Flaman

Jennifer Grant

Jennifer Usher

Jessica Chiu

Joanne Baxter

Joanne Keilty

Jolene Des Roches

Judy Smith

Judy White

Karen Sanderson

Karla Green

Kim Gravel

Kim Meyer-Lucas

Krissa O’Reilly

Kyla Semotiuk

Lesley Cressman

Line Marie Perron

Loralie Latour

Louise Booker

Louise Sheppard

Lynsey Anderson

Manna Middleton

Margaret Golberg

Maria Valenti

Marietta Stephen

Marilyn Boivert

Marlene Alcon Kepka

Mary Stewart

Maryann Farebrother

Micheal Leong-Machieise

Nicki Dublenko

Noreen Murphy

Paige Valgardson

Parminder Delhon

Patricia MacDonald

Paxton Bruce

Penny Deeter

Rosetta Sanders

Sandra Friesen-Peters

Sharon Ness

Sherrill Brown

Sherry Chichenko

Sherry Fowler

Staci Brown

Stella Robb

Stephanie Fisher-Dortman

Sunita Khandelwal

Susan Elson

Susan Garrow-Oliver

Tanya Szarko

Toni LaChance

Traudi Kelm

Wendy Hansen

Whitney Stevens