The Douglas County Early Childhood Council Executive Committee is a dedicated team of experts representing various local Douglas County organizations serving families with young children, prenatal to age 8.  This group meets monthly to provide oversight for the implementation of DCECC’s strategic plan and makes recommendations concerning policies and procedures.

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Download our 2022 Annual Report

Diane Smith

Director, Douglas County Early Childhood Council
Diane has been an educator for over 40 years.  She has served as a teacher, principal, principal supervisor and professional developer.  She brings extensive leadership skills and a deep commitment to improving education for children.  One of her favorite quotes, and one in which she deeply believes comes from Christa McAuliffe, “I touch the future, I teach.”  She knows that our efforts to support early childhood education will have a long lasting impact on our future.

Melissa Ingalls

2020-2022 DCECC Chair
Family Support Manager, Douglas Department of Human Services
Melissa works for the Douglas County Department of Human Services and currently Manages the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), Child Support Services and Program Integrity for the County. She has worked in human services for over 25 years and has seen many changes while some things have never changed. She has a BS and MPA from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a Colorado native, living in Douglas County for 20+ years. She and her husband are enjoying life as new empty-nesters having seen there forth child off to college.

Deborah Baumann

School Readiness Coordinator and Assessment Specialist, Douglas County School District
Deborah Baumann has worked in the Early Childhood field for twenty-eight years. She received her B.A. in Distributed Studies: Psychology and Special Education and her M. A. in Early Childhood Education at the University of Colorado. Deborah is passionate about her work with families and young children and is presently working to support and increase quality Early Childhood Education for young children in Douglas County.

Kristi Hepting

Social Worker, Douglas County School District
Kristi Hepting has been a school social worker with the Early Childhood Department of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) for the past 12 years. Her responsibilities include supporting families through the Child Find process and explaining the DCSD integrated preschool program. She supports preschool teams and families with community resources when they need them and advocates for change on behalf of families with young children. Kristi is passionate about her involvement with the Douglas County Early Childhood Council so she can expand her work in the Douglas County community. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

Patricia Bolton

Director, Child Care Innovations at Red Rocks Community College
Executive Director, Triad Early Childhood Council

Patricia Bolton has worked in the early care and education field for more than 20 years. She is currently Director of Child Care Innovations at Red Rocks Community College. In this capacity, she manages programs that include a variety of early childhood education training and support initiatives, child care subsidies for families in crisis, and child care licensing. Patricia is also Executive Director of the Triad Early Childhood Council, a three-county partnership of public and private stakeholders working to increase quality, access, and quality of early childhood services across the domains of early learning, health, mental health, and family support. She is an ordained minister and former registered nurse. Her extensive work in the early care and education field has included operation of a licensed family childcare home, serving as president of state and local family childcare associations, as well as involvement on local, state, and national task forces, advisory committees, and boards. Patricia has also worked as a Childcare Resource and Referral Counselor and Early Childhood Education (ECE) adjunct faculty for Red Rocks Community College, and has been a workshop presenter locally and nationally.

Ray Verlinde

Regional Director for Premier Early Childhood Education Partners
Ray is currently Regional Director for Premier Early Childhood Education Partners LLC and is responsible for overseeing the operations of HighPointe Academy in Castle Rock, Colorado as well as assisting the development team at Premier in growing their presence in the Colorado market. Previously Ray was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of HPECCA Inc. HPECCA owned and operated a a Christian childcare center in Castle Rock, Colorado. In addition, Ray was the Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for ProBuild Holdings, Inc., a building supply distribution company, for 8 years. Ray has also held a number of executive management positions in the risk management, audit and compliance areas for financial services companies including Fidelity Investments, US Bank, Bank One, and Vail Banks, Inc. Ray started his career with KPMG in auditing and consulting for 7 years. Ray is a CPA and has a Bachelors Degree magna cum laude in Business Administration majoring in Accounting at Wayne State University and a MBA from the Fisher School of Business at The Ohio State University where he graduated 2nd in his class. Ray has been married to Laura Lee for 35 years and they have two sons. Ray is an avid Ironman triathlon participant and ultra-runner over the past several years and grandfather of four boys.

Mary Lanni

Youth Literacy Outreach Specialist
Mary Lanni is the Youth Literacy Outreach Specialist at Douglas County Libraries. She has worked in youth literacy in libraries and museums since 2011 and co-authored a book in 2019 entitled Early Learning Through Play: Library Programming for Diverse Communities.

Hanna Glenn

Parent Representative
Hanna Glenn is a native of Denver, Colorado.  She received her B.A. in both English and History at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and an M.A. in English from the University of Colorado.  After “retiring” from her management role with a Boulder tech firm upon the birth of her first child, Hanna has happily embraced her choice role as a stay-at-home parent, volunteer, and philanthropist.  With two young children at home, Hanna’s attention is primarily focused on the Douglas County youth and how, as a community, we can strengthen our programs and resources.  She is grateful to be a part of the vibrant DCECC team and dedicated to making a positive difference for local families and children.

Wendy Doudrick

Early Childhood Coordinator, Douglas County School District
Wendy has been in the field of Early Childhood for over 20 years. In her current role as an Early Childhood Coordinator, her responsibilities include supporting students, staff and families with high-quality preschool programming. Wendy is passionate about early childhood education and has spent her career advocating for the profession. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with family doing anything outdoors.

Annie Deutschmann

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Team Lead, LCSW
Annie has worked for Allhealth Network as an early childhood mental health consultant for several years. In her role, she visits early learning centers in Arapahoe and Douglas Counties providing observation, consultation and education to staff and families. Annie also participates in community partner events and council meetings.

Nikki Brooker

CEO and Founder YANAM2M
Nikki Brooker grew up in a small town in Michigan and now resides in Colorado with her husband and three amazing kids. She is an educator, has a couple of college degrees, is a professional photographer, an author and is the creator of a non-profit organization called YANAM2M (You Are Not Alone – Mom-2-Mom). YANAM2M’s mission is to ensure EVERY mom feels safe, accepted and valued. Moms need to know that THEY ARE ENOUGH! This very special non-profit starts new moms off on their mama journey with tools, support, and to let them know that they are not alone. YANAM2M makes it a priority to support and uplift moms who are struggling with their mama journey but also ensure that EVERY mom is supported even when they don’t know they need it.