Dean, Early Childhood Education and Training Programs
Diane M. Stewart, x3503
Diane Stewart is the Dean of Early Childhood Education, Teacher Training, Community Education and Non Credit Programs.
holds a Master’s degree in Human Development (covering Life Span) with a
specialization in Leadership in Education and she holds a Program
Director permit from
the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Her 32 years at COC began in
the Early Childhood Education department and the on-campus Children’s
Center. She has served as Master Teacher in the Children’s Center,
Faculty in the Department, Director of the Center
and currently Dean of the Division. Over the years, Diane’s
administrative roes have expanded to other areas of responsibility on
campus including Professional Development Programs for Faculty and
Administrators, Project Director for several state and federal
grants and most recently as Dean of Community and Non Credit Programs.
Early Childhood Education Department Chair
Renee Marshall , x3731
Renée Marshall is a full time faculty member of the Early Childhood Education department at College of the Canyons. She also serves as the Director of the TEACH program on campus. Renée has served as adjunct faculty in Education since 2004 and in ECE since 2007. Renée is the Project Director of the Career Technical Education Teacher Preparation Pipeline Grant and has been the TEACH Program Director since 2007. These grant funds assist students in exploring and preparing for careers in education. Renée has been a dynamic coordinator of the Future Educators Club for the past seven years, involving 80 to 100 students each year in professional growth activities on campus and in our community. Renée comes to the ECE department with a Masters in Education, and a Masters in Education Administration and Policy Studies. She has 10 years experience in preschool and elementary education and has been working with children and families for over 20 years. Renée teaches parenting classes for the City of Santa Clarita and has done so since 2008.
Renée is the Vice President of the Santa Clarita Education Foundation and is the past President of the Santa Clarita Valley Mothers of Twins Club.
Renée lives in Castaic with her husband Jeremy and their twins, Zach and Lily.
Cindy Stephens has spent over half of her life
dedicated to her passion of creating an educational system that honors and
supports children in their lifelong journey of learning. She is currently a full time faculty member
of the Early Childhood Education department at College of the Canyons. She has been a full time faculty since
2002. Previous to that, she was an
adjunct faculty in both the adult and children’s environment. She is grateful for all of the years she
spent in the early childhood environment as it has afforded her the ability to
share her experience and knowledge with her adult students.
In addition to her work in the ECE department at
COC, Cindy is the program director for Foster and Kinship Care Education, the
Coordinator for the Child Development Training Consortium, the division
representative on the Curriculum Committee, and has held various positions in Early
Childhood organizations over the many years she has dedicated herself to the
field of Early Childhood.
Cindy currently resides in the Santa Clarita
Valley with the love of her life. She
raised two wonderful children, Taylor and Trent and enjoys spending time with
the two wonderful adults they have become.
One of her favorite quotes is: “Children don’t
care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” - Unknown
Kristin Beeve is an adjunct
faculty member of the Early Childhood department at College of the
Canyons.; Kristin has been with the
department since Fall 2006. Prior to teaching at College of the Canyons,
Kristin worked as a Program Coordinator for Bright Horizons Family Solutions at
the Warner Bros. Studios Children’s Center for 9 years. Additionally, she has been employed as a Lead
Preschool Teacher for the Disney Children’s Center, as well as a Teacher’s
assistant for Glendale Community College Parent Education Program. Kristin has
been an active member of NAEYC and has assisted the programs she worked with to
achieve accreditation status. Kristin
has presented workshops for the CAEYC conferences and has also served as a Parent
Education workshop speaker for various programs funded through LAUP. Kristin
has a Master’s Degree in Child Development/Child Life from the University of
LaVerne. Kristin lives in La Canada with
her husband Greg and their two children, Emily and Matthew.
Sharon has worked with children and families for over 30 years. She specializes in teacher and staff training, curriculum planning, learning environments, behavior management, mentoring, and related areas. Her educational background is in early childhood education and educational psychology and she considers herself a lifelong learner. In addition to teaching at COC Sharon also consults and conducts teacher trainings throughout California. She also acts as coordinator for the California Early Childhood Mentor Program and belongs to several educational and community organizations.
Senta Greene celebrates a distinguished career of over 25 years in early care and education and a deep commitment to inspiring educators, school leaders, and policy makers to serve ALL children and their families with unparalleled aptitude, excellence, and dedication. Senta is passionate about supporting adult learners who seek to strengthen their awareness, understanding, and responsiveness about inclusive education, diversity, reflective practice, and high quality care for young children and their families. Senta is a frequent writer, speaker, advisor, and commentator- both nationally and internationally-on cultural humility, inclusive education, family-centered care and reflective practice. Senta has been recognized on the state, national and international levels with awards for excellence in teaching and service. As a thought leader in education, her work has stimulated innovative curriculum designs in early childhood classrooms and groundbreaking policy development and systems change in respecting cultural diversity, inclusive education, and family-centered practices. In the world of early care and education, she has served in the role of teacher, home visitor, preschool administrator, early intervention specialist, inclusion specialist, college instructor, consultant, and trainer.
Michael Mansfield is a part-time adjunct faculty member of the Early Childhood Education department at College of the Canyons. He also teaches English for the William S. Hart School District where he was recently voted 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for his high school. As an outspoken proponent of poetry and the arts on the high school level, he has organized the annual Day of the Artist and Poet Festival as well as published seven anthologies of high school student poetry for the past seven years. He has 10 years of experience in high school level education, specializing in "at risk" students. Michael comes to the ECE department with a Masters in Education. He was voted one of Santa Clarita's Top 40 Under 40 by the SCV Junior Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered for the YMCA for 17 years. Michael lives in Castaic with his wife Jeanine and his daughter Madeline.
Monica Marshall, x3556
Monica Marshall is the Director of Preschool Programs at
College of the Canyons, Center for Early Childhood Education lab school. She
originally began her journey as an early childhood educator at the Center in
1992 and was a certified California Mentor Teacher for 10 years, and is
currently a Mentor Director. Throughout her journey in early childhood
education Monica has nurtured children’s natural curiosity to explore, question
and problem solve to support children in becoming critical thinkers. Monica has
a passion for bridging environment, health, safety, nutrition, and curriculum in
both her role as a director and instructor in the Early Childhood Education
Department. She has been a member of the National Association for the Education
of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1990 and has served several positions on the Southern
California Valley board. Monica has a
B.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and is currently in the
M.A. program completing her degree in Human Development with a specialization in
Leadership in Education and sub-specializations in Administration and College
Gina Peterson has been a part of the ECE Department since 2012. Besides being an instructor, she is also a co-advisor for COC’s Future Educators Club and an advisor for the ASPIRE Program through LAUP. As an advocate for children and families, she has worked in the field of ECE for over 30 years as an afterschool counselor, preschool teacher and center director.
Professor Peterson has a MA degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in ECE from CSUN, a BS from the University of La Verne in Child Development and AA in Humanities from PCC. She also attended COC to complete some of her ECE coursework. Professor Peterson enjoys traveling and silly trivia, and is motivated by faith, family, friends and fitness. She believes that “All things are possible…so why not dream BIG!”
Wendy Ruiz, x3510
Wendy Ruiz is the
Infant/Toddler Director at College of the Canyons Center for Early
Childhood Education and an adjunct instructor for the ECE department.
Wendy has worked with children and families for over 20 years in both
the classroom setting as well as
in administration. Wendy sits on the board of the Southern California
Valley Association for the Education of Young Children as the WYOC
co-chair and has coordinated the Week of the Young Child Play Day for
the past five years. Wendy is a certified trainer
in PITC (Program for Infants, Toddlers and Caregivers). Wendy received
her B.A. in Child Development from Cal State University Northridge and
her M.S. in Child Development/Child Life from the University of La Verne.
Marli has been an Adjunct Instructor at COC since 2005 and she has been in the early childhood field for over 20 years. Marli currently works full time for a child care company called Bright Horizons Family Solutions and has been there for over 15 years. She has had various roles with Bright Horizons including: Assistant Director, Director, Senior Recruiter, and is currently a Regional Manager where she oversees 6 centers in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Ontario areas. Prior to working at Bright Horizons Marli worked in military child care programs where she was a Training and Curriculum Specialist and a Family Child Care Director. Marli has a BA in Child Development from California State University, Northridge and has taken various graduate level courses at Cal Lutheran and Pacific Oaks. Marli is very passionate about helping students by not only preparing them to work with children and families, but to also prepare them for a career as future professionals in the workplace.
Personally, Marli has lived in Santa Clarita for over 10 years, is married, and has a teenage daughter and teenage son who are both involved in sports. She enjoys working out, watching her children’s sports games, and spending a lot of time with her family and friends.
Lisa Marie Wilson is an adjunct faculty
member of the Early Childhood Education department at College of the Canyons. Lisa also teaches at Santa Monica City
College in the Early Childhood Education department. She also is the Program Director of a
preschool in Santa Monica and a professional development specialist for Race to
the Top Early Learning Challenge pilot in Los Angeles County. Lisa is
passionate about advocating for young children and her families therefore she
has been a chair for Child Care & Early Education Task Force as well as an
active member of Community Voices. Lisa has worked in the field of early childhood
education for 18 years. Lisa comes to
the ECE department with a Master’s in Education with an emphasis Multicultural
Curriculum and Instruction. She started
her journey in early childhood education as a teacher’s assistant and worked
her way up to a program director. Lisa
has led two programs through NAEYC and NAA accreditations. Lisa also has
experience working in group homes as an administrator. Lisa lives in Hawthorne with her fiancé Andre
and their children, Kevin, Essence, Dreshawn, and Antoinette.
Michelle Hancock is an adjunct
faculty member of the Early Childhood Education department at College of
the Canyons. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Michelle most recently
moved to the area from Eureka,
California where she worked as the Director of their NAEYC Accredited
Child Development Center and Lab School and taught as an adjunct faculty
member. Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a
Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Teaching community college students and helping make higher education
accessible for child care providers already working in the field is a
passion for her. Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband, a
full-time pastor, and their four children.
Krisna Escobar is an
adjunct faculty member of the Early Childhood Education department at
College of the Canyons. She comes to the department with a Masters in
Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She has over 10 years’
experience working with children,
families and community initiative programs that focus on at-risk
populations, early childhood education and mental health/disability
intervention services. She displays a passion for the field of early
education and psychology by becoming involved in various
local and national organizations that seek to empower and build ally
relationships that create social change.
Krisna teaches as an adjunct instructor at Pacific Oaks College in
Pasadena, where her expertise aims to focus upon issues of cultural
& bicultural identity development, heritage culture, diversity
issues, empowerment and progressive pedagogy, and has done
so since 2012. She is currently pursuing her PHD in International
Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Systems & Trauma
Services through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a
single mother to a teenage son and lives in Burbank CA.
Lisa Prince is an adjunct faculty member of the Early
Childhood Education department at College of the Canyons. She has taught in
Early Childhood Education in Title V Programs, LAUP Programs, School District
Programs and non-profit, Progressive Programs and assisted in the opening of
COC’s Canyon Country Early Childhood Center. She is a Mentor Teacher who is
dedicated to instilling the importance of developmentally appropriate practice
and providing students with a positive, supportive and enriching early education
experience. Lisa began her career in Early Childhood Education at College of
the Canyons and has gone on to earn her BA in Liberal Studies from Chapman
University and her Masters in Education-Leadership in Early Childhood Education
from Brandman University.
Originally from New York, Lisa and her husband are long time
residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. She has two grown sons who are also
alumni of College of the Canyons. She enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking,
motorcycling and skydiving.