Meet our Governing Board

The Idaho AEYC Governing Board serves to support, promote and facilitate the goals and objectives of Idaho AEYC. Members serve 2-year terms beginning July 1 of the year elected and extend to June 30 of the final year of the term.

Teresa Wood-Adams
Past President (Boise, ID)
Teresa Wood-Adams is the Executive Director of the Child Development Branch at the Treasure Valley Family YMCA. She graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Child Care and Development. She also holds an Organizational Leader Certificate from YMCA of the USA.

Teresa has over nineteen years of experience in Early Childhood Education which includes being a Director of a non-profit and for-profit child care center and preschool teacher. She is also a YMCA of the USA certified Trainer and Faculty Trainer in eight different Child Care and Early Childhood Education courses. Teresa enjoys playing in the outdoors year-round with her husband Tyler and young son Logen.
Genie Sue Weppner
President (Boise, ID)
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Bachelor of Arts, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, Sociology Major, Education Minor Master of Fine Arts, University of Miami, Miami FL

Genie Sue worked for the Department of Health and Welfare since 1997 up until her recent retirement. She has been a Program Manager for regional operations in Southeastern Idaho responsible for delivery of Food Stamp, cash assistance, child care, Medicaid and services to the Adult, Aged, Blind and Disabled from 1997 through 2003. In 2003, she moved to Boise to manage the Idaho Child Care Program, Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI) Program, and the Community Action Agency's programs which include Weatherization, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Temporary Food Assistance Program and Idaho State Telephone Assistance Program. Currently, she manages the Idaho Child Care Program and the Community Action Agency Programs.

Prior to that, she had 15 years of experience working in the private non-profit sector, working for the Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency as the Deputy Director, the Director of the YWCA of Pocatello, and Director of a child care resource and referral agency known as All 'Bout Children Services in Pocatello.

She is a potter in her spare time and produces utilitarian ware such as plates, cups, bowls, and casseroles.
Margaret Elkins
President-Elect (Boise ,ID)
Margaret Elkins is the Director of the Wesleyan Preschool and Kindergarten in Boise. As an early childhood educator for the past 21 years, she has participated in developing, maintaining and advocating for high-quality early childhood programs at the local, state and national levels. Margaret also has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of Idaho AEYC, Idaho Early Learning Guidelines, the IdahoSTARS project, Idaho Child care Program and the Idaho Core Competencies for Early Care and Education.

Margaret has been directly involved with Idaho AEYC since 2010 having served as a Mentor/Coach, Mentor/Coach Coordinator closing out her association with Idaho AEYC in 2013 as the Assistant Director for the IdahoSTARS Project when she then returned to teaching at the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences.

Margaret received her B.A.S. in Child Care and Development from Boise State University. She has served as an ex officio member of the Idaho Child Care Provider Advisory Board, and a past member of the Idaho Early Care and Education Committee, Idaho Early Childhood Coordinating Council and College of Western Idaho Early Childhood Education Technical Advisory Committee.
Danielle Taniguchi
Treasurer (Kuna, ID)
Danielle Taniguchi is Assistant Controller for Oppenheimer Companies, Inc. and has been part of the team for the over seven years. In her role there, she monitors the company’s financial performance by using best practices and the latest technology. She has also worked for Oppenheimer Development Corp. as the ODC Financial and Property Manager managing all financial aspects for nine commercial property accounts.

Danielle has excelled in financials, customer service and being a team player. She has a contagious attitude and a willingness to learn and strive to do her best at any project or task she is performing. Danielle earned two Bachelors of Business Administration, one in International Business and one in Human Resource Management with minors in Economics and Business Spanish from Boise State University. She is a member of Boise Young Professionals and is in the graduating class of 2017 for Leadership Boise. Danielle has a five-year-old daughter she enjoys spending time with. Other activities she enjoys are flower gardening, reading, family and friends.
Ellen Neff
Snake River Representative
Ellen has 35 years of experience working with young children in various educational settings. She is a former board member for AIM Early Idaho. Ellen is an Associate Professor in the Early Childhood Education Program at the College of Southern Idaho and has her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Studies with an Infant Mental Health endorsement.
Jennifer Patterson
Snake River Alternate
Jennifer currently works in the CSI Early Childhood Education Program as the Coordinator for the Toddler Lab, Preschool Lab, Kindergarten Lab and all-day Early Learning Center. She has 16 years of experience working closely with young children, families, college and high school students and has presented on a variety of Early Childhood topics. She taught at the College of Southern Idaho’s (CSI) Lab School in the Toddler and Preschool Classroom for 13 years.

Jennifer is the current Treasurer and Past President of Snake River AEYC. She graduated from Idaho State University with her Blended Certificate in Early Childhood Education. She lives in Jerome with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Brayden and Kaitlyn.
Tonya Sears
North Idaho Representative
Tonya is the Classroom Lead Teacher at the North Idaho College Head Start. She has been a teacher in the Head Start Program for the past 11 years. Tonya has also been employed at Fernan Elementary and the North Idaho Violence Prevention Center. She is a past Board member of the Idaho Epilepsy Foundation. Tonya received her A.S. from North Idaho College; her B.S. in Child, Family and Consumer Studies; her M.S. in Family and Consumer Studies; and Tonya is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Idaho.
Janet Davis
Member (Boise ,ID)
Janet is the Co-Owner of Early Learning Children’s Center in Boise. She is a retired IdahoSTARS-approved trainer, mentor/coach and certified child care health consultant. Janet has over 28 years of quality early care and education in the profession. She has assessed several child care centers as an environmental assessor for Idaho AEYC and has worked for three NAEYC accredited programs. Janet has advanced graduate studies in Early Childhood Education and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Boise State University. She is a very active Treasure Valley AEYC member and has been involved with several other nonprofit organizations in the community.
Jessica Gunder
Member (Boise ,ID)
Jessica currently serves as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, she worked as a Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Branch in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included advancing criminal and civil litigation related to the protection of public health and safety. Jessica received her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, both times graduating with honors.
Beth Price, Ph.D.
Member (Moscow ,ID)
Beth is an Associate Professor/Program Coordinator, Early Childhood Development and Education, at the University of Idaho in Moscow and has been in the field of early childhood for 33 years. She has also taught development and early education courses to teachers and caregivers, has experience working at two NAEYC accredited centers and knowledge as a NAEYC accreditation validator. Beth has served on the Lewis Clark Early Childhood Program Board and is a member of North Idaho AEYC and NAECTE. She has a Ph.D. in Education and M.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Idaho; an M.A. in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University and a B.S. in Vocational Home Economics Education from Colorado State University.
Chase Ropelato
Member (Boise ,ID)
Chase is a Human Resource Specialist for Idaho Power in the Boise Corporate Headquarters. He has worked in the Human Resource field for over six years and hopes to use his experience in the for-profit sector to provide a new perspective on the board. Chase’s past volunteer work includes serving as Society for Human Resource (SHRM) President and Relay for Life Team Captain. He earned his B.S. in Management and Human Resources at the University of Idaho.
LeAnn Simmons
Member (Boise ,ID)
LeAnn recently retired as Executive Director of Idaho Voices for Children. She continues to be a strong advocate for quality early learning for Idaho’s children. LeAnn is an experienced leader through her past director positions held at United Way of Treasure Valley and Care Source. She is very skilled at fundraising, grant writing and developing coalitions and partnerships geared toward serving families and children.

LeAnn graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Recreation Administration, and achieved a Community Development Certification from Northwest Community Development Institute. She was also named an Idaho Business Review Women of the Year in 2009 and was recently involved with the Idaho Third Grade Reading Task Force and Governor’s Education Reform Task Force.

LeAnn is a long-time Boise resident who enjoys hiking, golfing and skiing.
Kim Hirning
Kim is the Director of Early Learning at United Way of Southeastern Idaho and is leading the formation and implementation of strategies for UWSEI’s 7-county Grade Level Reading initiative. Kim’s experience includes volunteerism in civic, non-profit, and faith based capacities for the past 25 years. She is currently facilitating a call to action to create a regional campaign championing a quality early learning vision for all children, birth through age 8 in Southeastern Idaho. She holds a BA degree from the University of Colorado and is the mother to 4 children. Kim is inspired by values that build relationships to impact communities for the common good.
Ruth Calnon
Ruth has been a Family Engagement Consultant with the Boise Independent School District since 2004. She has worked in the education field for over 35 years. Ruth graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education in 1976, an M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Florida and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instructions from Boise State University. She is a member of NAEYC, sits on the Boards of Trinity Treasures Preschool and Friends of Children and Families. Ruth is currently serving as the first Vice President of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Board Minutes

Click here to view board minutes from 2016-2017.


Board Resources

Click here to access board resources.