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Our Staff

Administrative Staff

Renee Hernandez GreenfieldRenee Hernandez Greenfield, Program Manager/Program Director

My name is Renee Hernandez Greenfield. I have worked in the early learning field for 15 years.

My teaching and administrative experience includes early learning work (birth to five) serving the Suquamish Tribe, Early Head Start prenatal, infant and toddler home visitation with Kitsap Community Resources Early Learning and Family Services and before and after school school-age child care with the Bremerton YMCA.  My heart has always been with children and teachers, so opportunities to work with both are a professional driving force. In all my work, the mission of Head Start and ECEAP is dear to me. The largest portion of my early learning work rests in ECEAP and Head Start. It’s the best work.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Master’s Degree in Psychology.  I hold a Certificate of Proficiency in Early Childhood Education, and a Certificate of Recognition in Early Childhood Program Administration.

Angela WheelerAngela Wheeler, Program Assistant

I enrolled at TCC in Sept of 1996.  I began working at TCC in January 1997 as a work study student, and I did that for a year and a half, and then I was a part time worker for a year and a half.  In the summer of 2000, I became a full time Classified Worker.  I left school for a few years, but went back nights in 2006-2007 and earned by Associates Degree.  I am married to Jon (my High School sweetheart) and we have two children,  Zoey is nearly 22 and finishing her Teaching Certificate and Gage is 8 and will be in 3rd grade this year!


Catepillars' Room (birth to 1 year)

kristen pleasantKristen Pleasant, Lead Teacher

I have worked in Early Childhood Education since 2004. I received initial training in Early Childhood Education from McChord Child Development Center through Clover Park Technical College. I receive ongoing child development training through the Early Achievers program, Bates Technical College and Puget Sound Education Service District. I became an employee at TCC’s Early Learning Center in 2008 and currently serve as the lead teacher in the infant classroom. I also work with children in my local and state church organization. My goal is to provide young children with great care and a safe environment.

tamara tyrsinaTamara Tyrsina, Assistant Teacher

I have worked at Tacoma Community College Early Learning Center since 2010; first, as a volunteer, then work-study, and now employee. I worked previously in Russia at a daycare facility as an assistant teacher with children of different ages. I also have over 10 years of experience volunteering at different Summer Camps and Children’s Educational programs. Recently, I have received a Certificate in Early Childhood Education: Special Needs here at TCC. Currently I am working toward achieving my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and I am a few steps away from it.  I enjoy working with children and value every child as an individual with his or her specific needs and abilities.

Busy Bees (1 year to 2 years)

kaisha vonnagelKaisha VonNagel, Lead Teacher

I am the Lead teacher for the 1-2 year old Busy Bee classroom here at Tacoma Community College’s Early Learning Center. I have worked with young children professionally for 16 years and have worked here at the ELC for 8 of those wonderful years. I am also a proud alumnus of TCC. I achieved my AA degree with emphasis in early childhood education in 2010. It is my absolute pleasure and honor to partner with parents to help cultivate and guide the development of their young children.

Butterflies' Room (2 years to 3 years)

charlene dudleyCharlene Dudley, Lead Teacher

I have been working in this field for just over 20 years. I graduated from Pierce College with a Degree in Early Childhood Education in 1996. I worked at Pierce College for 17 years. I started at TCC ELC in Oct. 2012, left for family reasons, but returned in Jan. 2016 as part time in the Butterfly room. I am back full time the Butterfly room.

Friendly Frogs' Room (3 years to 4 years)

allison southard-hoodAllison Southard-Hood, Assistant Teacher

I am first off, a mother to my wonderful son, Oliver, who is a young preschooler here at TCCs ELC. He is such a blessing, and I love watching him learn and grow daily. One of my biggest passions in life has been working with children. Some of my many jobs include camp counselor for school agers, being a nanny during the summer months, and even coaching a high school Junior Varsity Volleyball team for 3 years. I absolutely love to play and watch sports. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy anything that makes me laugh. Spending time with friends and family are very important to me, and I love building relationships with people! So come say hi!

I started here at TCC studying early childhood development and couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I have been at TCC’s Early Learning Center since September of 2009 and have been fortunate enough to learn and work alongside of some of the best teachers! My future plans are to continue my education with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. I am excited to get to know your children and families, and see what each New Year brings!

Dragonflies' Room (4 years to 5 years)

tammy davisTammy Davis, Lead Teacher

I have worked with children in this center since 1991 in various positions. I have two wonderful girls of my own and I enjoy working with young children. This is and always will be my passion, as well as the Sea Hawks.

Owls' Room (4 years to 5 years)

tabitha curtisTabitha Curtis, Lead Teacher

I am the lead teacher in our 4-5 year old Owl’s classroom at the Tacoma Community College Early Learning Center.  I have enjoyed educating and supporting the development of young children for 16 years; and have been a proud member of the TCC ELC for the last 8.  I enjoy all aspects of education and currently attend Ashford University completing my bachelors in psychology. It is my privilege to collaborate with you to foster an excitement and passion for learning that will last a life time.

elena banfieldElena Banfield, Assistant Teacher

I am from one of the republics in Russia called Mari El. I have been in the U.S. since 2001. I graduated from TCC in 2006 with an Associate in Early Childhood Education. My experience working with children started in 2003 and it still continues. It is amazing how much they teach us . I encourage children to be brave and make steps that are not quite comfortable, so they can realize that their feelings can change about things that they were afraid of or things that they did not like before. I want to trust them in guiding me how to teach them just like some of my great teachers trusted me in doing what I do. Trust is an important value in life.

Additional Staff
tahani farrahTahani Farrah

nhan nguyenNhan Nguyen

I was born in Saigon City, South Vietnam. I have worked as an Early Childhood Educator for children of 18 month and 10 years of age in Vietnam for more than 6 years. My work was not only described as a nutritionist, but also as a teacher and caretaker. My vocation then led me to apply for a job as a teacher focusing on street children from infant to 13 years of age.

After graduation in 2005 with the degree of Associated in Applied Science from Tacoma Community College, along with a certificate in Paraeducator, Early childhood Emphasis, I have been working as an Early Childhood Educator and the Nutrition Specialist at TCC for over 10 years.

zahra soumaeiZahra Soumaei

I have been an assistant teacher at the Early Learning Center since September 2015. Before I started working at the ELC, I worked as a volunteer for almost 10 months. I started at TCC studying Early Childhood Education, and I got my certificate Child Care Specialist, and my goal for the future is to continue my education to develop my knowledge and get more teaching skills.

One of my biggest passions in life has been working with children; I love watching them learn and grow daily. I love my family and friends, and spending time with them is important to me. I love to go hiking, camping, and watching movies, also I love reading books, especially historic books. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to work at the ELC with the best friends and amazing children.

nicole stricklandNicole Strickland


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