AECEO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
2020-2021 AECEO Provincial Board of Directors
The AECEO is a member driven organization with elected voluntary Board of Directors. It is the role of the Provincial Office Staff to implement, support and maintain the services, policies, and directives as dictated by the Board and fundamentally by its members, within the scope of the Association’s mission and mandate.
Brooke Richardson M.A., Ph.D., RECE
Brooke Richardson is a care activist and scholar motivated by the belief that good care is foundational to meaningful lives and a democratic society. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Sociology at Brock University and Lecturer in the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. Her research and scholarly work focus on the privatization of childcare in Canada, political representations of the childcare policy “problem”, reconceptualizing and reasserting care in early childhood education, and reimaging child welfare systems through an ethics of care perspective. She has published and presented international on topics related to Canadian childcare policy and is currently working on two edited volumes: Feminisms and the Early Childhood Educator: Critical Conversations (Bloomsbury) and Mothering on the Edge: A Critical Examination of Mothering within Child Protection Systems (Demeter Press).
Shannon Sveda MA, RECE
Shannon Sveda has a diploma in early childhood education from Sheridan College. She also completed Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in early childhood studies at Ryerson University.
Shannon is passionate about supporting Early Childhood Educators in their pursuit of professional learning, with a special interest in their pursuit of a reflective and intentional practice. As such, her Master's research focused on blogging in a virtual learning community as a form of continuous professional learning.
Over the past decade Shannon has had the opportunity to work in a variety of early childhood education and care settings, including licensed child care, early intervention, and post-secondary education. Most recently Shannon has shifted her professional focus to engaging children and their families outdoors, through Nature Play experiences (suitedandbooted.ca). She is also involved in the ECE community as the alumni relations chair of the Ryerson Early Childhood Studies MA Alumni Association, and through social media as @CanadianECE.
Laura Coulman RECE, MSC, Ph.D. Candidate
Laura Coulman has been a proud ECE since graduating from Ryerson’s Early Childhood Education program in the early 1990s. She completed her MSc in Child Studies at the University of Guelph and is currently a PhD Candidate of the Faculty of Education, Western University. She knows that the AECEO can play an important role in unlocking the potential of early childhood education as a truly integrated entity of education; an entity in which RECEs are highly valued practitioners who design, lead, and deliver the system that serves young children in Ontario. Laura believes that moving early childhood education programs beyond their current format of being overly-privatized and often inadequately planned; tenuously funded; and inequitably delivered, to a totally new and completely remodeled system for all is not utopian thinking. For Laura, the system re-design that is still needed should be made by early childhood educators – and, for her, it just makes sense that the AECEO, as the professional association of RECEs in Ontario, continues to lead the way in carving out this path.
Lyndsay Macdonald, RECE, B.A., MA ECS
Lyndsay Macdonald has an MA in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University. She has worked in a number of early childhood education and child care (ECEC) settings in Ontario, as well as in Australia. Previously the AECEO Coordinator, Lyndsay is currently a faculty member of Humber College, teaching ECE, and has also worked as a policy researcher at the Childcare Resource and Research Unit and as part-time coordinator for the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada. Lyndsay is a passionate leader who believes in the central role of ECEs in the broader ECEC advocacy movement. She believes that the AECEO plays an integral role in uniting and representing ECEs and is committed to promoting the recognition, support and remuneration of ECEs in Ontario.
Nicole Cummings RECE, B.A.Sc.
Nicole Cummings is a RECE who graduated from Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology. After years of working in a variety of child care positions, her love for learning lead her to Guelph-Humber for a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies where she recently graduated. As she embarks on a new journey of learning in the OISE’s Masters of Child Studies program, she is confident that all of this learning will be beneficial to her role as an AECEO board member. As a workshop facilitator, she has been able to share information with parents on the importance of their role as their child’s first advocate, and she encourages their responsibility to join our fight for Universal Child Care in Ontario. As a board member she is also dedicated to reaching as many ECE’s with the many reasons why, ‘ECE’S ARE EXCELLENT!’ and why standing together to achieve professional pay will be the best way to get it!
Priscilla Dutt, BA (ECE), MAECS, RECE
Priscilla Dutt is a RECE with a MA in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University where she also completed her BA in Early Childhood Education. For over 15 years she has worked with children and families in multi-service community-based agencies coordinating family support programs. She is currently a Professor, ECE at Centennial College and is committed to the work of the AECEO in uniting, and supporting the voices of RECE's for decent work, recognition and professional compensation.
Michelle Jones RECE, M.A.
Michelle Jones has a diploma in early childhood education from Conestoga College, completed Bachelor and Master degrees in Early Childhood Studies and is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Michelle has worked in several kindergarten and school-aged child care programs in Toronto, as a research officer at the Child Care Resource and Research Unit, and is currently teaching part-time in an ECE diploma program in Southwestern Ontario.
Nicole Land PhD
Nicole Land, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. Her research integrates post-developmental perspectives with feminist science studies theorizing to, in collaboration with children and educators, understand and re-invent our relations with fat, muscles, and movement. In Nicole’s work, educator co-researchers and Nicole think with pedagogical inquiry practices to grapple together with situated, local questions and relations that are relevant to children, educators, and the context. She also collaborates with emerging pedagogists in Ontario and British Columbia through her work with the growing Pedagogist Network of Ontario and the BC Early Childhood Pedagogy Network, and previously as curriculum coordinator with the Ontario Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care. Nicole believes that a significant question the AECEO is poised to grapple with is the ongoing work to move beyond technical, instrumental practices (that position educators as technicians or supervisors) toward thinking pedagogically about the complex ethics and politics of everyday work with children. In our times of ongoing settler colonialism, decolonial practices and relations lived by Indigenous scholars and activists, Black Lives Matter activism and uprisings, and climate change, as well as the increasing power of capitalist, managerial, universalizing, and carceral discourses in ECE, the AECEO is well-positioned to do the uncertain work of collaborating with educators, children, families, and community to work collectively at creating different possibilities for pedagogy and learning in the province. This, Nicole believes, involves the ongoing activism of the AECEO to raise the stature of the profession, and opens toward inventive possibilities for the AECEO to reimagine how it might connect with RECEs to think pedagogically.
Sherry Lickers RECE, AECEO.C
Sherry Lickers is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, holds certification from the Association of Early Childhood Education Ontario, and is qualified First Aid and CPR instructor. For the last 6 years Sherry has been an instructor for the Early Childhood Education program for Niagara College and the placement coordinator for the ECE students at Six Nations Polytechnic. She is also an active participant with the (PEACE) network Progressive Early years Aboriginal Centres of Excellence in South Western Region. Sherry received the Conestoga College Alumni Distinction Award in 2015, and was also nominated by Conestoga College for the Outstanding College Graduates Premiers Award for Community in 2018.
Sherry is single mom of 3 adult sons and a grandmother who enjoys skating and baseball, and has volunteered in many aspects of those sports as club president of the six nations skating club and judge for Skate Ontario. Sherry also was involved in Brantford baseball association and enjoys sewing and beading in her spare time.
Sherry believes that major issues for the AECEO are the professional recognition that RECEs receive from the government and equal pay that RECE and early years workers receive across the province.
Amy O’Neil, B.A., RECE
Amy O'Neil has been involved with children and families for over 25 years in both Montreal and Toronto and is a passionate advocate for children and those who care for them. Through lived experience, Amy’s commitment to social and economic justice is both personal and political. A mother of four and a vocal advocate for childcare, Amy is often deputing on behalf of low income working parents on child care issues. She believes passionately in social justice and quality in early childhood settings and strongly supports decent work for RECE’s.
After receiving her B.A. in Educational Studies with Honors specializing in Child Studies from Concordia University she began practice directly with young children and their families as an Early Childhood Educator in Montreal. She understands the dynamic of the early childhood environment and has extensive experience in community development and capacity building. Amy aspires to work with the AECEO in strategic planning and collaborative leadership. Amy works as the Director of Treetop Children’s Centre where her focus, along with managing day-to-day operations, is to strengthen the quality of programming by incorporating the latest in educational methodology and pedagogy. She is a Board member of the Toronto Community for Better Child Care, has served as a Director on a child care Board of Directors, and works in varying capacities in the early learning sector in Toronto including sitting on committees with Toronto Children’s Services and the TDSB. She is excited to share her commitment to child and family advocacy and her experience of successful, non-profit, front-line and management experience in child care with the AECEO.
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Ph.D
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw’s contributions to early childhood studies are many: She is a founded-member of and contributor to the Common Worlds Research Collective and the Early Childhood Pedagogies Collaboratory, a principal investigator of SSHRC-funded projects Transforming Waste Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education and Climate Action with Young Children, a co-director of the BC Early Childhood Pedagogy Network and Pedagogist Network of Ontario, a professor of early childhood education in the Faculty of Education at Western University; and an author and co-editor of many publications in early childhood education and pedagogy. She brings a nuanced and complex understanding of the challenges of early childhood education in Ontario to the AECEO Board of Directors. For Veronica, the major issue that faces the AECEO today is to advocate for better wages and working conditions for educators alongside a renewed discussion on pedagogy.
Candice Walker RECE
Candice Walker is a Registered Early Childhood Educator working in Full Day Kindergarten. She also works in a violence prevention program at a mental health agency. Candice is also an active member of Early Years Professionals Rise Up T.O.
As a member of the AECEO, Candice is a part of the work that the organization does to support Early Childhood Educators to advocate for themselves, children, families, and communities. She believes in the incredibly important work that the AECEO does that positively impacts the lives of families with young children in Ontario. She recognizes that the job of the AECEO can be difficult at times because it can be challenging to engage early childhood educators to participate in advocacy work (on top of their busy work schedules), elevating the voices of ECEs, children, families, and/ or communities that are usually silenced; within mainstream society. Candice has a strong voice and is committed to the valuable work of Early Childhood Educators and the critical work of the AECEO.
Jenn Wallage, B.A.A., RECE, RC
Jenn Wallage has been an Early Childhood Educator since graduating from the ECE Diploma program at Conestoga College over 20 years ago. From Conestoga she went to Ryerson Polytechnic University, graduating with her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Early Childhood Education. While at Ryerson she earned her designation in Special Needs, as well as a minor in Public Administration. Regardless of where she worked (as a classroom educator, at the Ontario Early Years, as a Resource Consultant, to name a few), Jenn has always been a strong advocate for the profession of Early Childhood Education. She is currently employed with a school board as a Designated Early Childhood Educator, fulfilling a position outside of the Kindergarten classroom – as a Union Local President representing over 850 DECEs. Jenn is very involved at the Local and Provincial levels with her Union. This involvement is what led her to become involved with the AECEO, collaborating and advocating for the profession of Early Childhood Education. Jenn wholeheartedly believes that growing support from all areas will benefit the Early Childhood Education profession in the quest for professional pay and working conditions.