Hilary Koehn – Executive Director, [email protected]

Hilary is an early childhood professional who believes strongly in providing high-quality, intentional support to early childhood staff, students, and families in Kansas. She is currently working for Kansas Parents as Teachers Association as the Executive Director. In her former role as the KPATA Quality Implementation Director, she was responsible for developing relationships with PAT programs and Child Protective Services statewide. She has been working with PAT for over 16 years. Hilary is a strong advocate for community partnerships that help early childhood programs to thrive in their communities. 

Jacki Himpel- Bright Futures Program Director, [email protected]

Jacki has been involved with Parents as Teachers for over 30 years serving as a program liaison, enrolled parent, parent educator, lead educator and then a coordinator for the past 15 years. She started a new role as the Bright Futures Program Director in late 2021. During her time with PAT she was named National PAT Parent Educator of the Year in 2003; had two staff members named National PAT Parent Educator of the Year in 2016 and 2021; and her program received the Losos Prize for Innovation in 2020. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and lives in Basehor, Kansas. She enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, daughters-in-law and granddaughter.

Jenny Smith – KPATA Affiliate Director, [email protected]

Jenny  values cultivating relationships with coworkers, community partners, parents and children that will last a lifetime. She has been involved in Early Childhood Education in many facets, as a Parents as Teachers Coordinator, a licensed home daycare owner, a  Preschool Teacher and most recently an Education Coordinator and Instructional Coach for a Head Start Program. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Emporia State University.  Jenny lives on a ranch outside of McPherson and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, and three sons.

Rabiha (Bee) Hatridge – Bright Futures Affiliate Coordinator,  [email protected]
Bee has been in education for more than 15 years. Throughout her career as an educator, she has been an elementary and high school classroom teacher, a school librarian, and an instructional coach. Bee has Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education and Modern Languages (Spanish) from Kansas State University and a Masters Degree in School Leadership from Baker University.  She currently serves families as a parent educator with the Bright Futures Program through Derby Parents as Teachers. Being a parent educator has been the most rewarding position in her career.  Bee lives in Rose Hill with her husband, sons, parents, and sister. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and taking care of her chickens.

Amanda Winch- Bright Futures Administrative Assistant, [email protected]

Amanda’s family are alumni of the Olathe Parents as Teachers program. She fell in love with the program when her two boys were in it and has since participated in KPATA Advocacy Days and has served on the KC Area PAT Consortium Advisory Board for 5 years (currently as secretary). Amanda also volunteers in various ways in her community. She is currently the Treasurer of the PTA at her son’s elementary school and also works on advocacy for gun violence prevention. She holds a degree in Computer Science from K-State and an MBA from UMKC. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and 2 boys.

Anne Harris- Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Anne has been serving Bright Futures families as a parent educator in the Wichita area since September of 2021. She also operates a storytime and early childhood consulting business and contracts with Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities as a training consultant.  She has worked in a variety of settings as an early childhood professional since 1992 including a college instructor for early childhood education, a Head Start teacher, child care licensing professional and the outreach and early literacy librarian for the Wichita Public Library. She holds a master’s in family studies and human services with an emphasis in early childhood education from K-State.

Jacinda Roberts- Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Jacinda has been in education for more than 30 years. She has been an elementary education classroom teacher as well as a school librarian. She also served as a parent educator in the Wichita Public School District. Jacinda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction   She currently serves families as a parent educator with the Bright Futures Program. Parents as Teachers is especially near and dear to Jacinda because she participated in the program with her own family.  Jacinda lives in West Wichita with her husband and their 14 year old daughter. She likes to travel, enjoy the outdoors and watch her daughter play volleyball and swim.

Sarah Berkley- Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Sarah is the Program Coordinator for Hutchinson Parents as Teachers and has been with PAT for 3 years. Sarah started her journey in Parents as Teachers as a parent.  She has her Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology in Family Support from Emporia State University.  Sarah is passionate about working with and advocating for families with young children. She lives in Hutchinson, KS with her husband and has 5 children of her own. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time at the lake with her family.

Sharon Bell– Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Sharon has been a Parent Educator for 17 years.  She also was a Teacher Assistant for 5 years.  She holds a Bachelor in Education degree.  She also hold minors in Early Childhood and Reading.  She enjoys walking, reading, bowling and crafts on her spare time.   Sharon lives in Hays, KS and has one adult son who lives in Olathe, KS.

Stacie Nelson– Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Stacie is passionate about helping children and families thrive. She holds degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education from Southwestern College and has spent her career in a variety of positions as an educator and writer. Her involvement with Parents as Teachers actually began as a parent..and she later spent several years as a parent educator with USD 465. She lives in Winfield, KS with her husband and three daughters.

Maricela Hernandez – Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Maricela Hernandez is currently a Parent Educator with Harvey County Parents as Teachers and has been working in this role since 2018. She has 10 years of experience working in preschool classrooms and holds an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Maricela is bilingual in English and Spanish and is currently enrolled at Fort Hays State in the undergraduate social work program.

Maricela has been a member of the Latino Association since 2022 and volunteers her time in the community as a translator for those in need. Maricela has been married for 15 years. She and her husband have one daughter who keeps them busy with her many activities. Maricela and her daughter enjoy volunteering as bell ringers for the Salvation Army during the holiday season. Maricela also works with local organizations to help provide free community activities for the children in the Harvey County area.

Melissa Nead – Bright Futures Parent Educator, [email protected]

Melissa has worked in the home visiting field since 2010, first with Early Headstart and then with Parents as Teachers. Melissa currently works as a Provider Educator for the Supporting Care Providers program with the Kansas City Area Parents as Teachers Consortium.  Working with parents and caregivers of young children is her passion.

Melissa enjoys volunteering in her community and currently works closely with Wyandotte Angels as well as serves as a board member for the Low Riding 2 Success non for profit that assists at risk youth in Wyandotte County.

Melissa grew up in Illinois and attended Western Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Interpersonal Communications.  She has called Kansas City home since 2008.  In her free time Melissa enjoys watching sports with her husband and 2 sons as well as trying out new recipes.