Ilene Hertz is the Director of the WestEd E3 Institute. She leads all aspects of E3’s initiatives including advocacy, strategic planning, program administration, contracts development, staff development, and technology development.
Ilene is one of the WestEd team members who contributed to the development of the California Department of Education’s Early Childhood Educator Competencies. A longtime advocate for the child development field, Hertz has worked in early education policy development for more than 30 years. Before joining WestEd she was a Senior Policy Analyst for the Executive Office of Human Services in Boston, Massachusetts, and Manager of Child and Family Services for the City of Palo Alto, California. Hertz holds a BA Degree in social policy from Hampshire College at Amherst, Massachusetts, and an MA Degree in human services administration from Lesley University at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ticia Brewington coordinates the implementation of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in Santa Clara County, California. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher and spent 12 years teaching in birth through 3rd grade classrooms throughout Tucson, Arizona. Ticia was the Program Coordinator, Instruction, Inclusion & Advocacy (Birth – 5) at Tucson Unified School District. In addition, she has worked in two states and 4 different counties as a QRIS Coach. Ticia received a BA in Elementary Education from Prescott College. She is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Esperanza Cadena is a QRIS Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is to provide coordination with the site ratings, technical assistance, and professional development components of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program in Santa Clara County. Activities include reviewing site portfolios, conducting site visits, generating site rating reports, and finalizing ratings with site administrators. She also provides support and technical assistance to QRIS participants around the ECE Workforce Registry requirements and coordinates efforts with Registry staff. Esperanza also provides Spanish translation and interpretation support as needed. In addition, Cadena assists the WestEd E3 Institute Director with all aspects of program operations. Cadena received a BS Degree in business administration from San Jose State University.
Regina Garcia-Lemye is a QRIS Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. She coordinates and manages the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) data for program development and state reporting purposes in Santa Clara County, CA. Previously, Garcia-Lemye supported the implementation and design of California’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), as well as the coordination of program services and resources for First 5 California’s Child Signature Program (CSP) and Power of Preschool (PoP) Initiatives in Santa Clara County. Prior to her work at WestEd, Garcia-Lemye worked in the early childhood field as a Family Child Care Network Program Coordinator, Assistant Center Director, and Preschool Teacher. Garcia-Lemye holds a BA Degree in child and adolescent development from San Francisco State University.
QRIS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT SPECIALIST
Rebecca Jarquin is a Quality Improvement Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute working with family child care providers in Santa Clara County.
Prior to joining WestEd she worked for First 5 Santa Clara County as the lead assessor in the Environmental Rating Scales and CLASS assessment tools and has been working in the early education field since 1998.
Rebecca holds a BA in Child and Adolescent Development and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from San Francisco State University.
Rick Leon is the Financial Analyst for the WestEd E3 Institute. He manages all accounting and financial matters for multiple projects. His prior experience includes working as a Financial Compliance Analyst and Fixed Asset Accountant, while also auditing internal accounting controls, and supporting the implementation of a single company financial system. Leon received a BS Degree in business administration with a minor in mathematics and a concentration in finance from San Jose State University.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Kimmy Nguyen is a QRIS Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is to provide coordination with professional development initiatives related to the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program in Santa Clara County. Activities include assistance with implementation of the California Workforce Registry, analysis of higher education options for the early childhood workforce, and assistance with the development of a stipend incentive program for early educators in QRIS programs. Previously, Nguyen worked on the CARES initiative.
She began her work in early care and education as an assessor using the Environment Rating Scales. She is a consumer representative of the Santa Clara County Local Early Childhood Planning Council (LPC). Nguyen received a BA Degree in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, and an MA Degree in education from San Francisco State University.
SENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
George C. Philipp is a Senior Program Associate for the WestEd E3 Institute. He leads early educator professional development initiatives locally, regionally, and statewide through E3 Institute’s major initiative Santa Clara County’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Philipp serves on California’s Transforming the Workforce Birth to Age 8 Work Group, Santa Clara County Joint Workforce Development Committee, the California Department of Education Workforce Data Systems Workforce Registry Advisory Board, and facilitates the Early Childhood Professional Development and Education Collaborative. He is a member of the Santa
Clara County Local Early Childhood Planning Council (LPC) and represents the early childhood community as a Commissioner for FIRST 5 Santa Clara County. Prior to joining WestEd Philipp was a Program Services Administrator for First 5 Alameda County. Philipp holds a BA Degree in psychology from Roanoke College at Salem, Virginia.
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT COORDINATOR
Dr. Seer serves as a Quality Coordinator at WestEd for the Santa Clara County Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). She has taught core child development courses at De Anza Community College and serves on the Santa Clara County Local Early Education Planning Council. She has designed and led programs for children and youth in the United States for over 25 years and presents in academic and practice contexts. She has contributed to articles on parenting education, anti-bias practices in early education, and higher education for early educators. As an early educator, Dr. Seer specializes in social-emotional development, emerging multilingualism and cultural responsivity. Dr. Seer earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Her dissertation research explored coaching for early educators using reflective practice and video feedback. After receiving her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, she worked in community based settings serving multiple marginalized communities in California.
QRIS RATING SPECIALIST
Sapna Shah is a QRIS Rating Specialist with the Center for Child and Family Studies at WestEd E3 Institute. Sapna helps plan and execute the process for outreach, initiating, organizing, coordinating, and implementing the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in Santa Clara County. She also develops effective communication processes and networks to access and disseminate information; assists with strategic planning functions related to the implementation of the QRIS. Sapna provides technical assistance resources to childcare providers, participates in local coalitions and committees and serves on the Santa Clara County Local Early Education Planning Council. Sapna reviews QRIS site portfolios, conducts site rating visits, and regular orientations for new and participating QRIS sites, scores and finalizes site ratings and generates Site Rating Reports for identified QRIS sites in Santa Clara County. Prior to joining WestEd, Sapna has served as an Early Childhood Educator in the Bay Area since 2006. Sapna holds a BS degree in Biology from India and received her ECE Certification from De Anza College, Cupertino, CA.