ELC Staff

Early Learning Center Staff

 Kristina Saunsaucie, Director

Kristina studied psychology and family studies at University of WA for undergraduate and then went on to Antioch University for a Masters in Child, Couple and Family Therapy. After graduating, she was hired to be a consultant at a non-profit Early Learning Center and within a few months became the Executive Director. After almost ten years there, she expanded her work to Snohomish Co and King Co and did coaching and consulting with many ECE administrators and teachers and also provided Mental Health Consultation for early childhood programs at Skagit Valley College. She lives on Whidbey Island with her husband and two sons and enjoys long walks, dancing, and photography. 


Esther Iles, Program Supervisor





Amie Waters, ECEAP Interim Manager & Family Support Specialist
ELC employee since 2003 
Amie received her Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Everett Community College in 2002, and her EvCC associate's degree in 2009. She is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Sciences program at University of Phoenix, working towards her Human Services Degree. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, watching movies, walking her dogs, and shopping at secondhand stores.











Jody Nardis, ELC Administrative Assistant 
ELC employee since 2013
Jody has worked with people and in management for 20 years. She received her bachelor's degree in Education from Eastern Washington University. Jody loves spending her time with her husband and their growing family. She enjoys exploring, country living, and outdoor activities of all kinds. 



Gay Thomas North, Chef
ELC employee since 2000
Gay has an associate's degree in Early Childhood Education that she received at Everett Community College. Passionate about food, she strives to encourage children to eat healthy. Born in Everett, she enjoys cooking, reading, and watching hockey with her husband and daughter.



Lynne Ramirez, Toddler Assistant Teacher
ELC employee since 2006
Lynne has a bachelor's degree in Biology and a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Everett Community College. She has worked in the early childhood education field since 2005. Born in Dundee, Scotland, she likes to travel, go to the beach, try new things and new adventures, practice Tai Chi, and spend time with her family. She feels it is a privilege to see the world through a child's eyes.

Pattie Fritts, Toddler Lead Teacher
ELC employee since 2010
Pattie has worked with infants and toddlers for more than 24 years. She's attended Seattle University and Everett Community College, still continuing her education at EvCC by taking Early Childhood classes. Patie feels we are forever learners. She really enjoys working, playing and learning with the children. Pattie believes each child is unique and she enjoys getting to know each child's individual personality. She is thankful for having chosen Early Childhood as her profession. Pattie is married, has two daughters and has recently become a grandma. She grew up in northern California and Zweibruecken, Germany. Pattie enjoys spending time with family, reading, gardening, playing volleyball, doing service work, and traveling.

Tamara Hill, Preschool Lead Teacher
ELC employee since 2011
Tamra has taught all ages: early childhood, school-age, high-school and adult. She has a bachelor's degree in Geology with a K-12 teaching certificate. Tamra enjoys gardening, raising farm animals, cooking, and exploring all forms of art. Yoga is her latest interest and learning experience.


Anika Tiegen, Toddler Lead Teacher
ELC employee since 2013
Anika is a student at Skagit Community College taking Early Childhood Education classes, working toward her associate's degree. She loves spending time with family and friends, watching Korean dramas with subtitles, and going camping.




 Cindy Peters has worked with young children in various capacities for over 20 years, and recently completed her Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Everett Community College.  In her spare time Cindy loves spending time with family, which includes her husband, four adult children, and three grandchildren!

Samantha Candlen, Toddler Co-Lead





Rachelle Refling, ECEAP Lead Teacher
ELC employee since 2007
Rachelle Refling has an associate’s degree from Everett Community College. Before she started working for the ELC as an employee, she was an ELC parent. In her spare time she likes camping, shopping at secondhand stores and listening sports talk radio…Go Seahawks!


Beth Barrett, Preschool ECEAP Lead Teacher
ELC employee since 2011
Beth Barrett has an associate's degree from Edmonds Community College and more than 70 credits in early childhood education from Everett Community. She has been teaching preschool for more than 5 years. Born in Seattle, she loves to spend time gardening, hike with her family, and paint oil paintings.