ELC Staff

Early Learning Center Staff

Kristina Saunsaucie 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. 

Amie WatersAmie Waters, Program Manager
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.

Alejandra Wood, Family Support Specialist 

Tamara Hill, Curriculum Specialist
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.

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 Lead 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.

Samantha Candlen, Toddler Co-Lead

Rachelle Refling, 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!

Jennifer Ryan,  Toddler Teacher
ELC employee since 2011
My name is Jennifer Ryan. I started working with children in 1991-1995 in Issaquah WA. I started my Early Childhood Practicum here at The Early Learning center in 2009. I have taken classes at Bellevue College and here at Everett Community College. I currently hold my Early Childhood Education certificate. I have 58 Early Childhood Education credits. In the spring I will be taking my last four classes for my Associates degree.  This is my fifth year working at this center. I have worked with, and enjoyed all of the age groups, from the youngest toddlers to the preschoolers.  My goal is to create a calm and interesting learning environment where children know they belong, that they are known, safe, and happy.