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EEC Board of Directors

Helping children become independent, enthusiastic learners, full of kindness and compassion.

The overall success of Early Education Cooperative Preschool is dependent on the commitment, dedication and involvement of the members of the Board of Directors. Their commitment, passion and guidance are core to increasing our public awareness, developing relationships in the community and strengthening our programming

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Current Members

Matt Simone - President

My family has been a part of EEC since 2020 when my daughter (Juliet) enrolled in the 3s class with Teacher Bob.  She has since graduated from the Pre-K program, and now my son (Alexander) is enrolled with Teacher Bob as well!  We have loved EEC because it aligns so closely with our values like play-based learning, child-led autonomy, and respectful parenting / teaching.  We have seen our children flourish through even the toughest moments of the preschool age with a trust that when they come out the otherside, they will be confident and happy.  I joined the board in mid-2022 and became active president in October because I wanted to be more involved with the school and its mission.  My professional background is in engineering and product development, and I currently work as the Manager of Innovation at PING Golf. 

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Jim Manley - Vice President

I practice public interest law, mainly in the areas of free speech, property rights, and economic freedom. I have been a Co-Op parent since 2017, and a board member since April 2021. Our son started at the Co-Op in pre-K, and we liked it so much that we had another kid so we could start in the 2s class. In all seriousness, the Co-Op has been wonderful for our children and for us as parents. We have met our closest Phoenix friends here, found a supportive environment to grow as parents, and love the evidence-based efficacy of the play-based, co-op model of learning. It is a privilege to serve on the Co-Op board. 

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Stephanie Kethcart

I am pleased to be a part of the EECP Board. As an Alumni Member of the Board, I bring 12

years of experience owning & running two dental practices and as an EECP alumni mom whom

chaired Spring Auctions.

When my daughter, Charlotte, had an opportunity to shadow the 3’s class for a morning with

Teacher Bob, it was an experience that my daughter and I both immediately knew was the right

fit for us. While at the EECP, I learned so much about child development at different ages. I

learned how to work empathetically through different scenarios with the children and my own

children at home because of the parent education and the co-op experience. Being at the EECP

for the 3’s class with Teacher Bob & Gina and the Pre K class with Teacher Katherine & Bob

was where we needed to be. The preschool was a great play based and socially emotional

driven experience for our daughter.

I am glad to help continue the great traditions and culture of the EEC preschool.

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Bobbi Morgan

My family feels so fortunate to have found EEC during our preschool search for our daughter, Felicity.  My heart is in Montessori education, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to co-op and be a part of Felicity’s formative years in the classroom- and I love the Reggio Emilia emphasis on the village raising the child.  Plus, I was so happy to find the community and friendships that I, as a parent, was searching for here, too!  I’m grateful for the play-based approach that allows the kids to follow their instincts and to learn organically with and from their peers.  Felicity began at EEC last fall in the 3s class with Teachers Bob and Gina, and we are looking forward to a great year in Pre-K with Teachers Katherine and Mary.

I’ve worked in fundraising and event planning at Xavier College Prep for the past nine years, and before that I was an elementary school teacher in the Madison School District, teaching 2nd grade and then 1st/2nd grade in the REACH Highly Gifted Program.

Mac McGinnis

As recent transplants to Arizona, our family has found a home and community at EECP and I am pleased I get to deepen that relationship as a Board Member. My son Nico started in the 2s class in 2022 and adores this community. I have spent time working with kids in a variety of spaces including: childrens museums, outdoor preschools, youth sports programs, coaching, as a parent, and now as a cooper. With a passion for children and the environment, I decided to get a Masters in Environmental Education to deepen that knowledge. Finding a play-based cooperative school in Arizona that shares our family values truly has been a dream come true. 

 

Before Arizona, we lived in Portland, Oregon where I was involved in non-profits focused on providing energy assistance and helping individuals have safe, healthy and efficient homes. Now I get to be a ‘House-Spouse’ and care for our family. As a transgender parent, I bring a unique perspective to the EECP community. Our family is fortunate to be part of such an inclusive and welcoming space and I am honored I get to use my knowledge, skill sets and experience as a Board Member.

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Evelyn Araneda

I am a geologist working in the mining industry and I have been a member of the board since 2021. Originally from Chile, I left my country 20 years ago and lived is a few places until my family and I  finally settled down in Phoenix in 2014. We joined EEC when our son Santiago started the 2's class. Our daughter Sofia followed 2 years later. Joining the preschool turned out to be a transformative milestone for our family. Parents and kids alike made deep connections with members of the community that last until this day. But of course, it is not just the families that make the Preschool special. It is also the teachers. All and every one of the teachers we met were remarkable at instructing our kids. Both my kids started as shy and quiet children. My son did not speak at school until the end of the 3's class. However, by the time they graduated from pre-K they had become confident and happy kids. Now they both thrive in elementary school. I am very grateful to have found EEC and I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to give back to the EEC community by serving on the board.

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