Meet the Champions Quality Team Leaders

Quality Team LeaderChampions’ cohort of Quality Team Leaders (QTLs) has grown! QTLs are recognized for their ability to institute educational excellence and influence the field through effective coaching and peer development. These leaders are Area Managers from each region who, in conjunction with the KinderCare Education Quality and Accreditation and Education teams, will mentor, coach, and train other Area Managers on topics ranging from curriculum, to instructional practices, to inclusion services, and quality coaching.

Please take a moment to learn more about your Champions QTLs.

Erica Daniels

  • With Champions for more than 10 yearsErica Daniels
  • Has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Miami University and is pursuing a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction, teaching and learning of school subjects from the University of Cincinnati where she currently teaches education courses
  • Client Management Area Manager of the Year and Circle of Excellence Area Manager of the Year
  • “I take great pleasure in the many opportunities I receive to coach teachers towards continuous improvement and impact the lives of children each and every day.”

Thea Pace

  • With Champions for more than 11 yearsThea Pace
  • Bachelor of Science degree in writing for the media from Syracuse University-SI Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Continuing education in higher education administration at Columbia University.
  • Client Manager of the Year 2005, Area Manager of the Year 2007, Advisory Committee Member and Honoree (for family retention) 2009, Best in Class 2013, Pay for Performance Award 2014/15, Circle of Excellence 2015
  • “My favorite part of the job is bringing creative ideas to my team and seeing these visions expertly brought to life—usually exceeding all my expectations. I especially love having the opportunity to inspire children, spark their interest and engage their natural curiosity.”

Larry Taylor

  • 13 Years with ChampionsLarry Taylor
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in business management & speech communication (graduated cum laude from Houston Baptist University
  • Highest gross margin performance in 2012
  • “My favorite part of the job is site visits because it gives me an opportunity to see staff implement activities with students and students learn during “play”. It’s amazing to see the growth during each site visit.”

Julie Funfar

  • Four-and-a-half years with ChampionsJulie Funfar
  • Bachelor of Arts in communication arts with a public relations emphasis from Pacific Lutheran University
  • Champions Circle of Excellence winner in 2014 and KU Spot Bonus Award recipient in 2015
  • “I love working for Champions because every day is a different day with new and different experiences. To be able to touch the lives of so many children as well as coach and nurture my teachers makes this job enriching and rewarding.”

Tamara Payne-AlexTamara Payne-Alex

  • 14 years with Champions
  • Bachelors in psychology from Swarthmore College
  • Educator Excellence 2003, People Development 2005, Financial Management 2006, Champions Area Manager 2008
  • “My favorite part of my job is developing and implementing training programs for staff development.”

Kelly SchroederKealy Schroeder

  • Eight years with Champions, plus an additional two years as a Champions student
  • Bachelors of Arts in business management and accounting from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois
    Area Manager of the Month Award for February, March and April of 2014
  • “My favorite part of working for Champions is knowing that I am able to watch the teachers and students in our programs grow and develop with Champions. Seeing their continued growth and learning inspires me every day to continue to do my best to support that growth.”

Brighid Burns

  • More than five years with ChampionsBrighid Burns
  • Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies with a focus on child and adolescent development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • “My favorite part of this job is being a mentor to my teachers who want to grow and develop their career in Early Childhood or School-Age programming. I love being able to provide them with opportunities that match their strengths and passions, and I feel like I’ve succeeded when I can help them create those “aha” moments and get outside of their comfort zone to reach their highest potential.”

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