Tuesday, January 9, 2018 | 7:30am—9:00am

Don’t Expel Me:
Social Emotional Strategies for a More Inclusive Child Care Program

Research indicates children are being expelled from preschool at an alarming rate. Join us for a discussion on current research, strategies for changing adult behaviors, and the need for a systemic response.

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Cisa Keller Headshot Candace Yates Headshot Angie Goettl Headshot Takara Henegar Headshot

Cisa Keller

Senior Vice President of Early Childhood Quality Development, Think Small

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Cisa joined Think Small in 2015. Keller started her early childhood career as a toddler teacher before becoming a center director and finally being promoted to role of director of government and community relations with New Horizon Academy, where she oversaw the government and community relations efforts for over 60 child care programs in Minnesota. In this role Keller was also government relations chair for the Minnesota Child Care Association and public policy chair for the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children–Minnesota School Age Care Alliance. Keller was a founding member of the Minnesota’s Future Early Childhood Coalition, served on the executive committee of the MinneMinds campaign, and is currently a member of the Caring for Kids Initiative Advisory Group and the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood. Keller earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Concordia University–St. Paul in 2008 and was invited to be an adjunct professor from 2009 until 2014 in the university’s BA and MA early childhood programs.

Candace Yates

Quality Supports Manager, Think Small

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Candace Yates has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for almost 15 years, beginning as a lead toddler teacher with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities (YGTC). She later served as an Early Childhood Program Director for the YMCA, successfully leading her program to achieve accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Candace also provided leadership and training association wide in the area of Curriculum Development and Implementation. In 2015, Candace transitioned to quality coaching working for the Anoka County Community Action Program, which served providers seeking a Parent Aware rating in Anoka and Washington counties. In January of 2016, Candace joined the team at Think Small and currently serves as Quality Supports Manager, supporting a diverse team of Quality Coaches who work with providers participating in a variety of initiatives including Parent Aware, MN Reading Corp., Early Sprouts, and Project Inclusion. She had the privilege to be a part of the Indicator Evidence team for the newest Parent Aware Quality Documentation Portfolio and serves as a Coach Champion, providing ongoing feedback to DHS regarding the Parent Aware process.

Angie Goettl

Director of Educational Programs, Hallie Q Brown Early Learning Center

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Angie Goettl, M.Ed., has played a key role in transforming Hallie Q. Brown’s educational programs since 2011. Angie brings a wealth of directorial experience from the private sector and brings this to bear in working toward the growth and continual improvement of early learning services. She welcomes the challenge of serving families from diverse backgrounds who often face a variety of challenges to success.
As Early Learning Director, Angie led the path to national accreditation and a four-star Parent Aware rating, all while achieving more than tenfold growth in enrollment across all age groups. Upon retirement of the Youth Enrichment Manager in 2014, Angie assumed leadership of all Educational programming, and has translated her success with our smallest students to the School Age population.
Of crucial importance to Angie’s approach is providing the tools for Hallie Q. Brown families to thrive in a whole family, multiservice, culturally appropriate context. Angie has consulted with numerous peer groups and organizations, including the Greater Twin Cities United Way, who includes Hallie Q. Brown as a model program for funded agencies.

Takara Henegar

Associate Program Officer, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation

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Takara works as an Associate Program Officer for The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundation and was a former Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow. She drives community investment through the Foundation’s Management Improvement Fund, Diversity Endowment Funds and the Building Community Capacity grants. Takara brings 19 years of diverse nonprofit experience to the Foundations, in addition to her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University. Takara’s insights benefit from exposure to many issue areas including education, arts, housing and homelessness.


Jonathan Palmer Headshot

Jonathan Palmer

Executive Director, Hallie Q Brown Community Center

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Jonathan Palmer is the sixth Executive Director for Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc., an African American, nonprofit social service agency open to all with a primary focus on the Summit University neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area. The organization was founded in 1929, coming out of the settlement house movement, and today operates as a multi-service hub center providing basic needs and community services. He is an avid historian and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and gives presentations and lectures on African, African American and Scottish history and culture as well as being the genealogist for his own family. He lives in North Minneapolis with his wife Emily and younger daughter, Siobhan, and their cat, Lizzie.


Think Small Logo Hallie Q Brown Logo

Learn more about the mission of Hallie Q. Brown to improve the quality of life in our community by providing access to critical human services, fostering and promoting personal growth, and developing community leadership.

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Additional Resources

Learn More About Upcoming Social-Emotional Trainings
Attend a free training on January 13, March 24 or May 19. To register, call 651-641-3549.

Implicit Bias in Preschool: A Research Study Brief
Results from research conducted by the Yale Child Study Center.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and young Children.

Lakeshore Learning, Fiddle Focus, and Achievement Products
For effective classroom tools to assist students with special needs, sensory issues, or hyper activity.

PACER Center
Champions for Children with Disabilities. Form more than 30 years, PACER has provided individual assistance, workshops, publications and more to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child with disabilities.