Parent-Child Classes

Meet Our Instructors

Click on the instructor's name (below) to jump to their biography.

Maria DuBose / Kerry RueckNicole KalitaSunny BennettLisa Richardson / Sarah-Jane Gilmour / Athena O'Connor / Lauren Visconti


Maria DuBose 

Maria DuBose

Class taught:  Juntos, Live & Learn with your Wobbler

Maria was born in Nicaragua but lived in the Bay Area in California since the age of 9.  She attended the University of California in Davis where she got her BA in Psychology with a minor in Education.  After graduating, she became a High School teacher and taught Math and Spanish while also working on her Single Subject Teaching Credential at Chapman University.  After teaching for 6 years, she got her Master's Degree in Counseling with a Pupil Personal Credential at Chapman University and began her career as a High School counselor.

In the summer of 2014 her family relocated to the wonderful town of Corvallis where she became a stay at home Mom to her three kids, ages 8, 4, and 1.  After taking a "Live and Learn" class to meet other Moms, she was excited to learn that an opportunity opened up for her to join the LBCC Parenting Education program.  She is looking forward to being back in the world of education and not only working with childen but with their providers as well.

In her spare time Maria enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with family and friends.





 Kerry Rueck photo

Kerry Rueck

Classes taught:  Parents and Toddlers Together

Kerry Rueck has lived in Oregon since she attended George Fox University in 1993.  She has spent most of her life nurturing and teaching children.  She worked at several day camps throughout high school and college, and ultimately earned a degree in Elementary Education in 1995.  Kerry taught 4th and 5th grade for 14 years before moving with her family to Corvallis in 2010.

While still living in Newberg, Kerry completed the National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) training to become a volunteer advocate for abused and neglected children.  It was during her initial case that Kerry saw first-hand the need for parent education and is thrilled to be a part of the Live and Learn classes. 

Kerry is really looking forward to teaching Live and Learn with your Toddler as she loves all of the growth that occurs during this stage of childhood.  From eating and sleeping to potty training and discipline, toddlers have a lot to learn and to teach us!

Most of Kerry's spare time is spent with her three children.  She also enjoys running, reading a great book, and supporting her husband's women's basketball team at Oregon State.




 Nicole Kalita

Nicole Kalita

Classes taught:  Live & Learn with your Baby, Live & Learn with your Wobbler, Live & Learn with your Toddler/Two-Year Old

Nicole and her family have lived in the mid-valley area since 1997, when she and her husband started school at Oregon State University.  She originally went to school to become a medical lab technician, but quickly realized that her real calling was to make a difference in children's lives.

Nicole graduated from OSU in 2002 with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies and has been working with families and youth since 2000.  Straight out of college, she became an AmeriCorps Member for a year at the Girl Scouts of Santiam Council.  After that she went on to work with families involved with DHS as a Parent Consultant and Family Builder, providing parenting classes and in-home parent training.  In 2005, she returned to the Girl Scouts of Santiam Council to become the council's CHOICE and Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Programs Manager.  In 2008 Nicole joined the LBCC Parenting Education Department.

Nicole finds joy in watching young children grow and develop.  The opportunity to see a child master a new skill, the excitement in their eyes and smile on their face, is what motivated Nicole in her teaching.  When she is not teaching, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, volunteering in her boys' classrooms, running, dancing, hiking, and camping.




 Sunny Bennett

Sunny Bennett

Classes taught:  Live & Learn with your Toddler/Two-Year Old

Suzanna "Sunny" Bennett lived in California until she was 14, when her family relocated to Tillamook, Oregon.  After graduating from Tillamook High School, she obtained a BAS in Automated Manufacturing Technology from ITT Technical Institute.  While attending ITT, Sunny discovered that her true passion was teaching children and completed her education with a Master's Degree in teaching from George Fox University.  Sunny worked in Harrisburg for three years teaching kindergarten, and then a third/fourth grade combination class.

After her daughter was born in 2005 Sunny began the ultimate teaching job of raising children full-time.  The LBCC Parenting Education programs have been an integral part of that job and Sunny has attended every class offered with at least one of her three children.  She is honored to be a part of the Parenting Education team at LBCC, and is looking forward to sharing and learning with all of the parents and children attending classes with her.




 Lisa Richardson


Lisa Richardson

Classes taught: Live & Learn with your Toddler/Two-Year Old, Together

Lisa grew up in Southern California and received her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University.  She worked with children and families in San Diego, overseeing childcare provider homes and monitoring "at risk" families.  Lisa and her husband resettled in the Willamette Valley in 1990, looking for a family-friendly place to raise their children.

Looking for fun things to do with her toddler, Lisa attended a Live and Learn class and loved the idea of meeting new moms while bonding with her daughter.  After attending a few classes, Lisa decided it would be wonderful to be a part of the LBCC Parenting Education program and was later offered a job teaching a Live and Learn class.

Lisa says, "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with so many amazing parents and children over the years and know that I'm helping families grow and bond together.  It's been a really rewarding experience in so many ways."  Lisa received the "Teacher of the Year" award from LBCC's Family Resources and Education Center in 1995 and 2006.

Lisa has a daughter and a son, and credits them with helping her learn about parenting in her "in-home lab".  She also enjoys spending time with her family and pets, photography, traveling, and gardening.




 Sarah Jane Gilmour

Sarah-Jane Gilmour

Classes taught:  Live & Learn with your Two-Year Old, Creative Development

Sarah is originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.  After graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree from The University of Manchester, she attended The University of Leicester and obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Sarah has had the privilege of teaching and working with children for most of her life.  From babysitting and leading summer day camps to working for 20 years as a Primary school teacher in the UK, teaching children from 4-11 years of age, and for one year in the US as part of the Fulbright teacher exchange program.

After moving with her family to Corvallis in 2010, Sarah and her youngest son benefitted from being part of the LBCC Preschool program.  Most of Sarah's spare time is spent with her two children, ages 12 and 8.  She also enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, reading, playing board games, studying, volunteering, skiing (badly!), trying new experiences and hanging out with family and friends.




Athena O'Connor 

Athena O'Connor

Classes taught:  Live & Learn with your Baby, Live & Learn with your Wobbler

Athena grew up here in the Willamette Valley.  After graduating from high school, she attended Whitman College in Washington where she earned her BA in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology.  Since her lifelong plan was to go into the medical field, Athena returned home and began working as a medical assistant.  It wasn't long before she packed her bags for an east coast graduate school experience at Boston College where she earned her Masters of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner specialty.

Having fallen in love with Boston (and her husband), Athena decided to stay.  She spent the next six years working in internal medicine, urgent care, and college health as a nurse practitioner.  Ready to start a family in a slower paced environment, and missing Oregon, Athena and her husband decided to move back home to the Willamette Valley.

Shortly after moving to Corvallis, Athena had her daughter.  Instead of returning to work immediately, she decided to stay home and enjoy time with her baby.  To meet other new mothers, make friends in her new town, and provide different stimuli for her daughter, Athena signed up for Live and Learn classes at the Benton Center.  Participating in these classes played an integral part in her transition into motherhood and helped build her support system.  Athena had such a wonderful experience that she became passionate about working with families with young children.  When the opportunity arose to teach Live and Learn classes, she jumped at it in hopes of providing to other parents what the courses had provided for her.

The vast majority of her time is spent with her young daughter, playing and learning about the world.  In her few moments of spare time, Athena enjoys working on crafts, experimenting with recipes, and going for long walks with her family.  At the end of the day, she also loves a good snuggle with her dog and cats.




Lauren Visconti

Lauren Visconti

Classes taught:  Live & Learn with your Baby

Lauren grew up in a suburb of New York City in northern New Jersey. She has been out west since 2002 when she attended the University of Oregon, earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Anthropology with a minor in Art History. There she worked as a social science tutor all through school.  After teaching in East Asia for two years, Lauren moved to the Bay Area where she taught English to international students for six years. She and her husband relocated to Corvallis in 2012, where Lauren earned a Master of Applied Anthropology and a Graduate Certificate of College and University Teaching.

Lauren’s favorite part of being an educator is observing and facilitating learning in both adults and children. She is really looking forward to teaching the Live and Learn with your Baby and being part of the Parenting Education department at LBCC.

In addition to raising her son full-time, she also teaches Anthropology courses at LBCC. She likes to spend as much time outdoors as possible, but also loves to read fiction, nonfiction, and the news as well as have good conversation with friends.