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 / Rachelle Saceda / Denise Tafen-Hughes /


Maria DuBose 

Maria DuBose

Class taught:  Juntos

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 currently serves on the Board of Directors for CASA - Voices for Children of Benton County.

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, ages 11, 8 and 2.  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 and Learn with your Baby, Live and Learn with your Toddler/Two-Year Old, Live and Learn with your Wobbler

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 and 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 and Learn with your Toddler, Live and Learn with your 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 and Learn with your Toddler/Two-Year Old, Creative Development

Sarah is orginally 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.




 Rachelle Saceda

Rachelle Saceda

Classes taught:  Juntos

Rachelle moved to Oregon in 2000 to pursue a doctorate degree at Oregon State University in early Childood Education.  Before coming to Oregon, she lived in the midwest where she earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education/Intervention at Purdue University, and then her M.S. at Iowa State University in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in ECSE.

Throughout my career I have held many different positions all in relation to working with young children and families.  In the past I have been a preschool teacher, director, paraprofessional, practicum coordinator, researcher, and education coordinator with Head Start.  In addition to my part-time faculty status with LBCC's Education/Child & Family Studies Development, I occasionally teach early childhood education courses at Portland Community and Chemeketa Community College.  I am also the parent blogger for the Early Learning Hub, Inc. of Marion and Polk Counties.

I also have strong ties to LBCC's Family Connections program where I am a Childcare Provider Training Instructor and also an Instructor of the Parent-Child course, "Every Child Ready to Read" in Spanish.

I am a Master Trainer with the Oregon Registry, a Trainer for the ASQ-3, and also trained as a Quality Improvement Specialist with the Oregon Quality Rating Improvement System.

I was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska and visit my family there often.  My husband and I have two daughters and one son.  I love spending time with friends and family and enjoy traveling, playing rec volleyball, salsa dancing, and running.  I regularly volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club of Salem where I coach my daughter's volleyball team.




 Denise Tafen-Hughes Photo

Denise Tafen-Hughes

Classes taught:  Live and Learn with your Baby

Denise moved to Oregon in 2010 after living in Montreal and Toronto (Canada), Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia.  She is originally from the Caribbean island of Antigua and came to the U.S. to pursue a Bachelor's degree.  She has since earned graduate degrees (M.A. and Ph.D) in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education and Social/Cultural Studies in Education.

Denise has worked as an Early Interventionist/Early Childhood Specialist Educator serving families with children birth to age 5.  Additionally she has taught classes in higher education geared to pre-service teachers.  She currently also works at LBCC as an Inclusion Specialist, assisting childcare providers in ensuring that all children are included in that child care environment.  She is also a tutor with the Greater Albany School District, for students with special needs.

Denise and her family live in Albany.  She has two boys, who she describes as being two of her greatest teachers.  Her relationship with LBCC began when she attended the LBCC Live and Learn Baby Class with her youngest child; she also participated in a toddler and a preschool class.  Because of the value she got from these classes, she jumped at the opportunity to teach a Live and Learn class.  Denise looks forward to teaching these classes because she enjoys interacting with parents and their children.  She counts it a privilege to partner with and support parents as they journey on their own parenting pathway.

When she is able to have some "me-time", Denise can be found indulging in music, reading, having a good laugh, or learning something new.  She enjoys singing and dancing, particularly to African and Caribbean music.  She is also learning to play the fiddle.