Parent-Child Classes

Meet Our Instructors

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

Connie MadsenKara Olsen-Becerra / Kerry RueckNicole KalitaSunny Bennett / Tonya Rosling / Lisa Richardson / Sarah-Jane Gilmour / Rachelle Saceda /



Connie Madsen

Connie Madsen

Classes taught:  Getting Ready Together 

Connie Madsen's love for teaching blossomed when her eighth grade teacher asked her to help a fellow student learn to diagram sentences.  They joy of guiding her classmate in understanding this strange new skill ignited her passion to become a teacher.  With a Bachelor of Arts from Oregon State University in Elementary Educatin she began her career in a two-room school house teaching first through fourth grades.  After marrying and starting a family, she earned an M. Ed. in curriculum and instruction and an ESOL endorsement.

Although she has taught all elementary grades, kindergarten is her favorite age and longest run (15 years).  She believes the most important aspect of being a teacher is to simply get to know and enjoy her students.  Connie believes that learning should be child-centered, interactive and fun.  She has written two educational books about learning games and continues to develop new games, activities and books for young children.

Connie has six grown children, six grandchildren and a teenager still at home.  She and her husband live on a five acre mini-farm where they grow much of their own food.  Their most recent addition is an olive grove to press their own olive oil.




 Kara Olsen-Becerra

Kara Olsen-Becerra

Classes taught:  Live and Learn with your Baby

Kara Olsen-Becerra was born and raised in Oregon and was happy to return to the Northwest with her husband over 10 years ago after attending college at Brigham Young University, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Family and Human Development.

Kara's passion and background has always been in working with children and families.  Over the last 12 years, she has worked as a mental health case manager for children of all ages, a program coordinator for an Even Start program serving Latino families, an Instructor for the Live and Learn with your Baby classes through LBCC, and a nutrition educator for the Healthy Youth Program.

Kara is thrilled to be back teaching "Live and Learn with your Baby" classes in Corvallis.  She thoroughly loves teaching parents with young babies because they are so open to new ideas and often in search of validation as well as community.  It is an honor to be with parents at the beginning of their parenting journey and to help them understand that we are all in this journey together.  Parenting can be joyful and it can also be exhausting and extremely difficult at times.  Kara has personally benefitted from the Live and Learn classes with her own cildren and appreciates what a great benefit they can be to all parents.

Kara is the proud mom of three children.  She enjoys running, being an active member of her church, singing and making up silly songs, spending time with her family and friends, and participating in all that this great community has to offer!





 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

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.




 Tonya Rosling

Tonya Rosling

Classes taught:  Creative Development

Tonya's life has been dedicated to teaching and social work.  She has had the privilege of teaching kindergarten through university level students.  She also has field experience working with parents to regain custody of their children through Marion County Mental Health Services.  Most recently, she has been involved in educating future teachers at Oregon State University.  Tonya's background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from Western Oregon University, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching from Oregon State University.

Tonya has always called Oregon home.  She grew up in Aumsville and moved to Corvallis with her husband, Michael, after completing her undergraduate studies.  Tonya and her children have all benefitted from classes at Linn-Benton Community College.  She is looking forward to being part of the parenting education faculty after participating for many years as a parent.

In her spare time, Tonya enjoys running in the woods, getting drawn into a good book, and spending time with family and friends.




 Lisa Richardson


Lisa Richardson

Classes taught: Live and Learn with your Toddler, Live and Learn with your Two-Year Old, Part-Tot Gym, Creative Development, and Every Child Ready to Read (Early Literacy)

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

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.