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Parent-Child Classes

Meet Our Instructors

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

Amanda KleinConnie MadsenKara Olsen-Becerra / Kerry RueckNicole Kalita / Sara Goldberg-HamblinSunny Bennett / Tonya Rosling /

 

 

 

  Amanda Klein  

Amanda Klein

Classes taught:  Live and Learn with your Children, Make Parenting a Pleasure

Amanda was born and raised in Albany, Oregon.  She attended Oregon State University, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology and Education.  Her goal throughout college was to be the next "Jack Hanna, Animal Adventurer"; however, deciding not to move to San Diego or Florida, she moved to Portland instead and worked in education for the summer. 

Amanda then started working as a Child and Family Development Specialist in a teen parent high school.  Funding was cut for that program, and Amanda moved on to home visiting and conducting parent and parent/child classes for Early Head Start.  After three years in Portland, Amanda moved to Corvallis and has been working at the Parent Enhancement Program as the Program Coordinator ever since.  She continues to do home visiting, classes and case management to high risk families in Benton County.  

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 
 Sara Goldberg-Hamblin

Sara Goldberg-Hamblin

Classes taught: Live and Learn with your Two-Year Old

Sara Goldberg-Hamblin graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and English.  After spending time in special education classrooms as an assistant, serving as a student-researcher in an autism clinic, and working as a counselor in a group home, she decided to further her education. 

Sara then received a Master's of Education degree in Educational Psychology, and finally a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in special education, disability, and risk studies, all from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

As a doctoral student, Sara conducted research in the Neonatal Nursery, working to make the NICU more family-centered and promote early intervention linkages.  She loved working with families and spent four years supporting families who had children with difficult behaviors.  Prior to moving to Oregon, Sara taught at California State University, Long Beach, in the special education program and then coordinated a Master's program in Early Childhood Special Education at Clemson University.

Sara moved to Corvallis in 2009 with her family (husband Jacob and two daughters) when her husband was hired as a History Professor at Oregon State University.  Sara and Jacob are thrilled to reside on the west coast again and love Oregon.  Sara is excited to be involved with the Live and Learn Program, as she took similar parenting education classes with her first daughter in California, and then with her second daughter in Corvallis.  She believes in the value of the program and enjoys hearing the experiences of diverse parents.  In her spare time, Sara enjoys camping, running, reading, and knitting.

 

 

 

 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.