Director Bette Hyde
Dr. Bette Hyde was appointed Director of the Department of Early Learning (DEL) by Gov. Chris Gregoire on Feb. 10, 2009. Bette’s focus is on creating one statewide early learning system that prepares all Washington children for school and life. She strongly believes that school-readiness means ready schools, ready children, ready families and ready communities.
Bette previously served as superintendent of the 5,500-student Bremerton School District, well-known for its emphasis on partnering with local early learning groups to improve kindergarten readiness. She began her career as a special education teacher, and has worked as a school psychologist, principal and assistant superintendent in the Seattle, Vashon Island and Highline school districts. Bette worked as deputy superintendent for Puget Sound Educational Services District. She has served on the Governor's Washington Learns K-12 Advisory Committee, the Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance, and the King County Commission on Children and Youth. Bette currently serves on our state’s Quality Education Council and the Higher Education Steering Committee.
Bette earned her doctorate from the University of Minnesota and completed a post-doctorate administrative certification from the University of Washington. She has two children, Sarah and Sam, a grandson, Mateus and a granddaughter, Anna.
Favorite children's book: Nancy Drew mysteries.
Best childhood memories: Singing on stage with my family from about age 3 on. At 3, it was "All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." I think I liked it because it made my dad so happy. Our family were singers — in the car, around home, and on the stage, the radio, and a few times on TV.
Most important children in her life: My two children, Sarah and Sam, grandson Mateus and granddaughter Anna.
Deputy Director Bob Hamilton
Dr. Bob Hamilton oversees all DEL programs and policy work as well as our three service areas responsible for child care licensing and local early learning partnerships. Bob oversees DEL’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) team and DEL’s Head Start State Collaboration Office.
Bob came to DEL from the Bremerton School District, where he was the director of assessment, special education and school support. He has extensive experience using data and evaluations to measure results within school systems. Bob has also worked in the Highline School District, where he focused on evaluation, research and development; and he has worked in the private sector, as a vice president at Raven Services Corporation. Bob began his career in the Seattle School District.
Bob holds both a Ph.D. and Masters of Education in educational psychology from the University of Washington.
Favorite children’s book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.
Best childhood memory: My sister overcoming her fear of singing in front of a group and singing the national anthem in fourth grade in front of the whole school. I remember thinking, "She’s the bravest kid I know."
Most important children in his life: Children with disabilities. They face the world with great joy and hope with strength I don’t think any of us can imagine.
Government and Community Relations Manager
Amy Blondin serves as the department’s legislative liaison and oversees internal and external communications strategies for DEL.
A Washington native, Amy spent several years as a reporter covering local, state, and federal education issues, beginning at the Spokane Spokesman-Review and continuing in Washington, D.C. She joined DEL from the Washington State Senate Democratic Caucus, where she was a Public Information Officer focusing on early learning, K-12 and higher education policy.
Favorite children's book: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.
Best childhood memory: Reading the Little House on the Prairie series one summer under the maple tree in my yard.
Most important children in her life: My son and daughter.
Chief Financial Officer Linda Shea
Linda Shea is responsible for developing the department's budget, allotments, and fiscal notes; processing payroll, vendor payments, cost allocation, and travel reimbursements; and writing and tracking contracts.
Linda came to DEL from the Secretary of State’s office where she was the deputy director for the corporations and charities division, and prior to that served as the Financial Services Manager. She has many years of experience working in accounting and financial services for state government, including at the Department of Natural Resources, the Office of the Administrator for the Courts and the Washington State Library.
Favorite children’s book: The Gingerbread Man
Best childhood memory: Growing up on Pattison Lake, having family and friends over for barbecues and campfires.
Most important children in her life: My two beautiful roller derby daughters, of course!
Human Resources Manager Robert Bouffard
Robert Bouffard oversees DEL's Human Resources with the responsibility for implementing strategies and polices relating to employees. This includes recruitment, selection and on-boarding; training and development; performance management; labor and employee relations; personnel data management; and compliance with local, state, and federal labor laws.
Robert came to DEL from the Department of Labor and Industries, where he served as the Labor Relations Manager. Prior to that, he held several roles in Human Resources with the Department of Transportation.
Favorite children’s books: Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, The Giving Tree, all by Shel Silverstein.
Best childhood memory: Summer vacations with my family to my grandparents' cabin in Lake Elsinore, CA.
Most important child in his life: My niece, Savannah.
Chief Information Officer Corina McCleary
Corina McCleary oversees information technology, data, and applications development for DEL, making sure everyone on the DEL team has the data, tools, and resources they need to do their jobs efficiently. She was instrumental in developing and launching DEL’s Web site, and leads development and implementation of other internal and external tools, including Child Care Check.
Corina has worked in project management, software development and process development for more than a decade, most recently as the director of application development for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she helped develop various online systems including ones to support teacher certification, student records and free lunch eligibility. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from The Evergreen State College and a certificate in project management from the University of Washington.
Favorite children’s book: Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton
Best childhood memory: Family water fights during the hot summer days seemed to naturally occur whenever the water spigot was on. My sister and I always ended up completely soaked and all the neighborhood kids would join in to share the screams, laughter and fun.
Most important children in her life: My stepson Khalil and daughter Mya.
Assistant Director for Licensing Oversight
Bob McLellan oversees DEL’s Licensing Oversight Division. In that role, he works to ensure that all aspects of child care licensing policy are aligned and promote quality child care opportunities for children and families. This includes licensing policy and procedure; negotiated rule making; subsidy policy; the collective bargaining agreement between the state and licensed family home child care providers; and administration of the federal Child Care Development Fund grant.
Bob has extensive experience as a public administrator in human services, criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health, and emergency services. He joined DEL from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Juvenile Justice, and was previously the Deputy Administrator for Juvenile Services, for the Division of Child and Family Services in Nevada. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Andrew Jackson University.
Favorite children’s book: Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Best childhood memory: Baking gingerbread cookies with my grandmother.
The most important children in his life: My grandchildren and the children we serve every day with our work at DEL.
Assistant Director for Partnerships and Collaboration Kelli Bohanon
Kelli helps make sure DEL offers programs and services that support healthy child development in any setting. The Partnerships and Collaboration Division includes our Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP); the Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO); Home Visiting; the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program (ESIT, formerly the Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program); DEL’s Infant/Toddler Regions; the Medicaid Treatment Child Care (MTCC) program; and the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC).
Kelli has been at DEL since 2007, beginning her tenure as the Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) Director, serving as the local-state liaison for the federal Head Start preschool program. In 2010, she served in the dual role of HSSCO Director and Early Learning Director at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, before assuming her most recent role as Assistant Director for Partnerships and Collaboration at DEL. Before joining DEL, Kelli spent nearly 10 years working for the Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPIC) Head Start/ECEAP program in Yakima, where she began as a teacher for infants and toddlers with disabilities, as well as preschoolers, in a partnership between EPIC and the Yakima School District. From there, she was named EPIC’s Health/Nutrition Program Manager, then birth to 5 Education/Curriculum Program Manager.
Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health education from Oklahoma State University, and a master’s in education administration from Central Washington University. For the past three years, she’s taught a course in social policy for young children and families at the University of Washington’s College of Education, in the Department of Early Childhood and Family Studies.
Favorite children’s books: Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss; The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper; and Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.
Best childhood memory: Building forts in the woods behind my house!
The most important children in her life: My nieces and nephews.
Assistant Director for Quality Practice and Professional Growth Juliet Morrison
Juliet oversees our state professional development system and implementation of Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). In that role, she makes sure that early learning professionals have support and incentivized training and education opportunities that help them offer high-quality early learning to children.
Juliet most recently served as DEL’s professional development program administrator. She oversaw development and implementation of the state QRIS pilot. She previously was the director of education for the Seattle Children’s Museum; has worked as a therapist specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and families; and was director of child development at a nonprofit child development center. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology.
Favorite children’s book: Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.
Child Care Administrator Lynne Shanafelt
Lynne is DEL’s point of contact for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which includes development of the program plan, compliance with the approved plan and federal regulations, and appropriate program implementation. The CCDF plan provides around $112 million dollars per year to DEL to fund child care subsidies to low-income families, child care quality and training programs and licensing. Lynne also supervises agency policy staff for subsidy, collective bargaining and licensing.
Lynne has a wide background in programs related to children and families. She started her career in the Office of Research and Data Analysis for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, worked in Child Welfare Services, and then worked for two local Head Start programs as a home visitor, family and social service coordinator, and Head Start Director. She led the development of two federal demonstrations projects: one for the development of Head Start homeless services, and the other an intergenerational project for Head Start. Lynne also worked on a collaborative model between the Aberdeen School District and Head Start at the beginning of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance program in the state. Lynne started a local Child Care Resource and Referral agency and was the Director for four years, and served as the chair of the local County Interagency Coordinating Council for two years, working with local agencies on improving early intervention services for children and families.
Lynne returned to state service as the ECEAP State Director for five years until DEL’s creation, when she joined the agency as a transitional Assistant Director.
Favorite children’s books: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Best childhood memory: Growing up in rural Iowa during the 1950s, families got together during harvest time to help each other. The men worked in the fields and the women canned food, and prepared three giant meals a day for everyone. This would last for a couple of weeks, going to farm to farm. The younger kids got to “run” wild for two weeks with practically no supervision and no responsibilities, except to check in at meal times. A group of about eight of us played in the fields, climbed trees and played in the barns from early morning to dark. It was the best time.
Most important child in her life: My granddaughter Emma, who is totally the coolest kid ever.