Our Team


This is a decorative image of a purple flower used in place of a board member's headshot.

Tricia Harrel

Executive Director

Tricia has been working in the childcare industry for over 18 years.  Her focus has been the care and management of those most vulnerable in our community.  She is a passionate advocate for quality early childhood education and embraces the Reggio Emilia approach to allow children to be authors of their own learning.  She graduated from The University of Toledo with a degree in Educational Administration and is a tremendous asset to the center



Sue Whitely

Infant Lead Teacher

Sue earned her Associated Degree in Early Childhood Education.  She has dedicated almost 30 years to this profession, with 22 of them being at OECC.  Being a part of each child’s growth and development in the first few months of life is what Sue appreciates the most.  She respects and admires the capabilities and curiosity of every infant.  She loves observing how infants discover their hands and the progression a child takes to walk. Sue has raised five successful and caring children with her husband of over 30 years.


Gail Bauer

Infant Teacher

Gail’s relationship with OECC began as a parent over 20 years ago when both of her daughters attended.  Her career started in 2004 when she began as support staff and worked with all age groups and in the kitchen.  Gail completed the Early Childhood program at the JVS and currently holds a CDA. She became a teacher in the infant room around 2006 which has been her favorite position at the center.  She loves watching the infants and toddlers grow and enjoys being part of so many firsts: words, steps, experiences.

Debbie S.

Debbie Staller

Toddler Lead Teacher

Debbie has been part of the OECC team since 2002.  After working in a factory for over 20 years, her love of children gave Debbie the courage to pursue her dream job in early childhood.  She has since earned and upheld her CDA.  She loves children and enjoys working with toddlers because they have so many things to communicate.  Their budding personalities can be both a challenge and a reward!

This is a decorative image of a purple flower used in place of a board member's headshot.

Saless Maxwell

Toddler Lead Teacher

Saless is an OECC alumna who was born and raised in Oberlin. She began her career here in 1993 and although she has worked with all ages, she has spent most of her time here with toddlers. Saless has seen many children grow into adults and has even witnessed some return to the center with their own children.  She is inspired by the toddlers’ curiosity and their willingness to try new things.

Headshot of Candy DeBoard, a teacher at Oberlin Early Childhood Center

Cynthia (Candy) DeBoard

Candy earned an associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy and a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. In 2021, she brought her 15+ years of experience in preschool to OECC (her passion for the Reggio Emilia approach to learning was what drew her to us!). Watching children learn from exploring their environment is very rewarding for her. She has been happily married for over 30 years and raised two children with successful careers.


Brittany Miller

Brittany is a  graduate of the JVS’s Early Childhood Education program.  She began her career at OECC as an intern and worked her way up to becoming a teacher in the infant room.  Brittany recently completed her associate’s in Early Childhood Education and began working as a teacher in the preschool program.  She is continuing her education in the hopes of obtaining her bachelor’s in Elementary Education.  She enjoys building relationships with the children and their families to provide the highest quality care.

Margaret Young

This is a decorative image of a purple flower used in place of a board member's headshot.

Although she was born in Kentucky, Margaret has lived in Oberlin for all of her life.  She has worked for OECC for over 20 years. Margaret began in the toddler room and then spent some time in the Rainbow Room as part of our after-school program.  She currently works with all age groups as support staff and in the kitchen as needed. She is proud to say that her twin grandsons were the first babies to begin the 6-week infant program at OECC back in 2007.



LaKrisha Harris

LaKrisha was born and raised in Oberlin.  As a former graduate of OECC, LaKrisha has worked at the center for over twenty-two years.  She has worked with children of all age groups and currently runs our food program.  LaKrisha enjoys watching children grow and learn.  It is the conversations with the preschool children that she has that keep her inspired as they have such great imaginations and you never know what a conversation will bring.