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OPSR Foundation

 

The OPSR Foundation was created to solicit and receive public and philanthropic funds.

 

In conjunction with the establishment of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness, the OPSR Foundation was created to solicit and receive public and philanthropic funds. The foundation supports OPSR’s vision and mission by expanding the breadth in which our organization can financially support early childhood research, programs and initiatives. 

In this capacity, the OPSR Foundation operates as a 501(c)3 organization. Currently, the foundation is made up of passionate, dedicated early childhood advocates, some of who worked to improve school readiness even before the formation of OPSR. Our foundation is proud of OPSR’s hard work over the past 15 years but knows there is much more to be gained if we continue to invest in our children from birth to the time they enter school.

We’d like to thank our current donors for their continued support of OPSR:

  • Alliance for Early Success
  • Arnall Family Foundation
  • Chesapeake Energy Corporation
  • George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Inasmuch Foundation
     
  • Oklahoma Child Care Association
  • Potts Family Foundation
  • TSET
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation


 

Board Members

Annie Koppel Van Hanken

President

In addition to her work with the OPSR Foundation, Annie oversees George Kaiser Family Foundation’s (GKFF) early childhood education and common education initiatives. Before joining the GKFF in 2002, Annie worked in inner-city Los Angeles at a community-based youth development center. She serves as board president for Tulsa Educare and a board member for Tulsa Legacy Charter School. Annie is also a gubernatorial appointee on the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Board. She has a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on learning disabilities, from the University of Texas at Austin and a dual bachelor’s degree in English and history, with a minor in classics, from Tulane University.

Janet McKenzie

Secretary

Janet is a retired teacher and longtime champion of the link between high quality early childhood experiences and success in education. Over the years, she taught special education, pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade and served as an instructional coach in Tulsa Public Schools as well as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University.

Notably, Janet received the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Award in Elementary Teaching in 2006 by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

In addition to her work with OPSR, Janet is involved in her community as a member of the Tulsa Partnership for Children’s Behavioral Health with special work on steering, community and bridge building committees. Previously, she served on Tulsa Public Schools’ Wellness Policy Committee, the Oklahoma Early Childhood Teachers Association Board, Success by Six Board, and the North Central Association Plan Committee, to name a few.

She is married to Andy McKenzie, another 40-year early childhood educator and administrator, and they are proud of their two children and two grandchildren. She earned her bachelor's in special education and master's in early childhood and elementary education from the University of Tulsa.

Headshot of Kathy Cronemiller, OPSR Foundation Vice President

Kathy Cronemiller

Treasurer

Kathy has been with the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness since its inception in 2003. Her dedication to young children stems from her belief that “early education is the only way to succeed.” In fact, Kathy’s life has long been influenced by those who care about children and the future of our state as her father worked as a school principal and her mother a teacher.

Today, Kathy is the president of six licensed child care centers that have been operating for 35 years. Childcare, Inc. serves the OKC-Metro area and follows the philosophy that “children have the right to a nurturing, safe environment where they can feel comfortable and secure.” Kathy started this business when her daughter’s child care facility was closing and there were limited options for quality child care with positive learning experiences.

In addition, Kathy spends her time as an active member of the Oklahoma Child Care Association and the Chickasaw Nation. Kathy and her husband also own the Lake Texoma Lodge and Resort in Meade, Okla. And she enjoys being a grandmother to her grandchildren ranging from ages two to nine.

Ginny Bass Carl, J.D.,CAP

Governance Chair

Ginny, founder and CEO of Giving Well LLC, is a fifth generation Oklahoman and a licensed attorney in Oklahoma, Texas and Hawaii. She received her law and accounting degrees from the University of Oklahoma. Combining her years of work for nonprofits, including Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Oklahoma Hall of Fame, nonprofit board service, training, and passion to change the world, she started her own business to scale philanthropy. Her quest is to help donors have greater impact by ensuring nonprofits balance mission with business, especially planned giving, fundraising and governance. In 2019, she achieved her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation.

In addition to her work with the OPSR Foundation, Ginny currently serves on the boards of Leadership Oklahoma, Potts Family Foundation, Oklahoma Association of Charitable Gift Planners and Trust Company Oklahoma. She will chair the next class of Leadership Oklahoma (LOK) and was co-chair of LOYAL classes IX and X. She is a graduate of LOK (Class 30) and Leadership Oklahoma City (Class 28). In 2012 and 2017, Ginny was one of “50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma.” She has two children, Collin and Rachael, and is married to Peter, owner of The Well of OKC Wine and Spirits.

Caren Calhoun

Director

Caren was the founding executive director of Tulsa Educare until she recently retired and now serves as senior advisor to Tulsa Educare helping to enhance the quality and efficiency of licensed child centers/homes in the local community. Before joining Tulsa Educare, Caren was a Head Start Fellow from 2008-2009, during which time she worked in the Budget and Policy Division of the Office of Head Start in Washington, D.C. 

She has a master’s degree in early childhood education and over 35 years’ experience in early childhood administration with 22 of those years working in multi-site management. She has a specialty in program design and management, as well as in infant and toddler environments and partnerships. She was selected in June of 2012 as a “Head Start Champion of Change,” representing the children, staff, and families of Head Start on a panel with ten other honorees at the White House. 

In her down time, Caren keeps busy with her husband, five children and twelve grandchildren.

Phil Dessauer

Director

Phil has been serving his community and state since 1976 when he began working as planning director of the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa (CSC), and then served as executive director from 1984 to his retirement in 2016. Through his many years of experience, he developed knowledge and expertise in several areas, including school and community partnerships, maternal and child health, early care and learning, homelessness, community schools, mental health care, family support and preservation, child abuse prevention, long term care and developmental disabilities. His special interests included population analysis and its importance to effective community planning, and organizing P-20 planning initiatives for improved education outcomes and overall personal well-being.

In addition, Phil has been a part of, and/or led several state and local efforts addressing many human services, health, mental health, criminal justice and other issues. In the early 1990’s CSC took a leadership role in addressing early childhood needs. That role expanded in 1999 with Phil serving as resource staff for the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Education, and initiating JumpStart Tulsa. He has provided guidance to the Tulsa Metropolitan Human Services Commission (MHSC), a partnership which has coordinated policy and resource planning among the major health and human services funders and decision makers in the Tulsa area since 1981. MHSC also was active in support of legislation creating the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness.

Phil was a founding member of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) Board of Directors and helped establish the OPSR Foundation. He is a founding member and past President of the National Association of Planning Councils and still consults regionally and nationally on aspects of community planning addressing health, education and human service concerns. Phil has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and an M.A. in urban studies and community development from the University of Tulsa.

Ashley Godwin

Director

Ashley previously worked in business management and was a small business owner in the Ardmore area for several years. Her passion for children led her to leave this sector to pursue the field of education. She graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a bachelors in elementary education and obtained additional certifications for early childhood and advanced mathematics education. Teaching first grade, second grade, and middle and high school mathematics over the years gave her a broad perspective of the challenges children face at all levels of their school careers. 

In 2016, she left the classroom to have a broader impact and now serves as the Director for Ardmore Behavioral Health Collaborative, a community coalition in Southern Oklahoma, where she is improving community wellness through implementation of trauma-informed approaches and partnership building. In her current role, she is able to link resources with school systems in her region to implement best practices and programs aimed at preventing childhood adversities and building resilient families. 

Additionally, Ashley has also served as a consultant for the Oklahoma State Department of Education on the Mathematics Framework Project helping to develop resources for other educators across the state. She is very involved in her community and serves on the advisory board for Take II Academy and on the Ardmore Baby Council. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Ardmore, OK Math/OK Sci Leadership and is a current member of Class 33 of Leadership Oklahoma.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys traveling with her husband of eleven years, Brandon, eleven-year old son, Parker, and nine-year old daughter, Ava. Their favorite vacation destination is Disney World, and they share a goal to visit every Disney theme park in the world. 

Lindsay Laird

Director

Lindsay serves as program manager for Child Welfare Initiatives at the Arnall Family Foundation where she is responsible for developing engagement strategies, building partnerships and overseeing project implementation. Prior to joining the OPSR Foundation, she served as vice president of Saxum, an integrated marketing communications agency based in Oklahoma City.

She has a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2014, Lindsay was listed in the OKCBiz Achievers Under 40 and is a graduate of Linking Oklahoma City’s Young Adult Leaders (LOYAL) Class IV. She serves on the board of directors for ReMerge, a comprehensive female diversion program and is a member of the Oklahoma County Children and Families Council.

Liz McLaughlin

Director

Liz McLaughlin is the co-founder of Oklahoma City non-profit Fields & Futures and co-owner, along with her husband Tim, of the OKC Energy FC. She was raised in Oklahoma and attended Putnam City West high school. She went on to obtain a degree in Information System Management from the University of Oklahoma. Liz has been married to her husband Tim for 26 years, and together they have 4 children. Liz has served on several community boards, but has scaled back her service so she can watch all of her kids play soccer. One of her children plays for the MLS Los Angeles football club and one plays for the SMU Mustangs. Another plays for the Deer Creek Antlers and has committed to the OCU Stars fall 2019. Otherwise, she loves travel, going to Energy games and volunteering as a basketball coach for the Police Athletic League.

Suzanne Thompson

Director

Child advocacy has been Suzanne’s passion since majoring in sociology and social sciences as an undergraduate and then earning a master of education degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. Becoming a social worker reinforced her belief in the importance of early childhood education and programs that promote the health and well being of children from birth throughout their school experience.

Suzanne has supported education in her community by being a driving force of the El Reno Public School Foundation as well as introducing a mentoring program to the school district. She served on the first task force that studied the feasibility of allowing charter schools in our state and is passionate about supporting educational financial initiatives.

As well as being a director of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Foundation, Suzanne serves as a trustee with the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and as a member of the Citizens Advisory Board of Canadian County (CART HOUSE) Child Abuse Response Team.

She resides with her husband Tommy and pets, Baby (cat) and Tatty (a bossy Maltese). They are members of the Wesley United Methodist Church in El Reno.

Debra Andersen

Executive Director

Debra has been the executive director of the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness since June 2010. With over 30 years of professional experience, she has developed expertise in organizing collaborative efforts at both community and state levels to create positive change for young children and their families. Prior to joining OPSR, Debra was employed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, providing state level leadership for the Child Guidance program. She has a master’s degree in speech pathology from Kansas State University and extensive experience in providing services to young children with communication delays, state level program planning and administration, and community coalition building.