Executive Team Profiles and Pictures | Kidango

Executive Team

Our Executive Team is passionate about working hard at work worth doing. We’re driven by the idea that all children deserve a fair start and strong foundation.

Scott Moore

Chief Executive Officer

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Scott Moore has spent over two decades expanding access to preschool for California’s children and families. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Kidango, a leading preschool and childcare non-profit organization serving low-income families in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Prior to Kidango, Scott was the Chief Policy Advisor for Early Edge California, where he designed and advocated for the policy that established the new Transitional Kindergarten grade and the consolidated California State Preschool Program, which upon full implementation, will be the largest and fourth largest state pre-k programs in the U.S., respectively. These policy victories increase pre-k access to over 500,000 children a year. In 2014, Scott served as a Senior Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. In 2011, he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be Executive Director of the California Early Learning Advisory Council, and in 2019 was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the California Early Childhood Policy Council. Kidango’s work has been recognized in The New York Times, NPR, NBC News, The New Republic, New America, the Hechinger Report, and EdSource.

Noelle Payomo

Chief Operations Officer

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As Kidango’s Chief Operations Officer, Noelle oversees a wide range of departments, including Enrollment, Administrative Services, Information Technology, Facilities, and Nutrition.

Prior to her current role, Noelle served as Kidango’s Director of Nutrition for three years, employing a nutrition strategy aligned with evidence-based research to positively influence the nutrition habits of all Kidango children while addressing the overarching issues of health disparities in early childhood.

Noelle came to Kidango with a background in clinical and community nutrition from Dignity Health, SNAP-Ed, and WIC in the Sacramento region. In these roles, she worked to improve patient care and increase community impact through key operational shifts that streamlined processes and innovated systems. She holds a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Sacramento State University.

Noelle is committed to a collaborative approach toward maximizing the potential of every child and advancing social equity in the community.

 

Nereyra Houle

Chief Financial Officer

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As Kidango’s CFO, Nereyra is responsible for overseeing the agency’s accounting and program compliance functions. In this position, she works to ensure Kidango is in compliance with funding terms and conditions of all funding sources and ensures Kidango follows generally accepted accounting principles including those set by the Independent Auditor, the Federal Office of Management and Budget, and Kidango’s Board of Directors.

Prior to taking on the Director of Finance role, Nereyra spent two years as Kidango’s Finance Manager which provided her extensive experience with the financial systems of Kidango. Her past work as a Senior Accountant for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, CA and an Accountant for Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco, CA have also equipped her with the skills to successfully lead Kidango’s Finance Department. In these positions, Nereyra has managed all accounting functions including payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, account reconciliations, revenue recognition, cost allocations and financial reporting.

Nereyra has long been devoted to employing her skills in agencies committed to the betterment of the community. She takes great pride in her work at Kidango and the contribution she is able to make to the organization’s current and future financial stability. Nereyra holds a Masters degree of Professional Accounting from Colorado State Uniersity, a Bachelor’s of Science in Management from University of Phoenix and an Associate Degree in International Business in addition to a Public Accounting Certificate. She is also fluent in English and Spanish.

Pepijn Van Houwelingen

Vice President, Research and Policy

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Originally from the Netherlands, Pepijn van Houwelingen has made the Bay Area – and Kidango – his adopted home. As a lifelong believer in the importance of education, Pepijn feels strongly about ensuring that all children have the opportunity to grow and learn to the best of their abilities.

In his capacity as Vice President of Research and Policy, Pepijn is tasked with leading Kidango’s efforts to track the outcomes of our programs through rigorous research and facilitating collaborations with some of the nation’s top academic researchers in the field of Early Education. His goal is to utilize data as well as cutting-edge scientific research to continuously improve Kidango’s programs and to maximize their positive impacts.

Pepijn holds a BSc and an MSc in Public Administration from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands), and a PhD in Political Science from Royal Holloway, University of London (United Kingdom). His Doctoral research investigates the dynamic between rational self-interest and moral imperatives in public policy through the lens of collaborations between government, business, and non-profits as they worked together to address issues of unemployment, poverty, and social instability.

Tena Sloan

Vice President of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Training

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As Vice President of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Training (ECMHC) at Kidango, Tena is responsible for shaping and executing an overarching vision and strategic direction for the ECMHC programs internally and externally across the organization. Tena and her team of consultants join in partnership and collaboration with early learning teams in their devoted efforts to ensure the highest quality of care for the children and families they serve. Tena and the ECMHC team provides consultation and training that empowers and builds the capacity of staff and families to cultivate positive and inclusive environments, support the social-emotional health and development of all children in the classroom or home, and work effectively, responsively and collaboratively with children and families with mental health concerns, challenging behaviors and individual developmental differences. The aim of ECMHC is to enhance all relationships involved in the care setting, cultivate and sustain nurturing and emotionally responsive environments, strengthen staff effectiveness in interactions with young children and families, and build strong school/home alliances.

Tena strives to inspire connection, empowerment, compassion and wellness one interaction, one experience and one relationship at a time.  Tena believes all young children and their families have the inalienable right to be embedded in relationships and systems that empower, preserve and nurture their sense of worth, significance, and inner wisdom. Tena’s personal and professional pursuit is for every child to be seen, heard, understood, valued and cared for deeply. Tena believes the adults – teachers, parents and other caregivers – who care for our youngest and most vulnerable members of our community deserve support and resources to be well and to be at their most optimal for the benefit of the children.

Tena is a licensed therapist, endorsed as an Infant-Family Early Childhood Specialist/Reflective Practice Facilitator II and a fellow of the Napa-based Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Fellowship Program through the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Tena holds a B.S. in Communication and a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Tena is an adjunct lecturer within the psychology graduate programs at John F. Kennedy University and Santa Clara University.

Tena has extensive clinical experience with under-resourced communities and families with young children as an early childhood mental health consultant, therapist, supervisor and trainer including with Early Head Start, Head Start and State-Preschool programs.

Tena is trained in several clinical evidenced-based practices that include: Neurodevelopmental Model of Therapeutics (NMT) by Bruce Perry MD of the Child Trauma Academy; Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) by Chandra Gosh-Ippen Ph.D. of the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program; Trauma‐Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF‐CBT); TOUCHPOINTS developed by the T. Berry Brazelton of the The Brazelton Touchpoints Center; Newborn Behavior Observations System (NBO)  through The Brazelton Institute of Children’s Hospital Boston; and the NCAST Parent‐Child Feeding Scale developed at the University of Washington.

Tena does speaking and training at professional conferences and other professional venues on topics related to early childhood mental health; mental health consultation; trauma, toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); trauma-informed care; foster care/adoption; neuroscience and early (brain) development; social-emotional development; learning, behavior and regulation; family engagement; professional burnout and compassion fatigue, interpersonal organizational culture and staff wellness, as well as reflective practice in supervision and consultation.

Marc Baker

Vice President of Development and Communications

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As Kidango’s Vice President of Development and Communications, Marc oversees a dynamic team responsible for the agency’s annual fund development plans, agency marketing campaigns and branding strategies, media relations, and planning and executing of the organization’s fundraising and special events.

Marc began his career in the nonprofit sector coordinating programming for adults and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. It was during this time that he had his first experience raising money as part of his job and he has been passionate about raising funds for nonprofits committed to improving the lives of children and families ever since.

As the Development Manager for Cincinnati Public School’s Project Connect program, Marc worked with foundations, corporations and government agencies to secure funding to provide comprehensive and responsive services to children experiencing homelessness within the school district. As the Foundation Philanthropy Manager at Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley, Marc was responsible for securing major gifts by cultivating and stewarding relationships with local, regional and national foundations, corporations and organizations, along with securing government grants to achieve the agency’s fundraising goals. As the leading fundraising food bank in the United States (in a network of over 200 food banks), Marc was part of a development team dedicated to raising $40 million annually to support programs and services that impact over 260,000 individuals at risk for hunger every month in Silicon Valley.

Marc previously served as Kidango’s Director of Development and is excited to return to an organization committed to providing high quality, holistic services to ensure all children are set up for success in school and in life. Marc has BS and MS degrees in Family and Consumer Science. He also loves binge-watching TV shows, but only the good ones.

Rachelle Javier

Vice President of Head Start

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As Vice President of Head Start, Rachelle is responsible for supervising and working closely with Head Start Leadership team, Head Start Coordinator, Head Start administrative assistants, and the Early Head Start and Head Start Family Advocates. She provides leadership, training and technical assistance, and support to exceed compliance expectations of all Head Start Program Performance Standards & Act. She ensures high quality service delivery to all families at the Early Head Start and Head Start centers.

Rachelle started her Head Start career in 1998. At the time, Kidango partnered with its first Head Start Grantee Agency, Rachelle was hired to oversee the day to day delivery of services for 65 Early Head Start/Head Start children. Since then the program now serves a little over 1,000 Early Head Start/Head Start children, has its own two grantee contracts and has a partnership with three other Head Start Agencies.

Rachelle holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Studies, with an emphasis on Communicative Disorders from San Diego State University. Kidango was and has been Rachelle’s first and only job out of college. Rachelle unequivocally believes in Kidango’s vision and mission for its families, students, and staff to be ready for school and life.

Maéva Marc

Vice President of Advocacy and Policy

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Maéva G. Marc is an educator, artist, and advocate for high quality education in meaningful, trauma-informed learning environments. Her passion to advocate for children and families stems from her experience as an orphan, an immigrant from Haiti, and an English language learner. As Kidango’s Community Organizer, Maéva equipped parents and teachers to use their voice to influence and improve child care and preschool policy. Maéva is also a key organizer in Kidango’s Race and Social Justice Task Force and Anti-Racist Collaborative. She relocated to the Bay Area from Sacramento upon completing the Leadership for Educational Equity Public Policy Fellowship where she advocated for high quality and equitable K-12 education policies. Prior to that, she taught special education in self-contained classrooms in Florida and New York City. While earning her Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Communications at Florida Atlantic University, Maeva served as a teaching artist and advocate in various ECE settings throughout South Florida and abroad to cultivate the integration of the arts in curricula and create awareness on the effects of poverty in the lives of children. She also earned a M.S. Ed in Special Education from Brooklyn College and an MA in Urban Studies with a concentration on Community Arts Development from Eastern University and brings over 15 years of teaching, non-profit management, community engagement, and advocacy experience.

Ernesto An

Vice President of Finance

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As Vice President of Finance, Ernesto is responsible for managing the company-wide fiscal operations. In this position, he will serve as the financial advisor to the CFO and executive team for strategic planning purposes; monitoring the financial health of the agency; formulating agency budget based on trends, cost, and historical data; providing risk management assessment; conducting internal and external audits to ensure compliance with Kidango’s funding terms and conditions and generally accepted accounting principles.

He has 30 years of combined experience in a for-profit and non-profit agency. Prior to joining the Kidango family, he served as an Accounting Manager, Cost Accountant, Treasurer, Accounting Lead and Accounting Associate, Financial Analyst and Cashiering Assistant to various for-profit corporations both in the United States and in the Philippines. Amongst his areas of expertise are in the field of banking and finance, manufacturing, food processing, investment, and non-profit agencies.

Furthermore, he has more than 12 years of experience at Kidango, first as a Finance Manager, then Director of Finance. With those roles in the finance department, he helped manage the day-to-day fiscal and compliance transactions that ultimately resulted to a yearly clean audit.

Ernesto holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree, major in Accounting at the Adventist University of the Philippines. He takes pride in the values instilled by his parents, his culture, and his faith.

Steve Camuti

Vice President of Information Technology

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As Vice President of Information Technology, Steve Camuti is originally from California and studied Digital Media and Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His passion is to make the complex accessible and attractive, be it technology or conflict resolution. Coming from a family of educators, he has always felt at home in the classroom, without forgetting his fascination with technology that he has always had.

Steve’s background ranges from Early Childhood Education experiences in the classroom, leading a team at an animation studio, working for an adult education software developer, to setting the tone for support at startups and a Fortune company. 500. Spends your spare time improving systems in the forms of problem solving technology, communication systems, and community improvement. His background in technology and education underpins the years he’s spent humanizing tech support and introducing technology into learning environments.

LaShunda De Los Reyes

Vice President of Early Learning

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Kidango’s Vice President of Early Learning, LaShunda is responsible for leading the Early Learning department and helping to create an excellent whole-child, whole-family fabric of services that empower the potential of every child, their families, and the staff who serve them by working collaboratively across departments to provide an excellent experience for children, families, and staff. Also, for the day-to-day operations of all centers and the family child care home network, including quality improvement efforts such as training, coaching, budget, and fiscal management.

LaShunda started her career at Kidango in 2010, and her commitment to providing quality educational experiences for children showed as she grew internally over the years by fulfilling the role of a Teacher Aide, soon after an Associate Teacher, next a Center Director, then a Regional Director, and now VP of Early Learning.

LaShunda’s background experience gained over her years at Kidango also includes helping to ensure that programs are of high quality and operate according to best practices in early learning in compliance with DSS Community Care Licensing (Title 22) and following CDE EESD Title 5 regulations, funding terms, and conditions and also understanding and supporting programs to meet Early Head Start and Head Start Performance Standards.

LaShunda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and is enthusiastic and excited to collaborate with all Kidango departments to enhance learning experiences for all children to reach their full potential, ensure all children and families have a positive, culturally sensitive, trauma-aware customer experience, in addition to building trusting relationships with all employees, children, and families.

Sandra Phillips-Sved

Chief of Early Childhood Services

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Sandra has been founding schools and programs from the ground up, innovating, and sustaining successful initiatives aimed at transforming educational experiences for children PreK-12, for over two decades. A long standing equity champion for children, her history includes being an early childhood teacher, building bridges between the early childhood and elementary divide as a Director of Early Childhood programs, and serving as a results–oriented, and compassionate elementary school principal for eleven years. Her advocacy for children 0-5 and their families extended to her local community, serving as a two-term Commissioner for First Five San Mateo.

Prior to joining Kidango, Sandra spent the last 5+ years at the San Francisco Unified School District developing leadership programs for hundreds of new and seasoned leaders, serving and founding Director of Transformative Leadership for Equity and Excellence, a PreK-12 leadership coach, and adult learning facilitator. As Executive Director of Talent Development, she has supported educators in educational leadership pathways for new and developing teachers. Sandra’s approach to work addresses the pervasive historical legacy of systemic racism and inequality in schools.

Sandra finds joy spending quality time with friends and her family, husband Kevin, their four adult children, and extended family.

William Cardenas

Vice President of Operations

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William Cardenas is committed to closing the opportunity gap for traditionally underserved communities. He brings over 20 years of experience delivering impactful regional and national initiatives with success in leading organizational growth, building high leverage systems, and developing teams and talent for mission-driven organizations in education, tech, and financial services. 

As the Vice President of Operations for Kidango, William leads the Operations division in driving efficiency, innovation, and excellence to ensure all children have the skills needed to be ready for success in school and life. In this role, William will oversee Program Development, Facilities, Operations and Compliance, and Inventory Compliance departments. William is excited to join the Kidango community and support early childhood students in collaboration with an amazing group of dedicated professionals.

William worked most recently at SMASH, part of the Kapor Center, where he built college and STEM/tech career readiness opportunities with philanthropic, corporate, and university partners, actively managed a portfolio of established and growing program sites using data-driven methodologies, and expanded the operational systems and processes for a national organization. 

Additionally, William served as the founding Director of Operations for KIPP NYC’s first elementary school in the South Bronx. During his tenure, William managed Facilities, Finance, Human Resources, IT, and Compliance functions as the school expanded by 2X students and 3X staff.

William holds a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from Columbia University in International and Transcultural Studies. William is a California native and a proud product of immigrant parents from Peru. He enjoys spending time outdoors, growing his vinyl collection, and exploring new places to eat with his family.

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