Early Childhood Council of Larimer County is lucky to have 19 volunteer board members who provide oversight and inspiration for our work. Every month, we’ll be featuring a few board members in our newsletter, on our blog, and on our social media. Get to know our board and follow along!

Kelsey Lyon 

  • Kelsey joined ECCLC’s board in July 2019 as the health department liaison to the board. She is currently the Manager of the Office of Public Health Planning and Partnership at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. 
  • “While my work on the Community Health Improvement Plan connects directly to the great work of ECCLC, my personal life also is greatly impacted by the great work we do as I have an amazing 1 year old little boy in Larimer County,” Kelsey said.
  • Kelsey joined the board because she believes, “ECCLC’s work is extremely important in ensuring Larimer County is a healthy and happy place for everyone to thrive.” 
  • When asked what’s the biggest opportunity for ECCLC to tackle in the next year, Kelsey highlighted culturally competent childcare and the childcare workforce shortage. 
  • In her free time, Kelsey loves to hike, snowboard, travel, and hang with her family. 

Melanie Gilbertson 

  • Melanie is one of the newest members of the board having joined in July 2021.
  • A native of Fort Collins, Melanie has lived in Northern Colorado her entire life and has benefited first-hand from the Council. In particular, Melanie credits ECCLC with being instrumental in helping her achieve her career goals as she has been the recipient of scholarships to complete college courses and countless coaching hours to achieve a Colorado Shines level four rating in 2016. “These are just two of MANY examples of how the ECCLC has positively contributed to young children and their families,” she said. “Being a member of the board gives me an opportunity to give back to an organization–and community–that has made such a difference in my life.  Additionally, I am passionate about issues that impact children and their families. I have made it my purpose in life to find ways to ensure all children are supported and given the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.”
  • Melanie attended Poudre School District for K-12, and then Colorado State University, and Front Range Community College and is deeply rooted in the community. She is the Director of The Goddard School in Fort Collins, which her parents own. She has also been an ECE Instructor at FRCC since 2011. 
  • When asked what’s the biggest opportunity for ECCLC to tackle in the next year, Melanie shared, “Every child should have the opportunity to attend high quality early care and education programs.  Our community faces many obstacles to making this a reality–affordability and lack of workforce being the two most pressing. The pandemic has shed a light on how important our early childhood workforce and programs are to a thriving community–now is the time to bring the community together to solve these issues.” 
  • Melanie has been married for 20 years and has three teenage children who are all very active in athletics, which takes up most of her free time. Her happy place is sitting court side, sideline, or in the bleachers cheering on her children. 
  • When she’s not cheering on her students or her teenagers, she enjoys playing golf, hiking, or reading. 

Queen Dedria Johnson 

  • Queen joined the board in 2019, bringing her deep knowledge of and passion for making our community more equitable for black persons and families to our organization.
  • Her career to date has focused on supporting the city and state in becoming equitable for black persons and families. She’s the founder of 2 of the 3 black owned and led nonprofits in the city (Queens Legacy Foundation & New Eyes Village) and is former founder of the BIPOCAlliance. 
  • Supporting the diverse and equitable change ECCLC aims to create was one of the reasons Queen joined the board. “This was a good opportunity for a parent, member of the community and black nonprofit to be at the table supporting decisions that affect the lives of many black children under the age of 5.” 
  • She also joined the ECCLC board to bring awareness of the preschool-to-prison pipeline as early interventions have a direct impact on mass incarceration of black and other youth of color.
  • When asked what’s the biggest opportunity for ECCLC to tackle in the next year, Queen pinpointed the hiring and retention of early childhood care and education professionals and supporting more in-home childcare settings.
  • Queen is a single mother of 6 and a grandparent raising grandchildren. One of her hobbies is falling in love with her family. Her favorite food is pancakes/flapjacks.