Board of Directors
We are always looking for compassionate individuals who would like to join our board of directors. If you are interested, please let us know by filling out this application.
If you are currently on the board, click here to view board materials.
The Sprout Board of Directors meets the fourth Wednesday of each month except July and December at 6:00 PM. If you would like to attend a meeting, please email the Executive Director.
Susie Amundson / President
I never liked babysitting as a teenager. Kids, they seemed like an inconvenience! But lo’ and behold my first job out of occupational therapy school was smack dab in the public schools. And it was then that I fell in love. I fell in love with kids of all differing abilities and immediately believed they should get to participate in a full, meaningful and joyous life. And of course, the key to this was supporting caregivers, teachers, extended family, and anyone who was invested in this child to grow, learn, and thrive. Thus, my career led me to children and their families in urban settings, rural ones, and in the bush always showing me one thing – families want their children to flourish.
And that’s why serving on the Sprout Board of Directors is such a privilege. Sprout supports families through coaching, education, resources, and coordinating community services, and providing therapeutic services to children. It’s a thrill knowing that our fantastic staff reach and bolster families and children on the Southern Kenai Peninsula and the Aleutians. That Sprout is making a positive difference in the lives of many children, not just now but in their futures!
As an organizational health consultant now, my primary service on the board is to strengthen and sustain Sprout. And if I’m focused elsewhere it will be on my husband, friends, and the wonderful Kachemak Bay community.
Carolyn Norton / Vice President
I was born and raised in Homer and was very lucky to have a childhood full of theater, books, music, and love. I graduated from Homer HIgh in 2000 and have worked at Pier One Theatre, Solstice Music, and the Homer News. For the last six years I’ve been the Family Advocate at the Haven House Child Advocacy Center, supporting children and families dealing with sexual abuse and severe physical abuse.
Sprout has been a positive force in my life in many ways, from offering services to the families I work with to supporting me through parenting challenges at home. It is a privilege to be able to contribute my time and energy to this agency.
It is my firm belief that every child deserves to grow up safe and loved, and that it’s our job as a community to create an environment in which kids are protected and nurtured. Whether or not we are parents, we are in this together.
Maureen Moore / Treasurer
I grew up in Vermont, the 8th child in a family of 11 children and time has only increased my gratitude for the loving and stable family life that nurtured me.
Linda Lekness / Secretary
I am recently retired after having spent my professional career in health systems administration working primarily in Washington State and in Alaska. Most recently I provided services to the Foundation for Health Care Quality in Seattle for select programs including the Community Health Information Exchange Oversight Board and related health information technology activities. Prior to working with the Foundation, I was employed at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and served as the Director of Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network (telemedicine) project. I received a BS in Nursing from South Dakota State University, an MS in Nursing Education and Administration from the University of Minnesota, and later earned an MBA from the College of St. Thomas. I joined the Sprout Board of Directors in Fall 2014. Since joining the Board, In addition to general board policy and programs, my area of focus had been on Fund Development.
Healthy children and families are the foundation of vibrant communities. Serving on the Board allows me to actively support Sprout’s effort to provide a comprehensive set of early childhood programs and activities for children in Homer and the surrounding communities. I am strongly committed to the mission of Sprout and hope to continue to use my background and experience in health care to support high quality early childhood development.
Tracie Brown / Member / Joined 2016
My family moved to Homer in 1995 from Anchorage. We loved raising our boys in and around Kachemak Bay. Our sons have chosen to live and work here and are kind members of the Homer community. When they were young, I volunteered in their classrooms, as Cub Scout Leader for several years, and then I participated in Boy Scouts through committee work. I enjoy kayaking and exploring Kachemak Bay and scuba diving in warmer waters.
I learned about the tapestry of Homer service organizations through my work at the Department of Labor. Quality early childhood evaluation and learning is vital to support human development. I joined the Board of Directors in December 2016 to advocate for Sprout Family Services because it is an agency that is an integral part of Homer. A better world involves participating in community and supporting children.
Emily Sloth / Member / Joined 2017
As a born and raised lifelong Alaskan, I feel blessed to call this state my home, let alone be raising my son here. I grew up playing mostly outside, camping, hiking and doing much creative play. If I’m outside, I’m happy. My experience with Sprout began when our son was young and we enrolled in the Imagination Library program offered as well as the Parents as Teachers program. We felt supported at a time that was most difficult, as we navigated being parents for the first time. It was new territory, that at times felt very lonely. Sprout offered us structure, consistency, parenting tid bits, & evaluation. Butit was gentle support, not invasive and most importantly, friendship.
It takes a village to raise a child and a supportive community. Support comes from all over, at times we might not expect. I’m a wife, a mother, a strong woman; not because I stand alone, but because I have a village behind me. I was adopted at birth and couldn’t be more blessed and loved in life. I only hope I can support others and give back that love I feel to a rich, wonderful community by the sea.
Stephanie Stillwell / Member / Joined 2016
Raised in Minnesota, in a multicultural family of Ojibwa and Finnish, I had always dreamed of working with native communities or communities with a high need for education, prevention or wellness. While living in Ohio, I worked as a pediatric registered nurse in neuropsychiatry working with children and adolescents with autism and other developmental disabilities. While I enjoyed my work, I was ready to make a change. In 2015, I decided to pursue my longtime dream of living in Alaska. Three months later, my family, including my three children began our journey north. It is so great to raise my children in an area where people encourage them to be the creative, imaginative and wonderful children that they are.
The healthy development of children is extremely important to me, both personally AND professionally. Personally, as a community member and a parent, the children are our future and we need to do what it takes to invest in their (and our) future. Professionally, my focus is prevention. Sprout plays an enormous role in prevention by increasing resiliency in families and children. I’m inspired to help my children grow up having the best possible outcome for themselves and helping to create a community where they can grow and learn.
Randall White / Member
I was born 3rd in a family of 4 children, and my dad was a pastor. For many years I was in charge of helping out with the children’s ministry. I’ve spent the majority of my life around kids and love to help out with nurturing their minds.
I moved to Homer in 2011 from Portland, OR and one year later my wife became the Executive Director of an Early Learning Center. She worked with kids and families around our town, and that’s when I first heard of Sprout. She worked closely with the staff and Jill Lush to ensure that she was doing the right things and providing everything she could for her staff and kids. I was so intrigued by what she told me that I started to ask more questions and even began talking to more people about Sprout, their practices, and their programs.
With what I heard, I was convinced that Sprout followed what I believe. No child should be discounted as unable to learn. Sprout works with all families to provide access to needed tools, resources and support in order to meet the needs of the individual child in order to learn, grow and thrive. I, myself, grew up with several hardships in learning and speech, so I know how difficult it can be as a child, and seen how frustrating it can be for parents. So, it is my goal to do what is I can to help to ensure kids and families with need have the resources to help and know about who and where they are provided.