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.
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.
Nancy Kleine | Secretary | Joined 2019
From as early as I can remember, I was inspired to be a teacher. Born in Homer in 1956, the first baby girl born in the Homer hospital, I played outdoors, picking berries, fishing for king crab off the city dock, building fern forts, and swimming at Green Timbers on the spit, but when not outdoors, I was playing school. If my friends were not available to be my students, I used my dolls, balls, marbles, or whatever was available! I also loved reading, so my “students” had many a story read to them. These early experiences were practice for my later work and play.
From as early as I can remember, I was inspired to be a teacher. Born in Homer in 1956, the first baby girl born in the Homer hospital, I played outdoors, picking berries, fishing for king crab off the city dock, building fern forts, and swimming at Green Timbers on the spit, but when not outdoors, I was playing school. If my friends were not available to be my students, I used my dolls, balls, marbles, or whatever was available! I also loved reading, so my “students” had many a story read to them. These early experiences were practice for my later work and play.My adult life directly reflects my childhood. With an English degree and teaching certificate in hand, I taught for 3 years in the village of Perryville on the Alaska Peninsula, then made my way back to Homer where I’ve taught preschool through college, worked in private school and public education, and eventually earned my administrative degree to become a “teacher of teachers” as principal in Nanwalek and Port Graham for my last six of forty years as an educator. Amidst every day of my career, I found time to be in nature (alone or with kids) hiking or biking the beach or trails, kayaking, picking berries, or simply appreciating the rich world in which we are fortunate to live.
As a recent retiree, I am still yearning to work for children. Supportive of Sprout since its beginnings, I am now delighted to offer my experience as a board member, for Sprout’s mission, “promoting the healthy development of children,” is one and the same with what compelled me to teach for 40 years. It truly is the answer to opening each child’s potential and building a healthy community. Every child deserves the nurturing that will help them discover their gifts, for only then can they move into the world to contribute in healthy ways and ensure such a world for their own children and beyond.
Andrea Konik | Treasurer | Joined 2019
I was born and raised in Oregon. As one of the oldest cousins in our large extended family I was always will to help watch the younger children and volunteer to provide childcare at church. I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone when I left home to take a “temporary” job as a nanny in Alaska. That job grew into a 10-year adventure where I helped the children I worked with grow into strong, independent individuals and I myself grew as a caregiver, teacher, administrator and advocate.
I moved to Nome in 2012 to continue working with children and families. There I developed a love of small tightknit communities and saw how important the support and resources we provided were for ensuring children could grow and thrive in areas where they would otherwise be limited. Here in Homer I see Sprout providing those same valuable resources to the community. I want to do my part to support Sprout’s effort and spread the message to others.
Debbie McMullen | Joined 2020
It’s always been a priority to me that all children have the ability to be a vital part of community through family education and community support. I have been on various committees over the years and on our Village Council for the past 16 years, but never been on a Board. I’m looking at this as a great learning experience that I hopefully can add to. I have very good connections to both Port Graham and Nanwalek. I owned a business for 25 years (or it owned me!) – regardless I was there 7 days a week. Learned to communicate fairly well!
Laurie Palo | Joined 2019
I have resided in Homer since April of 2015 and am proud to call this beautiful place home. I only intended on staying a summer, however, like many people I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. One summer turned into a winter and now I consider myself a Homer resident and community member. As a community member, it is important for me to give my time and do my part to make this the best Homer it can be.
I raised 2 beautiful girls in Portland, OR that are now in their late 20’s and as I reflect on that journey, the highs the lows, I realize that the only way I survived was with the help of others. My girls and I attended story time, play groups, and church activities and I believe because of these activities they both thrived throughout their years in school.
I was thrilled to hear that within the Homer community existed an organization like Sprout that was devoted to helping parents navigate the early stages of their children’s development no matter what their needs may be. I am excited to be a part of Sprout’s mission by serving on the Board of Directors and doing my part to continue this important and necessary work.
Stephanie Stillwell | President | 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.
Mike Tupper | Vice President | Joined 2018
I grew up the oldest of four children in the northern California redwoods. Looking back I wasn’t the most attentive older brother. I didn’t have much interest in my siblings or children in general. That disinterest in children changed when I became a father. I also noticed, as I grew into that new role, I began to recognize the influences from my early life. These role models were not only my immediate family but uncles, grandparents and teachers, oh so many teachers. Organizations that support periods of early development go beyond serving children. They are helping to shape future adults and parents from generation to generation. Organizations like Sprout are powerful tools that develop our world.
Healthy development also plays an important role in overall wellness. Our early years are pivotal in setting the stage for lifelong health and wellbeing. I am excited to be a part of this amazing resource.