Our Experts

Alison Michel-Hall
Job Title:
Sr. Director of Education
Bio:
Alison Michel-Hall has been working in the early childhood education field for over 35 years with over 20 years at Catalyst. She demonstrates a strong commitment to developmentally appropriate practices and has worked in multiple positions over the years. She has a bachelor's degree in Child Development and master's degree in Early Childhood Studies. She currently holds a Life Children’s Center Supervisory Permit and is a graduate of Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). She continued her education throughout her career including specialized trainings such as: infant/toddler programming and care, special needs, adoption/foster care, anti-bias education, early language and literacy development, emergent curriculum, preschool programming, HighScope, Reggio Emilia practices, accreditation, school age programming, supervision/management, facilitation methods, Desired Results, Teaching Pyramid, trauma informed care, cultural competency, multi-lingual learners, responsive feedback, and effective coaching/mentoring.
America Angeles
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
America has been working in the Early Childhood Education field for over 28 years. Coming from a long line of educators, America feels like it is in her blood to be an educator. She has an AA in Early Childhood Education and is working on a BA in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Trauma.

America was born in Mexico City and came to the United States at the age of 5. Dual language learning is a passion of America's. She also uses her expertise in translating documents and serving as an interpreter during parent/teacher conferences and/or any parent meetings.
Audrey Wyatt
Job Title:
Field Support and Contracts Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Audrey currently serves as the Manager of Contract Administration for Catalyst Family Inc. Audrey graduated from the University of Alaska with a Human Services degree and soon moved to Nevada where she became a preschool teacher, and eventually worked up to a Site Supervisor. After relocating to California, Audrey obtained a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from National University in 2015. Audrey has been a part of Catalyst Family since 2012. Audrey is happily married and lives with her two teenagers, as well as a variety of pets.
Cassandra Brumfield
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Cassandra started with Catalyst Kids as an Associate Teacher in the substitute teacher pool in 2014. In 2015, she began working as a camp counselor at Catalyst Kids - Stone Lake. While working at Stone Lake, Cassandra finished her ECE coursework and received her Site Supervisor permit in 2017. That same year, Cassandra became a manager at Catalyst Camps. After a short break, Cassandra returned as a Site Supervisor at Catalyst Kids Pleasant Grove. She recently upgraded her permit level to Program Director.
Charles Crosby
Job Title:
Director of Community Outreach and Development
Expertise:
Bio:
Charles has been a leader in public relations and marketing for over 25 years. He has led communications and marketing efforts for large nonprofits and educational institutions including Dalhousie University, a leading research university with over 19,000 students on Canada’s east coast, where he led communications for a State Visit from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, coordinated successful efforts to combat social media attacks around animal research, tackled combative strikes, and faced down a nationally broadcast hazing scandal. He has also been a college instructor on PR and advocacy. Most recently he served as Director of Communications and Community Outreach for the Evergreen School District in San Jose and is currently Director of Community Outreach and Development at Catalyst Family Inc. where he leads the marketing, communications, fund development, government relations, and public affairs functions.
Cindy Lipp
Job Title:
Center Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Cindy Lipp has over 30 years’ experience with childcare, 27 of them with our company. Her passion is school age programming and summer camps. She has contributed to statewide teams, focusing on school age assessments and programming as well as helping launch a nine-week specialty engineering virtual class for upper graders. Her summer camps are fun, creative, and innovative. Summer programs have included day camps as well as week-long trips with older youth that focused on building skills in leadership, teamwork, and independence. Cindy works to create a culture where families, the school, and communities blend seamlessly together to provide the best experience possible for students. Currently, Cindy is the Center Manager of three sites. She has attended Purdue University, Mission College, DeAnza College, and San Jose State. She is currently enrolled at Purdue Global. She has a daughter, son, and a very spoiled dog.
Cynthia Gallardo
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Bio:
Prior to joining Catalyst Family Inc., Cynthia held a career in the child development field teaching private preschool, Head Start preschool, and teaching Social-Emotional Skills to children with mild to moderate behavior challenges in K-3rd grade.

In 2007, she joined the Catalyst family as an Assistant Site Supervisor shortly after completing her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Child Development. She finds joy in supporting teachers to create quality experiences for children.

As a Program Quality Manager, Cynthia is trained in Programs for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC), Trauma-Informed Care, and is also a Teaching Pyramid trainer and coach. She has a passion and dedication for high quality equitable programs, which support the children, families, and communities that we serve.
Debbie Phillips
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Debbie has been in the Early Childhood field for over 34 years and has spent most of her time in an infant and toddler classroom or center, as well as preschool. Debbie's passion started early in life when she became the babysitter on her street growing up. Out of high school, Debbie started the Child Care ROP class and was placed at a center to gain experience with toddlers. Fellow teachers helped Debbie identify courses and advance her career in the field. She moved-up from being an assistant teacher to running a center over a span of 10 years. Debbie has been in her position managing Catalyst Kids Trident for over 20 years. She believes in and runs the center from the PITC (Program for Infant Toddler Care) philosophy where all children are respected and valued members of our community.
Franczesca Louise G. Francisco-Ildefonso
Job Title:
Assistant Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Franczesca was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States back in 2009. Six years ago, she started working as an after-school Assistant Teacher with Catalyst Kids. At that time, she was completing her associates degree at a community college to transfer for her undergrad degree. In 2017, she obtained an A.A. degree in Behavioral Science and Child Development from De Anza College. She continued with an undergraduate degree at San Jose State University and received a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies Preparation for Teaching-Multiple Subject after two years. Franczesca knows the ins and outs of teaching and the administrative side of the company.
Heather Slimp
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Heather Slimp is an experienced staff development facilitator and coach, with over 15 years of experience in training professionals working in camp and out of school time programs. Working with children and youth has always been a passion, leading her to earn her B.S. in Psychology from Fresno State. Wanting to blend the joy she found in summer camp programs and research in youth development, she earned her M.S. in Recreation Administration, with an emphasis in Experiential Learning and Adventure Education. She began her role with Catalyst Family Inc. in 2011, developing new camp curriculum, resources, and experiential training opportunities for center leaders and teachers. In her current role as Program Quality Manager, she continues to develop research-based resources, facilitate trainings, and provide coaching to center leaders to promote the highest quality of strength-based, play-based programming for children and youth.