Meet Our Staff Members
Meet the Partners in Family Development Team!
The team at Partners in Family Development comes from a variety of educational and professional experiences. However, they all share a passion and commitment to helping families and children grow and develop in strong, healthy and encouraging ways. Many of our team members serve as Parent Educators in the Parents as Teachers Program, and also facilitate many of our parenting education opportunities and events. Our administrative staff and volunteer Board members provide leadership and serve to encourage, guide and sustain Partners in Family Development.
I was born and raised in Creston Iowa. I have always had a big desire to do all I could to make a difference in the lives of children.
I have spent 25 plus years doing child abuse prevention work. From an early home visitation project, to serving eight years on the Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Board and six years on the Iowa Respite and Crisis Care Board, I have always had the goal of bettering the lives of children.
I dearly love being a cheerleader for all of my past and present PAT families. I am honored to be welcomed into my family's homes and lives. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to both the parents and children's day to day experiences. I have always felt that all parents (including myself) want to do the very best job possible of parenting.
I joined Partners in Family Development as a parent educator in May of 2018, and I love it! It is such a joy to meet and work with families while helping guide and observe the development of their children! Prior to becoming a parent educator, I taught kindergarten and first grade for 20 years. I graduated from Morningside College with degrees in early childhood and elementary education.
In addition to my teaching experience, I have learned about children through foster parenting, adopting, and having children of my own. I do private academic tutoring, and I am a volunteer mentor for New Opportunities.
I was born and raised in Iowa, and I call Lake Panorama home. In my spare time I enjoying boating, driving my ’66 Ford Mustang, spending time with family, attending concerts and musicals, cheering for the Iowa State Cyclones, and traveling.
I was born in Creston Iowa. I have spent most of my life in Iowa! Being the 3rd child out of 7, I have had many years of experience being a sister, daughter, wife, mom, aunt and now grandma! I began caring for children at a young age. I voluntered for Head Start while my children attended. I then ran an in-home registered day care while my children grew up.
I took a brief time out and went to Mexico, where I learned the culture and Spanish language. This has been such an asset. Since returning I have interpreted for the Latino community in my jobs at Head Start, Perry Family Development Center, Dallas County Public Health assisting with the immunization clinics, and also working with families with the Parents As Teachers curriculum.
When given the opportunitiy to work for Partners in Family Development I was so excited! It just felt right! I am blessed to work with the Spanish speaking population in Dallas County. It warms my heart when the children run up to me and give me a hug, and parents eyes light up with a smile when I arrive. It is wonderful to be able to share with them the information we receive from Parents As Teachers. Every day is a new experience as I work with families sharing the Parents As Teachers curriculum. I learn something new right along with the families I serve.
I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children. Who are now grown and raising families of their own! They have blessed me with 10 wonderful grandchildren! In my spare time I love to quilt, crochet, garden and most of all spend time with my family.
Jamie Van Sickle
I was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota and have lived in Iowa since 2003. I attended Black Hills State University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education. My career in education has allowed me to be a classroom teacher, a director at childcare centers and preschools, an early childhood consultant, and a few other fun opportunities. I am passionate about partnering with families as they prepare their children for school and life while supporting their creativity, interests, and individuality along the way.
As the mother of four children, I spend most of my time on a soccer field, driving children around, or doing laundry :). In my free time, I enjoy camping, being outdoors, or spending time at home with my family.
I have lived in rural Madison County nearly all of my life. My husband I are blessed to be raising our three sweet and energetic boys very close to where I grew up. I understand the joys and struggles we parents face on a daily basis.
I have always had a love for children. My professional background includes teaching special education and third grade for 6 years. I have spent the last 11 years as a stay-at-home mom during which time I have been a substitute teacher, reading tutor, and of course doing all of the “mom things” that we do.
I currently spend a lot of time supporting my children at their extra-curricular activities and volunteering at school and church. When I have “free” time, I enjoy photography, shopping and catching up with family and friends.
Parents As Teachers is a wonderful program that benefited my family when my boys were younger. I am now very excited to be a PAT educator myself and am ready to be a partner with you and your family on this exciting adventure called “parenting”!
I am a born and raised Iowa girl. My husband and I have 2 grown children. I have always loved being around kids.
In my younger years, I spent many hours babysitting and teaching swimming lessons. During my career, I have been a Para-Educator in a preschool, a Lead Teacher in a daycare and most recently, a Nanny.
I joined Parents As Teachers as a Parent Educator in May 2019. I look forward to meeting many new families and helping them in any way I can.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, crafting, traveling, spending time with my family and playing with our dogs.
Sheena Sullivan - Executive Director
As the mother of a toddler, the mission of Partners in Family Development is close to my heart.
I'm happy to have recently returned to my home state of Iowa after spending almost 20 years in the Chicago and Denver Metro areas where I served, led, and consulted nonprofit organizations.
I hold a master’s degree in social work with a focus on leadership and development in the social services and a post master's certificate in philanthropy and nonprofit management from Loyola University Chicago.
Rachel Bardwell - PAT Program Supervisor
I have always been drawn to helping other people realize their potential. After college, I worked in various family support positions before taking time away from the workforce to start a family. When my first child was born 8+ years ago, I quickly realized that all my “book knowledge” on parenting was not going to cut it! Parenting was more challenging, draining, AND rewarding than I ever could have imagined. Now that I am past the baby, toddler, and preschool phases, I can start to see the truth in the old saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
In my role as supervisor for the PAT program, I get to work with our incredibly talented team of Parent Educators. Each Educator approaches her job with such a passion for families. It is a joy to work with a team that is so committed to helping families move through these early years. I get to hear so many wonderful stories from our Parent Educators about the great things they see happening with the families they get to visit.
My husband and I have two sons who keep us very busy and entertained! In my spare time, I enjoy scrapbooking, gardening, and relaxing.
Board of Directors
President: Alaina Santizo
Treasurer: Robert Endriss
Secretary: Sarah Anker
Director: Kathie Farris
Director: Gwen Shroder
Director: Bailey Saal