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Our Trainers

Sherri Fry

Languages: English

Sherri Fry has been an in-home daycare provider for the last 22 years. She is a fourth year mentor with the Imagine Institute and became a state-approved trainer in 2018. Sherri completed her initial and short ECE Certificate in 2020. She is currently enrolled in Yakima Valley Community College studying for her AAS. Sherri loves her work and hopes to continue teaching new providers and being an asset to the early learning community.

Safia Abdule

Languages: English and Somali

Safia Adule is currently family child care home provider and a trainer for the Washington State Early Childhood community. She is active in the family child care community and is bilingual in Somali and English. Her passion is her ability to assist marginalized communities in order to help them in access services. She also has experience working with agencies and families in communicating to the community the diverse issues surrounding child care concerns. Safia is an American Heart Association and Washington Early Childhood Education Trainer. She is certified to teach CPR and First Aid with the Infant and Toddler component and has a special focus on helping support others in working with children with special needs. She has worked tirelessly to instruct and assist refugee families in understanding the services available and help them acclimate and transition upon arriving into the United States. She has vast knowledge and experience working with diverse communities and children with special needs. Safia has a passion for helping others increase their education and knowledge of how to meet the diverse needs of our community and the children and families that we serve. Her goal is to take into account the different ways students learn and use it to promote an educational experience that will enable participants to learn and gain knowledge while enjoying the learning process. As a trainer, Safia strives to work closely with each participant, learning about their traditions, heritage, or values that each finds important. Her teaching focuses on specific goals and addresses each student’s different learning styles. She believes that understanding the different learning styles and addressing them during her teaching helps to ensure that the student’s goals are successfully achieved.

Aan Abukar

Languages: Somali

Aan Abukar is a licensed child care provider in Washington State. Aan received her education and graduated in Somalia. Becoming an early care educator has always been her passion as she enjoyed teaching and working with children. When Aan came to America, she attended college and earned her medical assistant degree. During that time, she worked in hospitals and as a teacher’s assistant in Head Start where she gained valuable experience working with children. After graduation, Aan opened her own in-home child care business. She has been a business owner and child care provider for over 11 years.

Laura Tanzy

Languages: English

Laura Tanzy is an In-home child care provider in Olympia for twenty years. She cares for children from many different races, cultures, family make-up and income levels. She has been a State Approved Trainer for six years and a CPR instructor. Those years include training with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and with the Imagine Institute. Laura has a degree from The Evergreen State College. She has taken Early Childhood Education classes and continue training as a Professional in working with adults. For fifteen years, Laura has been an advocate with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by calling, writing, bargaining, and meeting with local & state elected officials discussing issues of importance of children, families and child care providers to ensure their needs are met.

Berta Artiga

Languages: Spanish

Berta Artiga was born and raised in El Salvador and is currently an early child teacher educator. She owns her own business as a home daycare, offering families and children high quality work, respecting their cultures, and working with humility and being positive. Berta uses appropriate strategies according to the children’s ages in order for their learning to be successful.

Berta graduated from Goddard College with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education in 2020. Currently, she is a WA State Approved Trainer, Certified CPR and First Aid Trainer and Certified Mentor, and Trainer for the Imagine Institute.
Berta is getting her master’s degree in education, with the concentration in adult learning at the Goddard school. For her, education is the basis of personal improvement, to offer the community, families and children a high quality of job.

Nina Anderson

Languages: English

Nina Anderson’s academic career began twenty plus years ago by volunteering in the Tacoma School District. This was just the beginning of other opportunities in education. She then was afforded the opportunity for a paying position to assist the Principal by working with his lead secretary. This opportunity led to enrolling at Tacoma Community College where Nina received an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. Her AA degree led her into obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Art of Science. Thus continuing her education towards her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.
During Nina’s academic journey, she worked for Seattle Public, Highline Public, Tacoma Public and Atlanta Public Schools. Nina was able to truly understand how important education is, especially for people of color. Thus, leading her to start a Non-Profit organization for at-risk youth, which continues today. Nina also traveled to Uganda, Africa on a mission trip to bring supplies to a school located in a small village in Uganda. She still has connections with the children and staff in Africa.
Currently, Nina is an active member of SEIU Local 925, and a member with IBEW Local 46. So union responsibilities are familiar to her. She also teaches adults, Early Childhood Education at North Seattle College to childcare providers through The Imagine Institute. Nina believes that networking is an important key to success. Not only does Nina have experience in advocacy, but she also continues to enhance her skills in order to improve the lives of others and her community. She loves people and seeks to find the best in each person she comes in contact with.

Tracy Dawson

Languages: English

Tracy Dawson owns Tracy’s Tikes Day-Care & Preschool. She is a licensed family child care provider in Grays Harbor County serving children since 2009. She attended Centralia College and received her AAS in ECE. Tracy’s professional affiliations are with: SEIU925, the Imagine Institute, Greater Grays Harbor, and the Grays Harbor Child Care Coalition. As an advocate for all early childhood educators, Tracy has coordinated meetings and events to bring providers together to discuss professional development needs and professional goals. She has coordinated efforts with community leaders, the DEL (now DCYF) leadership, the governor’s office and our union to address the child care crisis and have worked with many wonderful providers on the Negotiated Rule-Making team, Bargaining Teams, and Impact Bargaining Team. Through the Imagine Institute, Tracy has participated in professional opportunities to support her peers in relationship-based professional development by training as a mentor, a lead mentor and a state-approved trainer. Tracy is excited to be entering her fourth year of participation with Imagine and is looking forward to getting to know everyone. By creating an inclusive classroom, Tracy can facilitate professional growth and promote peer to peer relationships throughout the child care industry. She enjoys tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experiences her fellow providers have shared. Tracy truly feel everyone is an asset in a classroom and can positively contribute to others educational growth. She teaches using various platforms such as group discussions, small group work, and visual aides. Tracy has an upbeat and positive personality and a love for the field in which she works. She understands the importance of making the environment feel welcoming and making the participants feel safe to share differing opinions or experiences. Tracy wants nothing more than the participants in her training to walk away feeling like their attendance mattered and they have new tools or understanding of an area that will not only benefit the children that they serve but their programs as a whole.

Mumina Hassan

Languages: Somali and English

Mumina has been an Imagine U Mentor for three years and is a State-Approved Trainer. She will complete an AAS in Early Childhood Education in 2020. She has had a licensed child care in her home for 10 years. Prior to immigrating to the US, Mumina worked for Save the Children UK where she provided translation and training in a Kenyan Refugee Camp, where her areas of specialization included: child abuse and neglect, identifying special needs, and supporting unaccompanied children. Mumina is currently a lead mentor.

Maria Villa

Languages: Spanish

Maria Villa was born in Michoacán, Mexico. She worked for 22 years at a family business called Villa’s Corporation LLC, where she held the positions of both Vice President and Treasurer. She currently owns Villa’s Daycare LLC in Royal City, WA, where she has provided high quality service to children and families in the community.
Maria attended Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA, and in 2012 she obtained a high school diploma. She studied at Antioch University in Seattle, WA, where she obtained a certificate in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Maria graduated from North Seattle College as a Mentor.
Maria is a Leader and Executive Member on the Board of Directors of the SEIU Local 925 Union, which represents childcare providers in eastern Washington. She is a member of the state bargaining team.