Family Care KIDS Staff

Our Staff

For more than 39 years, Christian Family Care (CFC) has partnered with parents, children, staff, and the communities we serve to make a difference in the lives of children. Our mission is to strengthen families and serve children in the name of Jesus Christ.

The staff of Family Care KIDS is committed to these same goals and values. Our team is comprised of loving, nurturing teachers who have a desire to see your child grow and thrive.


Leadership and Experience

Alene Bell

Director

Experience

With 30-plus years of experience in the field of early childhood education, Alene is happy to say each day filled with the excitement and wonder of a child brings a great sense of appreciation to the work God gave her.

Her career began when her two children started preschool, where she then became a board member. Shortly after, she knew she was going to pursue a career in child development. She later received her degree in ECE and obtained national credentials. After four years of teaching, she became Director of three different schools. In addition, she has 12 years of experience teaching and facilitating small group parenting classes.

Now, with Christian Family Care, she brings her combined expertise of family and children to Family Care KIDS.

Tammy Payseno

Assistant Director

Experience

Since she was twelve years old, she knew in her heart she would one day work with children. Working with children and their families is her passion and calling.

Because of this life-long passion, she chose to go in the direction of Early Childhood Education (ECE.) Her first introduction to ECE was a job as a preschool teacher’s assistant, which later developed into a lead teacher. After five years, she was hired on at her church as the Early Childhood Director, then the Children’s Pastor, and lastly, the Assistant Director of their childcare learning center, serving children ages 12 months to 12 years of age.

She is grateful for the opportunity to have served hundreds of families over the past 20 years and is looking forward to serving many more at Family Care KIDS. 

Mark Upton

CFC President

Experience

Mark is a leading advocate in Arizona for children and families. He joined Christian Family Care in 2007 as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Through God’s guidance and his leadership, Mark has grown CFC to be a $10 million organization serving families and children.   
  
As a lifelong learner, Mark graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and has completed courses in business, theology, and biblical leadership at Phoenix Seminary, Fuller Seminary, and Harvard Business School.   
  
Prior to joining CFC, Mark served as the Executive Vice President and Provost of Phoenix Seminary. Today, he serves on the Governor’s Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment, the Prevention Workgroup of the Council on Child Safety & Family Empowerment, and the Department of Child Safety Community Advisory Committee.  
  
Mark is a true family man. With his wife of close to 50 years, he enjoys spending time with their three children and 12 grandchildren, four of which were adopted.

Shannon Slater

Teacher

Experience

I’m an Arizona native who loves everything this state has to offer like the great weather, beautiful scenery, and awesome people! I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost 30 years and we have two great kids! My daughter, who works at Christian Family Care and son who recently graduated from college and moved back to Arizona. I couldn’t be a more proud mother!

I have earned a degree in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Masters Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University.

I have taught for over 30 years. I’m so happy to serve the babies and their families at Family Care KIDS. I feel honored to share the love of Jesus Christ with them along with how they can develop a life-long relationship with Him.

Sharda Ramdin

Teacher

Experience

I am from New York city (Brooklyn, N.Y.) My passion is serving my community as a chaplain.

My love for Christ is my foundation and strength. God has given me a love for children, and it brings me great joy to be able to teach the love of Jesus to little ones. I believe it’s so important for our children to understand and know Jesus walks with them and will always be there. I also have years of experience with children with special needs, such as children with Autism.

I’m very excited to bring my years of experience of a chaplain serving Paradise Valley Hospital, Dream Center, UMOM, and bringing that now to Family Care KIDS to build amazing, beautiful children with knowing they are precious in Christ.

Annalicia Hernandez

Teacher

Experience

Hello, my name is Annalicia Hernandez. I am currently the infant lead teacher here at Family Care KIDS. I am 21 years old, and I just recently got married, and I have a two-year old pitbull named Zeus. I was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to Arizona when I was 13 years old. I have my Associates Degree in Arts with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. I am currently attending Northern Arizona University to receive my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education. My dream is to one day open up my own preschool!

Adriana Romero

Teacher

Experience

Hi! My name is Adrian Romero, and I am currently the lead teacher of our three-year old classroom at Family Care KIDS. I am pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at Paradise Valley Community College and have four years’ experience working at Head Start. My passion and heart are to impact children and their families with the love of Jesus and help to guide children in their growth and development.

Emily Covarrubias

Teacher

Experience

Hi! My name is Emily Covarrubias. I am from Northern California and am currently in my last year of studying for my bachelor’s degree in behavioral health science at Grand Canyon University here in Phoenix, Arizona. Some of my interests include anything musical, writing, and outdoor adventures. I Thank God for the ways that He molds me and helps me grow everyday. My heart is for people and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to work with Family Care Kids and with your children.

Brandi Ray

Teacher

Experience

Hello, my name is Brandi Ray. I am an education major currently and have worked at three different preschools and a charter school. My passion has always been God, music, children and teaching so I get to use all those talents in one place. I am excited to continue to grow more as a teacher and to love on the children the way God loves on them.

Connie Bruhn

Teacher

Experience

I am a happy wife, mom, and Mama Connie to 18-year-old Sara, who we were blessed with when she was 10. My passion is and always has been with children. I love seeing a child’s eyes light up when they catch onto learning and knowing they can do something new.

My background is in education. I waited five years in between graduating high school and college. I was so ready to go on with life that I completed my college education in three years. Several times I took 24 credits a quarter because my goal was to get back in and go to Brussels, Belgium. When I moved to a small town in Colorado, it meant I opened my own preschool and I homeschooled too.

After moving to Arizona, I helped to develop rules and regulations, curriculum fairs for homeschooling. I am grateful for the opportunity to help children know how precious they are to Jesus.

Evelynn Malakowsky

Teacher

Experience

I love the Lord with all my heart and treasure the opportunity to shape and care for children’s growth. I have passionately served children for 17 years in various churches, ministries and school settings. This includes working in the Phoenix Elementary School District, leading as a Mothers of Preschoolers Coordinator (MOPS) at North Phoenix Baptist Church and serving as a Pre-K teacher at Camelback Christian School. It is an honor to be a part of the Family Care KIDS team.

Kimberly Felix

Teacher

Experience

Hi, my name is Kim Felix. I’m originally from Michigan. I have over 20 years of experience in the field of education. I’m a published children’s book author. My passion is teaching 4 & 5-year old’s as they prepare to enter Kindergarten and I am excited to serve the children and families at Family Care KIDS on their learning journey.

MEET THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY CARE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Christian Family Care’s 39 years of experience as an organization is behind Family Care KIDS.

Michael Hunter – Board Chair
Sheila Mengarelli – Vice Chair
Pastor Burke Montoya – Secretary
Bob Stave – Treasurer
Doug Napier – Member at Large
Linda Bowers
Huron Claus
Brad Edson
Bruce Everette
Steve Whiteman
Margie Youngblood

“Teaching is a work of the heart.”