Family Care KIDS Staff

Our Staff

For more than 40 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.

Teacher

Experience

Teacher

Experience

Teacher

Experience

Rachel Blanchard

Teacher

Experience

I was born and raised right here in Arizona. I love being outside. I am one of those people that always have to have something to do. I love to be busy! I am happily married and have one foster son. We are very active in our church. 

I also love working with children. They bring Joy to my life! I’ve been working with kids for at least 10 years now and am looking forward to many more. 

I am currently in school for child psychology and I look forward to using my degree to further help children I work with. 

Teacher

Experience

Teacher

Experience

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.

Teacher

Experience

Lori Kurak

Teacher

Experience

I grew up in Arizona and recently moved back after 40+ years!

I have six grown children and one Grandson.  My eldest son is a Pastor and I have one Son in the Navy and the rest of my children are all in different states in school or working.

I taught Pre-K 4’s and 5’s for ten years in a Christian School in Maryland and am so happy to be here at Family Care Kids and with the “Friends”!!!!

I am looking forward to a wonderful year of learning, growing and sewing the seeds of academic knowledge and Biblical knowledge.  It is a blessing to be working with these little one’s and their Families!

MEET THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY CARE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Christian Family Care’s 40 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.”