Wall of Fame

Our students continue to find fulfillment and satisfaction with the education they received from our department. Here are a few of the things they have to say.

Degree: BS in Early Childhood, 2022

Current Position: Entrepreneur, President Small Frey’s Preschool Inc.

My experience at Weber: While pursing my degree in Early Childhood at WSU, I was informed that South Ogden City (SOC) would not approve the establishment of my future preschool due to current zoning laws which only allowed for 5 children per class. I knew that this code was not developmentally appropriate in fostering social/emotional development and verified such at childcarelicensing.utah.gov which states that 8 children per class is the allowable number.  I researched other nearby cities and their zoning laws and discovered that SOC had the lowest number for the whole state of UT!  In addition, I contacted the current Preschool Providers in SOC and found that they all had 6-12-month waitlists, which also hinders children from getting the care they need. It was then that I submitted an application to SOC to amend this law and was put on the agenda for a private hearing.  While there, I presented my research and theoretical evidence and it was determined that a public hearing be set for Dec. 2021.  I invited SOC residents, educators, & attorneys, to come represent and speak in favor of this amendment.  The next month, Jan 2022, I also presented at the State Capital in Salt Lake City to WSU alumni, many of which also wrote in favor of this amendment.  Finally, on Feb 15, 2022 South Ogden City amended this law in allowing for 8 children per class to attend home pre-schools. 

This path in amending zoning laws for SOC was not easy.  It is imperative that we, as educators, have a clear understanding of and be able to clearly articulate developmentally appropriate practice & theoretical evidence of such.  Small Freys Preschool Inc. will now become a reality, where children are prepared for kindergarten and beyond through the implementation of developmentally appropriate practices and emergent curriculum. They will graduate with the foundation they need for a lifetime of learning.

Kimberly Leach

Degree: BS in Family Studies, 2020

Current Position: Housing Case Manager at the YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden. 

My experience at Weber: Professors in the program were responsive and committed to my success, and I regularly use information from my classes at Weber State in the real world. My degree has provided me with some cultural awareness, helped me communicate effectively with my co-workers and clients, and increased my passion for social justice while equipping me with skills and knowledge to move the conversation forward. 


Terisa Alquist

Degree: BS in Early Childhood, 2017 

Current Position: Ph.D. student in Research Evaluation and Methods at the University of Colorado, Denver. 

My experience at Weber: The biggest reason for my success was the personal attention I received from my professors. Weber State’s Early Childhood program may be relatively small, but it is fiercely competitive in terms of high-quality Early Childhood Education degrees. The program was so rigorous and knowledgeable that I had to take four classes at the master’s level before I learned a new concept not already covered by Weber’s Early Childhood program.

Mary Tess Tsakalos

Degree: BS in Early Childhood, 2019

Current Position: Teacher for the Head Start program and Title 1 at the E.G. King Elementary School. 

My experience at Weber: One of my favorite parts about Weber State was connecting with the professors and feeling that I was important to them. The small class sizes really helped me succeed and everyone at Weber makes you feel welcomed! I look forward to getting my master's degree at this school, and I am proud to be a part of this amazing teaching program.

Carly Grayston

Degree: BS in Family Studies with a double minor in Child Development and Psychology, 2017

Current Position: Certified Child Life Specialist at the Primary Children’s Hospital.

My experience at Weber: My degree prepared me to be a child life specialist in many ways, including how to be a supportive professional to families in stressful situations. When I walk into a patient’s room, I am able to connect with children in a developmentally appropriate way and also build connections with parents and siblings. Because of my degree and knowledge of family systems, I make it a priority to focus on not just the patient, but the family as whole.

Jonathon Willis 

Degree: BS in Family Studies, 2015

Current Position: Director of Restorative Justice at the ARISE High School in Oakland, CA.

My experience at Weber: Child and Family Studies helped me be successful in my field of work because I work in a population that is majority Latin. Studying different cultures during my time at Weber really prepared me to work with families of different cultural backgrounds and also understand the cognitive function of teenagers.

Revised 4/4/22