Our Staff

Learn about the wonderful teaching staff at ECEC!  Within all classrooms there are assistants that work with the lead teachers to create a warm and positive environment that meets the needs of each child. At times we also have student teachers/interns participating in the classroom through the Department of Family and Consumer Studies. All staff members are encouraged to contribute ideas and experiences to the center. All staff, substitutes, students, and volunteers go through a state background check as required by Child Care Lisensing.

Our Classrooms


shalome ortonShalome Orton - Center Director

Hi! My name is Shalome Orton and I am the Program Director at the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC).  My first name is Mary, so you may see our center’s license with that name.   My education is in Early Childhood and I have worked and served in the field for over 20 years. I am thrilled to now be at ECEC.  This is the second on-campus child care center I have directed.  My personal philosophy for early childhood is that children learn best through play.  A child’s job is to learn about the world around them through fun and engaging activities and positive experiences in the natural environment.   I am so excited to take ECEC on the journey to accreditation and continue to provide high quality child care to the University of Utah community. 

My husband and I have three children; two daughters and a son. Our two girls have already graduated college. One from Southern Utah University and the other from the University of Utah! Our youngest is in High School.  We enjoy kayaking, camping, gardening, playing with the dogs and spending time with our kids.  I am also a student at the “U” and am proud to be part of such a great University. Go Utes!

stephanie featherstoneStephanie Featherstone - Assistant Director

Hello!  My name is Stephanie Featherstone and I am the Assistant Director at the Early Childhood Education Center.  I received an Associate of Arts Degree from Snow College and I am working towards a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah in Early Childhood Education and Theatre Studies. I have taught children of various ages from 2 to 11 years old, and I love watching children as they learn and grow both in and out of the classroom. 

I come from a family of 11, with 3 brothers and 5 sisters, most of which are older than me and have their own families.  I have several step-siblings as well, and I enjoy spending time with all of them.  I love stories, both reading and writing them.  I am a bit of a geek, having attended the Salt Lake Comic Con since 2014 with every intention of continuing the tradition.  Two of my most memorable moments were meeting Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen in The CW’s Arrow series, and Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the Marvel Comics movie franchise.

Caterpillar Classroom

arie barnesArie Barnes - Teacher

Hello I am Miss Arie (pronounced Airy/Aerie). I am a co-lead teacher in the caterpillar room infant and toddlers. I moved to Utah in the summer of 2015 and come from Oregon. I love spending time with my family and visiting all of our extended family in the valley. On my free-time I love to event plan and camp in the middle of nowhere.  I also enjoy researching the latest teaching approaches for our class to stay current with trends and providing the best possible educational foundation for your child. I am a total nerd when it comes to any new studies or fun ideas to incorporate in our class. We strive for the best and love challenging them while watching all the kids grow, older and developmentally. I have a background in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Upper Education. My focus academically has always ruled around being an educator in one form or another. I have been a lifelong childcare assistant, a live in nanny, and a lead teacher at a facility in Montana. Our classroom genuinely loves each and every one of our students, I am extremely fortunate to have them in our lives and realize that it is not easy to leave your child with a center. Know your child is loved at Early Childhood Education Center. We love you as their family and endeavor a strong relationship with open communication with you as their loved ones.  Thank you for letting us be a part of your child’s life.

natalie fuelNatalie Fuell - Teacher

Hello! My name is Natalie and I am one of the lead teachers for the Infant and Toddler classroom. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a Minor in Music from the University of Utah. I have worked in the early childhood field for more than 7 years and I have loved working with the children here at ECEC! I got married in January of 2015 and my favorite thing to do is spend time with my husband and family. I also love tennis, music, shopping and traveling.

mackinnely vonwellerMakinnley VonWeller - Assistant

 I have worked at ECEC for a little over 3 years.  I am from Salt Lake City and I currently live in Bountiful, Utah. I am a student at the University of Utah studying biology and earning a chemistry minor. I love spending time with my two little brothers. I helped take care of them while we were growing up. My hobbies include sewing quilts and baby blankets, pottery, reading and collecting vintage cameras. I enjoy spending my school breaks by going on service trips that focus on human rights and environmental issues. I have appreciated the time I have spent at ECEC so much. My favorite part of my job has been getting to know each child. They each have such unique personalities and it’s so fun to play and discover with them. Because of my experiences at ECEC I decided to volunteer at Primary Children’s Medical Center and I have been going there weekly for about a year.

 kia webbKia Webb - Assistant

Hi, I'm Kia and I am a teaching assistant in the Caterpillar classroom.  I have been working at ECEC since September 2015.  I have a Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences.  My hobbies include reading, playing guitar, and crafting.  

Ladybug Classroom

yuri kimYuri Kim - Teacher

Hello! My name is Yuri and I am currently working with the two-year-old classroom. I am from South Korea and I have my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from the University of Utah. I’ve been working here at ECEC since January 2016 and I always enjoy working with children. My hobby is shopping and traveling with my friends.

kayla mccoyKayla McCoy - Teacher

My name is Kayla McCoy.  I grew up in Central Utah and received my Associate’s Degree from Snow College in 2013.  I am attending the University of Utah, and will be graduating this fall with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development.  I am the lead teacher in the 2 year old class and it has been a wonderful experience.  I’ve learned so much from these kids and I love watching them every day as they learn and grow. In my free time I enjoy attending comic con every fall with my best friend and I’m a huge Marvel fan (Team Ironman).  I enjoy camping, hiking, running, and my favorite ride at Disneyland is Space Mountain. 

 nichole dayNicole Day - Assistant

My name is Nichole and I am an assistant at ECEC. I have been working here since 2013 and currently work in the Ladybug classroom with the two year old's. I moved here from Kansas City, Kansas in 2011. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Anthropology, but also hope to become an author someday. My hobbies include painting, photography, horseback riding, wilderness adventures, fishing, and collecting vintage video games. I love children and love seeing the spark of joy and wonder as they explore and experience their world around them. 

 ashley longAshley Long - Assistant

I'm Ashley Long and I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, though I spent my summers in Salem, Oregon. In June of 2014, I graduated from Brighton High School with Honors and took that summer to register for classes at Salt Lake Community College. Almost three years later, I plan to graduate SLCC with an Associate's degree in General Education by the summer of 2017. Following that I will transfer to the University of Utah  to major in child psychology. I decided to do so from working at ECEC as a classroom assistant in the Ladybug room where I learned from the best teachers -the kids - and fell in love with the children I cared for. When I'm not having fun at her job or going to school full-time, my hobbies include: playing Minecraft, singing, laughing, making desserts, playing with my puppies, being silly, and spending time with my loved ones and friends

Bumblebee Classroom

velda grantVelda Grant - Teacher

I was born and raised in Southern Utah.  Growing up in the small town of New Harmony, I was surrounded by the wonders of nature and learned to enjoy its many benefits.  I loved horseback riding, hiking, and at times, biking in the beautiful setting of the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park (of which New Harmony has a spectacular view).  I graduated from Southern Utah State College (now Southern Utah University) with a BA in Family Life/Child Development.

I have been teaching at ECEC for 23 years.  I have worked with the two and three-year-old children for the most part.  I am most passionate about literacy and hope to instill in the children a love for books and reading.  My favorite hobbies now are reading, crocheting, and taking long walks in beautiful weather.

 greg koganGreg Kogan - Assistant

My name is Greg Kogan. I am a classroom assistant in the Bumblebee Room with the 3- years-olds. I have worked here for 8 years (going on 9 years). I've always lived in Salt Lake City UT. I am not currently in school.  I worked on getting a Child Development Associate credential (CDA) while I attended Salt Lake Community College. When I was 15 I worked at the JCC as a Counselor in Training. When I was in high school I studied child development and worked at the East High preschool.  I love working at ECEC, and I also work at Kol Ami Sunday School and have for six years. I like doing lesson plans and playing my instruments with the kids.

I don’t know what my future brings, but I want to get married and have kids of my own. I have Down syndrome, but it doesn't stop me from my hobbies. I like to watch TV and listen to my music. I play 3 instruments -- Piano, Guitar and Drums. I also play in Special Olympics -- basketball, volleyball and soccer.               

alia crookAlia Crook - Assistant

Hi, I'm Alia and I am a teaching assistant in the Bumblebees classroom at the Early Childhood Education Center. I am a sophomore at the University of Utah and am majoring in International Studies.

rachael holidayRacheal Holiday - Assistant

My name is Racheal Holiday and I am a classroom assistant at ECEC. I am from Kayenta, Arizona. Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, I came to Utah to pursue nursing and health education degrees at the the Univeristy of Utah. I enjoy hiking the great mountains near campus, playing volleyball at the local recreation centers and working with the wonderful children here at ECEC!

Sarah Willey - Assistant

Description coming soon!

Cricket Classroom

aoAspynn Oliekan - Teacher

Hello! My name is Aspynn Oliekan and I am the lead teacher for the Cricket class in the afternoon. I am a Psychology major/Art minor at the University of Utah. (Yes, this is the reason your child has many art projects in their folder) My goal is to get my master’s degree in Art Therapy, hopefully in the upcoming years. My intention is to give individuals an alternative therapy to the traditional one. I enjoy anything to do with the arts, hiking, reading, and traveling. I intend to fulfill these hobbies and passions as much as possible! I have an awesome significant other who supports anything I do, and a beautiful blue heeler mutt! I am so honored to be one of the people able to watch the Cricket class learn and grow!

 amber saeliAmber Saeli - Teacher

My name is Amber Saeli and I am a lead teacher in the Cricket room. I recently moved here from my hometown in New York where I also went to college. I have a B.A. in Early Childhood and Childhood Education as well as an M.A. in Linguistics and TEFL. I love to travel and explore new places and I am excited to be here.

aubrieanna bishopAubreeanna Bishop - Assistant

I am a student at the U majoring In Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child life. I look forward to becoming a Child Life Specialist and help children and their families during hospital stays.  I enjoy spending time outdoors, reading mysteries and I love dogs.  I can’t wait to have one of my own!


cheyenne weberCheyenne Weber - Assistant

Hi, I'm Cheyenne Weber and I work as a classroom assistant at the Early Childhood Education Center. I move around to different classrooms, but right now am mainly working with the Ladybugs and Bumblebees. I am 19 years old and was born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. I am currently in my 3rd year of college, studying Elementary Education at the University of Utah. I love to garden, work out, and hang out with my cat Boingo. 

kristin Kristen Olszewski - Assistant

Hi, I'm Kristin! I am an assistant for all of the classrooms. I started at ECEC in May 2016, and I have enjoyed every minute! The best part of working with all of the classes is getting to know all the students, seeing the different ways they learn. I think they can teach us just as much as we can teach them, so it's exciting to step into their world and see it through their eyes. In my spare time I enjoy figure skating, and I have been teaching as a skate instructor for two years.