George C. Philipp is the Director of the WestEd E3 Institute. He leads all aspects of
E3’s initiatives, including advocacy, strategic planning, program administration,
contract development, staff supervision, and technology development.
One of the institute’s major initiatives, Santa Clara County’s Quality Rating and
Improvement System (QRIS), has supported over 200 early education programs to
improve the quality and impact of their work. E3’s other major initiative, the Quality
Matters Stipend Program (QMSP), supports over 500 early educators annually to
engage in professional development activities and improve their teaching practice.
Philipp’s leadership in California’s early education system has included contributing
to the development of the state’s Early Care and Education Workforce Registry and
Career Lattice, which help shape California’s professional development system for
early educators. He serves on California’s Transforming the Workforce Birth to Age
8 Core Team and the Workforce Registry Advisory Board. Other leadership roles
have included Commissioner of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County (2012–2017) and board
member of Children’s Collabrium and of Action Alliance for Children.
A longtime advocate for the child development field, Philipp has worked in early
education policy development for more than 20 years. Before joining WestEd, Philipp
was a Program Services Administrator for First 5 Alameda County. He has also
consulted for the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at University of
California, Berkeley, and co-authored multiple reports on the challenges early
educators face in their workplaces. Philipp received a BA in Psychology from Roanoke College.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Esperanza Cadena is a Professional Development Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is to provide coordination with the site ratings, technical assistance, and professional development components of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program in Santa Clara County. Activities include reviewing site portfolios, conducting site visits, generating site rating reports, and finalizing ratings with site administrators. She also provides support and technical assistance to QRIS participants around the ECE Workforce Registry requirements and coordinates efforts with Registry staff. Esperanza also provides Spanish translation and interpretation support as needed. In addition, Cadena assists the WestEd E3 Institute Director with all aspects of program operations. Cadena received a BS in business administration from San Jose State University.
PROGRAM AND DATA SPECIALIST
Regina Garcia-Lemye is a Program and Data Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. She coordinates and manages the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) data for program development and state reporting purposes in Santa Clara County, CA. Previously, Garcia-Lemye supported the implementation and design of California’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), as well as the coordination of program services and resources for First 5 California’s Child Signature Program (CSP) and Power of Preschool (PoP) Initiatives in Santa Clara County. Garcia-Lemye received a BA in child and adolescent development from San Francisco State University.
Rick Leon is a Financial Analyst for the WestEd E3 Institute. His primary responsibilities include preparing budgets, setting up & monitoring contracts and subcontracts, approving invoices, forecasting monthly revenue, and preparing financial reports.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2004, Leon was a Financial Compliance Analyst and a Fixed Asset Accountant at Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space. He also audited internal accounting controls and supported the implementation of a single company financial system.
Leon received a BS in business administration, with a finance concentration, and a minor in mathematics from San Jose State University.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Kimmy Nguyen is a Professional Development Specialist for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is to provide coordination with professional development initiatives related to the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program in Santa Clara County. Activities include assistance with implementation of the California Workforce Registry, analysis of higher education options for the early childhood workforce, and assistance with the development of a stipend incentive program for early educators in QRIS programs. Previously, Nguyen worked on the CARES initiative.
She began her work in early care and education as an assessor using the Environment Rating Scales. She is a consumer representative of the Santa Clara County Local Early Childhood Planning Council (LPC). Nguyen received a BA in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, and an MA in education from San Francisco State University.
Sapna Shah is a QRIS Coordinator for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is the coordination and implementation of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in Santa Clara County.
Sapna also provides technical assistance resources to childcare providers, participates in local coalitions and committees, and serves on the Santa Clara County Local Early Education Planning Council.
Prior to joining WestEd, Sapna has served as an Early Childhood Educator in the Bay Area since 2006. She received a BS degree in Biology from India and her ECE certification from De Anza College.
Rebecca Toscano is a QRIS Coordinator for the WestEd E3 Institute. Her primary responsibility is the coordination and implementation of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in Santa Clara County.
Prior to joining WestEd she worked for First 5 Santa Clara County as the lead assessor in the Environmental Rating Scales and CLASS assessment tools and has been working in the early education field since 1998.
Toscano received a BA in child and adolescent development and an MA in education, both from San Francisco State University.