Board Members, click here.


President Since 2002 Amy has been the director at Emmanuel Episcopal Day School, which is a half-day program for 95 children ages 20 months through 4 years. She taught preschool for 6 years as a lead teacher in a two’s class and a pre-K class. She holds a Bachelors from Rutgers College in Sociology and a certificate of Early Childhood Program Administration. She has served on the boards for the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children and the Georgia Preschool Association. In 2009, she founded the Athens Area Directors Group, a networking association for early childhood administrators in Athens. Amy is currently on the board of the Athens Area Diaper Bank. She has always loved working with young children and met her husband when she was working as a camp counselor.


Vice President Janie is a retired Pre-K teacher.  She taught in Athens for 30 years; at UGA’s McPhaul Center for 11 years where she supervised students and presented at regional and national conferences, as a pre-K  teacher at Gaines Elementary School in the CCSD for 10 years, continuing to supervise UGA students and finally, at the Classic City High School, heading up a Right Start Program, with Mimi Middendorf supporting young mothers with their babies, while the moms worked toward obtaining their high school diplomas. She learned about the Reggio Emilia Programs at a summer institute there in 1996. She was part of the UGA/CCSD Partnership for several years. For six years, she was lucky to land at the Emmanuel Episcopal Day School, teaching a 2-3 year old class under the direction of Amy Wraga, certainly a great way to end her teaching career. She grew up in New Orleans, met her husband, from Chicago, in college there and they have two daughters, living in Denver and Greensboro, now in their thirties. She has always had a love and respect for young children, and has cherished working with young children and their families in many capacities. She strongly believes that the education and development of a child from birth to five years is very important to their success in school and in life. She is excited to support families through the great work with the Nancy Travis Childcare Project.


Secretary Tamara Haag has a Master’s in Social Work and has worked in local schools in several capacities, including her current work as a Learning Resource Specialist and previously as a Behavior Specialist in Clarke County School District. Additionally, she coordinated CCSD’s Homeless Education Program, and spent much time in our community’s homeless shelters with students and their families.  She witnessed firsthand what a positive impact the Nancy Travis Childcare Project had for families working on regaining stability, and wanted to contribute toward that mission as a board member.  In her free time, Tamara enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, engaging in activism, reading, and yoga.


Treasurer Ron grew up in Winder, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA degree in Management. He has served on many boards and authorities in the Athens area including Community Connection, Athens Justice Project, Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Children First, The Cottage, Athens-Clarke Growth Fund, Athens Downtown Development Authority and Chairman of the Athens-Clarke County Board of Equalization. For his 25 years of service to the Athens Community, Ron received the Community Service Award and The Spirit of Athens Award. He has lobbied our Senators and Representatives in Washington, DC for more funding in early child care development. He is the co-owner of Trumps Catering and has two grown children.


Candy moved to Athens, GA in 1981 and began her career at UGA in the Department of Student Activities as a program advisor producing concerts, lectures, performing arts, and cinematic events. Over nearly three decades, she held six positions in the division of student affairs, most recently as director of The Center for Leadership and Service which she opened in 2000. She held that position until her retirement from the university on April 30, 2008. Upon retirement she served as a Clarke County Mentor for a year at Gaines School Elementary and in May 2014, she completed six years on the Community Connection Board of Directors. She has two grown children, both graduates of UGA.


One of the original members of the NTCP board, Marilyn has returned to the board and is currently a member of the implementation committee. In the past, she has also served on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Athens. Known nationally for her advocacy efforts on behalf of children, teachers, and parents, Marilyn is the author of The Caring Teacher’s Guide to Discipline, The Loving Parents’ Guide to Discipline, When a Friend Dies: A Book for Teens about Grieving and Healing, and The Joys and Oys of Parenting: Insight and Wisdom from the Jewish Tradition.


Dr. Gowen is passionate about quality care for young children. Her interest began when she founded and directed a childcare center for children living in poverty that served as a lab school for the University of South Florida. Since then, she has conducted research on early child development, parenting, and early intervention with children with special needs, taught graduate courses in child development and early childhood programs, worked with parents, and published a book on guiding parents of children whose emotional development is at risk. Since retiring in Athens, she directed the region’s childcare resource and referral agency for six years. She earned her Ph.D. in child development and educational psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has four children and two grandchildren.


Mimi Middendorf has a BS and MS in Education and has taught pre-school, kindergarten, middle school, and worked for many years as a Graduation Coach at Classic City High School in Athens. She has a strong conviction that young children deserve a safe, quality-rated childcare setting in order to develop vital skills for academic and life success. Nancy Travis Childcare Project lives by this philosophy which is one of the reasons why she has been a member of the Board since 2003. In her free time,  Mimi enjoys spending time with her grown family of four and their children.


Kathy Rojek is a retired educator who has lived in Clarke County since 1978. During her thirty years in education, Kathy taught elementary and middle school and worked as a curriculum director, assistant principal, and principal. After retiring, Kathy supervised student teachers for the University of Georgia.


Paul Kurtz was born in New York City and grew up in Spring Valley, NY. He earned a B.A. (Poli Sci) and a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt and an LL.M. from Harvard University. After serving as a federal judicial law clerk, he taught legal research and writing instructor at Boston University and then Boston College. He moved to Athens in 1975, joining the law faculty at the University of Georgia. Paul has served on a number of non-profit boards, including the American Humane Association (1998-2005), Athens Area Emergency Food Bank (1998-    ), Community Connection (2001-08; President 2006-08); Project Safe (2009-15; President 2010-12). He has been an active volunteer at Learning Ally since his retirement, recording books for the blind and dyslexic and has been a volunteer reader at Barrow Elementary School for many years. Among his awards are: UGA Disability Services Faculty Member of the Year Award; National Child Support Enforcement Association, President’s Child Support Community Service Award; Athens Justice Project Milner S. Ball Community Service Award; and UGA Law School Association Distinguished Service Scroll Award. Most recently, he was named the recipient of the 2017 UGA President’s Medal for his impact on his students and in public service.