TRI Welcomes Two (and a Half) New Members to the Center on Early Learning Team

TRI Welcomes Two (and a Half) New Members to the Center on Early Learning Team

July 31, 2015

By Taylor Leech

Cheri Freedman

Cheri FreedmanWhile trick-or-treating through the halls of TRI with her young son and the rest of TRI’s Child Development Center, Cheri Freedman noticed a job posting on the wall. She decided to apply and shortly after began her work at TRI as a member of the Student Data Entry Personnel in November 2014.

From Texas to Oregon

Cheri went to high school in Denton, Texas and graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus in operations management. Before landing at TRI, she worked in a wide variety of industries. These included private organizations, universities, and the federal government. In the past, Cheri has volunteered her time as a board member of a professional organization known as APICS. She is currently a member of the Willamette Valley chapter of the Project Management Institute. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, making jewelry, and spending time with her family exploring all that Oregon has to offer!

Her work at TRI

In June 2015, Cheri began her work as a Database Specialist for the QRIS online portfolios. Next year she will begin working with NACRRAware support, which is the software used by the National Association of Childcare Resource & Referral Agencies. One of her current goals for working at TRI includes overcoming the learning curve that comes with all of the new information she needs to know. A challenging part of the job that goes along with this is memorizing the vast list of acronyms that accompany the many centers and projects associated with TRI! Another goal she has is to see a live version of the electronic QRIS portfolio. Overall she hopes to be able to apply her skills wherever she can.

"Cheri brings 20 years of Business Administration experience and extensive knowledge of data management and systems," says Pat Aldrich, TRI Lead Statistician. "We see untapped potential in Cheri and are lucky to have her as a part of the team."

And a brand new baby!

Cheri and Paxton

Since working here, Cheri has most enjoyed getting to know the friendly people of TRI. She says that everyone is extremely welcoming and she felt included right from the beginning. She is very excited about her future at TRI and what this new opportunity holds.

We wish Cheri a heartfelt congratulations on the birth of her new baby boy and look forward to welcoming her back from maternity leave at the end of August!

Lauren Peterson and her daughtersLauren Peterson

Lauren Peterson began working for TRI as an Early Childhood Project Specialist on July 1st, 2015. She works with the Center on Early Learning on Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System and Center Coordination of Child Care Resource & Referral.

From Illinois to Oregon

Lauren grew up in Barrington, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s in education from Southern Oregon University. She started her career working in social services and education and has 25 years of experience between the two. Before coming to TRI, Lauren owned and operated a preschool named Butterfly House and was an Early Childhood instructor at Rogue Community College. She learned about TRI when she was asked to teach a class for QRIS during her time at Rogue Community College. Her hobbies outside of work include reading, writing, and spending time with her daughters.

Diving right in

Since Lauren is new to the job, her main goals are to learn the ins and outs, which she also finds to be the most challenging, and support everything that is happening on the projects in any way she can. She enjoys the variety of people and projects at TRI and appreciates working with the intelligent staff and the collaboration that happens between them on projects.

"CEL is thrilled to welcome Lauren to the CEL team," says Robyn Lopez Melton, Center on Early Learning Coordinator. "Her experience as the owner and director of one of the QRIS star rated programs, her work as adjunct faculty, and a Quality Improvement Specialist with the CCR&R in Southern Oregon brings a broad range of experience and a depth of perspective that is invaluable at CEL."

Please join us in welcoming Cheri and Lauren to their new adventures at TRI!

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