Meet the Board
Pamela Eiriksson is currently a special education teacher at Boulder Creek Elementary School in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She has been a Special Education teacher for over 25 years. She holds three teaching credentials in Multiple-Subject Education, Moderate/Severe Special Education, and Learning Handicap, as well as a Masters Degree in Special Education. She received an Exceptional Teacher Award from the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) in 2005 and the Service Above Self award from San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) in 2012. She was invited to join the BALANCE4kids board in 2004 and gladly accepted. She is very devoted to her students, her school and district, and of course to BALANCE4Kids. She lives with her husband and their four-legged "kids" in a beautiful cabin in Boulder Creek.
Kathy Frandle has been inspired by BALANCE4Kids for many years – first as the Resource Specialist and then as the Principal of Brook Knoll Elementary in Scotts Valley. Upon retirement in 2010, she became a Board Member and has continued serving in this position to date. Kathy graduated with a BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology and Elementary Education. She completed her Masters Degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology and completed multiple teaching credentials in Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe Special Education and General Education K-12. She taught for five years in Idaho working with students with mild to severe disabilities, communication disorders, and general classroom teaching. She and her husband moved to Santa Cruz in 1980 after his completion of Veterinary School. She taught a SLD classroom for primary students in Castroville and then came to Scotts Valley as a Speech Therapist. She completed the Ca. Resource Specialist credential and continued work at Brook Knoll as the Resource Specialist and head teacher until becoming Principal in 1995. She earned her Administrative Leadership credential from Santa Clara University. She continues to have passion and commitment to students and adults with special needs and their families.
Wendy Harrison is a retired teacher who began her career in London teaching 5 and 6 year olds in general education. Relocating to California she attended San Jose State and holds a credential in Moderate/Severe Special Education as well as a Masters Degree in Special Education. She worked for Santa Cruz County Office of Education working with students at Brook Knoll Elementary School and more recently with students attending the Post Senior Program at Soquel High. She served on the Board of BALANCE4Kids from 2008 – 2012. On retirement from the COE she worked part-time for 18 months for Scotts Valley Unified School District as a Program Specialist. Wendy rejoined the BALANCE4kids board in 2018.
Tye Ripma first connected with BALANCE4Kids as the Inclusion and Behavior Specialist for the Soquel Union Elementary School District where he helped design an inclusion program for students with behavioral differences. He became an associate trainer for BALANCE4Kids in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools in 2015. Mr. Ripma currently works as a Program Associate with the WestEd Center for Prevention & Early Intervention. In this role, he works primarily with state and local educational agencies to help them meet their special education fiscal reporting requirements. Mr. Ripma is a founding member of REENVISIONED, where he spends his personal time catalyzing conversations about the role school should play in individual and societal flourishing. He has a credential in Early Childhood Special Education, is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), and holds a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Leadership from Stanford University.
Marilyn Torp became interested in working with limited verbal students as a volunteer at Laurel Ruff, a public education school in Sacramento. She earned her Bachelor's Degree and her first Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. After several years working as a Speech Pathologist, Ms. Torp began working as the coordinator for the Central Assessment Team at Santa Cruz City Schools. In 2000 she served as the first Program Specialist for the district. In 2006 she began a five-year release from the district to work for the New Teacher Project/Center; in this position she mentored first and second year Special Education teachers, and presented workshops in California, New York, and Hawaii. She was a guest speaker at the OSEP Conference in Washington D.C. in July 2005. She returned to the Santa Cruz City School district in 2006 to become the Director of Special Education until her retirement in 2010. Shortly after retirement Ms. Torp joined the BALANCE4kids board in an effort to stay connected to the community she had supported throughout her career.