Meet the Team
Ellen Baker, B.S., MHRT/C
Parent Education Professional/Maine Families Visitor
Ellen is a native Mainer, born in the Midcoast area, where she continues to reside. She raised a family before deciding to further her education at the University of Maine. She has worked in Head Start, Teen Parent, and Community Mental Health Programs. Ellen wishes Maine Families had been around when she was raising children and feels passionate about the positive contribution it makes to our community. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, walking, and spending time with her seven grandchildren.
Jen has worked with young children and families for 25 years starting as a play therapist in the Boston Area. Play has always been central to her work. In 2008, she joined Maine Families as a Visitor and had the opportunity to share play ideas with parents to support them in their role as their child’s first teacher. Today she works with a dedicated team of Maine Families visitors who travel up and down the Midcoast Area supporting families as they embark on their parenting journey. At home, Jen loves to cook and looks forward to weekly grilled pizza nights with her family. She also enjoys camping and organizing anything.
Heather graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, and worked as graphic artist/freelancer while raising her three sons in Dover-Foxcroft. She wishes she had been aware of parenting programs during those years, so far from family. She feels she could have used the support! She believes that parents truly desire the best for their children, so she decided to pursue Masters work in Child and Family Services and she’s been working with children and families since 2002. Heather delights in seeing parents’ self-confidence grow and parent-child relationships blossom through engaging positive, current, evidence-based strategies. She enjoys woodland and shore ramblings with her two dogs. She’s also grounded by singing, art, reading, and non-serious gardening.
Gretchen Gee likes to be called “GG.” She has been a family visitor for 7 years, working with Maine Families since January 2019. She loves working with families in their homes, supporting them during day-to-day challenges, and celebrating their joy. Parenting is a tough job and she is honored that parents allow her to join them in the journey. When she isn’t working, she loves spending time with her family and friends.
Cathy is new to the Maine Families Team but not to Extension. In her former role with Cooperative Extension, she worked in 4-H Youth Development and with Extension Homemakers which gives her a unique perspective working with young families. Before working for UMaine, Cathy was a home educator for nearly 25 years. Her educational journey led her to acquire bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field of Leadership. Her experience with youth development, leadership, and homeschooling drives her passion for partnering with new parents on their children’s developmental path. In her free time, Cathy loves traveling, exploring genealogy, and spending time
with her grandchildren.
Ruth has always loved working with children and families. She was an Early Childhood and Kindergarten teacher for 20 years before joining the Maine Families team in 2002. She loves that our program helps parents get started in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. She enjoys getting outdoors and capturing the beauty of nature in photos. Fresh air and sunshine are as essential to her as food and water. Her other passions are reading, yoga, and travel. Sharing these activities with her own family is the icing on the cake.
Hannah has worked in the world of education, most recently as an early childhood educator for 7 years. She loves helping families work through the challenges and triumphs of raising children. Along with education, Hannah is passionate about foreign languages and language acquisition. She holds a Master’s of Education and a Master’s of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys anything related to food, travel, gardening, and reading. She lives in the midcoast with her fiancé and two cats.
Brooke joined Maine Families in 2010. Prior to this role, she worked in the Early Childhood Education field serving families both in the home and in preschool, child care, and school settings for over 20 years. She enjoys learning about others and supporting families with young children. What Brooke likes best about the Maine Families program is learning how to support others by discovering their love and passion for their family. She takes pride in building partnerships with the families she meets and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
Claudia joined Maine Families in October of 2008. She is from Maine and moved away for many years, and when she had children she happily moved back! As a family visitor, she gets to meet many families and loves hearing their stories. To hear from a family that they have found a solution to a parenting challenge makes her day! When not visiting with families, Claudia loves being in the great outdoors — boating, swimming, walking, and camping with friends and family.