College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Child Development

Tess Manley

Tess Manley was born in Stanford, CA. She attended elementary, junior high, high school in the San Francisco Bay Area and college in Santa Barbara, graduating from University of California, with a BA in Sociology. She continued on to earn her Masters in Education from Southern New Hampshire University, based in Colchester, VT.

Her love of children began with her four siblings and many younger cousins, babysitting friends and family and continued by becoming an assistant camp counselor at a horse camp in the Palo Alto Hills when she was 13 years old. She entered UCSB focused upon wanting to do something with children but, not exactly sure she wanted to teach; she was a bit confused and that was scary. Studying Sociology and working full time provided the groundwork for gaining insight about the complexities of how children and families develop; and, sparked her interest in seeking a career outside of the public K-12 system. After graduation, she found her way back to Northern California to Humboldt County and began an amazing position working half time doing non-directive play therapy at a local elementary school with kindergarteners through third graders. She also worked as a teacher at a Reggio Emilia inspired children’s center. This experience solidified her passion for early childhood education and working with young children and families.

Tess moved to Burlington, Vermont in the mid 1990’s and served for a few years as a head teacher and then Co-Director at the King Street Youth Center’s Early Childhood Program. She also coached swimming and supported outdoor education efforts for local children and families. She later became a head teacher at Trinity College Children’s Center working full time while completing her Masters degree in Education. She then worked as a mental health clinician for the Howard Center’s Early Childhood Program for three years before returning back to the west coast.

Since moving to Chico, she has worked at the Associated Students Child Development Lab and continues to work for Child Development Programs and Services as a Program Specialist at the Butte County Office of Education. Tess has taught for the Department of Child Development at CSU Chico since the fall of 2006. She currently teaches CHLD 282 (Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum: Theory to Practice), CHLD 333z (Gender and Sexuality Development), CHLD 351 (Toddler/Early Childhood Development), CHLD 382 (Professional Seminar in Child Development: Current Issues). Valuing that she is able to reach and teach each student and recognize the strengths, needs, interests and passions, within the social and cultural context that each individual lives, is her priority; and a great gift. Tess is appreciative of the opportunity to offer information and experience from the “real world” of the child development field to enrich student’s education. And, she’s pretty lucky to get to work with students of all ages!

Personally, she lives with her wonderful partner Tony and a sweet dog named Cozy Bones Jonz. Tess likes to ride her bike a ton, hike, camp with friends and family and still competes in open water swim competitions occasionally. She looks forward to you joining the Child Development major here at Chico State!

Tess Manley