About ToucanEd

ToucanEd was founded in 1995 by Kathleen Middleton, MS, CHES, with a commitment to providing health communication and education materials to diverse audiences of all ages. School, community, and employee health, safety, and security remain the company's passion. As developers of emergency preparedness trainings for first responders, we have successfully worked with the federal Department of Homeland Security, and with California’s Office of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Services, Police Officers Standards and Training, and California Department of Public Health.

We are a woman-owned small business and are on the GSA Schedule, as well as a holder of California's CMAS. We look for opportunities to serve as a government contractor or to sub contract under a larger company that needs to fulfill its contracting goals with a nimble, competent, experienced team. As specialists in staff development and training, ToucanEd serves a variety of professional organizations. Among our clients are state and county agencies and departments; tribes; international, national, and local nonprofits; universities, schools, and private educators; the business sector; and local community organizations such as fire departments and chambers of commerce. Testimonials from some of our clients can be found on our Testimonials page.

In addition to health-related products, ToucanEd creates educational materials for reading, language arts, science, foreign language, English language learners, social sciences, and additional subjects as needed.

We begin each project by offering our professional advice about which types of educational materials will meet our client’s objectives and/or funding specifications. Experts in electronic and print formats, we produce most finished materials in-house using our own on-demand equipment, eliminating the customer’s need to maintain inventory and ensuring that materials are up-to-date as they are used.

Whether your program needs binders, books, pamphlets, posters, CDs, distance learning, audio, video, or any combination of these media; or whether you need your materials developed, written, edited, designed, printed, or all of the above, ToucanEd is the turnkey solution to your education and training needs.

See our FAQ page to answer frequently asked questions about ToucanEd.

ToucanEd Staff

Kathleen Middleton, MS, MCHES: President

Kathleen Middleton, President and CEO of ToucanEd, has more than 30 years experience as an educator. She has a Masters in Health Science and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. See more.

Kathleen founded ToucanEd in 1995 as she saw a need to provide custom product development services for professionals in schools and in professional development arenas. Previously she worked as the Editor-in-Chief for ETR Associates, the Director of the Office of School Health for the National Center for Health Education, the Coordinator for Health and Physical Education for the Monterey County Office of Education, a 7th and 8th grade health teacher in the ABC Unified School District, and a teacher education instructor in five different university settings in California.

Kathleen works closely with each client to conceptualize materials that are clear, concise, and culturally appropriate. She has created hundreds of health education titles for preschool through college students. Kathleen was a contributing author for the kathleen999 Harcourt Brace health education textbook series for K-6 and author for the 2005 Glencoe McGraw Hill Health, a high school textbook. She directed the conceptualization and development of all the curricular materials on HEALTHteacher.com, which was launched by WebMD in January 2000. She and the ToucanEd staff created a series of Pandemic Awareness educational materials and a related course that are in use throughout the United States in many public and private environments. Kathleen’s experience has been invaluable in positioning the company as a training partner of California’s Office of Homeland Security, Department of Public Health, and Police Officers Standards and Training. She is the lead certified trainer of ToucanEd’s FEMA-certified course on Pandemic Preparedness.

As a consultant, Kathleen is considered an expert in health education and assessment. She serves as the health education and professional development consultant for the Health Education Assessment Project (HEAP) and worked with ACT to develop assessment items (questions). She conducts performance assessment training for health education internationally.

In 20kathleen0 Kathleen lead ToucanEd into the development and delivery of immunization posters that are both cost effective and address diverse audiences.

Kathleen is passionate about ToucanEd and providing the best services possible for clients and the best possible work environment for staff. When she isn't working, she is playing ukulele with her husband Bill in Santa Cruz, or relaxing at her home near the beach with Bill, puppy Otto, and cats Apollo and Dewey.

You can contact Kathleen at or call toll-free (888) 386-8226 ext. kathleen4, or (83kathleen) 464-0508, ext. kathleen4.

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Debbie Fontes: Program Manager, Development

Debbie Fontes manages ToucanEd’s multifaceted production process, ensuring the smooth and efficient flow of materials from client to editorial and design staff and through printing to finished product. See more.

Her sharp eye for detail and meticulous organizational skills ensure that all materials are properly prepared and ready on schedule. She coordinates title development, including project specifications; works with outside printers on specific projects; and reviews page and cover proofs for layout, flow, and color and accuracy prior to production. She also maintains production files and sample copies for easy reference for all of print projects.

Debbie has been with ToucanEd since 1997, and has been instrumental in helping the company grow from its early years to its present state. Her outstanding organizational skills, coupled with her ability to switch smoothly from managerial tasks to hands-on duties such as manuscript processing and graphic design, make her an incredible asset to the team. She has professional training and expertise in a number of software programs, but it’s her commitment to personally fostering the big and small details of creating educational materials from inception to completion that make her so invaluable.

You can contact Debbie at or call toll-free (888) 386-8226 ext 13, or (831) 464-0508 ext. 13.

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Jack Suter: Senior Graphic Artist and Multimedia Designer/Developer

Jack Suter combines his considerable artistic talent and extensive technical expertise to create illustrations, product designs, Websites, and eLearning Courses for ToucanEd and its clients. He creates stunning original artwork and builds dynamic, visually stimulating materials that are intuitive, informative, and user-friendly. See more.

Jack holds a BA in Visual Communications from the Colorado Institute of Art, and brings more than a dozen years of professional experience and many more years of personal experience in graphics and design to ToucanEd. His beautiful illustration work appears throughout the ToucanEd catalogue, running the gamut from a cast of comic book-style superheroes for the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute to playful, engaging cartoons for the Health Education Assessment Project (HEAP) to detailed and thought-provoking character portraits for Fairfax County’s Healthy Choices curriculum. You can see the depth and versatility of his design talent on such products as the Pandemic Flu Preparedness series, the Healthy Choices curricula, and the IMPACT! User Guide, to name just a few.

When he’s not attending classes to augment his formidable design skills or creating one-of-a-kind birthday cards for ToucanEd staffers, Jack is playing his banjo, or his guitar, or maybe even his fiddle.

You can contact Jack at or call toll-free (888) 386-8226 ext. 15, or (831) 464-0508 ext. 15.

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Mary Ellen Cunningham: Marketing/Development Assistant

Mary Ellen Cunningham is working with both the Marketing and Development departments, under the direction of Program Manager Debbie Fontes and ToucanEd President Kathleen Middleton. See more.

Mary Ellen has a BA in English, which makes her a great asset when it comes to editing and proofing projects. She also researches prospective customers and assists with conceptualizing and writing mailers and e-mail advertising.

Mary Ellen joined the ToucanEd team in 2010. She brings an impressive range of experience to the table, which makes her a flexible and versatile employee. For example, she’s worked as a bookkeeper and a credit manager, so she’s got terrific customer service and organizational skills. She also owned and operated her own retail business for many years, so she’s very well versed in sales and marketing. We’re lucky to have Mary Ellen, and she says she’s happy to be here, since she can finally use her educational background in English.

Mary Ellen has lived on the Santa Cruz coast since 1975. She and her husband Gary are very proud of their son Patrick, who is presently serving in the U.S. Air Force and working on his master’s degree; and their daughter Ellen, who is in college studying to become a veterinary technician.

You can contact Mary Ellen at or call toll-free (888) 386-8226 ext. 12, or (831) 464-0508 ext. 12.

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John LaRochelle: Printing and Shipping Manager

John LaRochelle is the reason ToucanEd’s busy Manufacturing Department functions so smoothly. He manages the printing and assembly of all orders from binder manuals to kits, handles shipping and receiving, and personally sees to the quality of every package that leaves ToucanEd. See more.

John holds a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from Chico State University, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from San Jose State University. John joined ToucanEd in 2006, and brings a varied professional background that includes videography, video editing, and sound engineering; as well technical service, repair, and product assembly.

Of all the ToucanEd publications that pass through John’s hands, he is most excited about our Pandemic Preparedness: Instructional Tools for Elementary Schools and Pandemic Preparedness: Instructional Tools for Secondary Schools. These timely resources contribute to an informed environment, helping children and youth stay safe and healthy.

You can contact John at or call toll-free (888) 386-8226 ext. 18, or (831) 464-0508 ext. 18.

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This page was last updated on March 15, 2017.


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