WHEN: February 22nd - February 26th, 2021
WHERE: Virtual Summit
REGISTER HERE: Preschool Mindfulness Summit 2021 Registration
WHEN: June 22 - July 1, 2022
WHERE: Bali Institute
REGISTER HERE: Bali Immersion with Dr. Erwin 2022
Jenny James, MA, is an early childhood advocate, author, and director of a preschool in Maryland. She has served as an early childhood educator, a family counselor, a project manager for a child-care resource and referral agency, and a child-care training coordinator for the state of Maryland.
Patti Bailie, PhD, is an associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Maine at Farmington and is a leader in the nature preschool movement. She is the founding director of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool and helped develop a curriculum rooted in developmentally appropriate practice and the Reggio approach.
Catherine Koons-Hubbard, MS Ed., is preschool director at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee. She earned her MS in education from the University of Pennsylvania and has more than 15 years of experience as an environmental educator.
Rebecca Bishop is a mother of two. She worked previously in the early education field and currently works as a behavioral specialist for children with autism spectrum disorders. She is also an advocate for trans and nonbinary youth. Her older daughter is cisgender; this means she was identified as female at birth and has continued to identify with that gender label. Her younger son is transgender. When he socially transitioned in early childhood, she and her family were overwhelmed by the breadth of information and the lack of community education. Therapists and advocates gave them many wonderful tools, but they consistently had to work hard to integrate what they knew into their son’s play and school environments. Her pronouns are she/her/hers.
Jenny Fererro is a professor of child development and early childhood education and a former ECE teacher. Most of her students are studying to become early childhood educators. She has been a professor for nearly 20 years and loves helping her students become great teachers and develop a profound respect for children. Her interest in gender diversity in early childhood was spurred by her friendships and personal relationships with parents of gender-diverse young children. She is a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and more. Her pronouns are she/her/hers.
Jani Kozlowski, MA, is a technical assistance specialist at the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC–Chapel Hill. She has served as the inclusion and professional development systems coordinator for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. She provided training and technical assistance for Head Start on inclusion and disability services and on social-emotional development for the Office of Head Start and co-authored the Head Start orientation guide for disability services coordinators. Jani began her work in the field teaching a group of spirited four-year olds in an inclusive Pre-K classroom.
Latisha Hayes, PhD, has taught students with reading disabilities in the primary through middle grades as a special educator and reading specialist. She is an associate professor at the University of Virginia, where she teaches courses on the diagnosis of and intervention for reading difficulties as well as English/Language Arts methods for early childhood, elementary, and special educators. She works with preservice and in-service teachers at the McGuffey Reading Center. She is coauthor of a number of books on literacy and has been published in many leading literacy and communication journals.
Cathryn O’Sullivan is a consultant in early childhood development. She has worked in a number of areas in the field including as the founding principal of Bloom Early Childhood Centre of Excellence, Jamaica, a laboratory preschool of The University of the West Indies Open Campus; a curriculum developer, researcher, and teacher trainer. She has a Masters of Education in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from Macalester College.
School-to-Home Connections: Simple Strategies for Early Childhood Educators
Tricia Rosengarten, PhD, is a full-time faculty member at the University of Phoenix. She has more than 20 years of experience in both elementary and higher-education teaching, research, and leadership.
Suzanne Levenson Goldstein, EdD, is an instructor with University of Phoenix. She taught in elementary school for more than 30 years and served as the early childhood education coordinator and language arts mentor for her school district.
Carla Gull, EdD, has more than 20 years of experience as an educator at the preschool, elementary, and college levels. She is currently an instructor with the University of Phoenix. She leads professional development and research in outdoor classrooms, loose parts, and nature play. She also hosts a podcast—Loose Parts Nature Play—as well as facilitates an international group called Loose Parts Play.
Cathryn L. Peshlakai, MEd, has more than 30 years of experience in the early childhood field. She is a program officer for Children, Youth, and Families in the department of Early Care and Education, University of Nevada, Reno, extension. She is also an instructor with the Nevada Ready! program through the State of Nevada Department of Education.
Sarah E. Wright, MEd, is a former preschool teacher and director. She has extensive experience in coaching, training, and managing programs, volunteers, and educators. Currently, she is the coordinator of early childhood education at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and supervises Child Development Associate education programs.
Robin Marx-Mackerley, MS, is a former Early Head Start and Head Start director. She is an instructor with the University of Nevada, Reno, extension program.
Ingrid Crowther, EdD, earned her doctor of education degree in early childhood and the middle years. She has taught in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Great Britain in a variety of settings including preschool, elementary, and high school, as well as at universities and colleges. She has presented at conferences across Canada and internationally in Australia, China, Germany, Singapore, and the United States. She has published articles in a variety of journals and has completed ten textbooks and a number of children’s books. Dr. Crowther is also an avid photographer. She has travelled extensively to capture children’s activities, wildlife in natural environments, and cultural settings across the world.
Carolyn Kisloski, MS, is a kindergarten teacher, author, and trainer who is passionate about young children and enthusiastic in her love for joyful learning environments.
Arlene Rider, PhD, is a retired professor from Empire State College, SUNY. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. She has 18+ years’ experience with New York State Network for Youth Success as a member of the statewide workgroup and as an instructor, advisor, and endorser for the New York State School Age Care Credential.
Tracy Galuski, PhD, is faculty chair and associate faculty chair responsible for the online courses at Empire State College, State University of New York. She earned her PhD in elementary education/early childhood education from the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Lea Ann Christenson, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of early childhood education at Towson State University. She earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her work focuses on early literacy acquisition, English as a second language instruction, and STEAM teaching and learning.
Elizabeth Joy Erwin, EdD is Professor at Montclair State University where she prepares current and future teachers to think critically, reflect deeply, and teach inclusively. Over the past 25 years, her commitment to educational equity in early childhood has been at the heart of her teaching, advocacy, and research. Within the primary theme of challenging injustice (with an emphasis on disability), Dr. Erwin’s scholarship has focused on multiple strands within early childhood inclusive education, including mindfulness and well-being, membership and belonging, family-professional partnerships, and early self-determination. In pursuit of social action, both locally and globally, Dr. Erwin has published widely in prestigious academic journals and has authored multiple books and chapters. She has accepted invitations to teach about inclusive early childhood worldwide, for example in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. She has engaged in educational inquiry and projects with universities around the world. Dr. Erwin currently lives in New York City, where she practices yoga and meditation every day.
Keriann Wilmot, OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist with 18 years of experience in helping teachers and parents to connect and improve the lives of children. She is a blogger on her site ToyQueen.com, covering toy recommendations and play tips.
Thomasa Bond, EdD, has more than 14 years experience as a child care licensing consultant and 30 years in early childhood education. She earned her doctorate in Organizational Leadership and she works with program directors to help them build centers that are not only safe for the children but also provide quality learning environments. A sought-after presenter and panelist, she researches and writes articles on her blog.
Kerry-Ann Escayg, PhD, is an assistant professor of early childhood education at the University of Nebrask-Omaha.
Stephanie Curenton, PhD, is a tenured associate professor in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University. She is Director of the Ecology of School Readiness Lab.
Iheoma Iruka, PhD, is Research Professor of Public Policy, Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill; Fellow, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG); and Director of the Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity Program at FPG. She is the former chief research officer for HighScope Educational Research Foundation and a former director of research and evaluation at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska.
Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA, EMT-P, serves as the Executive Director at the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, an organization that works to enhance emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for early childhood professionals. Previously, he served as the Senior Director for Emergency Preparedness at Child Care Aware of America. He is a co-author of the Head Start Emergency Preparedness Manual.
Preschool Preparedness for an Emergency: Preparing Childhood Professionals for the Worst-Case Scenario
10 Key Health and Safety Tips
COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations ofr Early Childhood Professionals
Tonia Durden, PhD, is a clinical associate professor of early childhood and elementary education and is a program coordinator at the Georgia State University College of Education and Human Development.
Sarah Taylor Vanover, EdD, has been working in the field of early childhood for over twenty years. Dr. Sarah Taylor Vanover completed her doctoral research on what families look for when selecting childcare for their children. She is an active trainer in Kentucky and surrounding states, and she frequently speaks at conferences on topics like quality childcare indicators, language development in the early childhood classroom, and the importance of quality infant and toddler care in early childhood education. For the past several years, Dr. Vanover has focused her work and research on assessing quality early childhood programs for health and safety requirements and supporting school-readiness skills. She is currently the director of the Division of Child Care for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is an active member of several policy teams looking at ways to save the US child-care system.
Dr. Vanover lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, Rob, and their two sons, Jack and James.
Dr. Jill Bella is the Director of Professional Learning at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and an assistant professor of early childhood education at National Louis University. She is an expert in childhood development, early childhood leadership, and early intervention. Prior to working at the McCormick Center, she worked at several child-care centers and at a hospital as an early intervention specialist and training associate. Dr. Bella is the coauthor of numerous articles, books, and trainer’s guides.
Dr. Michael Abel is the Director of Research and Evaluation at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and an assistant professor of early childhood education at National Louis University. Dr. Abel designs and implements original research studies on administrative practices in early childhood programs and elementary schools. He chairs the Whole Leadership Committee at the McCormick Center and serves the National Association for the Education of Young Children in various capacities.
Dr. Teri Talan is the Michael W. Louis Chair and Senior Policy Advisor to the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and a professor of early childhood education at National Louis University. She is a passionate voice for the McCormick Center’s clarion call to action: Leadership Matters: Invest in Leaders. Dr. Talan promotes action by state and national policymakers on early childhood workforce, leadership development, and program-administration issues. Her research focuses on early childhood leadership, workforce development, systems integration, and program quality evaluation.
Sarah Nichols is a professional development specialist at the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP), a program of the Department of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Nichols specializes in community of practice development, instructional design, and development and facilitation of synchronous and asynchronous web-based learning opportunities. She leads statewide and national communities of practice and manages online workspaces for service coordinators, early interventionists, training consultants, and administrators participating in communities of practice. Ms. Nichols is a member and leader of the CoP Development Group which supports CoP facilitators across the nation who seek and share strategies for developing, growing and sustaining CoPs for professionals in early childhood intervention. Ms. Nichols also leads the Early Intervention-Early Childhood Professional Development Community of Practice (EI-EC PD CoP) and its numerous sub-groups which include professional development specialists, technical assistance providers, faculty, administrators, supervisors and program coordinators from across the nation. Ms. Nichols is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), an active member of the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) currently serving as the Professional Development Strand Leader on the Personnel Preparation Committee and is a former Co-Leader for the DEC Professional Development Special Interest Group (DEC PD SIG).
Nancy Surbrook-Goins is the training and technical assistance manager for the Office of Innovative Projects at Clinton County, MI, Regional Educational Service Agency. She is responsible for the Comprehensive System of Professional Development (CSPD) of Early On®️ (Michigan’s Early Intervention system), Early Childhood Special Education, and provides expertise on many other statewide projects, such as professional development for the Great Start Readiness Program, Michigan’s state-funded preschool initiative. Ms. Surbrook-Goins serves as professional development chair of the Michigan Division of Early Childhood (DEC) as well as a co-leader of the DEC Community of Practice Development Committee. She is an active advocate for all children in early childhood initiatives and serves as Michigan’s aRPy (Recommended Practices) Ambassador for the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, a program of the FPG Child Development Institute. She has previously worked for Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency as a Head Start manager responsible for professional development, St. Clair County Community College and Baker College as an adjunct professor as well as Michigan State University at the Child Development Labs.
Kathi Gillaspy, MEd, is the Director of Technical Assistance at AnLar, a D.C. based firm that provides research and policy analysis, technical assistance, and communications and IT development in the areas of education, human services, and management. Her work focuses on educational and policy programs for district, state, and national projects. She is an expert in early intervention and early childhood special education, long-term systems change, state early childhood systems, professional development, and data management systems. Ms. Gillaspy has facilitated numerous communities of practice and is currently working with the Division of Early Childhood’s (DEC) Community of Practice Committee to develop communities of practice within the organization. Ms. Gillaspy is a member of a Community of Practice Development Group, which supports the work of facilitators of communities of practice in early childhood. Ms. Gillaspy has worked at the Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and devoted 15 years to working directly with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities and their families through Community Partnerships, Inc., a nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities.
Megan Vinh, Ph.D., is an Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Vinh currently serves as the PI of the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center and the Co-PI of the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA). She provides leadership, technical assistance, and evaluation support around improving state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increasing the implementation of effective practices, and enhancing outcomes of these programs for young children and their families. She also works to ensure young children with disabilities participate in and benefit from high-quality STEM teaching and learning. Dr. Vinh has facilitated numerous communities of practice and is a member of a Community of Practice Development Group, which supports the work of facilitators of communities of practice in early childhood. She specializes in program evaluation and systems change around access and equity issues, including reducing early care and education suspensions and expulsions and increasing high quality inclusive opportunities.
Teresa Byington, PhD, is a professional-learning veteran with deep experience as a facilitator, trainer, speaker, and professional. She is currently a professor/state specialist in early childhood education for the University of Nevada, Reno, Cooperative Extension. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Young Children, Young Exceptional Children, and The Reading Teacher. Dr. Byington earned her PhD from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in special education with an emphasis in early childhood education. She loves being engaged in professional learning. She facilitates several communities of practice and Professional Learning Communities for leaders, trainers, coaches and teachers. Byington trains early childhood trainers and coaches. She developed the Reflective Strength-Based Coaching Model. She enjoys presenting at local, state and national conferences.
Wendy Pirie, M.H.Sc., is a consultant in preschool movement and the director of TimberNook New Zealand, which offers camps where children grow and learn through active, creative outdoor experiences. She has a special interest in the growth and development of the child through the relationship between the body and the brain. She is also passionate about empowering parents and educators to play with and engage children. Wendy lives in New Zealand with her husband and three sons.
Angela Searcy, EdD, has more than 25 years of experience in education, providing services to children and families as a teacher, child-development specialist, and independent consultant. A former neurodevelopment specialist, she is the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services, a professional-development company. She is a trainer, a speaker, and a seminar leader at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
Featured Articles in WTTW:
Featured Segments on WGN TV:
Challenging-behaviors workshop downloadables:
Tips for Quality Learning in Quarantine
A Positive Approach to Challenging Behavior
Natalie Silverstein, MPH, is the volunteer coordinator of Doing Good TogetherTM in New York City. She is a frequent presenter to parents, faculty, students, and community groups and is a contributor to parenting blog mommypoppins.com. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from Yale University. She and her family regularly make time to volunteer in their community.
TODAY show interview: People Helping People (December 25, 2019):
Red Tricycle feature
Dr. Dan Podcast on Parent Footprint:
Feature in Austin 360:
Author Interview on WFSB TV's Better Connecticut (April 2, 2019):
Author Interview on Mama Smiles Parenting Blog (March 16, 2019):
Featured on The Financial Grownup Podcast (April 11, 2019):
Featured on For Purpose Kids:
Simple Acts is a must-have pick for Mother's Day on "Rage Against the Minivian" (April 23, 2019)
The Parent Pep Talk Podcast:
Rachel worked for 15 years as director of education at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, Michigan. Not only does she write and speak extensively on connecting children to nature through high-quality, nature-based early childhood education, Larimore is also pursuing a PhD in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education at Michigan State University.
Sally Haughey is the founder and owner of Fairy Dust Teaching, a company committed to the growth and empowerment of teachers. After 20 years of successfully teaching in various school settings, she has committed herself to what she loves most: inspiring teachers.
Sarah Garrity, EdD, is an associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. Her research and policy interests focus on early childhood workforce development, educational leadership, and the socio-cultural and linguistic contexts of teaching and learning. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field as a classroom teacher, Head Start administrator, and literacy coach. She is an author and presenter on topics related to best practice in early care and education settings. For more information, visit: http://go.sdsu.edu/education/tagpec/
Effective Discipline Policies for Young Children: Supporting Social-Emotional Competence
The Impact of Early Childhood Trauma on Children's Behavior
Dr. Longstreth is chair and associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. She began her career as a preschool teacher and has extensive experience in a variety of educational settings. She has worked with the YMCA, Head Start, and Polinsky Children’s Center to train early care and education teachers on topics related to infant and early childhood mental health. Dr. Longstreth’s research is closely connected to her teaching practice, and she is deeply committed to the exploration of practices that support children’s developing social-emotional competence. For more information, visit: http://go.sdsu.edu/education/tagpec/
Deanna W. Clauson is a functional medicine certified health coach and a freelance writer. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served on the boards of directors for several education-related organizations.
Erin Buhr has a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and over 15 years of experience working with young children. Currently she calls San Diego home where she loves going on adventures with her husband and their twins. You can read more about Erin and her adventures at www.erinbuhr.com.
Little Walks, Big Adventures: Meangingful Field Trips with Young Children
Sally Goldberg, PhD, also known as Dr. Sally, is a professor of education, author, and magazine writer. She authors a blog at www.earlychildhoodnews.net. Dr. Sally worked as an instructor of early childhood education on the adjunct faculties of Nova Southeastern University, Barry University, and the University of Phoenix. Well known for her tools and strategies for self-esteem development, she is a national conference presenter and a frequent guest on TV and radio. Sally, who grew up in White Plains, NY, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Miami.
Alison Pepper is an early childhood education expert and consults in the areas of quality improvement, program design, leadership development, family engagement, accreditation, project development and training. She has written articles for Young Children and Child Care Information Exchange and is a trainer for the Connect4Learning pre-K curriculum. She holds a master of science degree in education, early childhood supervision, and administration from Bank Street College of Education.
Cathy Riley has more than 28 years’ experience in using the environment rating scales as a lead trainer, including her work at FPG and the UNC School of Public Health. She has served as a reliability anchor and data collector with projects using early childhood assessment instruments and child outcome measurements. Cathy is coauthor of the widely used All About the ITERS-R, as well as All About Preschoolers, an environment-based curriculum. She is a partner with ERSI.
Debby Cryer, PhD, a retired scientist at the Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), is cofounder of the Environment Rating Scales Institute (ERSI). Dr. Cryer has extensive experience assessing early childhood programs in varied settings. She is an author of a variety of resources for early childhood professionals, including the ITERS-R, FCCERS-R, SACERS, and SACERS-U.
Donna Wittmer, PhD, is associate professor emerita of early childhood and early childhood special education in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Denver. She earned her doctorate in child, family, and community studies at Syracuse University. A prolific author, she has written dozens of articles and books on early childhood development. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter worldwide.
Crying and Laughing: The Emotinal Development of Infants and Toddlers
From Biting to Hugging: The Social Development of Infants and Toddlers
Kristen M. Kemple, PhD, is a professor of early childhood studies at the University of Florida. She serves on the consulting editors board for NAEYC and is an active presenter at major national conferences. She previously worked as a teacher in Head Start, as well as in a variety of other early childhood programs. She has been an early childhood teacher educator for 30 years and has been fascinated by play since she was an infant. She is a founding faculty member of the Unified Early Childhood Proteach Program at the University of Florida, begun in 1992 as one of the first cross-departmental inclusive teacher education programs in the United States. She is the author of a wide variety of publications on early childhood development and education. Her current scholarship is focused on play, creativity, and social-emotional learning in early childhood.
For more than twenty years, Carmen A. Castillo has held several positions as a teacher and principal. Currently, she is an educational consultant and trainer for schools in Mexico and abroad. She is also a presenter at national and international conferences.
Yvonne Kogan is cofounder and academic principal of the early childhood and elementary departments of Eton School in Mexico City. She is a consultant on the project approach for several schools in Mexico and abroad. Her published works include From My Side: Being a Child and Engaging Children’s Minds: The Project Approach.
Shelley Nicholson, PhD, earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction, specializing in early childhood education, from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. She serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. She conducts professional development seminars for early childhood teachers and is the owner and director of Nicholson Early Childhood Education Center, Inc., in Austin, Texas.
Thrifty Teacher's Guide to Creative Learning Centers:
Jessica Martinez is the director of the Goddard School, a preschool in Austin, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin.
Thrifty Teacher's Guide to Creative Learning Centers
Angela Eckhoff, PhD, is an associate professor of Teaching and Learning–Early Childhood Education and director of the Virginia Early Childhood Policy Center at Old Dominion University. She holds a dual PhD from the University of Colorado–Boulder in educational psychology and cognitive science. She is a coeditor of the Full STEAM Ahead column for Teaching Young Children from NAEYC. Dr. Eckhoff studies the role of creativity in child development and learning, arts-based research and pedagogical practices, and early STEAM learning in both classroom and museum settings.
Provoking Curiosity: Student-Led STEAM Learning for PreK to Third Grade
Creative, Arts-Based STEM Learning in Early Childhood
Creative, Design-Based Explorations in Engineering and Technology for Early Childhood Classrooms
Classroom Practices that Support Creative Investigations in Early Mathematics
Warren Buckleitner, PhD, is a parent, teacher, and founding editor of Children's Technology Review, an electronic subscription service that publishes reviews of interactive media products. For ten years, he covered children’s technology for the New York Times. Buckleitner is an adjunct professor at the College of New Jersey. He holds a BS in elementary education, an MS in human development, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University.
See Dr. Buckleitner in action as he discusses his book Buckleitner's Guide to Using Tablets With Young Children.
Susan MacDonald, MEd, is the founder of Inspiring New Perspectives, a consultancy focused on empowering educational leaders to create programs that deeply respect and nurture possibilities that lie within each child, parent, and teacher. She has been developing and delivering inspirational courses and workshops for more than 25 years. She has served as director of a Reggio-inspired preschool program, an adjunct faculty at Lesley University and Wheelock College, and as a Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensing supervisor. She holds a master’s degree in instructional design and several professional coaching certifications.
Inspiring Professional Growth
Inspiring Early Childhood Leadership
Rebecca Kreth entered the field of early learning more 30 years ago, earning degrees in early childhood education, and counseling psychology. She has worked with young children, their families, and communities through numerous educational and wellness practices. Her range of experience includes work as an early learning professional, training provision for early learning professionals, child and family counseling services, early childhood mental health consulting, and most recently as a grants manager.
Rebecca has Anishinaabe heritage, and has served the Native community through the Office of Indian Education and Puget Sound Educational Service District. Rebecca has presented at both regional and national conferences, and her work continues to reflect a deep connection and commitment to the equity of educational opportunities for all young children, their families, and communities.
Debby Mitchell, EdD, recently retired from teaching in the College of Education at University of Central Florida, where she was an associate professor and coordinator of sports and fitness. She has more than 35 years’ experience in physical education, coaching, fitness, and health, with research interests including brain research, developmentally appropriate movement activities and music, dance and rhythms, children's wellness, obesity, and integrating technology into the curriculum. She founded a company called GeoMotion Group to share her passion for encouraging people from all walks of life to be excited about physical activities and fitness. Mitchell promotes a love for movement by keeping activities simple, safe, and fun. She and her staff work with schools that want to improve learning and increase physical activity. Her programs are in more than 25,000 schools, and she has trained more than 1,000 preservice teachers in addition to publishing and delivering keynotes.
Dr. Kelly Jennings-Towle is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Central Florida. Kelly has been in the field of early childhood for over 20 years. She has taught Kindergarten through Second grade in both Illinois and Florida. Courses taught at the collegiate level center on child development, children’s literature, practicum, internship, and diversity for educators. She has presented at several National conferences, as well as trained teachers at local workshops. Kelly assisted in developing the current Florida Teacher Certification Examination PK-3. Her research is in the area of teacher preparation for high-need urban settings.
She lives in Oviedo, FL
Watch Kelly Jennings-Towle present on the topics of her book STEM Play:
CEO and founder of Young Innovators Academy, Marnie is an entrepreneur at heart with a passion for introducing innovative approaches and business models. As a successful operator of large child-care centers, she has been recognized nationally, has presented at national conferences and has written books for parents, children, administrators and educators. Marnie started her career as a CNN journalist, transitioned into the role of a VP of marketing for a telecommunications company and later launched a child-care franchise.
At Young Innovators Academy, Marnie leads a team of university professors, entrepreneurs, child-care professionals, marketing experts, and engineers. Marnie is passionate about using research to develop content that introduces young learners to the mindsets and skills that will help them become the fearless problem solvers of tomorrow.
She holds a BS in Business Administration, a CDA, and a director's credential.
The Basics of Leading a Child-Care Business
Launching Your Own Child-Care Buisness?
The Basics of Starting a Child-Care Business
Simple STEAM: Preparing Young Children for the Careers of the Future
STEAM Learning Centers
Deirdre Sheridan Englehart, Ed.D, RYT, was an Associate Lecturer in the University of Central Florida's Early Childhood Development and Education program. In 2008, she earned her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction and early childhood education and previously earned her master's degree in mathematics and science education at the University of Central Florida. She was a previous primary grade teacher in Orange County Public Schools and taught two years as a Teacher-in-Residence at the Orlando Science Center. She taught undergraduate courses in science and technology, creativity, integrated arts and children's literature. She wrote several books for teachers and developed curriculum related to science and integrated arts. She was a part of the team that wrote the Voluntary Pre-K Standards in Florida. Her research interests included children's nonfiction literature, science education and the integration of yoga and movement with young children.
Dr. Englehart lived in Deltona, FL. She passed away in 2016.
Junie Albers-Biddle, Ed.D. is an Associate Lecturer of Early Childhood Development and Education in the College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida. She has over 27 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. She has dedicated her career to working with young children, teachers of young children, and pre-service teachers in early childhood education. Albers-Biddle has presented at several national and assisted in the develop of the current Florida Teacher Certification Examination prekindergarten to grade three. She earned her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction with a research focus in early childhood teacher preparation and implications for the PreK-3rd Continuum.
Albers-Biddle lives in Clermont, FL.
Rebecca Green is the creator of Not-So-SAHM, a family-friendly lifestyle blog where she writes about arts and crafts, field trips, DIYs, recipes, party fun, and all around silliness of her family. Rebecca started Not-So-SAHM in 2011 when she decided to take a break from practicing law to spend more quality time with her family and pursue creative endeavors. Rebecca loves cappuccinos, sarcasm, running long distances by herself, graphic design, photography, and mid-century modern furniture (probably in that order). She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two mischief-making children, and believes there is no such thing as being bored.
Katharine C. Kersey, EdD, is former professor of early childhood education and director emerita of the Child Study Center at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. She served as chairperson of the Department of Early Childhood, Speech Pathology, and Special Education for twenty-two years, and is an author, national speaker, child-behavior expert, and parent educator.
Dr. Marie Masterson is Director of Quality Assessment at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. She is a national speaker, child behavior expert, researcher, and author. She is an educational consultant to state departments of education, schools, child-care centers, and social-service and parenting organizations. Dr. Masterson is a former professor of early childhood education, Fulbright specialist, and early childhood specialist for the Virginia Department of Education.
Building on Whole Leadership
Enjoying The Parenting Roller Coaster
Tricia Shelton has been an early childhood educator for 17 years. During that time, she taught first and third grades and served as an elementary school principal.
Considering herself a life-long learner, Dr. Shelton holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her research interests include teacher attitudes and inclusion of students with ASD.
To assist local organizations in efforts to provide inclusive environments for youth with ASD, Dr. Shelton has volunteered as an autism consultant with several local community organizations. She was a 2014 finalist of the Pennsylvania Autism Connection Temple Grandin Award.
Dr. Shelton has published with the Keystone State Reading Association (KSRA). Her article, Supporting Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Inclusive Literacy Classrooms, was featured in the 2012 Spring/Summer issue of the professional journal, Pennsylvania Reads. Her research was presented at the 2012 Pennsylvania National Association of Multicultural Education (PA-NAME) conference at Millersville University, the 2013 Eastern Education Research Association (EERA) conference in Sarasota, Florida, and the 2014 National Autism Conference at the Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Shelton lives in Monroeville, PA.
Watch this webinar witih Dr. Shelton as she discusses her book Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Jennifer J. Chen, EdD, brings her personal insight into the challenges that diverse students face in the classroom: When she immigrated to the United States from China as a teenager, she spoke Chinese and had to learn English. Dr. Chen is an associate professor of early childhood and family studies at Kean University in Union, NJ. Chen was a Fulbright Scholar in 2013-2014 in Hong Kong and earned her EdD and EdM from Harvard University.
Jill Stamm, PhD, is the cofounder of New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development. Dr. Stamm has been an associate clinical professor at Arizona State University in Tempe for more than 25 years. She is the developer of Brain Boxes, a unique set of products designed to help adults interact with young children to encourage healthy brain development. She is an international speaker on brain research and serves on the advisory board for the Learning & the Brain Conference series.
See Dr. Stamm discuss the value of nurturing cognitive development in the first 5 years of life in this fascinating webinar!
Dr. Ruth Wilson works as an educational consultant and curriculum writer with special expertise in the area of early childhood environmental education and other initiatives in connecting young children with nature. Dr. Wilson recently worked with the Brookfield Zoo in developing their NatureStart professional development program and served as a curriculum writer for California’s Education and Environment Initiative. Dr. Wilson also worked with Sesame Street in designing nature education programs and served as an evaluator with the nature preschool at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee. Dr. Wilson’s career includes working as a classroom teacher in both regular and special education settings and as a teacher educator for over ten years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She works with Children and Nature Network (C&NN) as curator of their research center.
Watch Dr. Wilson discuss her strategies and activities for involving the natural environment in a young child's learning.
Rusty Keeler is a play space designer who has worked over the past 20 years with hundreds of community, school, parks, university, and child care leaders to dream, design, and construct beautiful outdoor environments for children. He has worked in more than 30 states and throughout Canada, Europe, China, Australia, and New Zealand. He is one of the pioneers in the movement to reconnect children to nature, and his designs reflect his sincere desire to create a more beautiful world in which to grow and explore. He is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at conferences, communities, and colleges worldwide. Rusty lives with his family among the gorges and creeks in Ithaca, NY. For more information visit www.earthplay.net
Constant Hine lives in Denver, Colorado. Constant is an early childhood consultant, adult educator, coach, and author. She works with educators, care-givers, business professionals, and managers throughout North America. Constant has an M.A. in Education.
Constant has been the owner and president of Horizons In Learning since 1988. Horizons In Learning offers professional development services including: college level courses, seminars, consulting, mentoring, coaching. Agency-level services are also offered, including group/retreat facilitation and organizational transition consulting.
Horizons In Learning specializes in facilitating respectful learning for sustainable change for individuals and teams to increase their skills and perspectives to be more effective and to deepen professional practices that support educators who work with children and families. In addition, Horizons In Learning supports individuals to handle stress proactively, to promote respectful relationships and communication, and to create sustainable positive habits. Horizons In Learning also offers customized and personal help to organizations when they need to proactively respond to change and move efficiently and effectively through implementation actions.
Constant is known as a coach's coach, broadening and deepening the skills and mastery of coaches and mentors. Over 15 years ago Constant Hine developed a Coaching For Success Program, a model for facilitating ongoing professional development efforts using a continuum of intentional facilitation strategies.
Dr. Wolf trained as a researcher at Harvard Project Zero, where she led studies on the early development of artistic and symbolic capacities. She directed Project PACE (Projects in Active Cultural Engagement) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an organization that focused on children and youth as vital, but often ignored, forces in cultural planning. More recently, she has pioneered evaluation studies that build the capacities of organizations, funders, and the communities they serve, co-authoring More Than Measuring, a longitudinal study of the effects of arts-based learning, sponsored by Big Thought, a 50-organization consortium in Dallas. Wolf has published widely on issues of assessment, evaluation, artistic, and imaginative development. At the heart of her work is a commitment to increasing children and youth’s access to learning featuring inquiry, innovation, and imagination both in and out of school. In 2013, she was awarded the National Guild Service Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education.
Roger is the Co-Owner of Exchange Magazine with his wife Bonnie. Exchange Magazine is a source for professional development resources for all early childhood providers -- child care centers, Head Start agencies, chains, Montessori, Pre-K programs, non profit child care, for profit child care, religious-housed child care, military child care, school age child care -- in the US and internationally
Bonnie is the founder and executive editor of Exchange Press. She is also the founder of the Substitute Bank for Child Care Centers.
Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting is an early childhood literacy consultant and national trainer on early literacy with more than thirty-five years’ experience as a children’s librarian. She presents early literacy training and information sessions at national, regional, and state conferences, and trains library staff and child care providers. She has been a consultant for the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association on an the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® early literacy initiative for the Association for Library Service to Children.
Amy Read is an early literacy program manager for a public library system. She provides literacy programs for early childhood educators as well as parents of young children. She has a master of science in child development and family relations, and over twenty-three years she has worked in a variety of child- and family-related programs. She has taught two-year-olds in a university-run preschool, has worked with undergraduate students completing their internships, and has taught a variety of early childhood education and child development courses for universities and community colleges. Additionally, she has worked as an early interventionist with families whose children have developmental delays or at-risk behavior. She has received Level 12 Early Educator Certification from the North Carolina Institute for Early Child Development Professionals and a professional development endorsement. She presents workshops and training programs at national, regional, and state conferences on a wide array of child, family, and education issues. She is a coauthor of a children’s book, Scribbleball: The Crazy ABC Book!
Barbara Sorrels, EdD, is executive director of The Institute for Childhood Education in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a professional-development and consulting firm for those who live and work with children. She has more than twenty years of child care, kindergarten, and elementary teaching experience, as well as more than five years’ experience teaching graduate and undergraduate students at the university level.
Dr. Sorrels holds a doctorate in early childhood education from Oklahoma State University, a master’s degree in Christian education from Southwestern Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. She and her husband have two daughters and one new granddaughter.
Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, is an internationally respected educator, author, presenter, editor, and consultant. She is a professor of education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she coordinates the doctoral program in curriculum and instruction. She is the author of more than 25 books and is the editor-in-chief of Early Childhood Education Journal.
Learn more from Dr. Jalongo and receive a FREE CE certificate when you watch this video and join our professional development community on edweb.net/bookchats
Mary Jalongo interviewed on Studentcentricity radio show: "When You Don't Speak the Same Language: Making ELLs Feel Welcome."
Dawn C. Oparah serves as a trainer and consultant for school systems, community based organizations, and businesses. She specializes in training and consultation in management, personal leadership development, school improvement strategies, human relations skill development, and community and organizational development. She provides Technical Assistance to non-profit organizations in the areas of board development, strategic planning, marketing, program planning and evaluations, and resource development.
Karen Bush Gibson is the author of more than 30 non-fiction books for children, including Women in Space, Women Aviators, and Native American History for Kids. She is also the author of an adult mystery, A Class on Murder. Karen has worked in social work and education, but her heart has always been drawn to writing. She has been a freelance writer for too many years to count and most often writes on travel, parenting, and interesting people when not writing books. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, hiking, and reading.
Nancy and Jeff Sanders make their home in southern California. They have two adult sons, Danny and Ben. Their cats Sandman and Pitterpat add lots of hilarious moments to their family.
Nancy grew up the youngest of seven children on a dairy farm in Everett, Pennsylvania. She helped milk the cows, bale the hay, drive the tractor, and pick giant weeds out of their humongous garden.
After moving to California when she was 20, Nancy and Jeff met and were married. As a stay-at-home mom for more than 20 years, Nancy found true enjoyment in taking pen to paper and learning the craft of writing.
Much of Nancy’s time is spent writing books and working on various manuscript projects. Her favorite topics to write about are God, Bible stories, educational subjects, and African American history.
Some of Nancy’s favorite hobbies include taking walks, sewing patchwork quilts, gardening, and capturing the beauty of God’s wonderful creation on film. She enjoys watching birds and butterflies, and has fun taking photos of hummingbirds that visit the flowers just outside their kitchen window.
Valerie Petrillo is a published author of children's books. Published credits of Valerie Petrillo include A Kid's Guide to Asian American History: More than 70 Activities (Kid's Guide series, A), Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages: An Activity Guide to North American Sailing Life, and Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages: An Activity Guide to North American Sai.
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and speaker with 40 years of teaching experience and over 1 million copies of his books in print. He has authored 15 books, including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom; written numerous articles for Parenting, Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle, and other periodicals; and appeared on several national and international television and radio programs, from NBC’s the Todayshow to the BBC. He lives in Sonoma County, California.