Print Friendly, PDF & Email

STAY TUNED FOR 2019 SPEAKERS!

2018 Speakers

Keynoter Biographies

Holly Elissa Bruno, JD, Author, Holly Elissa Bruno Keynotes & Team Building, MA

Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD, award-winning and best-selling author specializing in emotionally intelligent leadership and preventing legal risks, is an international keynote speaker. iTunes ranked her radio program, Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference in its top 200 k-12 podcasts. She served as Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maine and Assistant Dean at the University of Maine School of Law. While working as Associate Professor and Academic Dean at the University of Maine-Augusta, Holly Elissa was selected “Outstanding Professor”. An alumna of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, she teaches leadership courses for Wheelock College, most recently in Singapore. Her first book, Leading on Purpose was published by McGraw-Hill in 2008. Its sequel, What You Need to Lead: Emotional Intelligence in Practice has been one of NAEYC’s best-sellers. Managing Legal Risks, Teachers College Press, is another best-seller. The Comfort of Little Things received the Living Now Award for books in any field that “uplift the quality of life”. Her current writing focuses on transforming childhood trauma into healing wisdom. Her article “Broken into Wholeness” was released by Exchange Press in early 2018. To “recovering attorney” Holly Elissa, life is too short to anything but enjoy it daily.

Shael Polakow-Suransky, MSEd, President, Bank Street College of Education, NY           

Shael Polakow-Suransky is the president of Bank Street College of Education. Under his leadership, Bank Street is building new models for teacher education, expanding its work with public schools and child care centers, and focusing on translating innovative education practices into policies that work at scale. Previously, he was Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education, overseeing teaching and learning across more than 1,600 district schools. He was a strong advocate for teacher and principal autonomy, balanced accountability, and reforms designed to improve learning experiences for the city’s most vulnerable students. Earlier in his career, Shael worked as a teacher and founding principal of Bronx International High School. He holds a BA from Brown University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Bank Street.

Suzanne Carothers, PhD, Former Professor of Early Childhood Education, New York University, NY

For more than four decades, Dr. Suzanne C. Carothers has been in the field of education as a teacher of the youngest of learners to – those who do the teaching, those who are school leaders, and those who inform policy affecting children and their families.  Recently retired from her fulltime position as a Professor of Early Childhood Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in the Department of Teaching and Learning, she remains committed to the field of practice by continuing to do meaningful work in it. At NYU, she served as Director of the Undergraduate Childhood/Childhood Special Education Program and Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Prior to assuming her position at NYU, Dr. Carothers was a Professor of Elementary Education at The City College of The City University of New York in the Department of Education.  Formerly, as the Adult Literacy Program Director in the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York during the Ed Koch Administration, she coordinated the New York City Adult Literacy Initiative.  At that time, it was a groundbreaking effort which was in the forefront of the movement to provide literacy instruction and services for adults with limited reading, writing, and English speaking skills. Having been an early childhood teacher, Dr. Carothers was the teacher of three-year-olds at the Bank Street School for Children. A graduate of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, she received her Masters Degree from Bank Street College of Education, and her Ph.D. from New York University. In 2001, Bank Street College of Education awarded her an honorary doctorate for outstanding achievement as a teacher, leader in education, and mentor.

 Dr. Abraham George, Founder, The George Foundation, NJ

Dr. Abraham M. George heads up Shanti Bhavan (www.shantibahavanchildren.org<http://www.shantibahavanchildren.org>), a residential school he founded 20 years ago in India. Shanti Bhavan has received world-wide acclaim following the recent release of a NETFLIX docu-series called Daughter of Destiny (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b49QEQsNUj0) for its highly impactful approach to educating and caring for children from the poorest segments of the society. He is also involved in several other social projects: Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM – www.iijnm.org<http://www.iijnm.org>); Baldev Medical & Community Center to address the healthcare needs of over 15 villages in South India; and a Women’s Empowerment program that employed over 200 socially and economically deprived rural families. His work in the field of environmental health was instrumental for the removal of lead from gasoline throughout India in April 2000 and the creation of National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India. George holds an MBA, MS and PhD in business administration from Stern School of Business, New York University. He is the author of four books in international finance, environment, and a recent book, “India Untouched: The Forgotten Face of Rural Poverty” based on his initial 10 years of social work. He is a Visiting Professor at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Formerly he held several senior corporate positions and ran his own software and consulting business in the U.S.

Ken Welsh, Communication Coach, Australia

Ken is a business voice who works on the principle that “Language has the ability to create Physiological change which can result in Behavioural Change.” His work has lead him to over 50 countries pursing excellence in Business Communication, Team Building & Motivation, Change Management, Cross-Cultural Communication, Client and Customer Engagement, Emotional Intelligence and Creativity. His experience includes a diverse range of industries ranging from multinational IT, Education, Financial and Telecommunications companies, through medium sized corporations, to small businesses in developing countries including hotels & guest houses, entrepreneurs and retailers. His work applies simple techniques using language to influence human behaviour. In developing his unique skill set Ken has integrated many disciplines including: Emotional Intelligence, Creativity Generation, Transactional Analysis, Neuro-Psychology, Laughter Work, and Experiential Psychology.

Orly Wahba, Founder, Life Vest Inside, NY

Orly Wahba is an educator, entrepreneur, speaker and community activist passionate about inspiring and motivating people to make the world a kinder place. In 2011, Orly founded Life Vest Inside, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, empower and educate people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness. Through Life Vest Inside, Orly encourages people to embrace the incredible power of giving and recognize that in times of hardship, kindness, like a life vest, keeps the world afloat. LVI gained international acclaim when Orly’s award-winning film Kindness Boomerang went viral, receiving over 100 million views and counting; landing her a spot to speak at TED2013 on the magic of kindness. Orly began her career in kindness as a Middle School educator at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in NY empowering children to embrace unity, build their self-value, and use their power to influence the world for good. As her kindness community grows by the thousands, more people are experiencing the addictiveness in the giving of kindness.

Speaker Biographies

Marcie Aboff, Children’s Author, Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, NJ

Marcie Aboff is an award-winning author of picture books, chapter books, activity books, and magazine stories for children from preschool to middle school. Her books are included in the Jr. Library Guild, and have received Garden State Book Award Honors, Learning Magazine’s Teachers’ Choice Awards, and starred reviews in the School Library Journal. Marcie’s guided reading books are used in classrooms around the country, and her movie tie-in activity books feature Clifford the Big Red Dog, Shrek, and Looney Tunes characters. For more than 15 years, Marcie has presented lively educational literacy programs for educators, parents, and students.

Kristie Adams, MEd, Vice President Programs & Services, Family Scholar House, Inc, KY

Kristie Adams, MEd is the VP, Programs and Services at Family Scholar House, where she has been for ten years. Kristie has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Her passion is working with and for children to have a safe and healthy childhood so that they may grow confidently into their dreams. Kristie has worked with families and children for over 20 years.  She has received training and/or certification in MusicTogether, Mindfulness, Conscious Discipline, MotheRead, Trauma Informed Care, Human Trafficking, Mental Health First Aid, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault.

Jennifer Asimow, MEd, Associate Professor, Harold Washington College, IL

Jennifer Asimow, MEd, is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education at Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. Asimow has played an integral role in the Math at Home project since its inception, writing and editing lesson plans, developing online learning modules for professional development and blogging for our Math at Home blog. She now serves as the Math at Home blog manager.

Michelle Attardi, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, ASHA, NJ

Michelle Attardi, MA, CCC-SLP, has been doing clinical work for 18 years.  Michelle worked at The First Cerebral Palsy Center, her first introduction to AAC. She was an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, supervising students in training.  She spent several years supporting families in the New Jersey Early Intervention system and continues to go into the home while doing private consultation.  She is currently at Celebrate The Children, Denville, NJ. In this setting she fuses her DIR training to foster the development of language, utilizing AAC supports to empower the child to reach their maximum potential.

David Banzer, MEd, Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL

David Banzer, MEd., is a doctoral student focusing on early math teaching and learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his B.S. in psychology from Seattle University in 2004 and his M.Ed. in early childhood education from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. he is currently the education coordinator for  Erie Neighborhood House which is social service agency in Chicago.

Whitney Barrera, MEd, Special Education Teacher, Colonial School District, DE

Whitney Barrera is a special education teacher, primarily working with students on the autism spectrum. She has degree in Sociolgy and Inclusive Education in addition to a degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus in Applied Behavior Analysis. Whitney was part of a team in her district that developed and implemented a program for students with social learning and communication deficits.

Katherine Beauchat, EdD, Associate Professor, York College of PA, MD

Katherine Beauchat, EdD, is an Associate Professor of Education and Early Elementary Education Coordinator at York College of Pennsylvania, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in literacy education. Her teaching and research interests include pre-service teacher preparation in early childhood literacy development and professional development for early childhood educators in the area of literacy and language instruction.

Mark Bertin, MD, Developmental Pediatrics, New York Medical College, NY

Mark Bertin is a developmental pediatrician and author of Mindful Parenting for ADHD and The Family ADHD Solution, which integrate mindfulness into the rest of evidence-based ADHD care, and a contributing author for the book Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens.  He is a faculty member at New York Medical College and the Windward Teacher Training Institute, and on the advisory boards for the non-profits Common Sense Media and Reach Out and Read.  His blog is available through Huffington Post, Mindful.org and Psychology Today.  For more information, please visit his website at www.developmentaldoctor.com.

Lakisha Best, MEd, CEO Pre-K Consulting Firm, CDA Council, OH

Lakisha Best MEd has been in ECE over 15 years. She started her journey as a child home provider where she answered her calling for ECE. Lakisha Best completed her graduate work at Union Institute and University. During her career she has served as an Assessment & Development Coach for CHCCAA Head-Start. Lakisha Best continued with OCCRRA where she served as a CPDS Coordinator for the state of OH. She was responsible for delivering Ohio approved trainings to 5 counties and served as the head of District 5. Lakisha Best also started The BEST Pre-K Consulting Firm where she successfully instructed 85 candidates receive their CDA.

Katrin L. Blamey, PhD, Associate Professor, DeSales University, PA
Katrin Blamey currently works as an associate professor and chair of the Early Childhood and Elementary Education program in the Education Department at DeSales University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in education, supervises student teachers, and serves as the chapter counselor for Kappa Delta Pi. Together with her colleague Dr. Beauchat she has coauthored several professional texts, including the Building Blocks of Preschool Success, Effective Read-Alouds for Early Literacy, and Starting Strong: Evidence-Based Early Literacy Practices.

Erin Browder, MEd, MS, Education Consultant, CA

Erin Browder is an Education Consultant. She specializes in school transformation, developing leadership capacity, school emotional climate, and building staff capacity. Prior to becoming a consultant, Erin worked as a Project Director of Trauma-Informed Schools for Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP). She is an expert trainer who has trained thousands of professionals on Trauma-Informed Approaches and Self-Care in the Workplace. She has provided site-based support for school improvement efforts in comprehensive Los Angeles-area since 2011.  Prior to LAEP, she worked as a classroom teacher and teacher leader in K-12 public schools in NYC

Carmen Sherry Brown, EdD, Assistant Professor, Hunter College, CUNY, NY

Carmen Sherry Brown is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Hunter College, CUNY where she is the undergraduate program coordinator. She teaches courses in early language and literacy, early childhood mathematics, the student teaching seminar and supervises student teachers at the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Brown currently is working on the READ East Harlem project at Hunter College. The goal of this project is to improve the language, literacy and reading abilities of early childhood students by providing embedded professional development to teachers (K-2) in New York City public schools in East Harlem.

Mariah Bruehl, MS, Founder, Playful Learning, NY

Mariah Bruehl is an educator and author of the book, PLAYFUL LEARNING: DEVELOP YOUR CHILD’S SENSE OF JOY AND WONDER. With over 25 years of experience working in the field of education and a MS in Education from Bank Street College, she has worked as both a teacher and director at The Dalton School and Ross School in New York. Her second book is slated to be released in the fall of 2018. Playful Learning Studio opened its doors in the spring of 2015 in East Hampton, and provides playful learning experiences for children, ages 2 to 12.

Jade Burris, EdD, Assistant Professor, West Chester University of PA, PA

Jade Burris has been teaching in higher education teacher preparation programs for more than 10 years.  She is an Assistant Professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Early and Middle Grades Education.  She teaches courses and advises students in the Early Grades Preparation program.  Her most recent teaching has focused on Infant, Toddler and Preschool Methods courses.  In addition, she has worked with young children, birth to five years, as a teacher in various childcare settings.  Her current research focuses on quality in early childhood programs, the integration of technology in childcare programs, and family.

Vincent J. Carbone, EdD, BCBA-D, Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate, Carbone Clinic, FL

Vincent J. Carbone, EdD, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate and New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst.  He received his graduate training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, under the supervision of W.Scott Wood. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Penn State University and teaches in the graduate programs in Behavior Analysis at the European Institute for the Study of Human Behavior, in Parma, Italy, and at the Medical School at the University of  Salerno, Salerno, Italy.  His behavior analytic research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Modification, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and others.  He has provided the requisite university training and supervision to hundreds of board certified behavior analysts in the U.S. and overseas. He is the 2017 recipient of the “Jack Michael Outstanding Contributions in Verbal Behavior Award” from Association for Behavior Analysis International’s Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group. Currently, he serves as the director of the Carbone Clinics in New York, Boston, London, UK and Dubai, UAE.  All clinics provide behavior analytic consultation, training and therapeutic services to children with autism and developmental disabilities.

Megan Carolan, MPP, Director of Policy Research, Institute for Child Success, NJ

Megan Carolan is Director of Policy Research at the Institute for Child Success, a research and policy organization focused on a systems-based approach to improving outcomes for young children. She directs ICS’ research on early childhood policy issues, including education, welfare, and health. Megan was previously the Policy Research Coordinator at the National Institute for Early Education Research, where she managed the State Preschool Yearbook report on state-funded pre-K policy. Megan holds a Master of Public Policy from Rutgers University and a Bachelors in sociology and politics from Fairfield University.

Shazia Choudri, LLLB (Hons), Holisic Health Coach, CEO, NY

Shazia is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is a Jamie Oliver Food Ambassador and has a mission to positively impact the pre-school environment in its approach to food. She has spent many years working with pre-schools in New York to deliver a “Food Science” program that provides children with a seed-to-table understanding of food. She has also introduced edible “Learning Gardens” to schools and provides training to school staff and parents on children’s nutrition. 

Tonya Cooper, EdD, Instructional Leadership Director, Shelby County Schools, TN

Tonya Cooper is a dedicated-instructional leader who has worked for over 23 years advocating for children within the educational community.  She has served as a teacher, instructional facilitator, assistant principal, school principal, and now holds the position of an Instructional Leadership Director within the Shelby County Schools District (Memphis, TN).  In her eleven-year role as a school principal, Tonya Cooper worked alongside faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to substantially increase student growth and achievement. In her current role, she mentors, coaches, and supervises elementary school principals.

Meryl Cullom, Professional Development Specialist, Education Through Music, NY

Meryl Cullom is a long time educator and presenter and is currently the Professional Development specialist for Education Through Music, a non-profit in NYC that partners with inner-city schools to provide music as a core subject for all children.  She facilitates engaging hands-on PD sessions for music teachers and academic teachers in the ETM partner schools as well as conducting workshops for administrators and parents.  Prior to her work with ETM she was the Director of Education for the metro-DC area’s longest running children’s theatre- Adventure Theatre.

Elizabeth Cummings, MSc, Authors, Australian Society of Authors, AL

Elizabeth is a Sydney based author and poet. With a background in psychology, business and teaching Elizabeth’s writing represents the world from the perspective of those who are marginalised, misunderstood or simply unheard. Elizabeth has presented and written on the topic of family health both in Australia and internationally, on mental and family health matters. Elizabeth believes in enabling young children to have conversations about matters that impact their lives.

Sandy Darveau, MA, Early Childhood Consultant, Heartland AEA, IA

Sandy recognizes that the most perfect day is a day spent playing with babies. As an Early Interventionist she spends her time building relationships with families and supporting them on their parenting journey.

Nermeen Dashoush, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Boston University, MA

Nermeen Dashoush is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Education. Her work is focused on STEM education in Early Childhood and Teacher Education.  Aside from her work as a professor, Dr. Dashoush helps run early intervention preschool programs in the Boston area and designs digital science tools for young children.

Brigitte C. Desport, DPS, ATP, OTR/L, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, SUNY Downstate Medical Center-College of Health Related Professions, NY

Dr. Brigitte Desport is specialist in school-based practice and early intervention with a concentration in premature infancy.  Her clinical work as an occupational therapist involves providing evaluations and intervention for children with unique abilities (disabilities) and helping to determine their sensory and assistive technology needs.  Her primary focus as an academic and occupational therapist is ensuring that the underserved families of New York access the services they are entitled to and need, and are empowered to make informed decisions about their healthcare.  Dr. Desport is a noted lecturer in assistive technology and pediatrics.

Sandra M. Duarte, MS, OTR/L, RYT-200, New York Department of Education, NY

Ms. Sandra Duarte is a specialist in early intervention and school-based practice.  She is also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher who incorporates mind-body interventions into her occupational therapy practice to support attention and self-regulation skills of the children she works with.  Ms. Duarte provides lectures and workshops on sensory processing disorders for occupational therapy providers.  Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in the Occupational Therapy Program at New York University.

Rhonda Duff-Baptiste, MSEd, Guidance Counselor, The Rainbow Affect, NY

Rhonda Duff-Baptiste has been in the field of education for the New York City Department of Education for over twelve years.  She holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Science degree and an Advanced Certification in School Counseling from CUNY Brooklyn College.   Rhonda is also a trained Safe ConversationsÒ Leader.   Throughout her career as an educator, Rhonda has used her counseling acumen and her strong interpersonal skills to create an atmosphere of emotional and academic safety in her classroom.  She has been told that her openness brings an air of comfort to those with whom she interacts.  She is extremely passionate about building and strengthening relationships through open and honest communication.

Andre Eaton, New York State Director, The Parent-Child Home Program, NY

Andre coordinates program expansion, support, staff development, and training for New York state Parent-Child Home Program sites. He develops public and private funding streams, foster relationships with agencies, state policy makers, enhancing partnerships with business and other literacy and early childhood programs. Andre has a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Pennsylvania, and Masters of Divinity Degree from Union Theological Seminary.  He is a member of the Early Childhood Advisory Council under Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Melissa Eger, MA-CCC/SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Southern Elementary School, DE

Melissa Eger is a speech-language pathologist with more than 17 years experience. She began her career working with preschool students in New York. Since moving to Delaware, she works in a KN-5 building, primarily with students on the Autism Spectrum.

Katie Fallone, MEd, Program Director, Move This World, NY

Katie Fallone is the Program Director at Move This World. Katie facilitates adult wellbeing workshops, consults with our school partners and ensures a successful implementation of  school wide social-emotional learning programs. Katie works closely with administrators and school counselors to determine the needs of individual schools as well as school districts. Prior to joining the Move This World team, Katie completed her BA degree in Psychology followed by a MAEd in Counseling and Counselor Education at Providence College. She worked across elementary, middle and high school guidance departments in Providence, Rhode Island.

Lindsay Frank, MS, Science Specialist, Port Chester- Rye Unified School District, CT

Lindsay Frank graduated from Miami University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and certifications in both Early Childhood Environmental Science and TESOL.  Lindsay received her Master’s Degree from Mercy College in Childhood Education.  Currently, Lindsay serves as the K-1 Science Specialist for the Port Chester- Rye Unified School District in Westchester, New York where she actively engages students in hands- on science education weekly.  Lindsay’s science lessons offer a new approach to teaching science with the integration of multiple modalities, interdisciplinary activities and engaging lessons for all students to understand.

Lindy Gaudiano, MEd, Academic Program Manager, Grand Canyon University, AZ

Lindy completed her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and earned her Master’s degree in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education. She’s certified in Elementary Education and also as a K-12 Reading Specialist. Lindy started teaching in a public school first grade classroom and transitioned to Higher Education in 2009 where she works within the College of Education helping to manage and develop courses and all teacher preparation programs.

Saroj Ghoting, MLS, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant, PA

Saroj Ghoting has been a children’s librarian for over 40 years, most of it in public libraries. For the last 15 years she has been an early childhood literacy consultant presenting face-to-face and online training on early literacy for library and early childhood staff around the country. As a consultant to the American Library Association for the Every Child Ready to ReadR initiative and the co-author of six books on early literacy in storytimes, she stresses the importance of reaching parents and caregivers to help all children enter school ready to learn. 

Alisha Griffith, AuD, Autism Parent Coach, ASHA, NY

Alisha Griffith is a trained educator, speech language pathologist, and audiologist.  She has worked in schools, homes, offices and in her own private practice for nearly two decades. In 2016, became a best selling author Au-mazing Gift: A Journey to Autism Acceptance.  She is a speaker, ignite coach, catalyst for change, and a great connector. A proud mother of Zachary, her bright and extra-ordinary son who is on the Autism Spectrum. Dr. Alisha launched two programs So SMART kids, Inc. and Smart Fit Fam, dedicated for  children and families on the spectrum learning more about wellness, fitness, and nutrition. www.dralishagriffith.com

Chad Grossman, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinical Supervisor, TheraCare, NY

Chad Grossman is an early intervention speech-language pathologist and Clinical Supervisor at TheraCare. He received his Masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Teachers College, Columbia University. Chad has presented at major conferences, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH). He is a published author in the Journal of Voice and has co-authored a series of video modules on professional practice with Dr. Cate Crowley. His clinical and research interests are in family-centered practice.

Donna Grover, Educational Support Specialist, Goddard Systems, NJ

Donna is a 30 year veteran of the early childhood profession having taught everyone from infants to Pre-K.  She has a special place in her heart however, for the 0-3 population.  She has developed many training presentations for the teachers of this age group and has assisted in the development of many lesson plans to share.  Presently she spends her time training directors and teachers in brand new Goddard Schools to get them off on the right foot to success!

Michael J. Guralnick, PhD, Director, Center on Human Development and Disability, WA

Michael J. Guralnick, PhD, is Director of the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) and Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Washington. He has directed numerous research, professional training, and development projects in the fields of early childhood development and intervention, with a special interest in the design and effectiveness of early intervention programs, peer-related social competence, and early childhood inclusion. Current projects focus on the peer relationships of children with autism, the further development and application of the Developmental Systems Approach to early intervention, and international activities designed to integrate research and practice in the field of early intervention.

Helen Hadani, PhD, Director of Research, Center for Childhood Creativity, CA

As Director of Research for the Center for Childhood Creativity, Helen authors original research on creative thinking and child development to create evidence-based tools and resources for educators and parents. She brings more than 18 years of experience in research and education settings, including years in the technology and toy industries conducting research with parents and children to develop innovative learning products at Hasbro, Apple, Leapfrog, and LEGO. Helen received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Stanford University and has taught at U.C. Davis and San Francisco State University.

Michele Hamilton, MA, Founder, Pear Tree Community Schools Oakland, CA

Michele Hamilton is an Educational Researcher & Founder of Pear Tree Community, an organization that trains, supports, & coaches schools, districts, and teachers. Michele has established two small PreK – 3rd grade schools in Oakland, to model best practices and support practitioners as an observation site for the organization.  Michele has been a classroom teacher- grades PreK-12th grade, a school administrator, adjunct professor & supervising teacher at Holy Names University in their Teacher Ed Department. Michele has studied trauma informed and somatic practices with the Living Arts Counseling Center, Gen Five, & Somatic Arts Foundation.

Rachael Harrington, BFA, Storyteller, National Storytelling Network, NY

Rachael Harrington is a storyteller whose work has taken her around the globe, presenting performances and workshops in schools, pre-schools, community groups, and as a guest lecturer at Rutgers University. In 2017 she won the NYC Department of Education Arts and Family Engagement Grant and presented “Our Story”, an English Language Learners project at New Jersey Association of School Libraries, New Jersey TESOL Conference, and the American Association of School Libraries Conference. She performs at festivals including The Uptown Arts Stroll and The Day of Water Festival on Governor’s Island and is a member of National Storytelling Network.

Megan Haupt, Founder, Hungry Education, PA

Megan has been a food educator for over 12 years, teaching adults and children in community-based settings. She believes that food education must meet people where they are in order to be effective, and that educating the entire family is essential to help kids become food-smart. Her areas of interest include: food history, food science, and food culture. She has professional experience in the performing arts, nonprofit community program management, and higher education.

Carolyn Harvey, PhD, Early Childhood Advisor, Shelby County Schools District, TN

Dr. Carolyn Harvey serves as Advisor for state’s largest Early Childhood Program which serves more than 5,380 children. The essential function of the Advisor is to ensure all District, Head Start and Community based Pre-K classrooms offer quality instruction by supporting the implementation of developmentally appropriate practices according to the standards of the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), coordinate Pre-K efforts with those of the district and the community in accordance with the Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards (TN-ELDS), and provide professional development for early childhood professionals.

Michele Havens, EdD, Educational Consultant, Imagine Academy, NJ

Michele Havens received her EdD degree from Rutgers University. She is currently the DIR/Floortime Consultant to the Imagine Academy, an Autism program in Brooklyn, NY, (DIR-Floortime and ABA). Dr. Havens works privately as an advocate for families of children with disabilities, and is also a private interventionist for children with special needs.  She has spoken at numerous conferences around the US.  In addition, she currently works as a facilitator of an Autism parent support group.  Dr. Havens was previously the coordinator of the Verona, NJ Preschool Disabled Program.

Celia Heyman, MA, Clinical Manager, Above and Beyond Learning Group, NJ

Celia L. Heyman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been providing behavior analytic services to learners ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. Ms. Heyman has experience conducting functional behavior assessments, implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans, social skills groups, sibling support groups, and various teaching procedures such as Discrete Trial Instructions and Natural Environment Teaching. As a clinician, Ms. Heyman has provided training to professional staff and families as well as providing tutoring services to individuals preparing for the national credential in behavior analysis.

Christine Holdren, OTD, Occupational Therapist, Southern Elementary School, DE

Christine Holdren has been an occupational therapist working in the schools for over 20 years.  She received her occupational therapy degree from Elizabethtown College and her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Chatham University.  She also has a Masters of Special Education Degree with a concentration in severe disabilities from The University of Delaware.  Christine was one of the original members of a team in the Colonial School District in New Castle, Delaware who developed the CASL (Communication and Social Learning) Program for students who have communication, self-regulation and social learning needs in school.

Brianna Holmes, MA, Technical Trainer, Nemours Children’s Health System, District of Columbia

Brianna Holmes is a Technical Trainer with Nemours Children’s Health System, providing professional development, training and technical assistance to early childhood providers and Early Childhood Specialists. She has worked in the early childhood field as a Center Director, Licensing Specialist, Accreditation Validator, Early Childhood Consultant and Content Specialist. Previously, Brianna co-led the development of Nemours’ National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative Project’s national curriculum, Taking Steps to Healthy Success. A curriculum designed around the Let’s Move! Child Care goals to support early childhood providers.

Natalie James, MS, Licensed Professional Counselor, Oregon State University, OR

Natalie James is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in children and adolescents with a private practice in Bend, Oregon. A Certified Teacher Trainer and Master Trainer with the Oregon Child Care registry, Natalie travels around the country presenting on a variety of topics relevant to children and families. Her speciality, however, is anxiety and trauma in the developing child. When she is not practicing clinical mental health or speaking at conferences, she teaches in the Human Development and Family Sciences program at Oregon State University.

Norah Jones, MEd, Associate Producer, WNET, NY

Norah Jones, Associate Producer, focuses on early learning initiatives at WNET. Norah conducts workshops on media use with young children for childcare providers, educators, and parents throughout New York City. She has also produced educational resources and managed national outreach campaigns to support programs like Thomas & Friends and Cyberchase. Her prior work experience includes teaching early childhood classes and outreach lessons for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Norah holds her M.Ed. from the Technology, Innovation, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Zsuzsanna Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, Director, Hagin School Consultation Centers, Fordham University, NY

Zsuzsa Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, is a clinical professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Education and the director of the Hagin School Consultation Centers. She is a licensed psychologist with 28 years of clinical, teaching, and training experience, both in school and university settings. Her areas of expertise include: child development; childhood learning and emotional disorders; and psychoeducational assessment. Dr. Kiraly is also a certified yoga teacher and has been dedicated to integrate mind-body practices into her work to support children’s attention capacity, self-regulation skills, and social-emotional adjustment. She is actively involved in introducing yoga and mindfulness-based practices into the schools via the Yoga 4 Classrooms® program. Dr. Kiraly’s work focuses on utilizing yoga and other meditative practices in building coping skills and solid foundations for self-development.

Andy Kleiman, MSEd, Advanced DIR/Floortime Provider, Rebecca School, NY

Andy Kleiman was a comedian with aspiration of being on SNL until one day he met a young adult with autism who changed his life.  He left the entertainment industry for the well respected (and even better compensated) teaching industry and never looked back.  Now this former comedian and current teacher works at Rebecca School where he uses his background in comedy to influence his interactions with children with special needs.  Andy has been trained under the DIR/Floortime model and holds an advanced certification in DIR/Floortime and MSEd from City College of New York.

Nicholas Kline, MSEd, NBCT, Manager, US Games, NY

Nicholas Kline is passionate about physical education and embraces the importance of remaining active for a lifetime.  Nick received a Bachelor’s of Science from Ithaca College where he majored in both PE and business.  He was awarded a MSEd from SUNY Cortland, majoring in special education.  Nick is a National Board Certified teacher and taught elementary PE for 10 years.  He works for US Games to manage the northeast region and continue developing the OPEN curriculum. Nick is also an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Cortland.

Lauren Kryzak, PhD, Clinical Director, Above and Beyond Learning Group, NJ

Lauren Kryzak obtained her Doctoral degree in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis from the Graduate Center of CUNY. She has provided ABA services for learners for 10 years and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has worked with learners, ages 2-21 years, across home, school, and community-based settings to address social-communication skills, along with daily living skills. She is published in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, and Developmental Neurorehabilitation.

Tammy Kwan, MBA, CEO, Cognitive ToyBox, NY

Tammy Kwan is the co-founder and CEO of Cognitive ToyBox, a company building evidence-based learning apps to help all children succeed when they start school. The company works with leading developmental psychologists to productize their research and has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, and NewSchools Venture Fund. In 2017, the company was awarded the Rethink Impact Award from venture firm Rethink Education for their commitment to closing the early achievement gap. Tammy holds an MBA from NYU Stern and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University.

Tara Liddle, MPT, Regional Director of Pediatrics, MOTION PT Group, NY

Tara received a BS in Physical Therapy from New York University along with a MS in Developmental Disabilities. Licensed to practice in New York for over thirty years, Tara is certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) and has gained extensive experience in various settings; including hospitals, private practice, early intervention and consulting. Presently, Tara is the Regional Director of Pediatrics at MOTION PT Group. Drawing from her experience working with infants and children, Tara is the author of Why Motor Skills Matter: Improve your child’s physical development to enhance learning and self-esteem.

Sascha Longstreth, PhD, Associate Professor, San Diego State University, CA

Dr. Longstreth is an 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.

Susan Lovato, MS, Teacher, School Climate Consultant, Delran Board of Education, NJ

Susan Lovato is an experienced teacher, former administrator, and national speaker who understands that teachers matter. Susan recognizes the importance of supporting teachers and helping them stay positive, empowered, and connected to their school communities. Her experience as an educator and instructional leader includes over 20 years at the elementary and middle school levels, working with students with disabilities and regular education students. Susan’s passion and enthusiasm has helper her improve school culture and climate in Charter Schools and Title I districts while helping them decrease discipline problems.

Charles A. Maniglia, PhD, Education Consultant, Handle Associates, LLC, CT

Charles A. Maniglia, PhD is a retired biochemical pharmacologist. He has been a liaison between a pharmaceutical company and the federal government. A problem solver by nature, he has researched and found pragmatic solutions to unravel seemingly intractable problems in order to support classroom teachers and their students Developing practical solutions to important problems is his passion. He is a certified national trainer for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness system- Time to Teach.

Laura Maniglia, MA, Education Consultant, Handle Associates, LLC, CT

Laura I. Maniglia, MA, CAS, Sixth Year, is a professional educator with extensive experience as a teacher and administrator (both assistant principal and principal)in the tri-state area. She is the owner of a private learning center and also teaches at a community college. She is a national trainer for the Center for Teacher Effectiveness system, Time to Teach.

Julie Marzano, MS, Occupational Therapist, AOTA, PA

Julie is a nationally board certified Occupational Therapist with certifications in early intervention and sensory integration. She is licensed in Pennsylvania and Delaware and is an employee of the public school system serving students 3-21 with varying levels of disabilities. She is one of the creators and owners of Fine Motor Boot Camp, LLC. Emily is a nationally certified and licensed, Speech-Language Pathologist in Pennsylvania. Emily was employed by the public school system for 12 years and is now working in early intervention with the birth – three population. She is one of the creators and owners of Fine Motor Boot Camp, LLC.  

Emily McCarthy, MS, Early Intervention Provider, ASHA, PA

Emily is a nationally certified and licensed, Speech-Language Pathologist in Pennsylvania. In addition to holding her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology from The American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, she also holds an Instructional Level II Teaching certificate in Speech & Language Impaired K-12 through the PA department of education. Emily was employed by the public school system for 12 years and is now working in early intervention with the birth – three population.

Santana Morris, MBA, Executive Director, Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic, FL

Santana Morris is a passionate educator who taught at the primary school level for a few years with a portfolio as a Supervisor for her department. Morris is passionate about children development. Morris is the Executive Director at the Jamaica Intensive Reading Clinic which impacts over 2000 lives yearly. She is also an outstanding youth leader and philanthropist in Jamaica. Morris is a recipient of the Governor General Achievement Award for Excellence and Leadership (the highest award in Jamaica), and also a recipient of the 30 under 30 Emerging Leader Award issued in Washington DC.

Angela Nichols, EdD, Principal, Shelby County Schools, TN

Angela Nichols is a resourceful and experienced educator, administrator, and principal with over 20 years of instructional leadership experience. During her career, she has served as an Instructional Facilitator, Special Projects Coordinator, Area Academic Coordinator, Regional Academic Coordinator, GEAR UP Coordinator, Regional Instructional Facilitator, District Instructional Facilitator, and Principal. Dr. Nichols utilizes a myriad of resources to collaborate with students, parents, community partners and district personnel to communicate a vision that emphasizes high student achievement.

Candace Moore, MS, Speech-Language Pathologist, Shallowater and Lubbock Independent School Districts, TX

For over 17 years, Candace Moore has worked as a speech-language pathologist in the public school system serving students of all ages and with differentiated disabilities.   Candace also worked with families in the field of Early Childhood Intervention with children ages birth through three years.  She is currently the coordinator for Region 17’s Texas Women’s University Cycle 9 SLP program. Candace engages, inspires, and educates her audiences by combining brain-based research strategies with powerful stories of increasing functional communication, motivation, and engagement among students; surprise appearances from her ventriloquism partner.

Hester Paul, MS, National Director, Eco-Healthy Child Care®, Children’s Environmental Health Network, District of Columbia

Hester Paul, MS is the National Director of Children’s Environmental Health Network’s (CEHN) Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) program. She and her colleagues are responsible for expanding the EHCC program so that children throughout the nation benefit from the reduction of harmful environmental toxics within and around child care facilities. Prior to working for CEHN, Ms. Paul managed the nationalization of the EHCC program for Oregon Environmental Council (OEC). OEC, based in Portland, OR, originated the EHCC program in 2005. The program has received several awards for is innovative and effective approach.

Rachel Payne, MSEd, MLS, Coordinator of Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

Rachel G. Payne (MS Ed, MLS) is coordinator of early childhood services at Brooklyn Public Library, where she leads BPL’s award-winning First Five Years initiative. She is a contributor to Reading with Babies, Toddlers, and Twos (Sourcebooks, 2013) and Library Services Birth to Five (Facet, 2015). She has written for School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Library Trends. She chaired the 2016 Caldecott Committee and she has presented on early literacy at conferences nationwide.

Jessica Ralli, MA, Early Literacy Programs Coordinator, Association for Library Service to Children, NY

Jessica Ralli is the Early Literacy Programs Coordinator at Brooklyn Public Library, and coordinates grant-funded programming for children 0-5. She received her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, specializing in play-based, emergent and integrated curriculum development for infants and toddlers. Jessica has written about early learning for School Library Journal, Library Trends Journal, and other publications. When not writing or coordinating, she is practicing the art of play with her two children Jack and Cleo, ages 4 and 1.

Dawn Ricci, MA, Clinical Supervisor, TheraCare, NY

Dawn Ricci has been working in the New York City Early Intervention for over 20 years. In addition to her Masters in Special Education she is a BCBA and LBA. Dawn’s professional experience in Early Intervention has focused primarily on children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and ABA. Her current role as Clinical Supervisor at TheraCare allows her to continue to oversee and supervise home based Early Intervention services throughout Queens and Staten Island. She also provides BCBA supervision for those seeking certification.

Christine Roberts, BFA, Founder, Nurturing Pathways, Inc, WA

Christine founded Nurturing Pathways®, a creative dance program for babies to four years. Her work is endorsed by biologist and educator, Dr. Carla Hannaford and Vaughnetta J. Barton, Executive Director of the Foundation for Early Learning. She has been a featured speaker with NAEYC, NHSA and ZEROTOTHREE National Training Institute. Christine consulted with Creative Curriculum to write 50 Mighty Minutes for Infants, Toddlers and Twos and ZEROTOTHREE to develop the online course, Mentoring Infant and Toddler Teacher Project for Head Start. Christine is an Infant Developmental Movement Educator. She conducts a Certification Program for NP.

Nancy Rowe, MS, CCC/A, Audiologist, Neuronet Learning, FL

Nancy Rowe, MS, CCC/A has been a featured speaker at educational conferences in cities throughout the US, Europe, Central, and South America. NeuroNet Learning programs are used by tens of thousands of students in schools and by therapists in more than 17 countries.

Stacy Rucker, MEd, MS, Program Lead Instructor, Higher Education Educator, AZ

Stacy received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education and her two Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Organizational Growth and Leadership. She’s certified in Early Childhood Education and is also a K-12 Reading Specialist. She spent 10 years teaching in pre-k through third grade classrooms in the public school setting. She is currently developing education programs, teaching in the higher education classroom environment, and working toward earning a PhD in cognition and instruction.

Christen Russo, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, NY

Christen Russo specializes in the nonoperative and operative care of pediatric orthopaedic patients, from pre-natal to adolescent care and consultation. Dr. Russo is a Brooklyn native, graduating Stuyvesant High School in 2000. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2003 and then earned her Doctor of Medicine from the State University of New York – Downstate. Dr. Russo completed an internship in general surgery at Brown University, and returned to SUNY Downstate for her residency in orthopedic surgery. She then pursued a fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Sonu Sanghoee, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinical Director, Achieve Beyond, NY

Sonu Sanghoee is a NYS licensed Speech Pathologist with extensive experience in field of speech and language. Sonu has conducted many specialized workshops in the field of speech pathology. Sonu has presented to various professionals, teachers, parents, and county professionals. She is knowledgeable and has good expertise in feeding related disorders in infants and toddlers.

John Schacter, PhD, Professor, San Jose State University, CA

John Schacter has worked in all levels of education as a teacher, principal, researcher, and foundation executive.  A frequent presenter on issues pertaining to early math instruction, and teacher effectiveness, John has been invited to testify to numerous state legislatures. He has appeared on National Public Radio, NBC News, Radio Disney, and his research has been cited in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and other national newspapers and magazines. Dr. Schacter has published over 40 research articles, and is the author of three books.

Mindy Small, Coordinator of Autism Services, Birch Family Services, NY

Mindy Small has been working in the field of ASD for over 35 years beginning as a classroom teacher.  In her role as Coordinator of Autism Services she provides training and classroom consultation for a variety of school districts and agencies in the metropolitan area. She has been known to transform the physical environment of struggling classrooms so they make sense to students with ASD. Mindy co-authored Everyday Solutions: A Practical Guide for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and was a contributing author to Top Ten Tips: A Survival Guide for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum.

Cathy Surowka, MEd, Specialist, Virginia Preschool Initiative Expansion, VA

Cathy Surowka leads the Virginia Preschool Initiative Expansion program in Chesterfield County, Virginia. She has also served as the Family Engagement Coordinator within the program and has networked with community members and numerous agencies. Cathy has been a public school educator for 34 years and has been a teacher, curriculum consultant, university adjunct professor, and PreK program specialist. She has been trained by the Buck Institute of Education as a Project Based Learning (PBL) Capacity Builder in her school division.

Dawn Susi, Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, Common Threads, NY

Dawn Susi is a Chef Instructor for Common Threads in New York City. She is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and professional chef.  Dawn believes that healthy kids are happy kids and that parents are committed to ensuring good health for their children.  She started her own company to help promote health and wellness and is passionate about healthy cooking and helping others learn that food can be fun as well as nutritious and delicious.

Cindy Terebush, CYPFC, Early Childhood Consultant, Independent Early Childhood Consultant, NJ

Cindy Terebush, author of “Teach the Whole Preschooler:  Strategies for Nurturing Developing Minds,” has worked with children for almost 20 years. She has experience teaching and directing in early childhood and school age programs. She is a sought-after workshop facilitator, speaker and consultant. She is a Child Development Associate (CDA) Professional Development Specialist and instructor.  Cindy was an online reporter for “The Shriver Report:  A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink.” She has been a guest writer and interviewed expert for podcasts, print and other media including the PBS show “Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.”

Patricia Towle, PhD, Senior Psychologist, Westchester Institute for Human Development, NY

Patricia Towle has been practicing, teaching, and conducting research in the area of early intervention and developmental disabilities for the last 30 years. She is a child clinical psychologist currently the Co-Director of Psychology Training at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), where she has been the recipient of several grants for training and research in pediatric disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Carlena Vaden, MEd, Education Consultant, Divine Illumination Agency, LLC, VA

Carlena holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in the area of Political Science from Morgan State University, a Master of Education (MEd) Degree from Strayer University, and is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Education Leadership and Management (EdD) from Capella University. She has provided leadership training and professional workshops for educational organizations public and private and at national conferences. Ms. Vaden has been highlighted in the Early Childhood Report, February 2017 issue on leadership and professional development.

José Velilla, MA, HighScope Field Consultant, HighScope Foundation, NY

José Velilla currently serves as Executive Director of the Bloomingdale Family Program, a Head Start in NYC. José has worked at Bloomingdale for 27 years as a Head Teacher, Education Director, and as Executive Director. He has two children who both attended Bloomingdale. He became a HighScope Field consultant in 1998 and continues to maintain that relationship with HighScope. He has a MA in Early Childhood Administration and Supervision from Pace University.

Lori Volpe, PhD, Coordinator of Autism Services, Birch Family Services, NY

Lori Volpe has over 30 years’ experience working with individuals with ASD in educational, residential and vocational settings. She has worked at developing and opening programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, as well as providing consulting services to agencies and schools in the New York Metro area. Lori has presented The Hug Machine as Part of a Sensory Diet and A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words :Visual Supports. Lori was trained in TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also trained in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Social Stories

Deborah Weber, PhD, Director, Fisher-Price, CA

Deb is the senior manager for the Fisher-Price Child Research Department. As the in-house infant-toddler development expert, Weber plays a crucial role in the Play Lab, observing children with products for size, scale, ergonomics, interest and appropriateness. Her observations, both in the Lab and in homes with real families, have helped define some of the favorite toys and products on the market today. Dr. Weber has devoted over 20 years to the study of childhood development, education and trends. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Association for Childhood Education International.

Donnie Welch, BFA, Creative Writing Teacher, Rebecca School, NY

Donnie Welch teaches creative writing at the Rebecca School for Autism. He holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, & Publishing from Emerson College. His writing has appeared in Gravel; Passages North; The Emerson Review; War, Literature, & the Arts; and elsewhere. He has a micro-chapbook The Post Atomic Sonnets (Origami Poems Project 2016) and a collection of children’s poetry Who Gave These Flamingos Those Tuxedos (Emerson College Wilde Press 2013).

Christopher Willard, PsyD, Faculty, Harvard Medical School, MS

Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a clinical psychologist, author and educational consultant specializing in mindfulness with young people.  He has been practicing meditation for nearly 20 years, and leads workshops internationally on the topic of mindfulness with young people. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and three other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

Julia Wilmouth, MEd, Teacher, Virginia Preschool Initiative Expansion, VA

Julia Wilmouth teaches prekindergarten as a part of the Virginia Preschool Initiative Expansion program in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Julia has been a public school educator for 21 years and worked in children’s ministry for five years. As a part of her work with children’s ministry, Julia led the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program for preschoolers and their families. She has been trained by her school division to lead Project Based Learning (PBL) as a Capacity Builder in her school.