Donna Fishman, MPH, is the Director for the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) at Prevent Blindness. She facilitates and manages the Better Vision Together Community of Practice (in which the Minneapolis Public Schools participates) and manages the development of a family vision resource kit for Head Start and other early childhood education and care agencies to increase parent/caregiver education around children’s vision and eye health.
Advancing in the Early Childhood Field
Eric Elmore is a doctoral scholar in early childhood special education at the University of Colorado Denver. He is also an affiliate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the chair of the board of directors of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children. He has over eight years of experience working in early childhood education in various capacities including as a teacher, staff developer, coach, and community and family leader. Eric has a passion for bringing individuals into the early childhood profession and supporting them in advancing in their careers.
Promoting Cultural Competence to
Improve Early Childhood Education
Tawara Goode is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has been on the faculty of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), for over 30 years and has served in many capacities. Professor Goode is currently the director of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) GUCCHD and the director of the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She has degrees in early childhood education and education and human development. Her work has consistently focused on national level efforts to advance and sustain cultural and linguistic competence.
May is Better Hearing & Speech Month
Theresa Jones, M.S., CCC-SLP is the Director of Clinical Instruction and Speech/Language Services at Central Michigan University (CMU). Theresa has been a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for over 20 years. She received her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Howard University where she specialized in infant and toddler service delivery. She received her bachelor degree from Northwestern University in speech-language pathology. Before becoming the Director of the CMU Speech-Language Pathology clinic, Theresa worked as a clinical educator for 13 years and as an SLP with individuals through the lifespan in a variety of settings.
Dawn A. Yazzie is a part-time Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant (ECMHC) on the Navajo reservation in Arizona; and also a Technical Assistance Specialist with the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Dawn has experience in providing mental health consultation to early care and education centers, and home visitors on the Navajo reservation. Dawn also provides presentations on her work as an ECMHC on the Navajo Nation. Dawn has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. She has also recently earned a certificate from the Harris Institute for Clinical Infant-Toddler Mental Health and Family Practice program.
Sandra Schefkind, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA is the Pediatric Practice Manager at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She provides clinical assistance with practice-based inquiries from occupational therapy practitioners and others working with children and youth. For more than 25 years, Schefkind has provided occupational therapy services across the life course. She held a variety of clinical and administrative positions before joining AOTA, including Director of occupational therapy at Bryn Mawr Hospital and Director of early childhood programs at Imagination Stage, a Bethesda, Maryland, nonprofit arts organization that provides theater productions and classes to children with and without disabilities.
Kristie Kauerz is director of the National P-3 Center and associate clinical professor at University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education and Human Development. Kristie specializes in education reform efforts that address the continuum of learning from birth through 3rd grade, integrating birth-to-five system building, and K–12 reforms. Kristie’s expertise spans policy, research, and practice. An important aspect of her work is designing and delivering professional learning opportunities that strengthen the relationships and organizational strategies necessary to implement P-3 alignment efforts in districts, states, and communities. Kristie designed and directed the Washington P-3 Executive Leadership Certificate Program, a credit-bearing course of study that co-enrolled administrators from early learning and K–12. She has also led the National P-3 Institute since 2008. Kristie holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College, a master’s degree in international development from American University, and a doctorate in early childhood policy from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Caryl Jaques is the Director of Little One’s University in Essex Junction, Vermont. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in education with a concentration in psychology at the University of Vermont as well as a master’s degree in education. She is licensed to teach children ages birth through sixth grade and has been directing child care centers since 1997. Caryl opened Little One’s University in May of 2009 and guided the center to earn a four-star rating in Vermont’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and continuously works to improve the quality of the program. She is also the proud mother of six children ranging in age from three months to 18 years old.
Briana Harris is from Henderson, Tennessee, and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a lead teacher at Cambridge Early Learning Center, which is part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools system. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She began her early learning career in Nashville as an educational assistant and interim teacher at the Martha O’Bryan Center. She is passionate about early childhood education, her family, and her three dogs!
Dan Gaffney is a veteran educator and administrator, having spent 17 years with the Seaside School District in Oregon as an elementary principal and special education director. He later coordinated Clatsop County’s Preschool—Third Grade (P-3) Collaboration project to align programs and professional development for those working and involved with the education and care of children from birth to age 8. He also developed and directed Clatsop County’s early childhood health and education screening for 3 years. Dan has served on Oregon’s Northwest Early Learning Hub Governance Committee and Clatsop County’s Way to Wellville Strategic Council. Most recently, Dan directed the U.S. Department of Education-funded Preschool Pay for Success Feasibility Study involving Clatsop and Tillamook Counties in Oregon.