2016 Conference Old


Inspire, Engage, Educate, and Rejuvenate

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Student Union Memorial Center
1303 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85719
University of Arizona College of Education

SAzAEYC wishes to express our thanks to Dean Ronald W. Marx
and the University of Arizona’s College of Education
for sponsoring and supporting this conference.

Click here to download the Online Registration Form.

Click here for a downloadable version of the Conference brochure.

Many thanks to our sponsors:

st marks logo internation school of tucson logo
lakeshore juliabutlerJulia Butler, Coordinator of Las Familias and
Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children,
kaplan logo

Click here to download the Online Registration Form.


This year’s conference will meet primarily in the Student Union, with some sessions meeting in the College of Education building east of the Student Union.

Registration / Networking / Exhibitor Hall 7:30 am – 8:15 am
Buffet Breakfast / Welcome / Speakers 8:00 am – 9:15 am
Morning Sessions 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Mid-morning Sessions 11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Lunch / Special Members Event 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Afternoon Sessions 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Rate Information

The rates outlined below include:

  • A full 8 hours of professional development
  • A hot buffet breakfast, including seasonal fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, home fried potatoes, french toast with butter and maple syrup, a selection of juices, Seattle’s Best regular and decaffeinated coffees, and Tazo teas.
  • A boxed lunch with a choice of either turkey with brie and horseradish mayonnaise on a freshly baked croissant or avocado, sprouts, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with cheese on multigrain bread, along with herbed pasta salad, whole fresh fruit, a chocolate chip cookie and an assortment of bottled water and soft drinks, including diet.

SAzAEYC Members: $60
Non-Members: $70
Student*: $55
On-Site Registration Add $10 to listed amount
Online Registration Add $3 to listed amount

*Student must provide current identification number. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in nine or more credit hours, graduate students in six or more credit hours, during the Fall 2016 semester to be eligible for the student rate.

SAzAEYC MEMBERSHIP The benefits of membership are endless, including discounts to all SAzAEYC events and this conference. Please contact sazzymanager@gmail.com. Your membership marks the true professional you are by being a part of this premier early childhood education organization!

To become a member, sign up online at www.naeyc.org/membership/join. When signing up for membership, be sure to check the “affiliate” box, and enter SAzAEYC so you can receive SAzAEYC publications and invitations. For more information email sazzymanager@gmail.com.

A limited number of scholarships for this conference may be available to current SAzAEYC members.

REGISTER ONLINE by scrolling down to the Registration Form to pay with your credit card. Please note that there is a small handling fee ($3) to register online. Only cash and checks will be accepted by mail. We will have 2 credit card scanners available at the conference for online payments, but cash and checks are recommended for speedier service that morning. Online registration will be open through Tuesday, September 20.

REGISTER EARLY! Session requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Are you a school district or organization paying with a purchase order? Contact registration by email at sazzyconference@gmail.com or call (520) 777-0867 to ensure all participants are registered without the delay of purchase order processing. Group registrations may be accepted in advance of payment or purchase order processing by making arrangements with us in advance.

POSTMARK DUE DATE Pre-registrations must be postmarked by Friday, September 16, 2016. Email submissions and online registrations will close Tuesday, September 20, but registrations will be open at the door on the morning of the event with an extra $10 fee.
Registration and payment can be mailed to:
SAzAEYC Conference
PO Box 308
Arivaca, AZ 85601.

DIRECTIONS The University of Arizona Student Union is located south of 2nd St. on Mountain Ave. Look for conference signs and friendly volunteers to guide you to conference registration at the Student Union. Some sessions meet in the College of Education.

PARKING We recommend that you carpool with friends and colleagues to the conference. Due to recent changes effective August 15 with Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) at the University of Arizona, the 2nd Street garage will charge the hourly rate, not to exceed $12 total. At this time, we are working with PTS to secure a conference rate.  Please plan accordingly.

MONEY Attending the conference offers the opportunity to win door prizes. In addition, plan on bringing some cash to buy raffle tickets and exhibitor offerings.

Morning Sessions

#A01: Connecting Young Children to the World through Literature (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Global picture books provide an opportunity for young children to develop a sense of connection and open-minded perspective about children from diverse global communities. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with global literature appropriate for young children and to consider ways of engaging children with these books through play and artifacts. They will also be introduced to resources available through Worlds of Words.

Kathy G. Short is a professor in Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona with a focus on global children’s literature, inquiry, and intercultural understanding. She has co-authored many books, including Teaching Globally: Reading the World through Literature and Essentials of Children’s Literature. She is director of Worlds of Words, an initiative to build bridges across global cultures through children’s literature, and is Past President of the National Council of Teachers of English.

#A02: STEM con el Hula Hoop (NE, EE)

El Hula Hoop tiene mil posibilidades de ensenar a niños de diferentes edades ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas de una manera divertida.

Mi nombre es Maria Teresa Garcia. He trabajado con niños hace 14 años como proveedora de cuidado de niños pero he trabajado con niños en otras agencias desde 1991. Tengo mi CDA y sigo yendo a clases para aprender más sobre cuidado de niños. Me encantaría ir al colegio para tomar un degree pero primero aprender más inglés.

Mi nombre es Brenda Mercado. Trabaje como maestra en salones de clase por 34 años. Ahora trabajo con proveedoras de cuidado de niños ayudándolos realizar su rol de maestra de niños de varias edades. Como maestra de los cursos de CDA doy oportunidades para estudiar a todos, independientemente de si idioma.

#A03: All Emotions Are Acceptable—Some Behaviors Aren’t: Brain-based Interventions to Support Self-regulation (NE, EE)

Do you ever wonder, “What else can I do?” when it comes to challenging behaviors? This session will discuss child brain development, self-regulation and strategies to support adult self-awareness and positive child behavior. This session will provide hands-on experiences and practice for real life scenarios.

Tessa Brock has her master’s degree in counseling and has been the Mental Health Coordinator for Child-Parent Centers for over 16 years. A significant part of her role is to support classroom teachers, family educators and parents in identifying successful strategies for staff, children and parents both in the classroom and at home. She has been an agency lead for various professional development topics and is an agency trainer for tools such as Crucial Conversations and CLASS (Pre-K and Toddler).

#A04: There’s Something Grrrrreat about EveryBODY (NE, EE)

It’s often said that young children are very resilient. Well, they need to be! Resiliency is the quality that gets them back up every time they fall down! It’s the quality that causes them to try… and then try again! Resiliency is necessary for growth, development and learning. In this Reggio inspired session, we will explore the characteristic of resiliency and ways that we can nurture it in our young learners.

Students of Northern Arizona University in Yuma pursuing degrees in Early and Elementary Education, Laura Lambert and Jessica Anderson have worked in various childcare settings ranging from preschool to high school settings. As military wives, they have first-hand experience helping children cope with stresses brought on by military life, and they recognize the importance of helping children find inner-strength and build resiliency from a young age.

#A05: Administrators as Educational Investigators and Supporters (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Administrators today must be educational investigators who coach, explore, and cultivate success for their teachers and students. Growing future leaders requires relationship building, teamwork, and innovative strategies that form connections to people, content, and life experiences.

Kristy Esquerra is a New Teacher Mentor with Tucson Unified School District who works closely with teachers and administrators supporting student success through collaborative/reflective conversations, data analysis, and best teaching practices. As a classroom teacher, curriculum facilitator, instructional coach, and mentor for TUSD for over 17 years, she is a passionate educator with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children and inspiring leadership in teachers and students. Currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Ph.D. Program at the University of Arizona, she is pursuing leadership studies to further promote teacher growth and success as leaders in the classroom. Kristy is very involved in her district by facilitating workshops in TUSD’s Multicultural Symposiums, Reaching All Learners with Differentiated Instruction, Dazzle with Danielson Study Group, and Gifted Pedagogy, Instruction, and Learning Environments as well as being a member in the district’s Superintendent’s Five Year Strategic Planning Committee, Code of Conduct Committee, Evaluation Committee, and Superintendent’s Teacher/Professional Learning Communities Focus Group.

Rose Cota is an Assistant Principal at Vesey Elementary School serving over 700 students. She has been an instructional leader for the Tucson Unified School District for over 20 years. She has served the TUSD community in multiple capacities: as a Classroom Teacher, Curriculum Facilitator, Instructional Coach, Mentor, Assistant Principal, and Parent. Rose has been very involved in her district by facilitating workshops in TUSD’s Multicultural Symposiums, Reaching All Learners with Differentiated Instruction, Dazzle with Danielson Study Group, Professional Learning Communities and Professional Development. Rose has been successful in implementing educational rounds through the critical friends group, and this year she formed the School Leadership Team and Professional Learning Communities alongside her principal. She is an Arizona Master Teacher Mentor, a RODEL Aspiring Principal and a member in the district’s Superintendent’s Five Year Strategic Planning Committee.

#A06: The Raising of America Documentary Film Screening and Discussion (NE, EE, NA, EA)

From the film’s website: “The Raising of America is the first national, fully integrated media/ public engagement project that aims to reframe the way Americans look at early child health and development.” We will watch a portion of this series and discuss it in large and small groups. The session will end with discussions of opportunities to advocate for high quality early childhood programming in our own community.

Emilie Pechuzal has been working as an early childhood educator in Tucson area programs for over ten years, and currently is a classroom teacher and instructional coach at the Emily Meschter Early Learning Center in Flowing Wells School District. She also teaches undergraduates in the University of Arizona College of Education. Her educational background includes masters’ degrees in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from Prescott College (2008) and Northern Arizona University (2015). As a teacher, her passions include STEM, music, inclusion of children with special needs, gardening, outdoor education, and culturally inclusive practices. In her personal time, she delights in spending time with her husband, friends, and two young daughters, as well as hiking and singing in a local choir. Emilie hopes to help make high quality, affordable early care and education available for every family in our Southern Arizona community. She currently serves in the SAzAEYC board as VP of Public Policy and Advocacy.

Serina Holmes is a Tucson High School graduate and is currently working towards her associate’s degree in Applied Sciences in Early Childhood Education from Pima Community College. She is inspired by her experience with the arts and from her previous studies in the Tucson High Ethnic Studies Program. Her work with children at Second Street Children’s School is informed by her past participation in local musical groups. She believes performing arts is a necessity when it comes to learning.

#A07: A Synergetic Approach to Teaching and Learning (NE)

This session will explore ways in which implementation of activities can support multiple skills development in the area of Early Childhood Education.

Shelina Walli, from Tanzania, is a lecturer at Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development in Eastern Africa. She is a PhD student at the University of Arizona in Teaching Learning and Sociocultural Education.

#A08: Sensory Fun: Thinking Outside the “Bin” (NE, EE)

Come and explore a varied array of sensory activities to entice and excite all learners, from infants through teachers. Participants will use and learn the developmental applications of many sensory materials and have the opportunity to make at least one to take home.

Maggie Christy is a career early childhood educator with decades of experience across all ages, most recently infants. Maggie has a B.S. in Child and Family Services, a Child Development certificate, and continues to attend classes and workshops. She has also taught adults in past SAzAEYC conferences and parent seminars.

Tricia Grogan has over 20 years experience working with children, mostly in the birth to age three group. She has attended hundreds of hours of classes and workshops, and recently completed the Project BEST program. Tricia has taught at NAEYC conferences in the past, as well as leading workshops in centers where she has worked as teacher or director.

#A09: The First 1000 Days: Laying the Foundation for the Future (NE)

During the first 1000 days of life, relationships have the most critical influence in the life of a child. Everything that is experienced as well as those opportunities that are missed forever influences development. In this session we will discuss the three stages of development that highlight the first three years, the needs of each stage and the adult’s role in each stage.

Connie Espinoza works at Child & Family Resources as the Senior Program Director for Statewide Professional Development and Accreditation Programs. She is fully certified in both the Program for Infant Toddler Care and Beginning Together and has a Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. She has previously served on the SAzAEYC board and currently sits on the First Things First Pima South Regional Partnership Council as the Educator Representative. She has presented at various state and local conferences as well as at NAEYC’s inaugural “Grandes Comienzos, Futuros Brillantes” initiative.

#A10: Why the Seven Essential Skills Are So Essential (NE, EE, NA)

This workshop will introduce participants to the Seven Essential Life Skills as written in Ellen Galinsky’s Mind in the Making. Specific focus will be given to the links between these skills and executive functions. Participants will draw connections between how the Seven Essential Life Skills support our lives as adults, and why they are essential for developing children.

Shannon Warren works in early childhood professional development at the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and is a doctoral student in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona’s Norton School. Her current work focuses on early childhood development, including executive functions, and building adults capacities in supporting children’s development. Shannon has fifteen years of professional experience in education that includes teaching in elementary and early childhood, as well as strengths-based quality improvement coaching and professional development facilitation.

#A11: The Peaceable Classroom: Guiding Children’s Violent Play at School and Home (NE, EE, NA, EA)

In this session, participants will be presented with current research on how children make sense of the violence they are exposed to through toys, media and first-hand experience. They will participate in a group discussion about challenging behaviors and participate in hands-on activities to create and gain new strategies to take back to their classrooms or centers. Participants will leave this session feeling empowered to reflect on their children’s play in the classroom, help children learn non-violent alternatives for conflict resolution and create a sense of safety in the classroom that promotes productive play.

Katie Kurtin is a teacher at Second Street Children’s School. She received her BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Arizona. She has worked in classrooms all over Tucson for seven years and is passionate about giving young children tools and resources to become progressive, responsible and kind members of society.

#A12: Managing Stress and Conflict in Our Centers (NE, EE)

Working with children, working with staff, balancing home and work: the stressors can add up! Learn techniques to manage stress and conflict to improve workplace climate.

Linda Pauley has a BA in Business and an MA.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. She was an Emergent Leader, an NAEYC Legacy Leader Fellow, and a Fellow in the Harris Institute for Infant Toddler Mental Health. She has been a Director for 15 years and is an active member of AzAEYC.

#A13: Music, Movement and Learning (NE, EE)

Music and movement experiences during the early years is necessary for children’s developing brains. Songs and movement are “brilliant neurological exercises” vital to intellectual development. Furthermore, this multi-sensory experience develops literacy skills as well as number knowledge and understanding. Finally, integrating music and movement makes learning fun and meets the needs of all children.

Mike Longoria, aka Dr. Mike, has 25 years of early childhood experience as a PreK, kinder, and special ed teacher, early childhood administrator, university professor, and independent consultant. Dr. Mike has keynoted early childhood conference nationally and has conducted staff development across the country. Dr. Mike’s presentations have been described as “exciting”, “powerful”, “inspiring”, and “motivational”.


#B01: Explorando el Mundo Real se Aprende (NE, EE)

Los niños aprenden mejor al hacer conexiones con el mundo real. Los problemas desordenados en el salón de clase promueven crecimiento del conocimiento, entendimiento, y la habilidad para resolver problemas mientras juegan y exploran el mundo real.

Lucero Quiroga, Leticia Velasquez y Graciela Ramirez son estudiantes de Northern Arizona University en Yuma donde buscan obtener su título en educación.

#B02: Constructivism in the Classroom: Make a Bee-line (NE, EE)

We have all heard that young children learn by “constructing” knowledge and understandings of the world. But what does this really mean? And what does it look like in the classroom? Through explorations of beehives and honeycomb, participants will construct deeper understandings of bee communities—AND uncover the “constructivist” learning process. Participants will construct “constructivist” learning experiences for use in their own classrooms.

Dr. Susan Stutler is Professor of Early and Elementary Education at Northern Arizona University in Yuma.

#B03: Remixing Preschool: Teachers and Children Reclaiming Hip Hop
(NE, EE, NA, EA)

In this session, we will introduce teachers and administrators to the five main elements of hip hop as we share our story about exploring community knowledge within our emergent curriculum design. We will then share our story about how we have remixed our preschool community in which we will use the CORE standards to frame hip hop through a year long project-based exploration of visual and performing arts. We hope to demonstrate the reciprocal nature of teaching through our story of collaboration with young children.

Serina Holmes is a Tucson High School graduate and is currently working towards her associate’s degree in Applied Sciences in Early Childhood Education from Pima Community College. She is inspired by her experience with the arts and from her previous studies in the Tucson High Ethnic Studies Program. Her work with children at Second Street Children’s School is informed by her past participation in local musical groups. She believes performing arts is a necessity when it comes to learning.

Marisela Cariseo is also a Tucson local. She has worked as part of the Second Street afternoon program for over a year in which she co-constructed the emergent curriculum with young children and her co-teacher. Her familial relationships were a source of inspiration in the development of her curriculum. On several occasions she has invited her uncle, a local graffiti artist, to explore painting and muraling with her class. She enjoys exploring children’s interests through many artistic modes, especially cooking and water colors! Her commitment to children is inspiring and contagious!

#B04: An Introduction to the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (NE, EE, NA, EA)

This workshop on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) will cover how these stressful or traumatic experiences can influence a child’s behavior, their social-emotional development, and life outcomes. ACEs are strongly related to development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems, including substance abuse, throughout the lifespan. The workshop will also cover how experiences in child care could be re-traumatizing for children and how a safe and nurturing environment is essential for all children. We will briefly reflect on child care providers’ own personal experiences and how those experiences might influence how they interact with children.

Ally Baehr is the Director of Community Engagement at Make Way for Books. Ally has spent most of her career with nonprofits and program evaluation. She volunteers for the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition, is an educational surrogate parent for foster children through the Arizona Department of Education, and is trained on the ACEs study through the ACE Consortium Strong Communities Raise Strong Kids.

#B05: Agency and Voice in Nonverbal Children (NE, EE)

I will provide an update on my research on encouraging voice and agency in nonverbal children. I will include methods that I find helpful in promoting agency and choice when a child does not yet speak.

Jennifer Lichtsinn is a special needs preschool teacher and director in Green Valley, Arizona currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Arizona. Jenny was assigned a home bound multi-handicapped preschool student to provide preschool and kindergarten instruction to in his home. Her interactions with this child changed her point of view regarding voice and agency in nonverbal children. She is now doing research with this population and preverbal children.

#B06: Looking at the Literate Classroom (NE, EE)

Are you making the best use of your classroom learning centers? Transition times? Circle time? We’ll discuss examples of effective classrooms, talk about goals for your class, and plan how to intentionally add quality literacy activities to all parts of your day. You’ll walk away with practical ideas for making literacy learning more inviting to young children as well as a list of children’s books and teacher resources that support the process.

After earning her BA in Psychology and a California Teaching Credential from Occidental College, Debbie Lingrey taught lower primary grades in Arizona and Texas. She then taught pre-K for 15+ years in Houston, Texas where her classroom was used as an observation classroom for Rice University’s early literacy outreach program, School Literacy and Culture (SLC). Later, as part of her ongoing work with SLC, Debbie served as both a mentor teacher and seminar leader.

#B07: Wow This Is Fun!: Making Science Exciting through Songs and Movement (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Science should be and can be exciting and meaningful during the early childhood years. Science and young children make perfect companions based on the child’s natural curiosity and their love for music and expressive movement. Songs and movement can be used as a basis for developing knowledge and understanding while promoting genuine interest in science.

Mike Longoria, aka Dr. Mike, has 25 years of early childhood experience as a PreK, kinder, and special ed teacher, early childhood administrator, university professor, and independent consultant. Dr. Mike has keynoted early childhood conference nationally and has conducted staff development across the country. Dr. Mike’s presentations have been described as “exciting”, “powerful”, “inspiring”, and “motivational”.

#B08: Transforming Transitions: Creating Meaningful and Predictable Routines throughout the Day / Transformación de las transiciones: Creación de rutinas predecibles y significativas durante todo el día (NE, EE, NA, EA)

This session will focus on using positive language, songs, finger plays, chants and books to help children transition throughout their day. Participants will be able to reflect on lesson plan development and creating predictable schedules. / Esta sesión se centrará en el uso de un lenguaje positivo, canciones, juegos con los dedos, los cantos y los libros para ayudar a los niños de transición durante todo el día. Los participantes serán capaces de reflexionar sobre planificación de clases y la creación de horarios predecibles.

Daniela Buchberger is an Early Literacy Coach at Make Way for Books. She has been working with young children in a variety of different settings. She is passionate about promoting literacy in her community. / Daniela Buchberger es una entrenadora de alfabetización temprana y trabaja por Make Way for Books. Ella ha estado trabajando con los niños pequeños en una variedad de situaciones diferentes. Es una persona apasionada de promoción de la educación en su comunidad.

Gloria E. Osborne is a Child Care Support Specialist for Project Me, Too. She facilitates the CSEFEL Infant/Toddler series and has worked for Easter Seals Blake Foundation for four years.Gloria E. Osborne trabaja para Easter Seals Blake Foundation como facilitadora de los modulos CSEFEL (Centro de Fundaciones Sociales y Emocionales para el Aprendizaje Temprano) bajo el programa Project “Me Too!”. Previamente se desempeñó como entrenadora del programa Quality First. Gloria cree firmemente en la importancia de las relaciones, la confianza y el respeto como fundamento de la salud socio emocional.

#B09: Outdoor Play: Providing a Nature Experience (NE, EE, NA, EA)

This workshop will discuss ways to incorporate positive nature experiences that can be an asset for well-being and a valued extension of classroom or home learning. Small group discussions will focus on toddler experiences, children with different learning needs, and planning for ECERs.

Jennifer Hook (M.A. Early Childhood) has worked with children for the last 31 years. She is director and lead teacher at Creation Preschool.

Jane Metzger (M.S.ED) has a specialization in Special Education and works with inclusion at Creation Preschool.

Christy Reller (M.S. ED) currently works with the toddler program in the outdoor classroom space at Creation Preschool.

#B10: The Role of Studios in Teaching and Learning: Materials, Technology and Rhythm & Beats (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Three Studio teachers will bring materials and create interactive experiences for participants. They will represent the Community Studio/Materials, Cyber Studio/Coding and the Experimental Rhythm & Beats Studio/Sound Study. They will share their experiences working with children PreK through 5th grade at Ochoa Community Magnet School, a Reggio-inspired Elementary School.

Andrea Buttrick, Jane Schwartz and Quiahuitl Villegas are Reggio-inspired Studio teachers working through the Tucson Children’s Project at Ochoa Community Magnet School, a TUSD, Reggio-inspired elementary school. They are bringing the role of Studios to life in a kindergarten through 5th grade public school—one of the very few public schools exploring the Reggio approach to teaching and learning in the United States. Mimi Gray coordinates this unique collaboration of TUSD and the Tucson Children’s Project.

#B11: Powerful Presentations (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Participants will learn the unique attributes of adult learning in order to create an effective, memorable and impactful presentation.

Michelle Gallagher received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Communications from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Charleston State University. In her professional career, she taught pre-K, kindergarten, first, second and third grades over the course of twenty years. She also taught Brain Based Teaching at the University of Central Oklahoma for six years. Currently, she is the Home Based Coordinator at Child Parent Centers. One of her responsibilities is developing meaningful and purposeful trainings for the Family Educators within the agency. She has also developed and delivered trainings for administrators and for use across the entire agency. As a trainer, Michelle’s focus has always been on creating a useful, interactive and fun training and her hope is for participants to walk away with meaningful information that can be used immediately, all while having a great deal of fun!

Juliana Olivarez received an AA in Preschool Education from BYU Idaho and a BAE in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She continued her education, obtaining an English Language and Early Childhood Endorsement and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Deaf Studies. She currently works as a Curriculum Coach at Head Start, working with classroom staff who teach 3- to 5-year-olds and Family Educators who work with children from birth to five years of age by preparing and implementing curriculum experiences, identifying and attending community field trips, behavior management, individualization and parent engagement. Over the year, she has found out just how important it is that trainings and presentations are hands-on, engaging learning experiences in which staff walk away with information or learning experience that they can use immediately.

#B12: Woodworking with Young Children (NE, EE)

This workshop will familiarize participants with basic woodworking tools and equipment. You will learn how to teach children proper and safe use of equipment and you will learn how to help children plan, begin and finish their own woodworking project. Ideas for setting up a classroom woodworking center and ways to encourage children in this area will be shared. You will have an opportunity to try tools and create your own simple project.

Jeanne Hernandez has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and has been active in early childhood classrooms for 30 years. She currently teaches Early-K at Risen Savior Lutheran School in Chandler. She grew up watching her father build and create things from wood. She has spent several years perfecting woodworking activities with young children and has presented this workshop in California as well as Arizona.

#B13: Entrenamiento del proyecto Empower para programas de cuidado de niños en casa hogar con licencia del ADHS (Esta sesion es disponible solamente por invitación del ADHS y CCGH.)

Entrenamiento de las normas del programa Empower con énfasis en alimentación saludable y estrategias para mantener una vida activa, normas y polízas en un inicio de casa hogar. El entrenamiento abordará normas para prevención de la obesidad específicamente que incluyen actividad física, tiempo de pantalla, nutrición, comidas en estilo familiar, CACFP, jugo de fruta y lactancia materna. Cada CCGH recibirá un kit de recursos gratis de materiales para ayudar a apoyar este proyecto.

Antoinette Martínez tiene experiencia en salud & servicios sociales abarcando más de 15 años. Ella tiene un título de psicología de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona y es apasionada en cuanto al tema desarrollo del niño. En la actualidad es una educadora de salud con El Departamento de salud pública del Condado de Maricopa y trabaja junto con ADHS en la coordinación y la facilitación del proyecto Empower CCGH prevención de obesidad en infancia y adolescencia.


#C01: Singing and Moving for Bilingual Students: I Love it! / Música y movimiento para los estudiantes bilingüe: ¡me encanta! (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Singing and moving with cognates is a powerful and meaningful experience that facilitates students’ literacy development while making an easy transition to the English or Spanish language. Integrating expressive movement will also ground students with an extensive vocabulary within each song (for example, song for letter D: dinosaur / dinosaurio, dollar / dolar, domino / domino, desert / desierto). / La música y el movimiento hace que el aprendizaje emocionante para todos los niños. El uso de canciones con el movimiento junto con las canciones que integran cognados acelera el aprendizaje y promueve la retención mientras que los estudiantes aprenden dos idiomas (ingles y español).

Mike Longoria, aka Dr. Mike, has 25 years of early childhood experience as a PreK, kinder, and special ed teacher, early childhood administrator, university professor, and independent consultant. Dr. Mike has keynoted early childhood conference nationally and has conducted staff development across the country. Dr. Mike’s presentations have been described as “exciting”, “powerful”, “inspiring”, and “motivational”.

#C02: Transforming Difficult Conversations into Learning Conversations in Early Childhood Settings (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Participants will learn how to discern different conversation patterns and to identify effective approaches that change a conversation from difficult to productive. Learning conversations relate to NAEYC’s current statements on professionalism and Ethical Standards. Come prepared for an interactive session during which you will both acquire and practice skills for creating learning conversations with colleagues and parents.

Diana Hill is a Ph.D. Candidate and Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in Teaching and Teacher Education, focusing on Early Education. She has been active in Early Education for 25 years as a center director, principal, parent, and teacher educator. Nurturing the emergent identity of each child creates a flourishing learner.

Donna Jurich is the Director of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at the University of Arizona. Her work has focused on creating teacher preparation programs that contribute to the education of young children and build on undergraduates’, mentor teachers’, and faculty’s strengths. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children.

#C03: Born Different: A Look at Transgender and Non-Conforming Gender Children (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Born Different is a presentation on children and adults who do not fit within the culture’s normal definition of gender, including gender identification, gender expression and other gender norms. This presentation will include current research, statistics and resources on gender-expansive individuals while hearing the story of Jane Gariepy’s son, who is a transgender man. Basic information on gender identity vs. sexual identity, current research and resources will explore how these children develop and how we as professionals can help support these children and their families, as well as advocate for them in environments such as school, child care and the public. By being informed, we can accept and love them and provide them with a safe and nurturing environment.

Jane Gariepy is a near life-long resident of Tucson, who pursued her own education locally, and graduated from the UA in 1985 with a B.S. in Child Development and Family Relations. She then completed her coursework to secure an Arizona State K-8 Teachers’ Certificate with an Early Childhood Endorsement from the UA post-baccalaureate program. Jane has over 20 years of experience teaching kindergarten and pre-kindergarten at both the Tucson Unified School District and the Catholic Diocese of Tucson. She and her husband, Peter Gariepy, have been married nearly 29 years and have three children. Jane tells her story of being the parent of a transgendered son while sharing valuable insights into the life of a transgendered person. (She strongly believes in advocating for the rights of transgendered and differently born people through education and acceptance. Jane has recently written her first children’s book, also on this topic, and will be self-publishing it later this year.)

#C04: Identity, Creativity and Materials: Considering the Role of Materials in Developing of Individual, Classroom, School and Community Identity (NE, EE, NA, EA)

This session will provide an opportunity for participants to use materials to actively experience ways to develop creativity and a sense of individual, classroom, school and community identity.

Pauline Baker: I am a Studio teacher, artist and designer. I work with teachers on the learning environment, curriculum design and implementation, documentation and studio projects. I also work as a consultant for Head Start and other public and private programs in Arizona. I have taught college and community classes focused on the role of materials in teaching and learning, creativity, and the study of the Reggio Emilia approach to education. I am a contributor to the books Insights and Inspirations from Reggio Emilia: Stories of Teachers and Children from North America (published 2008), and In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia, first edition (published in 2005) and second edition (published in 2015). I am the co-founder of the Tucson Children’s Project, a non-profit organization committed to developing community projects that bring people and resources together in support of high quality learning experiences through the study and inspiration of the Municipal Schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. I received an MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA from the University of Colorado. I hold an Arizona Teaching Certificate to teach Art (K-12).

#C05: Movement, Games, Songs and Verses: Circle Time at the Waldorf School (NE, EE)

Circle time in the Waldorf early childhood classroom makes use of movement, games, songs and verses to create class community, assist children in integrating retained reflexes, gain pre-literacy skills, experience the seasons, build relationships and have fun. Participants will receive information about the history and form of these circle times, and then together, they will experience some examples of circles developed for children ages 2 through 6.

Kim Lewis is a lead nursery teacher at the Tucson Waldorf School. She currently teaches children ages 2 -through 4 in a morning program. She holds a master’s degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education and has done continuing education in music, poetry, movement and the social arts. Circle time is one of her favorite parts of the teaching day.

#C06: Acting Out for “No Reason!”: How Trauma Affects Behavior and Learning (NE, EE, NA, EA)

What is trauma and how does it impact student behavior and learning? What do we as educators need to know to create a safe and successful learning environment for students who have experienced trauma? This session explores these questions along with strategies for supporting children and families who have experienced trauma.

Leona Pannabecker is a Mental Health Specialist at Child-Parent Centers, Head Start. Leona received a BS in Family and Human Development and a master’s in Social Work from ASU, and is currently a Licensed Master of Social Work. Leona has over ten years experience as a teacher, home visitor, counselor, and mental health specialist in early childhood.

#C07: Dr. Bob’s Favorite New Picture Books (NE, EE)

This session will share the newest and best of picture books appropriate for preK to third grade children. Reading aloud has been proven to be the best way to engage young children naturally into reading and these books are specifically chosen to represent a variety of genres that read well aloud. Reading aloud is encouraged often during the day for a variety of purposes at all levels at school and at home. Resources for teachers will be shared in addition to the opportunity to browse through great new books.

Dr. Bob Wortman is Associate Professor of Practice in the TLS Department in the College of Education. He has 13 years experience as a K‒1 teacher, 13 years experience as a primary school principal and 5 years experience as the Director of School Improvement (Balanced Literacy, K‒3 Programs, Early Childhood Programs and Title I) all in Tucson Unified School District. He currently teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy courses at the University of Arizona.

#C08: Jardinería con niños pequeños: Métodos, consideraciones y actividades (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Acompañe al equipo de The Garden Kitchen en una actividad de intróduccion básica de jardinería con niños pequeños. Los temas incluyen: planeación para el jardín, comprensión de la temporada de plantación en el sur de Arizona, actividades para hacer el jardín parte del día escolar y cómo aplicar el conocimiento en casa.

Jenn Parlin es Asistentede la Extensión Cooperativa del Condado de Pima Del Jardín a la Cocina y obtuvo su Maestría en Salud Pública en la Universidad de Arizona. Jenn ha estado dedicada, por casi seis años, en crear cambios ambientales saludables y en la personalización de educación de jardinería, nutrición, y actividad física para los participantes en Del Jardín a la Cocina.

Abraham Romo es Especialista de Instrucción para la Extensión Cooperativa del Condado de Pima Del Jardín a la Cocina y está terminando su Licenciatura en Ciencias de la Nutrición. Abraham conduce el programa de educación temprana y tiene ocho años de experiencia trabajando con niños en diferentes areas del cuidado infantil. Por casi dos años, ha ayudado a promover y a educar participantes en jardinería y nutrición con Del Jardín a la Cocina.

#C09: Bias and Social Justice: Using Literature to Engage with Children and Their Families (EE)

Come learn about bias and social justice in children’s literature. Gain hands-on experience critically reviewing children’s literature and learn how to engage with children and their families in discussion on topics such as equity, social roles, and prejudice.

Mona Qafisheh’s career in early childhood began as a toddler teacher in a private early learning center in Massachusetts in 2001. Over the last fifteen years she has gained experience working in various teaching and leadership positions, including being the director of an early learning center for three years. Mona is currently the Quality Assurance Manager with First Things First and holds a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from NAU. As a bicultural Arizona native, Mona has experienced social justice issues both personally and professionally and strongly believes in the power of children’s literature to change the world.

#C10: Beautiful Bugs and Budding Biologists (NE, EE)

Learn ways to help children and adults overcome their fear of “creepy crawlies” with Madagascar Hissers as classroom pets. Specific methods for transforming apprehension of insects into attitudes of care and compassion will be practiced as participants interact with these delightful creatures. Starter kits will be available.

Patty Todd has been an early childhood educator and advocate for play-based classrooms for over thirty years. Using the natural environment for learning opportunities and taking children into wild places is her passion. This is her twenty fourth year as a Tucson Unified School District PACE teacher.

#C11: Imagine Learning: Using Imagination to Express Emotions (NE, EE)

How can you paint a picture of love? In these times of standards-based curriculum, teachers must find creative ways to nurture young children’s emotional and imaginational development. In this Reggio-inspired session, participants will use imagination, color, movement and language to express emotions.

Haylee Dahl is an NAU student majoring in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Lily Olson works for the Arizona Early Intervention Program in Gilbert, AZ and is working on the Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at NAU. Rosanna Cuadras has 20 years of experience in the Head Start program and has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. Brianna Villa is an undergraduate student at NAU majoring in Psychology with a focus in Early Childhood Education.

#C12: Meaningful Connections for Young Children with Nature (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Cooper Center provides memorable field trip experiences that focus on positive emotional connections between learners of all ages and the natural world. This session will focus on the value of these experiences with young children and connecting them to the classroom.

Colin Waite is the Director of the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning (Camp Cooper), which provides memorable day and overnight experiences to over 3,000 Southern Arizona children each year. The center is located 20 minutes west of the main campus of the University of Arizona, and its programs focus on positive experiences in nature, basic ecological concepts, and providing learners with strategies for living more lightly on the earth.

#C13: Empower Training for ADHS Licensed Child Care Group Homes (This session is by invitation only through ADHS and CCGH.)

Empower Standards training with an emphasis on healthy eating and active living strategies, standards and policies in a group home setting. Training will address obesity prevention standards specifically which include physical activity, screen time, nutrition, family style meals, CACFP, fruit juice and breastfeeding. Each CCGH participant will receive a FREE resource kit of materials to help support this project.

Antoinette Martinez has a background in Health and Social Services spanning over 15 years. She has a Psychology BA from ASU and is passionate about child development. She’s currently a Health Educator with Maricopa County Department of Public Health and working alongside ADHS on the coordination and facilitation of the Empower CCGH Childhood and Adolescent Obesity Prevention project.

#C14: ¿Quien Dice No Superheroes En La Escuela? Porque Jugar Es Importante! (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Mi super poder es enseñar, cual es el tuyo? Si usted desea aprender como transformar un salon de clases aburrido en un entorno divertido, entretenido, e importante para sus alumnos, ven y únete a nuestra Super Liga de Maestros!

Carla Torres, Francisca Sanez, y Maribel Chavolla son estudiantes de Northern Arizona University en Yuma, donde recibirán su certificado en Educación Primaria e Inicial. Carla es maestra de segundo grado en Harvest Prep Academy en San Luis AZ. Maribel es maestra de prescolar en San Luis Preescolar. Francisca trabaja como maestra sustituta para el Distrito de Yuma One, en Yuma AZ.


These workshops are designed to cover different material in each session. When registering, list these sessions in ALL necessary time frames as matching 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choices.

  • #D01 and #D02 span the morning and mid- morning sessions.

  • #D03 spans the mid-morning and afternoon sessions.

#D01 (9:30-12:45; also register for one afternoon session): Stretching Bodies, Stretching Imaginations: Yoga Story Time (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Learn at this interactive session primarily through demonstration and participation. If you are new to yoga, have some experience or took this workshop before—come join the fun for introduction, review and new ideas. Yoga mats and handouts will be provided; you may purchase curriculum materials at a sale rate.

Dari Johnson: Retired Early Childhood Pima County Library Presenter of “Stretching Bodies, Stretching Imaginations Yoga Story Time”; Yoga Story Time in pre-k school settings; in-service workshops and staff development training upon requests. Additional training includes but is not limited to Infant Stimulation and Neuro-developmental Therapy Educators Course; NAEYC Validator Training; Lekotek Play Program Leader; Certified Infant Massage Instructor and Mini-Yogis Certification.

#D02 (9:30-12:45; also register for one afternoon session): Understanding and Helping Others to Understand LGBTQ Related Issues in our Younger Children / Entender y Ayudar a Otros a Entender Asuntos LGBTQ Relacionados en Nuestros Jovenes y Niños (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Same-sex parents are becoming more common to see among our family units. Transgender student issues are becoming more common to hear about in our learning facilities. This session will provide a safe place to discuss those LGBTQ issues using two books recently published by the author Melisa Mel. / Padres del mismo sexo son cada vez más comúnes entre nuestras familias. Problemas con estudiantes transgénero son cada vez más comúnes de escuchar en nuestras escuelas. Esta sesión proporcionará un lugar seguro para hablar de estos temas LGBTQ utilizando dos libros recientemente publicados por la autora Melisa Mel.

After teaching English as a Second Language for 18 years overseas in Spain and teaching young adults with Severe Disabilities and Severe Autism for 10 years, Melisa Mel moved her focus to being the CEO of her company From Victim to Survivor. She is known as the “Cargo Pants Girl” who brings all her skills together as a bilingual keynote speaker, workshop leader and presenter who simultaneously presents in Spanish and in English. Melisa Mel has published eight books and is currently working on her ninth book; all of which focus on vulnerable populations. Melisa Mel comes to you holding two Master’s degrees, a PhD ABD, various nominations for national awards for her work with victims, her philanthropy, her teaching, and her writing and she is currently a finalist for the 2016 AZ Woman of the Year Award. / Después de trabajar en la enseñanza del Inglés Como Segundo Idioma durante 18 años en España y en la enseñanza de adultos jóvenes con discapacidades severas y Autismo severo durante 10 años, Melisa Mel cambió su enfoque a ser la CEO de su compañía “De Víctima a Superviviente” (From Victim to Survivor). Ella es conocida como los “La Muchacha de los pantalones de carga” (The Cargo Pants Girl) que trae todas sus habilidades en conjunto como un presentadora bilingüe y líder de talleres. Melisa Mel ha publicado ocho libros y actualmente está trabajando en su noveno libro; todos los cuales se centran en las poblaciones vulnerables. Melisa Mel tiene dos Maestrías, un Doctorado ABD, y varias nominaciones para honores nacionales por su trabajo con las víctimas, su filantropía, su enseñanza y su escritura. Actualmente es una de las finalistas para la Mujer del Año en Arizona.

#D03 (11:15-3:30; also register for one morning session): “Why Can’t We Go Up the Slide?”: Addressing Risk in Children’s Lives (NE, EE, NA, EA)

Have you ever said, “No building above your shoulder!” or “Don’t climb up the slide!” or “That’s too dangerous!” If so, then this workshop is for you! We will discuss the importance of risk taking in young children’s development and assess whether too much caution is creating children who are unable to calculate risk perception and develop other crucial skills.

Carol Weisheit has been in the field of early childhood for 38 years and has experience as a teacher, director, resource specialist and college instructor. She has presented across the US on a variety of topics. Jessica Frederick has been a prek, kindergarten and first grade teacher and has been in the field for five years.