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Learning from Experiences: Building Capacity of Educators through the CA Early Math Initiative

This panel presentation will feature five agencies who implemented early mathematics professional development through the California Early Math Initiative. Panel members will share highlights from their implementation plans and discuss recommendations for similar organizations interested in building capacity of educators in their local communities.

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Paul has spent more than 25 years in public education, focused on the design of creative learning technologies and environments. His recent work uses design-based research methods to examine play as an embodied approach to learning across ages and contexts. Paul holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology & Educational Technology from Michigan State University and currently serves as Co-Organizer of the Mathematical Play working group for the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME-NA). Paul is the Executive Director of the AIMS Center for Math and Science Education in Fresno, CA, where he partners in collaborative efforts toward interdisciplinary, equity-centered design for STEAM teaching and learning. Paul enjoys spending time with family, listening to jazz albums, running, and hiking in the Sierra Nevadas.

Paul Reimer

Osnat Zur is the director of the Early Childhood Learning and Development area at WestEd. Dr. Zur co-directs the evaluation of the California Statewide Early Math Initiative and leads the WestEd’s collaboration with the Exploratorium on the STEAM Starters project. Previously at WestEd, Dr. Zur served as the Project Director of WestEd's partnership at the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning. She also served as a lead researcher and author for the California preschool foundations in the domain of science, and for the state's preschool curriculum framework in mathematics and in science. Dr. Zur is a developmental psychologist, with expertise in children's cognitive development, focusing primarily on the development of mathematical and scientific reasoning. She received a BA in psychology and a doctorate degree in developmental psychology, both from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). 

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Osnat Zur

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Blanca Silva has been working in early education since 2008. Her roles include those of Lead teacher, Site Supervisor, education coordinator, coach, trainer and currently a senior program manager at SDCOE. Experience with head start, early head start, CSPP, implementation of QCC, QRIS and local coaching affiliate seal program. Masters degree in Early Childhood Education.

Blanca Silva

Eunice Munro has been working in the field of early learning and care for 30 years. During this time, she has held a variety of roles that have provided her with great experiences; she has been a Lead Teacher, an Assistant Director, Center Director, Program Director, Accreditation Manager, Coach, Trainer, Senior Program Specialist, and currently Director of Early Education programs and services with the San Diego County Office of Education. She has experience working with a variety of programs such as Head Start, Private and Non-Profit Centers, Local Education Agencies, College Labs, and Family Child Care Providers. In her current role, she oversees the local implementation of QCC quality projects. Eunice holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and a Master's Degree in Teaching with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. 


Eunice Munro

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Daniel Mendoza currently works as an Early Childhood Specialist for the Placer County Office of Education (PCOE) as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Human Development/ECE department at Sierra College in Rocklin CA. Daniel previously worked as a preschool teacher and site supervisor for over a decade for PCOE, serving State Preschool and Head Start classrooms. Daniel presents various workshops for professional development on a variety of early learning domains, primarily Math and Art. He is an advisory board member for CA First 5 Literacy (Placer County), Placer Arts League, and Sierra College Early Childhood Education Committee. He also serves as a mentor for the Family Friends and Neighbor (FFN) program and helps to facilitate the PCOE Father Literacy Group.

Daniel Mendoza, M.Ed.

Jill Johnson has worked in the field of education & early education for 30 years. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Child Development & Master's Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Educational Technology. Jill began her career at the Child Development Center at Cal State Fullerton where her love for early care and education began. Post-college, Jill landed her “dream job” and worked as a Child Life Therapist at Children's Hospital Orange County (CHOC), and her life was forever changed. At CHOC she developed a deeper meaning for what is required to serve others, especially those in their darkest hour.

Jill started her career at the Riverside County Office of Education in 1995 working with after-school programs and supervising college staff to run the programs, and then into the field of school and community safety. She longed for something more and moved into higher-level management by becoming a grant manager for a $19,000,000 federal grant working with 19 area school districts. The challenge of overseeing multiple programs across multiple systems fostered her love of leadership and systems development. For the past 15 years, she has worked as a Coordinator with the Early Care and Education (ECE) programs and Resource & Referral - bringing professional development opportunities to early learning educators, support to children, families, and providers, and engaging the community with ECE programs. 

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Jill Johnson

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Claudia Meza, is the Sr. Program Manager for the Early Intervention Team at EPU. Claudia has worked alongside families for 13 years. She has been part of the Early Intervention field for 9 years. Claudia  loves being able to support young children and their families through this journey. This work has been some of the most impactful work she have been a part of. She gets to celebrate with the families they work with, the smallest achievements to some pretty big milestones. Outside of work Claudia enjoys expressing herself and expressing her creativity. She spends time painting, drawing, making jewelry. Claudia also enjoys the outdoors that helps heal her soul.

Claudia Meza

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