Introducing Guidecraft Educators. We've assembled a team of Early Childhood Educational professionals who are committed to sharing their honest opinions of Guidcraft's products. Their focus will be on quality, value, and educational application while sharing tips on early childhood education and offering some treats and product promotions along the way.
Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed has worked in the early childhood field for over 20 years as a teacher, director, curriculum writer, music director, and consultant for staff training and professional development.
Deborah graduated with honors with an associate degree in early childhood education, a bachelor degree in human services and management, and a master degree in early childhood education. Deborah believes in life-long learning and practices this through ongoing education, research, and study.
Deborah currently dedicates her time towards promoting excellence in early childhood education professional development and practice through her Teach Preschool website, Facebook, and twitter!
Katie Harvey is a 2nd year lead teacher in a Head Start classroom of four and five-year olds. She holds a B.A. from SUNY Oswego and a M.Ed. from SUNY Albany.
Katie has run a reading program for children ranging in age from 4-10 and currently serves as secretary on the Board of Trustees for her local library. Online, Katie is an active member of the children's literature blogging community and has recently expanded her blog to incorporate review of educational materials for children. She shares crafts, lesson plans, activities (many of which incorporate literacy) and materials all pertaining to early childhood education.
The best piece of advice Katie can offer early childhood educators is to be flexible! Things may work fine one time and need 100% tweaking the next time around - have a variety of ideas and a "bag of tricks" handy at all times to act on a moment's notice - you really need to be able to reach deep and find something "different" to catch the attention of young children!
Dr. Carrie Wells is an experienced special education teacher who has worked with children with mild to severe disabilities, ages 3 to 21. Carrie received her Bachelor's degree in elementary education and her Master's degree in special education from the University of Florida. Prior to completing school, Carrie worked as a substitute teacher for three years and as an instructor in a one-to-one teaching center.
Carrie has since taught in public school programs for six years, primarily with children with cognitive impairments and autism spectrum disorder. December 2007, Carrie began teaching graduate-level special education courses through the University of Phoenix. She completed her doctorate in special education with a minor in autism from Nova Southeastern University Summer 2008 and began working as lead teacher and now co-director of Abi's Place, a nonprofit private school in South Florida for children with moderate to severe cognitive and physical impairments.
Carrie believes when educating all children, it is so important to make learning fun and engaging. She truly values a strong connection between home and school, recognizing that collaboration between parents, educators, and therapists is key to success for all children with disabilities.
On a personal level, Carrie is a mother to Lydia, who is approaching two years of age, and pregnant with her second child, due in September. She has been married for 6 years to her husband Richard, who is also an educator. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening, and photography. Dr. Wells blog.
Jody Arsenault. Starting in high school, Jody worked as a nanny and in the course of doing so, she realized how much she loved working with and teaching children. For the next thirteen years, from high school until the present, Jody has worked with young children in some capacity and has loved every minute of it!
Jody holds an International Montessori Teaching Diploma and specializes in working with 3-6 year old children. She is a certified baby sign language instructor and has led numerous workshops, classes and ECE training events in her community. Jody has also worked together with child development staff to designed and implement hands-on programs for special needs children.
Jody is a happily married mom to 2 young girls. She is the founder and editor of Mommy Moment a Canadian blog that reaches a broad audience of moms. Over the years, Jody has shown her dedication to the education of young children so now, she is very happy to embark on being a Guidecraft Educator!
Maureen Ruble is a 38 year old married mother of three children from Orlando, Florida. She has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work and Education from the University of Central Florida and worked in the health care field for 13 years. She is passionate about educating her children and watching them thrive as they learn something new every day.
Maureen became an avid blog reader to discover new and innovative products for her family. She is currently a member of the blog team at www.simplystacie.net. "I enjoy trying new educational products and sharing my thoughts with the many educators, moms, and families in our online community."
Andrea Millay is the manager of MommyPR. She has been blogging for over 2 years and strives to find the best educational toys for my children. Andrea's mom is a science teacher, her mother-in-law is a retired speech therapist for elementary aged children and Andrea is a physical therapist who treats pediatrics/adolescents and adults in trauma hospitals and rehab settings.
"I have been around education all my life and realize the upmost importance of education which is why my children go to a daycare two days a week which is nationally accredited for education. As a physical therapist I am constantly looking for the fine motor/eye coordination I believe all educational toys need to possess. I look forward to helping readers find the perfect toys from Guidecraft for all their educational needs."
Lisa Weidknecht is the blogger at Planet Weidknecht. She is a wife in a blended family, mother of two teenage boys and a college-age daughter, a childcare provider, professional speaker, trainer, and a self-published author. Her family-friendly blog features reviews, giveaways, humor, parenting tips, child development information, and much more! Her background includes a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Relationships from UT Austin, and a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from University of Phoenix. She has worked professionally with children for over 25 years. She runs an accredited Christian home daycare in Texas that has been featured on several television shows. Lisa jokes, "With all that experience and education, sometimes I think I know what I'm talking about!"
Vanessa Levin - At Pre-K Pages I share teaching tips and best practices for use in Preschool, Pre-K, or Kindergarten classrooms. My passions include everything from literacy, math, and parent communication to technology, classroom management, and more. I also enjoy writing and have created many resources for teachers as well as educational, hands-on printables for use in the classroom.
I have worked extensively with programs that serve English Language Learners and at-risk populations for two decades. I have served as a teacher, mentor, curriculum writer, specialist, and professional development consultant.
My professional development sessions offered throughout the U.S. and Canada place an emphasis on teacher-tested, hands-on learning activities designed to help all young children meet their full potential in fun, developmentally appropriate ways.
I have taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, English as a Second Language, and Head Start. I am a certified ESL, Early Childhood, and Elementary K-8 teacher in the state of Texas. I have a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood and Language Arts from Michigan State University.