Early Learning

David Jacobson

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David Jacobson

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David

Last name: 

Jacobson

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David Jacobson works with states, districts, and communities to improve early education and care for low-income children and their families. He specializes in building effective prenatal through Grade 3 (P–3) systems with the aim of closing achievement gaps, addressing inequality, and building strong communities.

Jacobson brings extensive experience in early childhood education, school improvement, and strategic planning to his work as a senior technical assistance specialist for the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes. In this role, he supports state education agencies in leading sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes.  He represents EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals on The Rhode Island Early Learning Council.

Currently, Jacobson is also leading a team in providing technical assistance to Rhode Island’s Supporting Kindergarten Teaching and Learning initiative. Funded by a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant, this work includes developing and piloting a system of supports to guide the implementation of the state’s KEA, including kindergarten coaching and transition planning. 

Jacobson is the author of numerous publications, including A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education,  Building P-3 State Systems: Learning from Leading States; “The Primary Years Agenda: Strategies to Guide District Action” and “Coherent Instructional Improvement and PLCs: Is It Possible to Do Both?”  He presented Opportunities for Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention in Early Learning and Care Partnerships at the National Academies of Sciences 2017 workshop on the Neurocognitive and Psychosocial Impacts of Vioence and Trauma. Additionally, Jacobson developed and oversees the P-3 Learning Hub, a blog that analyzes P-3 developments around the country.

As a member of the Advisory Board for Boston College’s InterconnectED initiative, Jacobson is advancing efforts to develop a statewide infrastructure to integrate educational, social service, health, and mental health resources for children in Massachusetts. 

Before joining EDC, he was the Professional Excellence Director for Cambridge Education, an international organization working to improve school quality and educator effectiveness. In this capacity, he led the development of Cambridge Education’s approach to school turnaround and developed the Common Priorities approach to structuring the work of professional learning communities.

Jacobson received a BA in history from Brown University, an MA in philosophy from Brown University, and a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Principal Technical Advisor

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2662

Sherrie Rudick

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Sherrie Rudick

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Sherrie

Last name: 

Rudick

Bio: 

Sherrie Rudick brings expertise in early childhood education, product development, curriculum design, project management, facilitation of adult learning, and web-based learning. She has a deep commitment to promoting young children’s school readiness and success, as well as fostering lifelong literacy and learning.

Rudick creates program literature, briefs, newsletters, and other materials for the Home Visiting – Improvement Action Center Team (HV-ImpACT), an EDC-led training and technical assistance initiative that is supporting Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program awardees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. With colleagues, Rudick is working to advance the provision of evidence-based home visiting services that ensure at-risk pregnant mothers and families have the resources they need to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. 

Previously, Rudick built the knowledge and skills of Head Start leaders through the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO), where she led a team of EDC content experts and practitioners in developing products related to effective management of Head Start organizations. Working closely with the Office of Head Start and five other national Head Start centers, she helped highlight the important role that management systems play in delivering high-quality services and improving the readiness of young children, including collaboratively developing Foundations for Excellence: Planning in Head Start.

Rudick was the lead developer of PMFO’s online interactive learning modules Data in Head Start and Early Head Start: Creating a Culture that Embraces Data and Data in Head Start and Early Head Start: Digging Into Data, and co-developed and co-presented the “Head Start Program Planning Cycle” video training module of the Management Matters series. She has written or coauthored Putting the Pro in Protégé: A Guide to Mentoring in Head Start and Early Head Start, the User’s Guide to Linking Our Voices, and the User’s Guide to Nuestro Trabajo, Nuestro Futuro. While working at Teaching Strategies, Inc., she co-authored The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, & Twos, and The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care. She was lead developer on Teaching Strategies’ web-based CDA training program, and has co-developed and presented numerous training sessions nationally and regionally to Head Start and early childhood education audiences throughout the country.

Before joining EDC, Rudick served as Project Manager for the Early Head Start for Family Child Care project at Zero to Three, a demonstration project related to Early Head Start and child care partnerships that was an early model for the President’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships initiative. She worked at the Child Development Services program for the Department of the Army, was employed at a large migrant Head Start grantee, and, while at the American Institutes for Research, worked on Head Start federal monitoring and conducted an evaluation of the Head Start training and technical assistance system. Earlier in her career, she was an early childhood teacher, center director, and state licensing specialist.

Rudick received a BA in literature from Antioch College and completed the coursework for a master’s degree in early childhood education at Bank Street College of Education.

 

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Training and Technical Assistance Associate

Mailing Address: 

1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW, Suite 700W
Washington, DC 20007

Telephone: 

202-572-3752

Megan Silander

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Megan Silander

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Megan

Last name: 

Silander

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Megan Silander conducts research that generates new insights into effective preK–12 education policies and programs. Her research interests include school and instructional improvement, accountability, and out-of-school time learning. She brings experience with qualitative data collection and analysis, experimental and quasi-experimental methods, and the analysis of extant and district administrative data.

Silander is the co-Principal Investigator of two National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiatives, "Zoom In! Learning Science with Data" and "Bringing Science Home with PEEP." She conducts research on Ready To Learn, a U.S. Department of Education-supported initiative led by PBS and CPB that EDC has studied for a decade and that has produced new findings on how to use transmedia resources to improve the school readiness of preschool children in low-income communities. She is also contributing her expertise to Digital Games as Analogical Sources for Science Learning, an NSF-funded study of how specific features of digital gameplay and subsequent instruction for middle-grade science learning can support consolidation and transfer of conceptual understanding beyond the game world.

She has coauthored several articles and chapters including, “Parent and Community Engagement and the Sustainability Challenge for Urban Education Reform” (in Education Reform in New York: Ambitious Change in the Nation’s Most Complex School System), “School Racial Composition and Young Children’s Cognitive Development” (in Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation), and “Instruction in High School: The Evidence and the Challenge” (The Future of Children).  She presents her findings at the national conferences of organizations such as Games+Learning+Society, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, CHI PLAY, and the American Educational Research Association.

Prior to joining EDC, Silander was a research scientist at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education and served as a deputy and policy analyst for a member of the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Silander holds a BA in linguistics from Pomona College, an EdM in international education policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in education policy from Columbia University. Her dissertation used quasi-experimental methods to examine the impact of school closure in New York City.

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Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate II

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Fl
New York, New York 10014 

Telephone: 

212-807-4219

Eileen Caruso

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Eileen Caruso

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Eileen

Last name: 

Caruso

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Eileen Caruso has extensive experience in guiding the sound finance and operations management of non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has contributed her expertise in a diverse array of leadership roles in higher education, the performing arts, and afterschool education.

Caruso develops training programs for the National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance, with a focus on strengthening the business practices of child care providers across the country. She is also co-director of the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals, overseeing its administrative operations as well as developing and delivering professional development for providers in Rhode Island. 

Previously, Caruso oversaw the Fiscal Consulting Initiative for the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO). In this capacity, she led a collaborative effort with Head Start Regional Offices to provide targeted fiscal consulting support to Head Start grantees around the country. With colleagues, she also developed and presented an array of fiscal resources and materials.

For six years, Caruso has been a steering committee member of the Boston Nonprofit Finance Managers Group. Previously, she served as a board member for the Arlington Children’s Theatre and the Azuka Theatre.

Before joining EDC, Caruso was the director of finance and administration for Interaction Institute for Social Change, a nonprofit consulting company providing facilitation and training services to nonprofits and foundations around the world. She also served as the associate managing director for finance and administration for the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, where she established an information technology plan and led senior staff members in a strategic planning process and development of a master facilities plan.

Caruso has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an MEd from the University of Pennsylvania, and has completed coursework at Wharton School of Business.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Project Director II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2327

Ruth Rouvier

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Ruth Rouvier

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Ruth

Last name: 

Rouvier

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Ruth Rouvier’s extensive expertise in documentation, maintenance, and revitalization of endangered languages informs her work connecting children's linguistic and cultural heritage to their early learning—an approach that has been shown to have positive effects on children’s academic success and well-being.

Currently, Rouvier is designing and leading a National Science Foundation-funded workshop that will engage experts in language acquisition, early childhood development, linguistics, statistics, and public health, in examining the impact of endangered language documentation on the learning and academic success of young children. Previously, she worked with EDC's National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness team and tribal communities to develop tools and resources, such as A Report on Tribal Language Revitalization in Head Start and Early Head Start, that support American Indian and Alaskan Native Head Start centers in planning and implementing language revitalization programs.

Rouvier is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Pro-Moskitia Foundation of Nicaragua and serves on the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Endangered Languages and Their Preservation. She teaches courses in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, conducts workshops in language documentation, presents her findings at the annual conferences of such organizations as the Linguistic Society of America, and shares her insights in publications such as The Washington Post

Rouvier is a Research Collaborator for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Before joining EDC, she was the program manager for the Smithsonian's Recovering Voices initiative. Earlier in her career, she was the language program coordinator for the Karuk Tribe.

She received a BA and MA in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Research Associate

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

202-265-0843

Sheila Orphanides

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Sheila Orphanides

First name: 

Sheila

Last name: 

Orphanides

Bio: 

Sheila Grant Orphanides has extensive expertise in promoting the optimal health and development of children from birth to age three as a teacher, administrator, researcher, early intervention specialist, consultant, and professional development provider.

Orphanides leads the design and delivery of research-based professional development focused on the care and education of infants and toddlers and the social and emotional development of young children for EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals. She also creates professional development that supports the use of the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R) in child care programs, in alignment with Rhode Island’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) standards, and is one of the only professionals in Rhode Island certified in the Toddler and Infant Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessment tool.

The co-author of “Toward a Definition of Quality Inclusion: Perspectives of Parents and Practitioners” (Journal of Early Intervention), Orphanides served on a committee that worked with the Rhode Island Department of Education to develop the Rhode Island Fun Family Activities for Infants and Toddlers. She presents at the annual conferences of organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exception Children. 

Prior to joining EDC, Orphanides was a Quality Improvement Specialist for BrightStars, Rhode Island's QRIS. In this role, she led an initiative—the BrightStars Peer Network Pilot Project—that drew upon research to create an alternate and collaborative form of professional development. She also taught graduate and undergraduate education courses at Rhode Island College and, as a research assistant at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill, contributed to the development of an assessment tool that measures the quality of inclusive experiences in early care education settings.

Orphanides received her BA in Human Development from Colby College and her MS in Early Intervention/Birth to Three from Wheelock College. 

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1297

Karen Cairone

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Karen Cairone

First name: 

Karen

Last name: 

Cairone

Bio: 

Karen Cairone designs resources that build the capacity of early childhood educators, leaders, and parents to promote young children's resilience and that support the use of effective coping mechanisms to handle stress. She is an expert in child and adult mental health and resilience, social and emotional development, challenging behaviors in young children, product and training design, and training delivery.

Presently at EDC, Cairone serves as the Universal Technical Assistance Manager for the Home Visiting – Improvement Action Center Team (HV-ImpACT), which provides training and technical assistance—including site visits, webinars, and communities of practice—to Federal Home Visiting Program grantees. She also is the Lead Writer and Product Manager for the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE IECMHC), where she develops and edits resources that contribute to workforce development, as well as positive outcomes for children and families.

Cairone contributes to several other early learning projects within EDC, including Rhode Island's Center for Early Learning Professionals and the Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (HV CoIIN). Prior to these projects, she developed a suite of resources and training programs on Self-Assessment in Head Start, including an interactive online learning module, with the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations.

In addition to her work with EDC, Cairone serves on the Consulting Editors Panel for the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Young Children Magazine, as well as within NAEYC’s book division. She writes teacher and parent guides for Highlights® High Five Magazine, and is a writer and producer with Video Active Productions/Turnkey Productions. In addition, Cairone is a lead consultant for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC), where she has worked extensively as a product development and training design specialist, served as lead on social media, launched and edited the national newsletter, and delivered professional development as a national trainer.

Cairone was named as an Exceptional Emerging Leader by the Exchange Leadership Initiative in March 2015. She and her fellow awardees will work together to strengthen the early childhood profession, and remain always focused on bettering the world for all children and their families.

She is the author of numerous articles, books, and videos. Recent publications include Helping Teachers Take the Challenge Out of Challenging Behavior (2016); Addressing Challenging Behaviors: Promoting Social and Emotional Health in Children (2015); Fostering Resilience: Teaching Social and Emotional Skills, featured in the July 2014 edition of Young Children; For Now and Forever: Helping Parents of Infants and Toddlers Understand and Promote Resilience, Second Edition (2014); Promoting Resilience in Preschoolers: A Strategy Guide for Early Childhood Professionals (2012); Promoting Resilience for Now and Forever: A Family Guide to Support Social and Emotional Development (2012); Socially Strong and Emotionally Secure: 50 Activities to Promote Resilience (2011); Facing the Challenge Train the Trainer (2009); Facing the Challenge DVDs (2007); and Classroom Moments DVD (2007).

Cairone holds an AB in Psychology and English from Lafayette College and an EdM in Educational Psychology from Rutgers University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Training and Technical Assistance Associate

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

610-420-8401

Brenda Potter

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Brenda Potter

First name: 

Brenda

Last name: 

Potter

Bio: 

Brenda Potter is an expert in child development, early care and education, and program development and quality improvement. Her extensive work in center-based and home visiting programs serving high-risk populations, public school inclusive early childhood classrooms, and parent education informs her current training and technical assistance support.

Potter is a member of EDC’s Rhode Island-based Center for Early Learning Professionals team. In this initiative, she is providing technical assistance to early education programs that are committed to strengthening the quality of their services for children and families and advancing Rhode Island’s quality continuum.

Currently an early childhood and family life education instructor at the University of Rhode Island, Potter is a certified RIELDS instructor and state lead trainer of the RIELDS Fun Family Activities and a Certified Family Life Educator with the National Council on Family Relations. She also serves as a member of the Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards and Assessment Committee.

Potter authored Integrating Children into a Mixed-Age Child Care Setting (1995), a five-part home study course designed for family child care providers. She has designed and implemented family literacy and home visiting programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

Before joining EDC, Potter was the Title I Program Officer of Early Childhood, Family Education and Engagement and a Program Manager with the North Kingstown, Rhode Island Office of Family Learning for over 16 years. She served as a trainer and technical assistance consultant with the Rhode Island Department of Education for nine years.

Potter holds an MS in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1282

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