Professional Development Team
Peggy Ashbrook is an early childhood science teacher, mentor and writer—the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) Early Years column in Science & Children and companion blog (www.nsta.org/earlyyears), and author of "Science Learning in the Early Years" (2016 NSTA Press) and "Science Is Simple" (2003, Gryphon House). She began teaching science to young children in her home as a day care provider in 1988. Peggy is active in professional associations—NSTA, NAEYC, and NoVA Outside Early Childhood Committee, presenting at local, area, and national conferences. She is a co-founder of the NAEYC Early Childhood Science Interest Forum (ECSIF). Currently, Peggy teaches children ages 2-5 in a variety of programs, mentors teachers in preK programs and schools, and provides professional development on early childhood science inquiry and engineering design. Her favorite place is where the worlds of early childhood and science learning overlap.
Jacky Howell has over 43 years experience as an early childhood teacher and administrator. In addition she has over 30 years experience as a course instructor and presenter on topics related to early childhood development and curriculum. She is a published author with her book, Rituals and Traditions: Fostering a Sense of Community in Preschool. In addition, she has published many articles in early education journals. She received her Master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and is a certified OSSE trainer. Currently she is a consultant and trainer with her own business, azspire llc. She works with early childhood programs as a consultant, does webinars, and workshops and presentations locally and nationally. Check out her website, http://www.azspire.com.
Beth holds a Bachelor of Individualized Study in Early Childhood, Special Education with an emphasis in Psychology. As both an educator and advocate, Beth works closely with families and schools navigating the Special Education process to reach the best possible solutions for the success of the student. Her experience raising a daughter with HF Autism, has given her additional knowledge as a parent in navigating the difficult social and educational path of students on the spectrum. Her life coaching skills are highly regarded as a helpful tool to independence. She tutors students with learning disabilities using a variety of multi-sensory strategies providing successful ways to help them learn concepts. She also gives presentations and workshops to both teachers and parents on various topics within her areas of expertise. Additional training in the field of Sensory Processing Disorder has allowed her an in-depth insight to additional challenges that allow her to bring her sensory expertise into the picture providing added strategies to help those students with sensory needs.
Joshua Metz, LCSW
Mr. Metz is the Head of School at The Auburn School (Fairfax Campus), a private k-12 school providing a dynamic educational program for intellectually curious students with challenges in the areas of communication, socialization, pragmatic language, and organization. Prior to joining The Auburn School in June 2017, Mr. Metz spent ten years as a licensed clinical social worker and then Program Director of Neurodevelopmental Center for Early Intervention at Family Compass in Reston VA, providing therapy and early intervention to young children with pervasive developmental and autism spectrum challenges and their families.
Mr. Metz received a masters of social work from the National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University of America, concentrating his studies on infant and early childhood development.
Mr. Metz is also a 2008 graduate of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) Fellowship program located at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Mr. Metz joined the faculty of the National Catholic School of Social Service, serving as a Field Instructor for the Foundation Year Field Education & Integrative Seminar.
Wendy Wall, Central Title I Mathematics Support Teacher, FCPS
Wendy Wall is a Title I Mathematics Support Teacher who has been an educator in Fairfax County Public Schools for over 10 years. She has served in many roles including classroom teacher, resource teacher, and K-6 mathematics coach. Her love of mathematics involves talking to children about math in the world around them, coaching teachers, and equity for all. She provides professional development for teachers and parents. As a lifelong learner, she is a trained U.S. Math Recovery® Intervention Specialist Leader and Champion. She holds a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently working on her 2nd Masters as a K-8 Mathematics Specialist Leader at George Mason University.