educational support team
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT TEAM Zachary Mural, Ph.D. Vice President of Education Dr. Mural is a professional educator and trainer with over twenty years of youth development experience having worked as a summer camp counselor and administrator, YMCA branch and program director (supervising after-‐
school programs, teen center, and camps), and multi-‐site school supervisor. Dr. Mural holds a Master’s degree in Youth Development from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University. In addition to providing training, Dr. Mural oversees Minnieland’s in-‐house training department and the continued development of Minnieland’s curriculum. Outside of Minnieland, Dr. Mural is a husband, father, an independent consultant for youth development programs, an Expert Online Training faculty member, a columnist for Parks and Rec Business Magazine, and a volunteer after-‐school endorser for the Council on Accreditation. His education, real world experiences, and passion for helping everyone who works with youth are the foundation of all of his professional endeavors. Dr. Mural continues to share his knowledge and passion for working with youth at numerous professional and academic conferences such as: the National Afterschool Association Annual Conference (NAA), The American Camp Association Annual Conference (ACA), The Best of Out of School Time Conference (BOOST), and The American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference. Rosemary Burton, Ph.D. Vice President, Accreditation and Industry Relations Dr. Burton has over 30 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Development. Dr. Burton began her professional career in 1974 after receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education and Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. While working full time as the Administrator of a chain of child care centers, Dr. Burton earned her M.Ed. in 1988, and her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education in 1995 from George Mason University with specialties in Child Development and Staff Development. Dr. Burton is deeply committed to the emotional, social and intellectual development of children. Her extensive knowledge of the way children learn helped her to lead a team of education specialists to develop the curriculum for Minnieland’s programs, including the STEM focused Kindergarten. In her current role Dr. Burton provides leadership on both national accreditation and state licensing procedures as they relate to the overall operations of each center and their staff. Additionally, Dr. Burton develops and maintains key relationships in field of education and the communities that Minnieland serves. Dr. Burton is a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Northern Virginia Community College. She has adapted and currently teaches a series of three early childhood courses that prepares child care providers for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Dr. Burton is also an accomplished author. She has had articles published in Dimensions in Early Childhood, Reaching Troubled Children: One Teacher’s Stories, Journal of School Psychology, A Social-‐Emotional Intervention Program for At-‐Risk Four-‐Year-‐Olds, the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Are You My Friend? A Qualitative Analysis of an Intervention Program for At-‐Risk Four-‐Year-‐Olds, and Child Care Information Exchange, It’s Time to Stop Defending Play. Dr. Burton has also co-‐
authored a book, Social and Emotional Prevention and Intervention Programming for Preschoolers, published by Kluwer-‐Plenum in 2003. Dr. Burton has been featured as a conference presenter for the World Forum Foundation, Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education (VAECE), the Virginia Child Care Association (VCCA) and George Mason University as well as other national and international conferences. Peggy McCarthy-‐Hughes, B.S. Education and Curriculum Advisor Ms. McCarthy-‐Hughes has been at Minnieland since1996 and has been in early childhood education since 1998. She holds a B.S. from Mary Washington College, and has completed graduate studies in Occupational & Technical (STEM) Education at Old Dominion University. Ms. McCarthy-‐Hughes is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to Minnieland’s Kid Steps curriculum at her assigned schools. Additionally Ms. McCarthy-‐Hughes assists in the development and implementation of teacher training. She also developed and oversaw the Junior Kindergarten, PREP (Preschool Readiness Enhanced Program), Curriculum Advocate, and Mentor Programs for the company. Peggy has also assisted with transitioning degreed teachers recruited from around the world to work at Minnieland through The Teacher’s Council. Ms. McCarthy-‐Hughes holds the National Administrators Credential (NAC) and Preschool Certification from the North American Montessori Center. In addition, Peggy is active in Virginia’s Star Quality Rating System, trainer for ECERS, ITERS, & SACERS instruments, CSEFEL trainer/coach and a presenter at local and state conferences. Myra Sawyers, M.Ed. Education and Curriculum Advisor Ms. Sawyers has over 15 years of teaching experience. Prior to teaching, she worked as an aide on Capitol Hill for a Member of the United States House of Representatives. Myra began teaching first grade in 1999 while attending the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education where she earned her Master of Education degree. In 2005 she took a position at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) as an Adjunct Professor and taught courses in Early Childhood Education. In 2010 she joined colleague, Dr. Rosemary Burton, to develop Minnieland Academy’s STEM based kindergarten program. While in the classroom, Ms. Sawyers worked with colleagues to develop STEM curriculum and methodology that incorporates children’s literature and the Engineering Design Process into daily lessons and projects. She and her Kindergarten teacher colleagues have presented their program at Virginia Association of Early Childhood Educators (VAECE) state conferences. She also focused on developing and expanding the Morning Discovery preschool literacy program. Ms. Sawyers joined the Education team at Minnieland Academy in 2011 and is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to Minnieland’s Kid Steps curriculum at her assigned schools. Ms. Sawyers is a member of several professional organizations and is on several committees that are working on bringing more STEM programs into early childhood and primary grade classrooms. Stephanie Klusmann, M.Ed. Education and Curriculum Advisor Ms. Klusmann was awarded a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington in 2010. She earned a Master's of Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Averett University in2013. Ms. Klusmann joined Minnieland Academy in the fall of 2010 and is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to Minnieland’s Kid Steps curriculum at her assigned schools. Throughout her professional career, Ms. Klusmann has worked with children of all ages and abilities, as well as their families. Although her interests in the Early Childhood field are varied, Ms. Klusmann is passionate about training, supporting staff members, and partnering with families. Lori Marano, M.S. Montessori Program Coordinator Ms. Marano holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from C. W. Post/Long Island University, New York. Trained in Montessori, Ms. Marano received her certification from the North American Montessori Center. She worked in a private Montessori school in Port Washington, New York, for seventeen years where she served as a teacher and administrator. It was in Port Washington where she gained the knowledge and experience providing a quality Montessori education to the young child. Ms. Marano moved to Virginia in 2003 and began working with Minnieland Private Day School as a Director and was instrumental in introducing the Montessori philosophy to the preschool program where it has since flourished. Starting with one classroom, the program has grown to include 40 Montessori classrooms in 28 Minnieland schools. From 2007 until 2014, Ms. Marano served as the District Director for the Richmond region. She is currently the Operations Specialist/Montessori Administrator for the Minnieland family of schools where she will be responsible for training, mentoring, and providing ongoing support to the Montessori teachers. Victor E Everhart, Ph.D. Education and Curriculum Advisor Dr. Everhart received a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas. He received a BA in Education from Centenary College of Louisiana and a Master’s degree in Education from Southwestern. He has 25 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education, and has a background working with education advisory committees and working on curriculum development. He was on staff at Virginia Commonwealth University for six years working as an Education and Curriculum Specialist with the VCU Head Start Program and on staff at the VCU Child Development Center. He has worked as a three-‐year-‐old teacher, Center Director, and an Education Specialist; and he is committed to involving children and their families in the most recent researched-‐based educational practices. Dr. Everhart is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to Minnieland’s Kid Steps curriculum at his assigned schools. Cindy Maddox, M.Ed. Operations Specialist Ms. Maddox received her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood in 2008 and was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University in 2012. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2013 from Concordia University. Since joining Minnieland in 1992, Ms. Maddox has held many positions including: Preschool Teacher, Assistant Director, Director, District Director and Educational Specialist. She currently acts as the District Director for the Private School Division as well as training and providing support to the teachers, managers and corporate staff. Ms. Maddox is also a National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Verifier as well as an instructor for American Red Cross.