True leaders don’t create followers… they create more leaders.

Our Strategic Plan

High-Performing Inclusive Organization Statement

The Valley of the Sun GOVERNING BOARD Members:

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – Mary Ann Biermeier is a master teacher with over twenty years in the early childhood field first as a classroom teacher and later as Director of Professional Development at a NAEYC accredited learning community. She designed and developed the professional development program, INSPIRE Early Childhood Leadership Series, promoting learning through play. Mary Ann is former Board Chair for Communities in Schools of Arizona and All Star Kids Tutoring, supporting children at risk. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach she reminds us, all children learn deeply through highly social, playful environments.

CHAIR –  Lisa Cobb is the Regional Coordinator for AZ PBS a division of ASU. She administrators the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry and First Things First College scholarships.  She has over 30 years in the field of early care and education. Former administrator, consultant and state director for First Children’s Finance.   She is a Global Leader for Early Childhood representing the U.S. with the Child Care Information Exchange Magazine represented at the World forum on Early Care and Education.

SECRETARY – Veronica Brown Perrone has been working in the early childhood field for over 18 years, serving our youngest citizens directly in the classroom and indirectly by supporting fellow educators.  Veronica has facilitated teacher preparation programs at Rio Salado College and is an education coach and consultant with Alesi Group, designing and providing professional development for early childhood educators across the state. This combination of child and adult teaching experience has enabled her to implement best teaching practices among vastly different and diverse sets

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CHAIR – Gloria McGinty has been in the Early Childhood field for over 36 years as a teacher assistant, lead teacher, consultant, director, child development specialist, trainer and an Early Childhood Development Instructor at Maricopa Community Colleges.  Gloria has demonstrated her leadership skills providing technical assistance, coaching and adjunct teaching in both the private and not-profit sectors in settings such as Head Start, Phoenix College Family Care Center, Maricopa Community Colleges Adjunct Faculty, Child Crisis Arizona and Association for Supportive Child Care.

HONORARY CHAIR – Claire Schonaerts is a champion educator, teaching 35 years in the PreK-12 school setting and served in the area of school administration before teaching in higher education.  Claire is retired associate clinical professor at Northern Arizona University supporting pre-service teachers in knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions.  Claire is a contributing author of the Sage Guide to Educational Leadership and Management and Social Justice Instruction (Springer Publication).

MEMBER At LARGE – Judy Basham is the Program Director and Faculty for ECE at Glendale Community College. She has been teaching for the Maricopa Community College District for over 10 years.  Under her direction, Glendale Community College is currently going through the self-study program for the NAEYC accreditation.  Judy has been instrumental in developing a model quality preschool and toddler lab at GCC in collaboration with Peoria Unified School District. 

MEMBER At LARGE – Shauna Winburn is a teacher at Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool, A Reggio Emilia inspired practice.  She also serves as the Referral Specialist (conducting developmental observations, assessments, meeting with families, and referring students who may need additional services), social media coordinator and blog writer. Shauna taught at Clarke School for the Deaf in Manhattan for 5 years before taking 7 years off to raise her 2 daughters. Last year, she began teaching “Mainstreaming Children with a Disability” at Paradise Valley Community College.

MEMBER At LARGE – Marcia Johnson-Howard is an Assistant Head of School at Journey School in Peoria Arizona a start up program that embraces Reggio Emilia Curriculum. Marcia brings over 25 years in the field of ECE she has a vast background in various curriculum and Head Start. Marcia is a strong advocate within the community for children and families to insure quality childcare is provided to all in need. Marcia is a proud mom of a 19 year daughter in college at GCU.