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Presenters for the Early Education Conference

Lancaster, PA

Althea_PennDr. Althea Penn

Dr. Althea Penn

Session: Thrive! Keys to Early Education Organizational Resilience

Thriving high quality Christian early education organizations require research proven adaptive pedagogical and business leadership expertise. Early education leaders need knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are entrepreneurial in nature. Join other early education leaders as we identify organizational elements that contribute to individual and collective resilience. What keeps a team healthy and spiritually grounded?

Early Education Core Competency: Leadership

Session: Thrive! Keys to Early Education Financial Sustainability

Join Early Education leaders in this session on organizational financial sustainability. How do you maintain financial well-being? Come identify multiple partnerships and revenue streams that can support and help sustain your program. Look at strategies necessary to write strategic plans and funding proposals that will ensure you have the resources, talent, and culture necessary to address inevitable challenges ahead. Walk away with at least three places to look for funds to support your program.

Early Education Core Competency: Leadership


Dr. Althea Penn has more than thirty years of experience in education and serves as ACSI's Director of EE. Her background in business administration and EE-12th grade education has prepared her to equip EE leaders to develop flourishing school cultures. She is a certified organization development practitioner and professional development specialist.
Cyndi Bailey headshotCyndi Bailey

Cyndi Bailey

Session: Home and School Collaboration for Reducing Challenging Behavior

Most behavior can be improved through positive feedback, consistent correction, and social skills instruction. However, this may not be enough if there is little follow-through at home. How can you help parents provide consistency and follow through? How can teachers and parents REALLY work in partnership when dealing with behavioral issues?

Early Education Core Competency: Family and Community Relationships

Session: Preparing for Transitions

Transition times are challenging for many early childhood educators. Time wasted during transitions takes away from learning time. And if there is a time that children are likely to misbehave, it’s during a transition. By preparing for your transitions you can minimize discipline issues and maximize learning opportunities!

Early Education Core Competency: Learning Environment and Curriculum

Session: Why did you do that? (Play-based learning requires Planning)

If I visit your classroom, will I see children actively engaged at the sensory table, dress-up corner, block area, and dramatic play center? Of course! But if I ask, “Why did you put those particular items in each center today?” will you be able to tell me? What are the children learning as they play? How does it connect to your program’s curriculum? When you create your lesson plans, do you include how to make each center a true part of the students’ learning experience? Let’s explore these questions and brainstorm how to intentionally create a play-based learning classroom.

Early Education Core Competency: Learning Environment and Curriculum


Cyndi Bailey has a BS in Elementary Education and a MS in Early Childhood Education. She taught and directed at a Christian preschool, then had the privilege of expanding her connections with Christian early educators in her work as an Early Ed Coordinator with the Association of Christian Schools International. Without question, she finds ages 0-5 the most fun and exciting time in a child’s life. What a blessing it is to be a part of this time of exploration, investigation and hands-on learning.

R. Borrmann - Ruth Borrmann (1)Ruth Borrmann


Ruth Borrmann

Session: Sounds All Around: Assisting Children in Building Phonemic Awareness

We were created to communicate and language is that social tool. Most language development occurs between ages 2-5. Building a solid understanding of spoken language forms the basis for comprehending written language. The ability to analyze sounds and their function in words is vital for eventual reading success. Come discover simple and engaging ways to incorporate sounds all around in your classroom.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning

Session: "I Love to Read!" Building the Foundation for Instilling a Lifelong Love of Reading

We know that "shiny rectangles"—or cell phones and tablets—are here to stay. Do print books still have a place in our world? Children glean more from reading aloud when they are actively engaged. Come and explore ways to make reading aloud a rich and collaborative experience.

Early Education Core Competency: Learning Environment and Curriculum

Session: Learning and Play – The Power of Together

Children come to school to learn. Research supports that play is how children learn. We know play comes in many forms: Social, Independent, and Guided. Play, also, helps in Intellectual, Social, Emotional, and Physical Development. But can learning and play be successful together? Come and discover ways to value and support the Power of Together in your classroom.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning


Ruth Borrmann is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Cairn University and a Pre-kindergarten teaching assistant at The Meadowbrook School. Ruth has been in the Early Education field for over thirty years. Ruth is a zealous promoter of Early Childhood Education, has observed the exponential growth in this field, and desires to cultivate a learning environment devoted to developmentally appropriate practice. As a Christian educator, she teaches for a different purpose; to present all of life and learning through the lens of God’s Word, the Bible. 
Deb WolfDr. Debbie Wolf

Dr. Debbie Wolf

Session: Creating the Mozart Effect in Early Childhood Classes: what you can do to foster exceptional talent!

Come gain ideas for developing musical talent in the young child with effective and easy ways to engage children in learning tonal and rhythm patterns, the building blocks for musical understanding and participation. Listening experiences will be introduced that can provide a heritage of favorite musical selections while developing attention, concentration, and interest.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning

Session: Joining hands to help students with special needs in every classroom

This session will provide strategies to maximize learning experiences for students with special needs. Learning opportunities can be strengthened by effectively using support from others. We’ll look at four factors in establishing positive relationships with family, friends, and paraprofessionals to benefit special students. These common threads unite the efforts of everyone involved in working with students with special needs.

Early Education Core Competency: Special Needs and Inclusion


Debbie Lynn Wolf is a professor of music, and chair of music education in the School of Music, Cairn University. She also serves as a consultant and chief reader for PRAXIS Music Tests at Educational Testing Services (ETS), and is a master lecturer at the University of the Arts.  Her work in musical development, assessment, and music in special education has been presented at national and international conferences including NAfME, ISME Research Commission, ISME World Conference, ICMPC, ACSI, and the College Music Society. Publications include contributions to CRME, ISME, PMEA, and ETS.  She has presented at churches, schools, universities, and conferences around the world, most recently in Dubai, Azerbaijan, Australia, and UK.  
Amy_CrouseAmy Crouse

Amy Crouse

Session: Scripture Pictures: Retelling Bible stories in a way kids will remember

Participants will learn a unique way to share Bible stories to children using a strong visual component to enhance memory and retelling. They will learn the significance images have on memory. Quick, easy drawing lessons will be provided along with a discussion on extension activities to enliven Bible lessons! Take-aways will include four Scripture Pictures to try out in your classroom. There will be a give-away of two books: God's Best Way and Hey God … It's Me! written by Amy.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning


Amy is a preschool teacher at Christian Life School in Kenosha, WI. She developed Scripture Pictures as a visual Bible curriculum to improve young children's retention and retelling skills. After school she tutors and creates games and activities to target learning skills.
Bev photo4 - Bev Goodling (1)Bev Goodling

Bev Goodling

Session: Exploring the Wonders of Nature

STEAM ahead in the natural world! Today’s children are spending less time outdoors, and are missing out on numerous learning opportunities that can be uncovered through nature exploration. Participants will review research-based benefits of nature play, explore ideas for incorporating nature in both indoor and outdoor learning environments, and will discuss various strategies for engaging families in home/school nature related learning activities.

Early Education Core Competency: Learning Environment and Curriculum


Bev serves as an Adjunct Instructor in Education and HDFS at Messiah University. With 27 years of experience in education, Bev has taught elementary, preschool, and now college students. She was the former director of a NAEYC accredited childcare center and continues to provide professional development to local early care and education professionals. Bev is passionate about promoting best practices in early childhood education, especially in the areas of language development and nature-based learning. 
Rob EVans - The Donut ManRobert Evans - The Donut Man

Robert Evans - The Donut Man

Session: Good Hooks for Fishers of (Little) Men

Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men." I guess that makes us as teachers, parents, and grandparents, "fishers of little men!” We "bait our hooks" with the Word of God. As "The Donut Man," I employ musical "hooks" and teach "catchy" songs, based on Scripture. Come see creative techniques to make your classroom song and story-time memorable. Learn how to use "Call and Response," the "First-person" perspective, funny voices, physical actions, and sound-effects to grab their attention. Explore ways to help children remember God’s colorful character with vivid word-pictures, combining “Songs That Teach” with “Songs That Praise.”

Early Education Core Competency: Learning Environment and Curriculum


Rob was born and raised in Philadelphia, where he was raised hearing the Gospel in Sunday school. When his family fell away, he turned to Christ at the age of 19, where he met Shelley at a small prayer group and they married that year. As a writer at Rutgers University, then a carpenter and plumber, Rob’s background provided his six children, (one adopted from Russia), a diverse and widely traveled life; all performing on his Donut Man videos. Now with fifteen grandchildren, these proud grandparents continue to savor each unique soul, praying that they follow Christ and obey His call. His concert and production ministry continues to bless families world-wide.
Barbara_SorrelsDr. Barbara Sorrels

Dr. Barbara Sorrels

Session: Understanding the Effects of COVID:  How COVID Changed Children and Families

Knowing how to repair something first requires understanding what happened and why.  This session will take a deeper look at the impact of COVID on family life and children’s growth and development.  Strategies for supporting resilience in early childhood programs will be shared.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning 

Session: Malleable or Resilient? Supporting Children After COVID

Knowing how to support resilience in children has become more important than ever in an ever-changing, post-pandemic world. All children are malleable, but only some become resilient. This session will focus on key factors in growing strong children with the capacity to thrive in challenging times.

Early Education Core Competency: Child Development and Learning 


Dr. Barbara Sorrels is the CEO of Connected Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating trauma responsive communities. She authored the award-winning book, Reaching and Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma and is Oklahoma’s 2022 nominee for the T. Berry Brazelton Friend of Young Children award. The US Department of Education recently identified her as a content expert in trauma and child development. Dr. Sorrels has experience as a classroom teacher, founder and director of two early childhood centers, children’s pastor and university professor. She consults with schools and school districts, state agencies and medical institutions on trauma responsive practices for vulnerable children.
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