Benjamin Heuston, Ph.D. is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Waterford Institute, a nonprofit research center that provides educational solutions for young children across the U.S. and 15 countries internationally. Waterford’s solutions have long been recognized for their quality and effectiveness, including in 2013 with the award of a federal i3 validation grant for its innovative UPSTART program. As a leader in educational technology over the past two decades, Heuston is an active speaker, including recent or upcoming presentations at ASU + GSV Summit, TEDx and the Early Education and Technology for Children Conference. He is also a member of several boards and associations, including the SIIA Education Board and the International Gold Key International Honour Society, and a mentor for Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Dr. Corinn Cross is a board certified pediatrician and is on staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is in her second term as an Executive Board Member on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Communications and Media and is an author of the AAP’s new policy statement, “Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents” as well as the accompanying technical report “Children and Adolescents and Digital Media”. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Cross works as a children’s advocate both locally and nationally. She works closely with LA-USD to promote health and combat obesity through educating parents and students. She is an AAP Spokesperson, a repeat medical expert on CBS news, and a regular guest on RadioMD’s Healthy Children.
Chip Donohue, Ph.D. is the Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and Director of Technology in Early Childhood Center at the Erikson Institute in Chicago. In addition to his roles at the Erikson Institute, Donohue is a Senior Fellow and member of the Advisory Board of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, where he co-chaired the working group that revised the 2012 NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center joint position statement on using technology and interactive media in early childhood programs. Donohue is the editor of the book,“Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning,” co-published by Routledge/NAEYC and distributed to 20,000 NAEYC comprehensive members in 2014. In 2012 he received the first Bammy Award and the Educators Voice Award as Innovator of the Year from the Academy of Education Arts & Sciences, and in 2015, was honored as a children’s media Emerging Pioneer by the Kids At Play Interactive Awards.
Susan Friedman is the Senior Director of Content Strategy and Development at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is responsible for the strategic direction of the Books, Periodicals, Digital Content, and Professional Learning and Engagement teams. Susan regularly contributes to the NAEYC blogs on topics related to technology, media, and education. Before serving in her current role, Susan directed NAEYC’s digital content efforts and launched NAEYC’s For Families website. Her previous roles include serving as the content director for two education focused startups: familyeducation.com and Beansprout Networks and working as a preschool teacher. Susan received her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on Technology, Education, and Innovation.
Barbara Sprung, Co-Director of Educational Equity at FHI 360, has over 40 years of experience in early childhood education, as a teacher and as an innovator of programs and materials to promote equality of opportunity for children regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, disability or level of family income. Projects include: Right From the Start in the Digital Age, Capacity Building Project to Advance Research on Girls’ Math Identity, Improving Math Identity for Underrepresented Populations, Raising and Educating Healthy Boys, Great Science for Girls, Science: It’s a Girl Thing!, and After-School Math PLUS.
Sprung is the author of Non-Sexist Education for Young Children: A Practical Guide (Citation Press, Scholastic, 1975) a co-author of Quit it! A Teacher’s Guide for Use with Students in GradesK-3 (EEC, 1998), the Anti-Teasing Bullying and Teasing Book for Preschool Classrooms (Gryphon House, 2005), Supporting Boys’ Learning: Strategies for Teacher Practice, Pre-K-Grade 3 (Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 2010), and Right from the Start in the Digital Age, Curricula Activities for Teachers and Parents to Help Children Become Good Digital Citizens (FHI 360, 2016).
Barbara Sprung holds a B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.S. in Child Development from the Bank Street College of Education, and is a graduate of the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management, Columbia University. She was the recipient of a 2011 Bank Street College Alumni Award and the 2016 Willystine Goodsell Award from the Research on Women and Education SIG of the American Educational Research Association.
Prior to joining AED, from 1982-2004, Ms. Sprung was Co-Founder and Co-Director of Educational Equity Concepts, a national nonprofit organization whose mission was to create bias-free programs and materials beginning in early childhood. Ms. Sprung has written extensively about equity in education and is a nationally known speaker on issues of gender equity, teasing and bullying, early science equity, and inclusion. She is the author of Non-Sexist Education for Young Children: A Practical Guide (Citation Press, Scholastic, 1975) a co-author of Quit it! A Teacher’s Guide for Use with Students in GradesK-3 (EEC, 1998), the Anti-Teasing Bullying and Teasing Book for Preschool Classrooms (Gryphon House, 2005) and Supporting Boys’ Learning: Strategies for Teacher Practice, Pre-K-Grade 3 (Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 2010).
Dionica Davis is a native of Mobile, AL. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College in Mississippi and her Masters from the University of West Alabama. Dionica is currently in her fifteenth year of teaching young children. She taught Kindergarten for three years in Mississippi and then returned home to Mobile and has been teaching Pre-K ever since.
Allison Peavy has taught for 10 years in the Mobile County Public School System and 5 years for the Archdiocese of Mobile both in Mobile, Alabama. She also taught for 6 years in the Dekalb County School System in Atlanta, Georgia. Mrs. Peavy holds an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication from Louisiana State University and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching degree from Spring Hill College. She has served on numerous committees at various schools most recently serving as a member of the Lighthouse Team for Leader in Me at O’Rourke Elementary. She and her husband have 2 daughters in college and reside in Mobile, Alabama.
Rhian Evans Allvin is the Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She has been responsible for guiding NAEYC’s strategic direction as well as overseeing its daily operations since August 2013. Before joining NAEYC, Evans Allvin was a guiding force in Arizona’s early childhood movement. She co-wrote the citizen’s ballot initiative that created First Things First (FTF) which set aside Arizona’s tobacco tax monies for children birth to five and created a state agency whose purpose is to ensure all Arizona children start kindergarten prepared. Evans Allvin served on FTF’s state board and then became the organization’s chief executive officer (CEO). Evans Allvin’s earlier roles also include a founding partner in the Brecon Group, a senior advancement officer at the Arizona Community Foundation, and additional leadership roles with Libraries for the Future, a national nonprofit, and Children’s Action Alliance in Arizona.