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Bridget Hamre

Bridget Hamre, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Professor and Associate Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).  Dr. Hamre’s areas of expertise include student-teacher relationships and classroom processes that promote positive academic and social development for young children and she has authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts on these topics.  This work documents the ways in which early teacher-child relationships and teachers' social and instructional interactions with children support children's development and learning and may help close the achievement gap for students at risk of school failure. Dr. Hamre works closely with federal, state, and local early childhood leaders to help bridge the research to practice divide and is currently working closely with VDOE and 13 school divisions in their implementation of preschool expansion in Virginia.  Dr. Hamre received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her masters and doctorate in clinical and school psychology from the University of Virginia.


Natalie Pacarios

Natalia Palacios is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science Program at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She received her B.A. in psychology from Brown University, her Ph.D. in human development and social policy at Northwestern University, where she was Institute for Education Science Predoctoral fellow and an American Psychological Association Mental Health Predoctoral fellow. Her research focuses on the school readiness and academic achievement of children from low-income, minority or immigrant backgrounds, with particular attention to linguistically diverse Latino children and families. 

Sheila Chrobak

Sheila Chrobak.  My passion is in the play! I love the challenges that come along with individualizing a program for each child and finding activities and materials that inspire the child, the family and me. The "work" of childhood is all about exploration, hands on experiences, trial and error, moving and grooving! I take pride in my unique approach to speech-language therapy services and in recognizing the influences of the "whole" child on their targets and progress within sessions. My private practice evolved out of a desire to be able to truly meet the constantly changing needs of each client and family.  I strive to offer flexibility in my programming in order to maximize speech language therapy opportunities for all families.  The duration, frequency, and design of each individual's speech language therapy is unique. Over the past 20 years I have had wonderful opportunities to serve a wide variety of children in all types of settings. My experiences have allowed me to collaborate with a range of professionals including pediatricians, neurologists, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and classroom teachers. I have enjoyed presenting at conferences, publishing an article, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and creating a variety of therapeutic activities to support my clients’ growth and development. I hold a Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Therapy from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech Pathology and Audiology from The University of Virginia.  I am certified by the Virginia Board of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).  Additionally, I am a certified ChildLight Yoga® Instructor and enjoy integrating yoga practice into my speech language therapy sessions.

Sandy Slack

Sandy Slack began her long career in early childhood education as a Head Start lead teacher.  After earning a master's degree from George Washingotn University in early childhood special education,s he began a 30 year career with Lynchburg VA City Schools  Sandy spearheaded the first inclusion placements for children with disabilities in a local preschool program.

HighScope field consultant for 23 years

Author: MAKE ROOM FOR BOYS, 2015

Lynchburg City Schools 30 years: ECSE teacher, grant writer, grant coordinator for K-5 Elementary School

Rebecca Berlin

Dr. Rebecca Berlin is the Chief Strategy Officer at Teachstone and in this role works with states and school districts to implement the CLASS system and sets Teachstone’s strategic direction.  Rebecca has worn many hats in her professional life.  She has worked in public and private schools as an early interventionist, an early childhood teacher, an early childhood special education teacher, an autism specialist, and a school administrator. She holds a PhD in Research, Policy, and Administration from the University of Virginia and has worked at UVA as a teacher preparation faculty member and researcher.  Rebecca is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences speaking on improving teacher child interactions and the quality of birth to five education.



Dr. Rosa Atkins became Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools in July 2006. She oversees a division with an annual operating budget of $70 million, with about 425 teachers educating more than 4,000 students in nine schools. During Dr. Atkins’ tenure, Charlottesville City Schools has become one of the top performing school divisions in the state with a graduation completion index of 89%. Charlottesville High School has earned the reputation of having one of the best Advanced Placement programs in the area. This spring, CHS students scored 3 or higher on 74% of the AP exams taken. Dr. Atkins is committed to the proposition that America is strong and vibrant because of its public school system. Her breadth of experience spans urban, suburban and rural settings. Dr. Atkins has worked closely with refugee and homeless children. In 2011, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) named Dr. Atkins the Region V Superintendent of the Year. She then went on to earn the accolade Superintendent of the Year for the entire state of Virginia. That same year, her alma mater honored her as the Virginia State University Alumnus of the Year for Professional Education. Dr. Atkins also served as President of the Women Education Leaders in Virginia, from 2010-2011. Currently, Dr. Atkins serves on the VASS Board of Directors; is past-chair of their Region V Superintendents Study Group; is Vice-President of the Urban Superintendents Association of America; as well as sits on a number of local, state and national committees and boards. Dr. Atkins’ career in public education includes serving as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, Director of Leadership Development, Director of Instruction, and Assistant Superintendent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Virginia State University, as well as a master’s degree in both Special Education and Administration & Supervision. Dr. Atkins received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from Virginia Tech.


Dr. Pamela Moran has served as the Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools since January 2006. She oversees a division with an annual operating budget of $160 million, with more than 1,200 teachers educating over 13,600 students in 26 schools. During Dr. Moran’s tenure, Albemarle County Public Schools has become one of the top performing school divisions in the state with an on-time graduation rate of 93 percent. The performance of its students on Advanced Placement tests ranks the division in the top three percent of all school divisions in the U.S. and Canada, according to a recent report by the College Board. Dr. Moran has long had a commitment to providing broad-based and innovative learning opportunities for students, believing that excellence in multiple disciplines provides students with the skills essential to becoming successful as citizens, in the workforce, and in post-secondary education.




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