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Promoting Early Childhood Conference


PEC Logo 2020

Promoting Early Childhood (PEC) 

Virtual Conference 2022

The H.E.A.R.T (Humility~ Empathy~ Acceptance~ Relationships~ Trust) of Early Childhood (EC). The Importance of Nurturing Connections


State Supreintendent-Dr. Underly's Q&A


Conference Welcome and Opening


Juliana Urtubey, 2021 National Teacher of the Year

Council of Chief State School Officers


Juliana UrtubeyJuliana Urtubey (Who-lee-ana Er-two-bay)
is spending this year advocating for a joyous and just education for all students that celebrates their families, identities, and communities. Juliana, a National Board Certified Teacher, is known as “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and unify the community through murals and gardens. She is a special education co-teacher at Kermit Booker Elementary in Las Vegas, Nevada.

                                                                                                            Juliana Urtubey
                                                                                                          Photo Credit: Melissa Esparza



Keynote Speaker: March 16, 2022


Jenna Finley
Jenna N. Finley, M.Ed.
Jenna N. Finley, M.Ed. is a dynamic and multifaceted educator, who has over 12 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Jenna’s professional expertise centers around creating and developing online and or in person training curriculum specific for Early Childhood Educators. She is the CEO and Founder of Value Our Voices (V.O.V.) Consulting, LLC. Jenna is the lead consultant assisting clients with the ongoing question of how to encourage diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices in their work. Jenna provides empowering insight and proactive thought which helps bring awareness, responsiveness, and transformation to Early Childhood Education Professionals. The impacts of V.O.V. have ranged from mindset shifts, new approaches, policy changes, and practices.


Keynote Team: March 17, 2022


Julie Nicholson
Julie Nicholson, Ph.D.

Julie Nicholson, Ph.D., is Professor of Practice in the School of Education at Mills College where she has been a faculty member since 2005 and directed several innovative programs including the Leadership Program in Early Childhood, a Joint MBA/MA Educational Leadership Program and the Center for Play Research. Nicholson is also Co-Founder of the Center for Equity in Early Childhood Education a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting transformative change to improve racial equity and intersectional justice for young children and families and the early childhood workforce dedicated to serving them. She is the author of 12 books and dozens of peer reviewed articles addressing a range of topics in early childhood including play across the lifespan, trauma-responsive practice, leadership development, authentic assessment with young children, kindergarten readiness and P-3 systems reform. Dr. Nicholson has many years of experience participating in policy committees, serving on non-profit Boards and leading professional development across the US and internationally. She taught young children for ten years in preschool and kindergarten classrooms.

Crystal McClendon Gourdine
Crystal McClendon Gourdine, Ph.D.

Crystal McClendon Gourdine, Ph.D., is an early childhood professional with over 25 years of experience in early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary education. Formerly a public-school educator, college instructor, and family child care owner, she consults with state and local organizations offering program assessment, reflective practice and mentorship, and coaching and training on early childhood quality improvement measures. She specializes in equity, racial justice and the disruption of systemic inequities in all of her work as a coach, trainer, facilitator, instructor and national presenter. Dr. McClendon Gourdine holds both a doctorate and master's degree in Human Development/Educational Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park; a master's degree in Leadership in Early Childhood Education from Mills College; and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College.

Raul Erazo Chavez
Raul Erazo Chavez, MA

Raul Erazo Chavez, MA , is Executive Director of Schools and Programs in the Early Education Department within the San Francisco Unified School District. He is an experienced principal with a demonstrated history of working in public schools to support the integration of early education and elementary school services to create a solid foundation for a P-12 (PreK through grade 12) district. He brings significant expertise in the integration and alignment of early education and K-12 curricula and professional development as well as responsibilities for budget maintenance and contractual, compliance, and reporting responsibilities. Raul has extensive experience cultivating and sustaining positive working relationships with diverse stakeholders (within and outside the district) including district departments and elementary school administrators, higher education institutions, non-profit early education organizations, city agencies, foundations and other funding organizations, and parents and caregivers. His passion is parent and family engagement. Raul is a co-author of Principals as early learning leaders: Effectively supporting our youngest learners, a book to be published in January 2022 by Teachers College Press.


For questions about this information, contact Sherry Kimball (608) 267-9625