We are excited to welcome Dr. Lisa Porter Kuh and Dr. Iris Chin Ponte as our keynote speakers this year! You don’t want to miss their insight on creating engaging early learning environments and responding to children’s interests.

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Lisa Porter Kuh

Lisa Porter Kuh, Ph.D., is Director of Early Education for the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, a high-needs urban district. She works with public, center-based and Head Start preschool programs. Dr. Kuh has over 30 years of classroom experience with young children and is also a teacher educator, currently at Lesley University. She was an assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire and a lecturer at Tufts University. Dr. Kuh is committed to supporting teachers, children, and families in providing quality places to learn, play and grow. She has published and presented on the impact of outdoor play spaces and classroom environments for young children, teacher professional development, documentation, Montessori education, anti‐bias education, literacy and math content.

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Iris Chin Ponte

Iris Chin Ponte, Ph.D., is Director and Classroom Teacher at the Henry Frost Children’s Program in Belmont, Massachusetts. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. Dr. Ponte was proudly recognized as an Exchange Emerging Leader in 2015. As a former Fulbright Scholar, she has expertise in cross‐cultural education issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Japan and Newfoundland. She also worked for Sesame Street Research at the Children’s Television Workshop in New York. Dr. Ponte has published in the areas of children and technology, behavior management, children’s play, outdoor environmental design, and birth parent reunions and heritage trips for adoptees in China. Dr. Ponte has received various scholarship and fellowship recognitions from the Children’s Defense Fund, the Watson IBM Fellowship, CBS, and the American Educational Research Association.

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Patty Costello

Patty Costello, Ph.D., lives in Boise with her husband, a zany awesome toddler, a dog named Pippa, and a dog named Spencer. She grew up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She has a BS in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She currently works in higher education. Her first book is a picture book called Catalina and the King’s Wall from Eifrig Publishing. For fun, she likes to trail run, mountain bike, cross country ski, and hike. She is also a trained court-appointed special advocate (CASA / GAL) and a board member of the recently-formed Zero Waste Boise Institute.

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L. Carol Scott

L. Carol Scott, Ph.D., has a MA in Early Childhood Education, Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and over 40 years in the field. Her professional roles have included teaching and directing in university laboratory preschools, teaching in higher education, directing a federal Head Start-related grant project for a public school district, and CEO of a state CCR&R Network. Carol was also past-president of both ME and MO AEYC affiliates, in addition to past-president of the Child Care Aware of America board.