Early Childhood Education Workshop

Early Childhood Education Symposium

Thursday, June 6 – Friday, June 7, 2019

LPA Irvine Studio, California

Building for Better Minds

An interactive event focused on new ideas to engage and stimulate young learners.

The developmental experience of early childhood is one of active engagement and assertiveness as children explore their world and their ability to impact it. Join us as leading industry experts gather to discuss the unique challenges of developing young learners. This workshop will examine early childhood learning through the lens of the built environment, as participants consider the ways in which school design can support both developmental and academic goals.

Speakers will offer insights from the fields of youth development, mind brain education and play-based learning. Practitioner and industry leaders will connect theory to on-the-ground practice, with activities designed to leverage the collective knowledge of participants to consider design solutions. The event will include a tour of a groundbreaking pK-12 campus with innovative early childhood learning environments to offer inspiration for design and ideas for future schools.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Understand the essential needs of early childhood from a youth development and brain-based perspective.
  2. Explore connections between the needs of early childhood and the design features of a child-centered learning environment.
  3. Examine the implications for the design process, including stakeholder outreach involving young children, families, and the community.
  4. Learn about design applications to create spaces for future projects that promote the goals of early childhood development.


Thursday, June 6 | 9am – 5pm
9:30 am – 10:00 am Refreshments
10:00 am – 10:15 am Introduction/ Overview
10:15 am – 11:00 am Linda Hunter / Dr. Julie Z. Cramer
11:00 am – 11:30 am Activity
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Dr. Robert Dillon
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch / Table Topics
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Dr. Rigo Rodriguez & Dr. Alfonso Jimenez
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Activity
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm David A Stubbs II
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Aaron Jetzer
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Happy Hour + Refreshments
Friday, June 7 | 9am – 3pm
9:30 am – 10:00 am Refreshments
10:00 am – 11:00 am Kathie Kanavel & Miakje Kamstra
11:00 am – 11:30 am Activity
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Ed Hildago
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch & Travel to Tour
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Tour of TVT

Kate Mraw
Dr. Julie Z. Cramer
Workshop Facilitation
Jomay Liao
Emily Koch


Linda Hunter Linda Hunter, MA, MFT
Director with Pretend City Children's Museum
Linda earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Development and Master's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy from the prestigious Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Linda has over 40 years of experience working with children and families in the fields of early childhood education, family therapy and children's museums.

Career Highlights include:
Designing, creating developmentally appropriate programs for, and managing corporate childcare centers for such major companies as Apple Computer, Union Bank, FHP, and PG&E.
Developing a curriculum for Regional Center to address the unique parenting challenges that face parents of children with special needs.
Developing and directing a wide range of therapeutic programs for adults and children.
Acting as the Child Development Consultant for the Family Rooms at The Getty Center and The Getty Villa. In that capacity, Linda has been instrumental in helping the institution develop and design educational spaces for children and their families.

Julie Cramer Dr. Julie Z. Cramer
Vice President Wayfind Education
Dr. Julie Zoellin Cramer is the founder and vice-president of Wayfind Education. As an education research consultant. She is dedicated to the development of deeper learning environments to help all students find their place of impact in the world. Dr. Cramer earned a PhD and MA in K-12 public/private school leadership from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. Her dissertation focused on stakeholder empowerment in the K-12 system and was nominated for the William P. Foster Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Dr. Cramer is an experienced research administrator and was the founding Deputy Director for the Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education (IEE). As the senior research associate for the IEE's Center for Education Policy and Law, her work focused on K-16 education policy as well as the role of innovative pedagogies in both new school development and school redesign. Launching the IEE's Learning Space Design Project, she was involved in the design of e3 Civic High, a public charter school on the 6th and 7th floor of the new San Diego Central Library. The school has been nationally recognized for its co-location strategy and intentional alignment of pedagogy and learning spaces.

Robert Dillon Dr. Robert Dillon
Author of The Space: A Guide for Educators
Dr. Robert Dillon is an author, speaker, educator, and lifelong learner. His twenty plus years in education has seen him serve kids and families as a teacher, principal, technology director, and innovation leader. His primary focus is working to bring synergy to instructional design, technology infusion, and learning space design. He believes that in this synergy is the educational gold that students need to be successful citizens in a modern world. He works through an equity lens and looks to bring excellence to every classroom. For this work, he has been honored by Common Sense Media, The Center for Green Schools, the dSchool at Stanford University, the Buck Institute for Education, and Future Ready Schools. Dr. Dillon has had the opportunity to work with teachers and leaders throughout the country, and he continues to speak at local, regional, and national conferences. Dr. Dillon is the co-founder of ConnectED Learning, a Saint Louis non-profit dedicated to affordable, quality professional learning for teachers. He is the author of five books. He is supported in his work by his wife and two amazing daughters.

David Stubbs David A Stubbs II
Designer of Shift+ and Author of P.B. Disrupts School
David has been recognized as one of the most important industry leaders in establishing solutions for the next generation of educational environments. His company, Cultural Shift has been the honored recipient of the A4LE Industry Partner Award as well as the EdSpaces/llDA Excellence in Innovation Award in his partnership with VS America with the creation of the line of furniture known as Shift+.

David supports private and public schools, colleges and universities as well as architectural firms by assisting them in programming, professional development as well as design conversations surrounding the disruptive approach to facility design. This approach emphasizes the understanding that this bottom up approach enables opportunities to bridge disconnects that exist within the traditional approaches to facility design.

Rigo Rodriguez Dr. Rigo Rodriguez
Vice President, Board of Education, SAUSD
Dr. Rodriguez has been an active Santa Ana community member for over 20 years and was elected as a Governing Board Member of the Santa Ana Unified School District in November 2016. He is now a member of the Board of Directors for the Delhi Center, and has also served on the City of Santa Ana's Community Redevelopment and Housing Commission and Planning Commission.

Dr. Rodriguez is an Associate Professor of Latina/o Public Policy in the Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He teaches courses on Latina/o immigration and integration, Latina/o wealth and poverty, and Latina/o social policy and community development. A nationally recognized expert in community planning, action research, and grassroots leadership development.

Dr. Rodriguez graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish Literature from the University of California, Irvine. He went on to earn his Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Southern California.

Alfonso Jimenez Dr. Alfonso Jimenez
Deputy Superintendent, Educational Services SAUSD
The Board of Education recently appointed Alfonso Jimenez, Ed.D. as Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Science from California Statue University, Long Beach. He went on to earn his Master's Degree in Administration from Pepperdine University along with his Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Jimenez has over 21 years of experience in K-12 education. He began his educational career as an Elementary Teacher for Long Beach Unified School District; then became Assistant Principal for Bellflower Unified School District; K-12 Principal for Fullerton School District; Director of Curriculum & Instruction for Anaheim City School District; and Director of Elementary Education K-8/Director of Instructional Services K-12 for Lynwood Unified School District. In 2016, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning for SAUSD.

Kathie Kanavel Kathie Kanavel
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, SCUSD

Aaron Jetzer Aaron Jetzer
Principal at Eastwood Elementary School, IUSD
Jetzer has 16 years of education experience and is recognized as an outstanding leader in IUSD. He was named the Principal at Eastwood Elementary school for its 2017 opening. Before leading Eastwood Elementary, he served as Principal of Culverdale Elementary, where for six years he has developed an excellent reputation as a site leader who works collaboratively with students, staff, and the parent community. Innovation and continuous improvement were and still are the hallmarks of Mr. Jetzer's leadership, including the piloting of math and reading programs at Culverdale before they became standardized across the District.

Mr. Jetzer focuses on developing an environment that personalizes learning to ensure that all students develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to connect to the world around them. He is experienced at working with diverse student populations, has high expectations for academic achievement, and offers a broad range of extracurricular programs.

Miakje Kamstra Miakje Kamstra
Principal at Central Park Elementary School, SCUSD
Miakje Kamstra is the Principle at Central Park Elementary in Santa Clara, California. She is in her 28th year as an educator. Kamstra graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology along with a teaching credential from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She went on to receive her Masters and Administrative credential in Educational Leadership from San Jose State, California.

Over the years she has held numerous educational positions. Some of these include: teacher (K-5), literacy specialist, professional developer, Literacy Coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and Director of Mentor Development for the New Teacher Center at UCSC. In 2016, Team Chameleon opened Central Park Elementary. In 2018, Kamstra was honored by the Santa Clara Unified School District as Administrator of the Year.

Ed Hildago Ed Hildago
Chief Innovation & Engagement Officer, Cajon Valley USD
Ed Hidalgo is the Chief Innovation and Engagement Officer for the Cajon Valley Union School District. His focus is the design and implementation of a research-based and integrated model of career development for every child in every grade across the 27 school and 17,000 student district to prepare every child for the future world of work.

Why Should We Start Talking to Kids about Careers in Kindergarten?
The Cajon Valley Union School District is providing career exploration starting in kindergarten classrooms and is leading this effort in the highest poverty school district in San Diego, CA. The district is designing and integrating a systemic, research based, career development framework across 27 schools, 17,000 students and 10 partnering districts to prepare all students for a path to gainful employment.


Member Public $50.00
Member Private $75.00
Non-Member Public $75.00
Non-Member Private $100.00


Tour of TVT

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Ozzie Tapia
Lance Hunter

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Ron Leland & Team
Courtney Tarnow






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