Meet the Instructors

Meet the NCECP Instructors:

Kara Berry

Kara Berry’s experience in the field of Early Childhood Education ranges from working as a para-professional in a Montessori School to operating her own center which served over 60 children and families and employed over 15 educators. Kara has also worked as an early childhood college instructor and served as a consultant in developing courses for the NCECP. She possesses a Masters Degree in Education and is certified by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for teaching in grades 1-6. Through the Department of Early Education and Care, Kara is certified Director II, as well as Lead Teacher certified infant, toddler, and preschool. Currently, in addition to being an NCECP Director and a fourth grade teacher, she is the proud mother of two boys.

Katie Doherty

Katie Doherty teaches at New England Academy, a private education high school in Beverly, MA. She teaches English to 11th and 12th grade students whose disabilities range from Autism spectrum to mood disorders and social anxiety. She has taught in a public school setting and has been involved with after-school programs for students with special needs. Katie holds certifications in special education and English and holds a Master’s Degree in English as well. She feels her career in special education has been rewarding and challenging and hopes to help others become more knowledgeable and understanding of special needs students.

William Durkee

William Durkee is a Professional Development Associate for the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s Center for Education Policy and Practice. He is also an instructor in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies/Bridge to Teaching Program at Northeastern University and an Adjunct Faculty member at Fitchburg State College. Previously, Bill taught for 39 years in public schools in Massachusetts and Ohio, working as a K thru 9 guidance counselor, IEP/504 building chairperson, evaluator and coordinator for building evaluation teams of Children with Special Needs, Director of Adult Education, and as a classroom teacher of English, History and Sociology for grades 7-10.

Deborah S. Henry

Debbie Henry has a BS in Elementary Education and is certified by the State of Massachusetts as a Director II. She has wide experience in Early Childhood and has worn many hats within the childcare environment, including supervising, classroom management and administration. Debbie is very community-oriented and has served 6 years on the Town of Ipswich School Committee, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Senior Care, Inc., based in Gloucester, MA.

Heidi Kaufman

Heidi Kaufman has a BA in Psychology, MSW in Management of Children and Family Programs and CAGS in multicultural issues in early childhood settings. In addition to being the Director of Educational Programs in MetroWest YMCA, where she oversees the early childhood and out-of-school time programs, Heidi also has EEC DII certification and has been supporting young children, their families and early childhood educators for about 20 years. Heidi lives in Ashland, MA with her husband, daughter and son.

Kelli Learned

Kelli Learned has an M.A. Ed in School Counseling Psychology. Her work experience includes teaching, tutoring and counseling students from middle school through college. Kelli also has experience in childcare for infants and preschool-aged children and currently volunteers in the local preschool and elementary school, supporting students in the classroom, as well as library research.

Kristin Russo

Kristin Russo has a M.Ed. in Elementary Education and an OFC certification to teach infant/toddler and preschool. She taught for many years in the Waltham Public School system and was a teacher in two private preschool programs. After teaching, Kristin served 4 years as a school committee member and Chair in one Massachusetts town and is now serving on the school committee in the town where she currently lives. Kristin is also a proud mother to three children.

Barbara Stewart

Barbara Stewart is a retired teacher with almost 30 years’ experience in the classroom and a Masters Degree in Education. She has been involved with the NCECP for several years in various capacities, including the Distance Education Program.

Cecilia Testa

Cecilia Testa is an Early Childhood Education instructor at Salem State University in
Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in Preschool Curriculum, Art, and Social Studies. Cecilia also supervises student teachers in pre-k, kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms and teaches a student teaching seminar. She feels being out in the field as well as the university classroom keeps her abreast with current teaching and learning strategies. Cecilia has a BA in Special Education and a MA in Expressive Art Therapy. She is DOE-certified in K-8 and severe special needs, ages 3-7.