Meet the 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 Anderson

Katie is a special education teacher at New England Academy, a private education high school in Beverly, MA. Students’ 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 Executive Director of Education at 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 30 years. Heidi lives in Ashland, MA with her family.

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.

Brandy Spillman

Brandy has worked in the field for 23 years with children from infants to PreK as well as high school students in a lab setting at a Vocational School in Ohio. She has her Associates in Early Childhood Education (birth to age 8) and a Bachelors degree (PreK-3), both from The Ohio State University, and Masters in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3) from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She moved to Massachusetts 9 years ago and is Infant/Toddler and Preschool Lead Teacher certified as well as Director I and II certified.   Since moving to Mass she has had the pleasure of working with all age groups and as an Associate Director for a program allowing her to coach and support teachers with curriculum in their classrooms.

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.

Sally Sweitzer

Sally Sweitzer has her Master’s degree in Psychology and Human Development, with a specialty in Early Childhood Development, from Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. She has more than 30 years in the field and has been a preschool teacher and  curriculum director, as well as an art and music specialist for young children. Sally has also worked as a child and family trauma therapist, and consultant in best practice to local Early Childhood centers. For the past 10 years, Sally has worked for an urban non-profit and held a position as the Director of Inclusion, working with toddler and preschool aged children and their families, with complex needs and high risk factors.

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.

Jamie Webber

Jamie Webber has an M.Ed. in Elementary Education and an undergraduate degree in Sociology. She has taught several different grade levels within the elementary setting. She has settled into her niche in second grade as a general education teacher in the Chelmsford Public Schools. In her classroom, Jamie places a strong emphasis on teaching more than academics — she includes social and emotional content to develop the whole child. She loves working with children of all ages and has greatly enjoyed moving into adult education with NCECP. Jamie lives in Billerica, MA with her husband.