The 2024 Journey Conference:

From Apprentice to Early Childhood Teacher

excited children in classroom, raising their hands

  • Saturday, March 9, 2024
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC)
    at De Anza College

Get the Program Booklet

Click or scroll down to learn more about:

Keynote Speakers

Susan Wood

Susan Wood

Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters

Beth Wise

Beth Wise

Keynote Topics and Speaker Information

STEM Skills in Early Childhood

In this keynote, Susan Wood will share her thoughts and research on the importance of preparing today's children for the challenges of tomorrow through developmentally appropriate, inclusive and culturally sensitive approaches in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

About the Speaker:

Susan Wood’s experience over the past 40 years includes serving as a classroom instructor overseeing classroom teachers, coordinating community college preschool practicum students, and providing developmentally appropriate activities for children.

After 20 years in the classroom Susan chose to work in an administrative level as a director of two university childcare centers; as adjunct faculty teaching early childhood classes such as Curriculum Planning, Child Human Growth and Development, and Child Psychology; as partner and trainer for the Center for Child and family Services Head Start; as a trainer for Los Angeles County Office of Education; and as a UCLA Extension instructor.

Her passion to support early childhood educators in providing research-based, high quality child education has led to the creation of community outreach programs which has included: workshops, a director support group, research projects, and study groups. She founded and hosts the Annual Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (ECSTEM) Conference. She is an active member of National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Science Teachers Association and has presented workshops on a national level in the areas of early childhood curriculum with an emphasis on science education.

Susan earned a master's degree in Child Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California.

Play Is It!

In this keynote, participants will learn the importance of play-based learning in the overall development across all domains – cognitive, social, emotional, and physical.

About the Speakers: Jennifer Winters and Beth Wise

Jennifer Winters is the executive director of Bing Nursery School and a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.  She has committed her professional life to serving young children and their families and to spreading early childhood education wisdom and best practices throughout the field.

Jennifer has over three decades of leadership and hands-on experience in the field of early childhood education as a director, administrator, teacher, university lecturer, and speaker.  She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on various topics in the field of early childhood education.

Her passion for serving young children, families, and the early childhood education community is matched by her firm belief that for young children, play-based learning is best for their overall development across all domains – cognitive, social, emotional, and physical.  She is an advocate for play-based learning for young children around the globe in all her work.

Beth Wise is the program director for Bing Nursery School and lecturer in Psychology 147: Development in Early Childhood at Stanford University. With over 35 years of experience in the field, Beth has worked in many capacities, including as a head teacher, program administrator at Head Start, kindergarten teacher at the Nueva School, music specialist, and performing artist through the Wolftrap Early Learning through the Arts Program.

Beth's undergraduate studies are in Child Development and Sociology, and her graduate studies are in Human Development. Beth believes in giving children rich, hands-on, imaginative play experiences so their creative, artistic, social, emotional, and cognitive skills can flourish!

Special Guests: Greg and Steve

two men singing and playing guitarGrammy-nominated artists Greg and Steve combined their love of music and seven years of working in Los Angeles schools to create CDs and vidos that educate, motivate, enrich and entertain.

Many teachers consider Greg and Steve's "We All Live Together" series to be an essential component of their early childhood curriculum.

Greg and Steve's music is a combination of rock, R&B, blues, a little country and a touch of rap – all designed to engage children, teachers and parents in learning about social, emotional and physical development, language and early literacy, math, social studies and STEAM.

Workshop Topics and Leaders

We'll be offering six workshops during the breakout session of the conference. When you register, please select your first and second choices for the workshop you will join. Please choose only one workshop for your first choice and only one for your second choice.

Workshop A: Creating Supportive Spaces for Gender Exploration and Expression

Workshop leader: Shaun-Adrián Choflá

More About Workshop A

In this workshop, participants will learn how to create supportive spaces for gender exploration and expression in the early childhood environment. Dr. Choflá will share research on pedagogical practices to support early childhood gender identity development.

Shaun-Adrian ChoflaAbout the Workshop Leader:

Shaun-Adrián Choflá serves as a core faculty member in the Family and Community Services Department at Butte College and as the executive director of Empathy Therapy, a statewide tele-mental health practice he co-founded.

Shaun-Adrián regularly gives lectures and conducts research on pedagogical practices to support early childhood gender identity development.

As a practitioner and scholar of anti-bias education and equity pedagogy, Shaun-Adrián aims to bring awareness of cisgender-related bias to early childhood educators and expand related lines of research.  He lives in Chico with his husband of over twenty-three years and their dog, Fog. 

Workshop B: Creating and Supporting an Anti-Bias Classroom Environment

Workshop leaders: Nadia Jaboneta and Brian Silveira

More About Workshop B

In this workshop, participants will explore what it means to have an anti-bias environment in the early years. They will learn how to incorporate social justice practices when working with young children.

Nadia JabonetaAbout the Workshop Leaders:

Nadia Jaboneta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. She is a pedagogical leader at Pacific Primary Preschool in San Francisco. She has 24 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education teaching young children, training teachers, consulting and facilitating workshops. She is passionate about social justice.

Nadia attended San Francisco State University for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She has written numerous articles for the magazine "Teaching Young Children," focused on the anti-bias education practices she uses. She also is the author of the book "You Can’t Celebrate That: Navigating the Deep Waters of Social Justice Teaching" and co-author of "Children’s Lively Minds: Schema Theory Made Visible."  Most recently, Nadia and Brian Silveira were two of the featured teachers in the film “Reflecting on Anti-Bias Education in Action: The Early Years.”

Brian SilveiraBrian Silveira lives in San Francisco with his husband and has worked as a teacher in the Early Childhood Education field for over 40 years!  He spent much of his career in community-based and public preschools and currently works at Pacific Primary as a pedagogical leader. His experiences in diverse school settings have informed his philosophy and life mission to make the world a safe and just place for all children. He is still thriving and growing in his commitment to social justice every day.

Brian is currently the co-facilitator of the LGBTQ Interest Forum for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and has presented on the topics of equity, anti-bias and allyship both locally and nationally. He has been published in the magazines "Teaching Young Children" and "Exchange," and has been recognized by several national interest forums for his work supporting men in Early Childhood Education, peace educators and the LGBTQ+ community. Most recently, Brian and Nadia Jaboneta were among the featured teachers in the film “Reflecting on Anti-Bias Education in Action: The Early Years.”

Workshop C: Messy Science

Workshop leader: Jayanti Tambe Roy

More About Workshop C

In this workshop, participants will learn the importance of hands-on learning, exemplifying John Dewey’s thoughts of “hands-on is minds-on" through messy science explorations.  

Jayanti RoyAbout the Workshop Leader:

Jayanti Tambe Roy is a Child Development faculty member at De Anza College. She has held leadership positions as executive director and director at UCLA, Pacific Oaks College and Children's School and at Stanford University. She is a published author of the books, "An Alphabet Soup of STEM," "The Art of Math and Science" and "A Kaleidoscope of Children."

Jayanti is a peer reviewer for NAEYC's Higher Education Accreditation program. She is committed to family engagement practices in the Early Childhood Education setting, and in June 2010, was honored by the NAEYC Institute when Rainbow School, the program she supervised, was recognized as one of the 10 exemplary programs for engaging diversity. She is the recipient of the Rose Engel Award (CAEYC 2010) for innovation in teaching practices. She serves on the board at RAFT.

Workshop D: Bringing the Outside INSIDE!

Workshop leader: Shelley Gonzales

More About Workshop D

In this workshop, participants will learn the importance of a program where children have the opportunity to explore nature- based pedagogy within a classroom environment.

Shelley GonzalesAbout the Workshop Leader:

Shelley Gonzales has directed several programs including a college laboratory school, schools at Stanford University, and a parent cooperative preschool. She has also supervised Head Start and State Preschool programs and was the initiating director of a bilingual Preschool program. The programs all emphasized learning through emergent, STEAM based curriculum.  

Shelley believes in inspiring children to be passionate about the process of learning. She believes teaching children through the scientific method helps them to become critical thinkers. Shelley has presented at national and international conferences. She has taught early childhood education in community colleges at the undergraduate level, and bachelor’s and master’s level courses at Pacific Oaks College.

Workshop E: Art Attack!

Workshop leader: Phyllis De Motta

More About Workshop E

In this workshop, participants will learn the importance of process-based art, and will have the opportunity of interacting with materials to create their own masterpieces.  

Phyllis De MottaAbout the Workshop Leader:

Phyllis De Motta is the owner, director and primary caregiver of Keiki Company Family Childcare. She has been caring for children as a Family Childcare provider for over 30 years.

Phyllis has a master’s degree in early childhood development from Pacific Oaks College. She is an adjunct faculty member at De Anza College. where she teaches classes in early childhood development.

Workshop F: Making Books Come Alive

Workshop leader: Christina Cho

More About Workshop F

In this workshop, participants will learn ways to look at children's books through the lens of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The audience will understand and appreciate the link between the use of props in literature and the reading ability of children.

About the Workshop Leader:

Christina ChoChristina Cho is a full-time teacher at De Anza College Child Development Center. She earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from De Anza College and a bachelor's degree  in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University. She is pursuing a master's degree in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy at Erikson Institute.

Christina has presented on various topics, such as "Toddler Exploring Different Mediums of Painting" at the Festival of Learning hosted by San Francisco First 5 in January 2016. She has co-presented on "Exploring STEM in Children's Literature" at the California Association for the Education of Young Children in April 2023 and 2024.

In May 2023, Christina co-presented "Oh the Thinks Children Think: STEM" at the California Early Childhood Mentor Program. She serves as a board member and elected board treasurer for Global Tassels.

About the Conference

young woman teacher with several smiling childrenThe Child Development and Education Department at De Anza College has undertaken a significant initiative to enhance its mission of supporting the need of the workforce through our apprenticeship program.

This effort resulted in the attainment of a $1.3 million grant from the California Community College Apprenticeship Initiative, which bolsters De Anza's innovative approach to promoting the program and preparing students for the workforce.

The first annual Journey Conference aims to showcase our classroom initiatives and provide a platform for sharing and learning among students, home child care providers, faculty, staff, administrators, partners, and community stakeholders. 

Conference Sponsors

  • Child Development and Education Department, De Anza College
  • First 5 Santa Clara County
  • Lakeshore Learning Materials
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Division, De Anza College

Child Development and Education


First Five Santa Clara County


Lakeshore logo

Social Sciences and Humanities logo

Sign Up to Attend!

Please click the red box to open the registration form for the category that is best describes your role. If you registered and have not receieved a confirmation email, please contact Jayanti Roy at or Denica Kelly at

Apprenticeship Student Cohort

Registration is full.

Family Child Care Providers

Registration is full.

Students and Early Childhood Teachers

Registration is full.

College and University Faculty and Staff

Registration is full.


Please contact Denica Kelly or Jayanti Roy for any questions about the conference.

Volunteers Needed! 

Would you like to volunteer to assist during the conference? Please click the red bar below to fill out the volunteer form. We'll be in touch soon.

Volunteer Form

We are no longer accepting volunteers for the conference.
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