Meet the Team

Meet the EarlyEdU® for Inclusion Team

Our team shares a commitment to helping early childhood educators gain the skills they need to succeed with each and every child. We work closely with community college faculty to bring an intentional focus on children with disabilities and their families into all aspects of the curriculum and field experiences.

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Kathleen Meeker
Principal Investigator

Kathleen Artman Meeker is an Associate Professor of special education at the University of Washington. She is the Director of Research at the Haring Center for Inclusive Education and principal investigator of the EarlyEdU for Inclusion project. She has worked extensively with Head Start and child care systems to develop resources that support the early care and education workforce. Her research and professional activities focus on coaching and professional development programs that promote inclusion, social-emotional learning, and teacher well-being.

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Susan Sandall, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Sandall is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington. She has directed personnel preparation projects, developed curriculum materials for all age groups, and published materials on educational practices to facilitate optimal outcomes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities. Her scholarly interests are effective instructional practices for young children with disabilities in inclusive settings, the changing roles of teachers of young children, and effective approaches to professional development and knowledge utilization. She was Principal Investigator of the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning for the Office of Head Start; the Center continues its work as the EarlyEdU Alliance at Cultivate Learning at the UW. Dr. Sandall serves on the Division for Early Childhood (DEC)’s Commission on Recommended Practices and edited publications on the practices. She is on the editorial board of Journal of Early Intervention and Topics in Early Childhood Special Education.


Clare Juico
Higher Ed Program Coordinator

Clare Juico is a Higher Ed Program Coordinator at the EarlyEdU Alliance®. She is the Alliance’s chief point of contact and ensures that any requests from Alliance faculty, students or state team members are routed correctly and responded to in a timely manner. Clare also assists with editing course materials offered by EarlyEdU.

Clare recently completed an AAS in early childhood education at North Seattle College. She is currently working toward her BAS, also at North Seattle College. She has years of field experience working in a family child care facility in Shoreline, WA. She is a firm believer that early childhood educators need accessible opportunities to further their knowledge in helping children succeed in school and in life.


Naima Shirdon
Higher Education Inclusion Specialist

Naima Shirdon is a Higher Education Inclusion Specialist on the EarlyEdU for Inclusion Team. She earned her PhD in School Psychology from the Ohio State University. She has worked extensively with children with autism and relished in seeing their progress while using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has also worked in the field of early literacy to improve early childhood outcomes by inspiring primary caregivers and service providers to nurture preliteracy from infancy through preschool. Her interests include early literacy, social-emotional competence, special education, autism and cultural competence.


Jenny Cunningham
Higher Education Inclusion Specialist

Jenny Cunningham is a Higher Ed Inclusion Specialist on the EarlyEdu for Inclusion Team and a Research Associate at the Haring Center for Inclusive Education. She earned her M.Ed and PhD in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests center on high quality practices for supporting children with or at-risk for disabilities in early childhood settings, with a specific focus on social-emotional skills, challenging behavior, and early language development.