Theodore (Teddy) Kokoros: President and Lead Researcher

For the past 15 years Teddy Kokoros has taught preschool and Pre-K at The Transportation Children’s Center in downtown Boston. He has also taught college early education classes at Umass Boston, Fisher College, Bay State College and Lesley University. He obtained his Associates Degree in Early Education at Bay State College, Bachelor’s in Sociology at UMass Boston, Masters in Education with a focus on language and literacy at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Post Masters Certificate in Early Childhood Education Research, Practice, and Policy from UMass Boston, and is currently working on his PhD in Education at Lesley University.

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Raseel Alahmed 
Vice President, Writer, and Researcher 

Raseel Alahmed has a Bachelor of Science and Humanities in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northeastern University. She has experiences as a teacher working in early childhood education classroom in Boston and Saudi Arabia working with every age group from infants to age five. In addition, Raseel coordinated and lead a youth leadership program for youth ages 11 to 17 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.


Anna Goodkind

Writer and Researcher

Anna Goodkind has over ten years of experience teaching in progressive early education settings throughout Boston and NYC, and expertise in the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early education and practice. Anna is currently serving as the Curriculum Specialist and Afternoon Program Coordinator at the Trust Center for Early Education in Brookline. Before taking on this role, she taught preschool and PreK for many years in both Boston and NYC, at TCEE and at the JCC Manhattan Nursery School. Anna, along with her teaching team at the JCC, was a 2015 recipient of the Regional Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, which “recognizes innovative local educators who make a lasting impact on the lives of Jewish children,” for her team’s innovative approach to involving students in the use of documentation technology throughout the school year. Anna graduated from Barnard College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing. In 2015, Anna graduated from City College of New York with a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in English and Writing, with a focus on Children’s Literature. When she is not teaching, Anna is a writer, and is currently working on several children’s books and a young adult novel. In 2018 Anna completed her Early Childhood Education Director II level certification through Wheelock College, and has been enjoying taking on new roles and responsibilities in school leadership.



Jessie Chen: Researcher and Writer

Jessie Chen is a doctoral student of College of Education at UMass-Boston. Her research interests are children’s literature and children’s rights.


Lisa Plotkin: Writer and Researcher

I am Lisa Plotkin, M.Ed., currently the Early Childhood Curriculum and Professional Development Director at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center Preschool in Richmond, Virginia. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business: Decision and Information Sciences from the University of Maryland in College Park. In 2004, I began teaching young children at the Washington, DC JCC Preschool. I earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood Pre-K to 2nd grade from Lesley University. I was invited to participate in a movement to further the seeds of excellence in Jewish early childhood, The Paradigm Project, which continues to provide me with support and inspiration. Still thirsty for higher education, I joined the pilot cohort of the Post-Master’s Certification program for Early Childhood Practice, Policy, and Research through UMass Boston. After 9 years of teaching, I became the Assistant Director at a preschool in Wellesley, MA and continued to find my passions in the field. Searching for a role that would involve coaching early childhood educators, I returned to my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, thoroughly invested in the curriculum and professional development of the faculty at the preschool I attended as a child. Soon after accepting this role, I was accepted into the Sheva Center Leadership Institute through the Jewish Community Center Association. The primary goal of the SCLI is to increase the number and quality of early childhood leaders who are ready to assume increased responsibilities in early care and education at JCC’s across the nation. I am motivated by opportunities to work with quality educators and enhancing the skills, reflection, and professionalism that they currently have and are ready to build. I am guided by support from many mentors and colleagues who continually work to understand the Reggio-inspired, nature-enhanced, collaborative and reflective processes, and values-based practices that I believe are so integral to the foundations of quality early childhood education.


Erica Woloszynski: Writer and Researcher

Erica is a behavioral therapist working primarily with young children on the Autism Spectrum. She has a Bachelor's of Science from Northeastern University in Psychology. Erica has worked with children ranging in ages from infants to elementary schoolers, and taught in toddler and preschool classrooms. Her grandmother was a teacher and school administrator, her mother is a school psychologist, and her brother is a history teacher for children with disabilities, so education and psychology are and have always been a big part of her life. She is interested in the intersections of fields that work with children and other vulnerable populations, and has worked to utilize approaches from different disciplines to create high-quality curriculum for children. Erica believes that a fundamental difficulty with our current systems is the view of children as less than full citizens, and that more needs to be done to recognize and legislate protections for the rights of children.