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Training Consultants

The following businesses/individuals have requested inclusion in the NIHSDA consultant list as providers of Head Start/Early Head Start training/technical assistance services.  NIHSDA does not endorse, recommend, or assume responsibility for the work of any consultant, listed or otherwise.  Anyone using the consultant list assumes full responsibility for confirming the consultant’s professional qualifications, performance history, and references and for fulfilling the terms of a professional services contract.

Alicia Allard

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Little Hawk Consulting


Areas of Expertise: Providing Consulting, Coaching, and Technical Assistance to AI/AN Head Start and Early Head Start programs and grantees. Little Hawk Consulting offers customized consulting plans designed to help your program or organization build a successful foundation and plan for long-term sustainability. With 16+ years of experience in AI/AN Head Start/EHS and Licensed Child Care; Alicia Allard, MS ECE, has the experience to help your program identify, communicate, and reach strategic goals, improve outcomes, and strengthen your organizational systems.

Little Hawk Consulting specializes in the following areas: AI/AN Head Start Program Policies and Procedures, Alaska Native Head Start Programs, Traditional Foods in Early Childhood Settings, Natural Outdoor Play and Education, Head Start Conversion/Reduction Plans, Pre-Service and Ongoing Team Training (Various Topics Available), New/Interim Director Coaching & Advising, Facilities Consulting and Head Start 1302 Planning, Education and Curriculum Coaching, Program Assessments & Strategic Planning


Alicia Allard, MS ECE, is a dedicated advocate for enhancing the quality of AI/AN early learning and care, rooted in the principles of place-based education and self-determination. Leveraging her experience as a former AI/AN Head Start parent and Policy Council member, Alicia is committed to ensuring every Native child has access to safe, loving, and supportive early learning. Through training, coaching, and advising, Alicia empowers programs with actionable insights, enabling them to identify and implement positive changes for long-term improvements in quality and sustainability. From optimizing funding for equipment upgrades and facility renovations to addressing systemic gaps in policy and operations, Alicia's keen eye for detail supports your program goals. Alicia's expertise spans strategic planning, project management, organizational restructuring, change management, community needs assessment, and policy and procedure development. Little Hawk Consulting offers virtual consulting, training, and Technical Assistance (T/TA) services across the United States and Indian Country, including Alaska. Visit the website for more information. Alicia is ready to apply her knowledge to help your community achieve its goals and create a strong and sustainable future for children and families.

Patricia Brown

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Consultant/Instructor, Patricia Brown Consulting

3508 N. Old Stage Rd, Mount Shasta, CA 96067

Areas of Expertise: Program Management, Policy Development, Early Childhood, Mentoring, Trauma Informed Care


Patty Brown has more than 40 years of experience in the education field working with children from infant through school age as a teacher, program director, and administrator. Her specialties include child development, family engagement, program management, leadership, mentoring, and training. Currently, Patty is a full-time Early Childhood Faculty Instructor at Shasta College. Patty has effectively worked in partnership with parents, families, and caregivers in a variety of programs and early childhood settings including both tribal and non-tribal center-based, family child care, State preschool, and College Lab School.  Patty has excellent communication, coordination, facilitation, organizational, and collaboration skills. A lifelong learner and advocate for cultural competency and equity, Patty supports educators and administrators by developing and implementing workshops, policies, and curricula specifically designed to enhance learning environments and experiences to engage the child, family, providers, and community.  Patty has planned, developed, and facilitated workshops at local, regional, state, and national conferences. 

Daniel Christensen


UPC Parks

16269 Plateau Circle, Redding, CA 96001

Areas of Expertise: Playground Design


From the rock climbing wall industry, Dan Christensen saw the need for more adventurous, more exciting experiences in the playground, and in 2003 started the Rocks & Ropes playground line of naturalistic rock and log climbers to bring the outdoor play environment into the modern playground. By using pre-designed molds, UPC Parks is able to offer precast equipment with the unique artistic quality of custom sculptures, at an affordable price. The patented PolyFiberCrete® material enables unique climbing experiences with caves, ledges, and crawl-throughs that competitor GFRC shells cannot replicate. With successful installations and award-winning designs, you can find UPC Parks' unique and exciting natural adventure playgrounds in cities, schools, and recreation areas across the United States and Canada.

Janet Humphryes


Co-Founder-Principal Coach, Dynamic Coaching Systems LLC
6292 Torrey Pines Drive, Larkspur, CO 80118

Areas of Expertise: Leadership: Coaching Systems, Coaching
Ed Staff: Coaching, Guidance Strategies/Executive Function Skills, B-5 Child Development, Cognitively Enriched Environments

Janet Humphryes, M.A. is co-founder, principal coach and consultant for Dynamic Coaching Systems with 47+ years of experience in the early childhood (EC) profession, 26 of which is in Head Start with 20 as a TA Specialist/Manager with Regions VIII and XI and PMFO. She led the creation of and co-instructs the EC Coaching Certificate Program offered at the University of CO and through Dynamic Coaching Systems. She has a M.A. in EC Ed, a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences, and an AMI Montessori teaching credential. Janet’s published articles and books, keynotes/speaking engagements, rich experience, and strong integrity to support developmentally responsive practices with children and adults attest to her ability to connect, inspire and transform lives. Her career focus has been on leveraging human behavior science to maximize human potentials at any age.

Lakeshore Professional Services Group


Lakeshore Learning Materials
2695 E. Dominguez St., Carson, CA 90895

Areas of expertise for Lakeshore Professional Services Group (PSG): content-based professional development across multiple subjects in early learning, elementary education, special education, family and community engagement; classroom product trainings; customized learning materials and educational publishing services; quality-improvement services; and conference support for keynotes, preservice workshops and conference sessions. 

Lakeshore’s passion for supporting teachers, administrators and families doesn’t end with the products we develop. Professional Services Group (PSG) offers personalized, hands-on learning services designed to address what is most important to you—from professional development and conference workshops to quality-improvement services for early learning and school-age programs. PSG staff is comprised of educators and subject-matter experts, top-level trainers, consultants and presenters committed to furthering education goals at the individual level, classroom level and program level. Popular areas of expertise include STEM/STEAM, social-emotional development, before/after school, intervention, family engagement and more. Flexible scheduling options include half-day sessions, full-day sessions and multiday series.

Kassy Lopez, PhD


Consultant, A Lil Sass Early Childhood Consultation, LLC
7721 Blue Vail Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80922

Areas of expertise: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Instructional Practices, Leadership, Family Partnerships, Curriculum Alignment and Development, Culturally Responsive Practices

Dr. Kassy has over 20 years of experience in the field of education. She has been a teacher, director, curriculum coordinator, early childhood mental health consultant, psychology professor, and early childhood education college professor. Dr. Kassy has collaborated with Native American and Alaska Native Head Start programs for over a decade. Currently, she is an ECE and psychology faculty member  at Pikes Peak State College in Colorado Springs. Additionally, Dr. Kassy is contracted with Special Olympics Young Athletes as a consultant to Indigenize the curriculum. Integrating traditional games, language, and food into the fully inclusive program of Special Olympics is groundbreaking work. Most recently, Dr. Kassy started her own early childhood consultation business, where training and support are built on a foundation of social and emotional health. Her deepest passion is to positively impact the lives of children and support the adults who have a direct impact with their learning and well-being.

Fran Moore

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Principal Consultant at A.W.A.R.E. Consulting
Knoxville, Tennessee


Areas of expertise: Change Management, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Educational Consulting , Management Consulting, Non-profit Consulting, Grant Writing, Technical Writing, Writing

I have more than 35 years of experience in the field of education. This includes managing, leading, teaching, providing training and technical assistance, and monitoring for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care programs. I have worked at all levels of the Early Childhood field including federal, state, tribal, and local levels. Much of my work focused on assisting severely deficient programs move toward excellence. I spent many years working in diverse settings including American Indian and Alaska Native communities, rural communities in Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia and inner city settings. I specialize in working with American Indian governments to build collaborative efforts to create seamless systems of care for all of a Tribe’s young children especially those with special needs. I served in the 1996 Class of Head Start-Johnson and Johnson Management Fellows Program and the 1999-2000 Class of Head Start Fellows. Over the years, I have received recognition for work such as the Certificate of Merit from the US Department of Education, the Distinguished Service Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Indian Head Start Directors’ Association 2000 Indian Child Advocate of the Year.

Melissa Pickle


Consultant, Coach & Trainer, Firmly Flourishing
2023 10th Ave, Belle Fourche, SD 57717

Areas of expertise: Staff wellness for both direct services staff and management; Coaching in home-based and center-based Head Start and Early Head Start programs; Provide training on home visiting topics including boundaries, home visiting safety and parent engagement; Provide training on educational services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Melissa Pickle has 28 years of experience in the field of early childhood education with 18 of those in programs throughout the state of Alaska. Her most recent roles have included those of trainer, coach, mentor and supervisor. She enjoys supporting the growth and development of others to assist them in meeting their full potential while still maintaining an appropriate work life balance and healthy sense of well-being. She is the owner and operator of Firmly Flourishing LLC, a consulting and coaching business that supports individuals as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Regions 8, 10 and 11.

Maria Teresa Ruiz


Child Development Specialist/Consultant

2232 London Circle, Modesto, CA 95356


Areas of Expertise: STEAM coach/ Children’s literature/booksCoaching (Teachers)/Curriculum implementation/ Language Learning/Early Childhood/ Resources/ Advisor/Family Child Care/ Family/Parent Engagement/ Language and Literacy development/ Loose Parts/ Play/ PreK/ Project Approach/ STEAM/STEM/ Storytelling with children

As a consultant, I am dedicated to supporting educators in the continuous search for best practices in Early Childhood Education. I have a passion for STEAM experiences and creative-innovative approaches to engage educators in professional development opportunities that support best practices in serving young children and their families.
I hold a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Child Development Graduate Certificate, enhancing my understanding and twenty-three years of practice in the field of early childhood education.

Rebecca Spiridis


Head Start/EHS Consultant

2097 Nolan Ave., Crown Point, IN 46307


Areas of Expertise: Grant Writing (5 Year, Expansion, and DRS) and Community Needs Assessments/Updates 

Rebecca Spiridis has been a member of the Head Start Community for 28 years, previously serving as a Director and Coordinator at a Region V grantee with funding of over $9,000,000. Rebecca now provides virtual consultant services to Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the country. She currently serves as an EHS/HS Grant Reviewer for the Office of Head Start and is a former Federal CLASS™ Reviewer.
Change in Head Start is inevitable and the increasing pace of change brings an increasing demand on time and staff resources. My mission is to Lighten the Workload for you, so your focus can remain on your everyday mission of providing comprehensive and quality services to children and families. My goal is to always provide a high standard of expertise, integrity, responsive and prompt communication, and personalized services for any project, large or small. Reach out to me by e-mail and I will gladly ensure a response within 24 hours.

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