Curriculum Advisory Board - LeafSpring School

Our Curriculum Advisory Board is comprised of professors, educators, specialists, authors, and experts who help guide our efforts to provide high-quality play-based learning at an early age.

Lessons to last a lifetime

Play is how children learn best. That is why our curriculum, PLAYWORKS, focuses on learning through exploration and play. Our leadership program, INSPIRED, helps students become lifelong leaders, reflecting high standards in their values and dedication to the belief that they can make worthwhile contributions in an ever-changing world. We choose books and literature to accompany and complement classroom activities.


Ilyse Canfield, MOT, OTR/L – Ilyse is an Occupational Therapist, registered and licensed with more than 16 years’ experience. She achieved certification form Learning Without Tears and has worked with children of all ages in all types of settings. She is the founder of “The Write OT,” a company that specializes in fine motor skills, pre-writing and handwriting. Her company uses a multi-sensory approach (visual, tactile, auditory, and movement) with their therapy, making the sessions feel a lot more like play than work. Ilyse’s passion is handwriting.



Fredrick Davy – Fred Davy is the Smart Lab Coordinator for Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. He manages a state-of-the-art blended learning lab for students and coordinates and facilitates multi-media project/problem-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) assignments with faculty and students. Fred is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Trinity Washington University where he teaches math instruction and related courses in the School of Continuing Education primarily to education professionals seeking recertification credit. Fred’s work has spanned pre-k through high school, in addition to his college level teaching experience. Other hats he has worn include” Curriculum Specialist, STEM Program Coordinator, Math Teacher, and Camp Coordinator. Fred received his Master’s in education from Johns Hopkins University in Elementary Math and Science. Fred’s passion is STEM.




Dr. Angela Eckhoff – Angela Eckhoff is an Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning and director of the Virginia Early Childhood Policy Center at Old Dominion University in Virginia. She holds a dual PhD from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Educational Psychology and Cognitive Science. She is a coeditor of the Growing in STEM column for Young Children and the Full STEAM Ahead column for Teaching Young Children from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Angela is a frequent webinar presenter on EdWeb. Angela researches informal learning environments for children and families, the role of creativity in child development and learning, as well as arts-based early childhood pedagogical practices.  Angela’s passion is creativity in the arts.





Lisa Murphy – Lisa is the founder and CEO of Ooey Gooey, Inc. where her mission is to assist in the transformation of the industry of early childhood education by offering 1) the best workshops and trainings; 2) the most up to date materials and resources; and 3) insightful conversations and connections through the power of social media. Lisa presents hundreds of workshops each year to both domestic and international audiences on various topics related to early childhood education. Lisa has an M.Ed. (2013) in early childhood education from Champlain College in Vermont. She has authored four books, (the fifth is in-press), produced dozens of teacher training DVD’s and is a popular keynote speaker at educational conferences. Her standing room only seminars have become nationally known for their information, humor, inspiration and energetic delivery. Frequently asked if she has ever been a stand up comic, Lisa practices what she preaches by blending the learning with the laughing. Lisa is known for her ability to link hands-on activities to educational standards, her outspoken advocacy, and her commitment to creating child-centered, play-based early childhood environments. Lisa’s passion is play! Find her on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Dr. Amy Vanden Boogart – Amy is the Director of Curriculum and Product Development for Really Great Reading. She manages the development of foundational reading skills curricula (print and online) for emerging and struggling readers. She also helps ideate, vet, create and test new product and service offerings including instruction, instructional supplements, assessments, software, grouping systems, and workshops. She trains educators on curricula and other products and services to help them utilize materials and resources to maximize reading success for students. Amy is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where she earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She has taught graduate-level courses on foundational reading skills development, interdisciplinary literacy, and educational research for early childhood through high school preservice and in-service teachers. Amy has previously worked as the curriculum director for a charter school network in Washington, DC, and she began her career as an elementary teacher. She serves on the Board of Directors for the DC Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and is on the editorial board for the International Dyslexia Association’s publication, Perspectives on Language and LiteracyAmy’s passion is literacy.



Social: I choose friendship over fighting.


Health: I choose healthy over harmful.


Environmental: I choose helping over hurting.


Civic: I choose “we” over “me.”


Entrepreneurial: I choose working over wavering.


Financial: I choose responsibility over recklessness.


Resilience: I choose “I can’t YET,” over “I can’t.”

Mindfulness: I choose positivity over negativity.


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