Julie Bernson is Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln where she oversees indoor and outdoor educational programs and initiatives for families, youth, adults, schools, teachers, and access groups. She works in close partnership with the on-site Lincoln Nursery School to explore ways in which the Reggio Emilia approach can be adapted to museums and to K-12 and higher education. 

A graduate of the Tufts University Museum Studies Program and with a Master's in Education from Lesley University, she is also adjunct faculty in Brandeis University's Education Program teaching "Looking with Learner" through the Rose Art Museum. 

Prior to deCordova, Julie was Curator of Education at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover. There she focused on school programs and partnerships and helped design their Museum Learning Center to connect curatorial practice with education.



Sarah Bishop grew up romping and wandering through the fields and woodlands of Lincoln and still finds delight in their many wonders. Children have always been at the center of her life whether babysitting as a young teen, working as a camp counselor, and teaching at Milton Academy, Ecole Bilingue, and The Park School. Sarah not only raised her own two children; she has been offering playgroups for two-year-olds for the past 20 years.

Besides the joys that accompany parenting her own children, Sarah is continuously amazed by the growth that she observes and helps develop in her playgroups of two-year-olds. In this early learning experience, Sarah helps children learn autonomy and self-reliance, and their compassion and empathy for others grow. Language skills increase along with a growing appreciation for literature. Creativity grows as they are exposed to various art media.

Sarah is currently on the Board of Codman Community Farms, and was a past member of the Lincoln Cultural Council, Lincoln Scholarship Committee, and the Lincoln Players. Degrees in Theatre and Elementary Education from Boston University and New England College paved the way for many of these experiences.



Erika Christakis is a Lecturer in the Yale Child Study Center of Yale Medical School, where she works on curriculum development and teacher training for early childhood providers in the United States, China, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Erika began her career in public health and has been a teacher, preschool director, and educational consultant. She has served on the boards of several K-12 schools and community-based organizations and writes regularly for TIME.com. Her work on the developmental needs of children and young people, and diverse other topics, has also been featured on Nightline, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, and in the Financial Times, Boston Globe, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti online magazine. She was a plenary speaker at the 2012 Aspen Institute Ideas Festival (on the 21st century child).

Erika served for four years as Co-Master of one of the 12 Harvard College residential houses. During her tenure, she helped shape university policies related to student health and wellness as a member of the executive committee of Harvard’s Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and other University initiatives.

A graduate of Harvard College, Erika has a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. She is a Massachusetts-licensed teacher (pre-K through 2nd grade) and holds Director certification from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.



Nancy Fincke has been leading Lincoln Nursery School since 1995. She has a Master's Degree in Human Service Administration from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of New Hampshire. Nancy began her career as an occupational therapist working in both independent and public schools. 

Nancy recognizes that an important role for her as a school administrator is to foster relationships among children, parents, and teachers, so that everyone experiences a sense of well being in a democratic community. She believes that the highest quality of education is offered when children, teachers, and parents are engaged in positive interactions.

Nancy is very interested in the organizational dynamics of partnerships, particularly how organizations working together create new possibilities greater than their individual missions.  She was instrumental in developing the partnership between Lincoln Nursery School and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum that began in 2010.



Kris Scopinich is the Education Manager at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.  Working with a team of educators and naturalists, she oversees all on and off-site educational programs for schools, children, families, adults, and general visitors at the sanctuary and off-site in local communities, as well as the Drumlin Farm Day Camp and the Drumlin Farm Community Preschool—a nationally recognized nature and farm-based preschool. Kris teaches science education courses for elementary and middle school teachers and works with school administrators and teachers to develop community-based field science opportunities for students. She and her staff work with over 800 schools throughout the state and partner with several school districts developing curriculum that addresses science education through inquiry-based learning and place-based field studies.

Ms. Scopinich is a current member of the Secretaries’ Advisory Group on Environmental Education and a past president of the New England Environmental Education Alliance, board member of the Farm Based Education Association, and member of Massachusetts Environmental Education Society and North American Association of Environmental Education. Kris has a Master of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.



Joanne Szamreta arrived at Lesley University having worked as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, an education supervisor and a program director of two different early intervention programs for very young children with special needs and their families. With these experiences and more recent experience conducting research, consulting with schools, publishing, and presenting at conferences, Dr. Szamreta integrates this knowledge and experience into her education and psychology courses. With a focus on hands-on activities, field visits and discussions as the centerpieces of her teaching, Dr. Szamreta facilitates students' creating their own knowledge and integrating important theories with practice. In addition, Dr. Szamreta works with a variety of different state agencies on public policy issues and initiatives affecting young children and their families as well as higher education programs.