Meet Our Staff
Susan Lyon, Ed.D is the founder of The Innovative Teacher Project in collaboration with the School of Education at Mills College. She is the author of numerous articles and has lectured extensively on various topics related to early childhood education.
Susan's interest in the Reggio Emilia began in 1993 when she brought "The Hundred Languages of Children" exhibit from Reggio Emilia, Italy, to California's Bay Area. The exhibit currently travels worldwide and features the expressive world of children. It was also the catalyst for Susan's ongoing interest in this innovative and respectful approach to educating children.
Susan's teaching experience includes 15 years of preschool through second grade along with several years as a professor in the Education Departments of Dominican University and Mills College. At Mills, she was a scholar at the Women's Leadership Institute where her research focused on international perspectives of early childhood education. After teaching, Susan decided to create her own educational foundation in order to direct contributions to the field of early childhood education.
Susan is one of the founders and a past co-chair of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA), which works to promote the quality of early childhood education. Her advocacy of preschool education is reflected by her unwavering commitment to the educational community. She has served as board treasurer of S.F.A.E.Y.C. and as a member of the Bay Area Early Childhood Funders. Under Susan's direction, a five-year pilot project integrating the Reggio approach at the Presidio Child Development Center in San Francisco was established.
Susan's articles have appeared in journals including: Child Care Information Exchange and Innovations in Early Education. Susan has presented at CAEYC (1996-2005), NAEYC (1996-2005) and the World Forum on Early Care in Education (2003/2004) and has produced a video, "The Hundred Languages of Children," which is distributed worldwide.
Susan is currently writing a book on the subject of professional development in early childhood education.
Heather is the new executive director of The Innovative Teacher Project.
Heather has nearly 20 years of experience working with teachers, families, and children in the Bay Area. Heather focused on a reflective, responsive, and collaborative approach in her work as the Executive Director of GeoKids for eleven years. Starting in the summer of 2016, she began serving at the Executive Director of Holy Family Day Home which serves homeless and low income families in the heart of the Mission District in San Francisco.
Heather has presented various workshops all over the country and has worked closely with the Innovative Teacher Project for the past ten years. Heather has traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy, as a part of the Spring 2006, 2008, and 2015 delegations that were organized by Reggio Children.