Early Childhood Education & Care.

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Davenia Lea

From the moment I began my first part-time job as a teacher’s assistant in a church operated daycare center, I knew that I had a passion to work with young children.  That job led me on a journey to study early childhood special education as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park and to then work as an early interventionist, working with children, birth-age three, who had varying disabilities for Prince Georges County Public Schools (MD). I absolutely loved empowering the families of these young children as well as working to assist each child meet developmentally appropriate milestones. Every day was an adventure as I coordinated parent support groups, toddler groups, assessed children, made home visits and assisted to transition children into school-based programs.

While I loved working directly with the children and their families, I also enjoyed serving as a mentor for new teachers as well as for pre-service teachers. This lead to my pursuit of obtaining a doctorate degree in early childhood special education; which then provided me the opportunity to work in higher education.  I have worked at Bowie State University as well as Towson University where I served as an Assistant Professor in both special education and early childhood education. I taught classes, advised students, supervised interns, and published. In 2007, I joined the team at Washington Adventist University (formerly Columbia Union College), where I had the opportunity to serve as the Director of Field Experiences for one year and the Chair of the Education Department for 2 years.  My colleagues and I experienced tremendous growth as we forged partnerships with local public school systems; enhanced our internship experiences within our Seventh-day Adventist partner schools; began to develop online education courses; and we also benefited from grant funding in excess of one million dollars for our early childhood education program.  I also had the pleasure of serving as the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) for one year.  I had the privilege of working to establish governing policies and procedures, developing an online campus, growing the school with the addition of new graduate programs, and creating and establishing a shared governance and collaboration amongst the academic and support departments across campus.

As I continue my work in the vineyard of education, it is my desire to maintain the awesome work on behalf of God’s children as I currently serve as the Associate Director of Early Childhood Education for the North American Division, Office of Education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

One of my favorite bible texts is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”. And it is with this promise that I face each day with excitement, expectancy, and hope. God has blessed me richly professionally as well as personally, giving me a wonderful husband, Derrick, and two beautiful children, Jonathan and Morgan.

I believe that God has situated me “for such a time as this” to further make a difference in the lives of young children and I will continue to be His faithful and obedient servant.