Registration     –     Conference Information      –      Workshops      –      Exhibitor/Sponsor 

keynote - scott noyes

Genuinely Caring for Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community

From realistic self-care to authentic care for others, this keynote describes the 5 components of longitudinal happiness.  Forgiveness, flow, gratifications, gratitude, and kindness are the psychological behaviors that influence our comprehensive well-being.  Caring for ourselves and then others allow for a sustainable lifestyle that brings about contentment.

Scott has been professionally working, playing, writing, and talking about children for over forty years. He teaches graduate level courses in “Challenging Behaviors,” “Mentor Pedagogy,” and Perspectives in Leadership” and undergraduate courses in “Positive Discipline.” Scott’s first book “Positive Discipline – That Works!” is in its fourth publishing. His second book, “Intentional Language” was released in the fall of 2003. His newest reader, “This Child is Driving Us Crazy – What Should We Do?” helps adults develop an effective behavior plans for children with feisty behaviors.


Kelly Annelli is the Director of Child Advocacy at Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. For fifteen years, Kelly worked in the field of Early Childhood Education. Before coming to CCADV in 2015, Kelly was the director of a child development center where she was responsible for program oversight, NAEYC accreditation, state licensing, and operational policies related to standards outlined by the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and NAEYC. Kelly is also the Education and Training Lead for the Children’s Center on Family Violence, is the designee for the Governors Taskforce for Justice for Abused Children and an educational consultant for the State of Connecticut. Kelly has her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies and a master’s degree in Human Services with focus Non-Profit Management. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Higher Education and Transformative Learning. In her personal time, she enjoys time with her family, especially watching her son Logan play sports. She currently is the president of Bristol Youth Football and Cheer and is the board secretary for Shoreline Youth Football and Cheer.

Ashton Gauthier joined the Network in April 2023. She is a former 21st CCLC and State After School Grant Program Director with extensive experience working with out-of-school time programs to develop strategies to promote positive learning climates and support all learners’ social and emotional well-being.

Tiana Brown is an Assistant Director for Norwalk Housing Authority Learning Center. As a leader, she supports the program director in daily operations, provides professional development training, shares PD opportunities, and leads our programs’ SEL initiative. Tiana’s background includes being a Therapeutic Support Facilitator for the Bridgeport Board of Education and managing both elementary and middle levels programs. Educational degrees include a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Virginia State University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University. Tiana has a passion for teaching and encouraging others to learn concepts that directly impacts their life.

Kristine Cicchetti is the Regional Director of the Northeast Early Childhood Council (NECC).  Kristine has worked with (NECC) since 2013 and serves as their Regional Director. Kristine brings her Marketing & Business Administration background to the NECC region to organize and sustain an inclusive, collaborative network of stakeholders. Together, they build strategic partnerships, develop strategies, implement actions, and coordinate efforts to promote effective programs and policies to address early childhood education and children’s and families’ social, emotional, and physical health. Kristine provides staff support for the day-to-day operations of this regional early childhood collaborative. She has leveraged vital resources to support the NECC’s mission that all children, birth through age 8, in our seven communities are healthy, safe, and successful learners. Kristine is a UCONN People Empowering People (PEP) facilitator and has coordinated capacity-building opportunities, parent education, and leadership training.

Christine Rosati-Randall is Regional Outreach Coordinator of the Northeast Early Childhood Council (NECC). Christine has worked with (NECC) since 2009 in various roles, from Parent Volunteer to Regional Director. Christine served as a member of the NECC’s Leadership Team in her role as CT State Representative. She became a Certified Parents as Teachers (PAT) Educator during her work as a Home Visitor with Day Kimball Healthcare’s Nurturing Families Network. Christine currently conducts outreach in seven Northeast CT communities, engaging with parents/caregivers, organizations, and businesses. Christine works collaboratively with community partners to facilitate various workshops and parent leadership training and is a Circle of Security (COS) & UCONN People Empowering People (PEP) trained facilitator.

Malissa Griffith has 30 years of experience working in early childhood education including direct work with children and families, curriculum development, advocacy, family engagement, and statewide consulting work with a focus on play. She is the Parent Leadership Academy Director, a Family and Community Engagement Specialist with Sparkler Learning, certified in PAC w/NFSN, a certified LENA Start and Grow Facilitator, and a Master Cadre with the CT Pyramid Model Leadership Team. Malissa has co-collaborated on the implementation of many local and state programs including the Early Childhood PLAY Faire, the CT Parent Leadership Summit Conference, and the co-creation of the CT Office of Early Childhood Parent Cabinet. She sits on various local and state boards including CTAEYC. A seasoned presenter, Malissa has presented at the NAEYC conference, state Parent Café’s, and has been a Facilitator, Panelist and Moderator for multiple Early Childhood Organizations. Malissa believes that through partnerships we can create meaningful experiences that shape a child’s early years. When collaboration happens with families, educators, and stakeholders; honoring true and authentic voice; profound impact can happen.

Emily Diaz has been a home visitor since 2021 and been involved in home visiting since 2018. Emily will be receiving her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of St. Joseph May 2024. Emily is a proud wife, homeowner and mother of a lively brilliant 6 year old. 



Lisa Candels has been involved with home visiting and families for over 35 years. Working in Hartford at Family Life Education and for the last 12 in NW CT at EdAdvance.

Shannon Haney has been working at the Putnam Family Resource Center as a Parent Educator in home visiting for the past 10 years. Utilizing the Conscious Discipline Curriculum, Shannon has been able to strengthen the social and emotional health and development of families through a home visiting model. Shannon presented at the International Parents as Teachers Conference in 2023 and is trained in Circle of Security, People Empowering People and Parents As Teachers. Shannon is a mom of two children, Austin who is 10 and Anna who will be turning 8 this month.

Amanda Michaud is the District Coordinator for the Extended Care & Learning (EXCL) programs for the Farmington Public Schools. She has been with EXCL since 2013 when she was brought on board as a Site Supervisor. Amanda also oversees the EXCL Summer Camp for students in grades K-8. Amanda has over 15 years of experience working in the Afterschool Profession. Along with her work experience, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Lasell College, majoring in Sports Management and minoring in Sports Communication. Amanda also obtained her MBA in 2016 from Southern New Hampshire University.

Connie Rogala is the Early Childhood Coordinator. I have an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Studies, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. I love coming around to each of the classrooms and watching the students learn and grow! When I am not at work I love playing and watching my own two children learn and grow! I have a daughter named Maribelle, who is 4 years old. I have a son named Gregory and he is 11 months. I also have a dog named Mocha. We enjoy the outdoors, camping, and going to the beach!

Christine Nuzzolo has been teaching for 20 years in kindergarten, first, and sixth grade. She is currently a kindergarten teacher in the Enfield School District. In recent years, her focus has been bringing purposeful play back into the classroom through provocations and play scenarios. Christine is part of the teaching staff at Hazardville Memorial School involved in a pilot program with EastConn as well as moving play into 1st grade. Christine can be reached at 


Brianna Beckstrand is the Director of Enfield KITE (Key Initiatives to Early Education), Enfield’s Early Education Collaborative and School Readiness Council. Since stepping into the role in 2020, she has championed KITE’s efforts to promote and implement play in partnership with Enfield Public Schools.

Dr. Peg Oliveira is a child development expert and an activist. Since receiving her doctorate in developmental psychology from Brandeis University, Dr. Oliveira has advocated for fair pay for early childhood educators, child care assistance for working parents and equitable access to high quality education. Peg is currently the founding director of the Gesell Program in Early Childhood at the Yale Child Study Center. Peg navigated the transition of the historic Gesell Institute, a respected nonprofit child advocacy organization since 1950, into the Yale Child Study Center to honor Dr.Arnold Gesell, the founder of the Yale Child Study Center. Prior to her work with Gesell Peg was a Senior Policy Fellow with CT Voices for Children as well as a consultant to the Office of Early Childhood and other child advocacy organizations. Peg is a member the Board of Directors of the Becket Chimney Corners YMCA, and was the founding director of 108 Monkeys, a nonprofit yoga service organization.

Jacquelyn Rose serves as Director of Childhood Prosperity Lab and Deputy Director of the North Hartford Ascend Pipeline in Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health. Jacquelyn holds a master’s degree in public health from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in public health from Southern Connecticut State University.




Annika Anderson is a Childhood Prosperity Lab Program Specialist in Connecticut Children’s Office for Community and Child Health. She holds a masters of public health sciences and a bachelor’s degree in human development & family sciences with a specialization in early childhood from the University of Connecticut.

Rebecca Smith is a Speech and Language Pathologist who has worked in the Birth to Three system for 19 years. She has held various roles including, service coordinator, mentor coach, CoS facilitator, and program director. She has postgraduate certificates in both, Infant Toddler Family Specialist credential, and Early Childhood Leadership Academy. Recently, Rebecca has joined the OEC as the Child Find Coordinator (Education and Outreach) and is responsible for all things related to referrals to the Birth to Three system.

Nicole Cossette serves as the Part C Coordinator for the Connecticut Birth to Three System. In this role, she plays a crucial part in supporting early intervention services for infants and toddlers in Connecticut.  Nicole has been serving as the Part C Coordinator for the Connecticut Birth to Three System since August 2018. Her work involves overseeing and coordinating early intervention services for children from birth to three years old.

Wes Woodson is a mental health advocate who shares his story with Minding Your Mind, a mental health education foundation. He presents in schools and colleges across the country to students, parents and caregivers, and community members with the goal of ending the stigma of mental health challenges, inspiring others to cultivate their compassion, and empowering them to be their own heroes. Wes is active on social media and is excited to be here. He welcomes your questions and the opportunity to know more about you – it all starts with a conversation.