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CLASS Community Advisory Board


 Meet the members 

lacava.jpgLuAnn LaCava

Head Start Readiness Coach, Mid Florida Community Services Inc. 

Contact: llacava@mfcs.us.com

Ask LuAnn about:

  • Coaching teachers
  • Why she calls her current role her "dream job" 

Originally from Michigan, LuAnn relocated to Florida in 1985 to attend the University of South Florida. She has been active in the early childhood profession for the past 28 years. LuAnn spent the first part of her career in the classroom as a pre-K teacher. She is currently active at the local and state levels where she delivers professional development. She spent eight years as a curriculum specialist and is currently a Head Start school readiness coach for Mid Florida Community Services, Inc., serving three counties in Florida.

She has been married to her husband, James, for almost 29 years. LuAnn and James have two amazing daughters, Olivia and Julia; their family also includes two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lily and Beau.

CLASS Certifications:

  • Observer (Toddler and Pre-K)
  • Trainer (Toddler and Pre-K)
  • MMCI Instructor


Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 12.56.33 PM.pngDiana Lloyd

Manager with the Technical Assistance Dept, Child Care Services in Durham, NC

Contact: dianal@childcareservices.org

Ask Diana about:

  • Adult learning strategies
  • Generating CLASS buy-in across organizational levels


Diana Lloyd currently serves as manager with the technical assistance department at Child Care Services Association in Durham, NC. In the late 1980’s, Diana entered the profession as a preschool teacher with an NAEYC accredited program in Durham, NC. Since then, she has given more than 25 years of service to early care and education which include serving as faculty with Lenoir Community College’s Early Childhood Department, executive director with the Martin-Pitt Partnership for Children, executive director with the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, and director for North Carolina’s T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood Project.

Diana is a Chapel Hill native and holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.S. Degree in Child Development with a concentration in adult education from East Carolina University. Diana resides with her family in Raleigh, NC. In her personal time, she enjoys yoga, traveling to the coast, and dining at local restaurants.

CLASS Certifications

  • Observer (Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K)
  • Trainer (Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K)
  • MMCI Instructor

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 1.04.23 PM.pngPaula Polito

Owner/Director, Beary Cherry Tree Child Care Center in Greater New Orleans

Contact: paulampolito@gmail.com

Ask Paula about:

  • Running a successful child care center 
  • Serving on Early Childhood boards

Paula Polito has been in the child care industry for over 23 years working in a variety of capacities, primarily as the owner/director of a five star quality child care center in the Greater New Orleans area. Mrs. Polito received an undergraduate degree in Marketing and went on to earn her Masters in Business from the University of New Orleans. Her experience in the child care field coupled with her Masters in Business Administration has allowed Paula to run one of the largest, high quality child care centers in the Greater New Orleans area. Mrs. Polito currently serves as the chair of the Early Childhood Advisory Board for the Louisiana Department of Education, education chair for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, and is on the Core Leadership team for the Jefferson Parish Early Childhood Collaborative. Paula's child care center was recently selected for the Woman Owned Business of the Year Award by the Jefferson Chamber. 

CLASS Certifications:

  • Observer (Toddler and Pre-K)
  • Trainer (Toddler and Pre-K)
  • MMCI Instructor
  • MTP Coach


Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 1.09.48 PM.pngDr. Angela Searcy

Owner/Founder, Simple Solutions Educational Services in Frankfurt, IL

Contact: asearcya@aol.com

Ask Angela about:

  • Her research around brain-based learning as assessed by CLASS
  • Weaving CLASS strategies into various curricula

Angela Searcy holds a B.A. degree and teacher certifications in English and secondary education, a M.S. degree in early childhood development from the Erikson Institute, and a Doctorate of Education. Her research centers around brain-based learning as assessed by the CLASS and aggressive behaviors in Head Start preschool children in Illinois. Angela has over 25 years of experience at all levels of education and is currently an adjunct online faculty and continuing education instructor at Erikson Institute, a professional development provider at Teaching Strategies LLC, and the owner and founder of Simple Solutions Educational Services a professional development company.

CLASS Certifications

  • Observer (Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K)
  • Trainer (Pre-K)


Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 1.14.50 PM.pngTara Skiles

Manager of Professional Development, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Contact: tara.skiles@ece.alabama.gov

Ask Tara about:

  • Professional Development implementation planning
  • Creative ways to engage coaches and teachers

Tara Skiles has over 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. She has served in many roles from classroom teacher, coach, and trainer to her most recent role as manager of professional development for the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education.

Tara's work in a variety of settings--such as public school, private childcare, and Head Start programs--allows her a diverse perspective on early childhood programs in Alabama. Tara is passionate about ensuring early childhood teachers receive the highest level of support needed to positively impact high quality instruction and engagement.

CLASS Certifications

  • Observer (Pre-K and K-3)
  • Trainer (Pre-K) 

About the CLASS Advisory Community Board

The CLASS Advisory Community Board is a group of CLASS champions that helps Teachstone determine the priorities and direction for growing and supporting the greater CLASS Community. Community Board members have several commonalities: they all have some kind of CLASS credential, actively deliver training or coaching, possess years of experience using CLASS, and consistently demonstrate CLASS advocacy. Members represent diversity across the field of early childhood education, including geographic representation, areas of childhood development expertise, and business/program affiliations.  

Board members are CLASS champions who view Teachstone as a valuable partner in creating better outcomes for children. They consistently seek opportunities to develop CLASS awareness and buy-in across the educational landscape and build relationships with other CLASS advocates in the field. Look for them in the field as they conduct local trainings, deliver conference presentations, write for the Teachstone blog, and interact with the online CLASS Community. 

 join the CLASS community