Judith Dillard is both an educator and lifelong learner of early childhood education. Having grown up in the Mt. Baker neighborhood in Seattle Washington, Ms. Dillard recounts knowing that she “would become an early childhood educator when she began babysitting in the neighborhood as a teenager.” Ms. Dillard deeply believes that it was her own amazing and natural childhood that taught her the value of living creatively as an educator of young children. As a creative herself, Ms. Dillard has always had a natural curiosity for how children learn and create their own meaning about the world. She was also raised in a family of educators who understood the importance of giving, building and sharing with children and families. It was her family’s modeling and her own experiences as a student of two amazing teachers (Mrs. Kates and Mrs. Mortensen) that encouraged Ms. Dillard to become a primary educator. In her 25+ years working with children and families from diverse cultures and backgrounds, she strives to be a role model, inspired by Loris Malaguzzi’s work in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Embodying the active, strength-based and reciprocal processes of the Reggio Emilia approach to education, Ms. Dillard’s teaching has not only served to strengthen children’s academic achievement but quite literally provides the opportunity for them to learn how to learn! In her words, she is “forever grateful and blessed to be a teacher,” and sees the naming of one the Early Childhood Classrooms at the Cynthia B. Dillard International School in Mpeasem, Ghana as a continuation of that blessing.
Ms. Dillard holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Colorado at Denver (1990). She also holds 2 Washington state teaching endorsements in the areas of Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (1990).
When not teaching, Ms. Dillard enjoys biking, writing, picking berries, practicing and teaching hot yoga, and learning about minimalism and sustainable living.