Teressa Sumrall is in her first year as a faculty member in the Department of Family and Child Studies, where her focus is on early learning and development standards (ELDS). Teressa earned both her B.S. and M.A in Child Development at Appalachian State, while also working in the Lucy Brock Child Development Center.
Following the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education, the Lucy Brock Child Development Center emphasizes learning through doing. The Reggio Emilia Approach’s educational philosophy aligns with the overall mission of Lucy Brock which is, “To sustain and deepen children's learning and development through utilizing their emerging interests.”
Gaining a deep appreciation for the Reggio Emilia Approach, Teressa immersed herself in this model and was able to travel all over the world learning different educational philosophies. She spent time in Melbourne Australia, teaching higher education at Victoria University. While there she developed and instructed courses on inclusive education, developmental studies, advocacy and leadership, administration of early childhood programs, and language and culture. Teressa also spent time in Costa Rica volunteering with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, a non-profit agency that offers services to Nicaraguan refugees in La Carpio.
Before earning her Ph.D, Teressa worked for three years with Migrant Seasonal Head Start (MSHS), a program developed in 1969 that assisted migrant farmworkers and their families. MSHS provides a safe and educational environment for children and their families as they navigate through difficult life events.
For Teressa teaching has always been something she longed to do. She loved school and appreciated the teachers that made a difference in her life. “I can think of no greater joy than sharing my knowledge and passion for teaching and learning with others.”
Education can take you anywhere. For Teressa it has come full circle, beginning as a student at Appalachian State University, traveling around the world, and landing back in Reich College of Education where her dreams began. There is been one constant in her career and that is helping others. Working with those who are in need has provided her with the most fulfillment and we are thrilled to welcome Teressa back.