Our Leadership Staff
Pyper Davis, Executive Director
As executive director, Pyper Davis is responsible for overall leadership of Educare Washington, DC, including the partnership, policy and funding strategies. Ms. Davis joined Educare DC in September 2014. Previously, she spent more than 10 years as the chief operating officer of The SEED Foundation, where she helped build the nation's only network of public, college-preparatory boarding schools. Prior to joining SEED, Ms. Davis spent nine years in the television business, primarily as an executive with The News Corporation, working in both a strategic and operational capacity in London, New York, Los Angeles and Asia. While at News Corp., she helped create two successful joint ventures in Asia, launched and managed operations for Fox's new cable sports business, Fox Sports Net, and served as president of a cable network, FIT TV. After leaving News Corp., she provided consulting and private equity fundraising for early-stage technology companies as a principal with Katalyst LLC. Ms. Davis started her career as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. She has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She served as a trustee of Princeton University from 2011-2015.
Jamal Berry, School Director
Mr. Jamal Berry joined Educare Washington, DC, as an infant and toddler master teacher and became associate director in 2014. Currently he is serving in the role of school director. He has worked with a variety of age groups as an early childhood educator since beginning his professional career in 2006. As a persistent learner, role model and mentor to aspiring teachers, Mr. Berry is an adamant believer in Fredrick Douglas' quote, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." Mr. Berry earned an Ed.S, Specialist of Education Degree in Leadership and Early Childhood Special Education and an M.A. in education and human development and early childhood education from George Washington University and graduated from Bowie State University with a B.S. in pedology (child and adolescent studies).
Kimberly Cephas, Instructional Coach
Kimberly Cephas comes to Educare with more than 27 years of experience working with children and their families in a variety of educational settings. She holds degrees in human services (B.S.), adult and continuing education (M.Ed.), early care education (M.A.Ed. ECE) and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in early care education. Ms. Cephas began her work with children as a family child care provider and preschool teacher with the Army Child Development Services. After several years of working with the Army Child Development Services, she shifted her work with children and focused on parents. She has taught preschool, served as an education director, lead education specialist with the Child Care Resource and Referral of Metro Atlanta and a state-approved trainer. Ms. Cephas worked with the state of Georgia’s first infant-toddler network as a trainer and consultant to programs. She has also been part of various peer reviews for early learning grants, including the first Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge.
John Charles Dowding, Special Needs Coordinator
John Charles Dowding is currently a member of the leadership staff for Educare Washington, DC, as the special needs coordinator. Mr. Dowding is the only special needs coordinator in the Educare network and one of the few in the child care field. For seven years, Mr. Dowding has been involved in education and advocacy for children. His experience with the special needs population ranges from infant to 21 years old. Furthermore, he has experience working in multiple positions in the special needs realm, from dedicated aide to a special education teacher in institutions such as Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore City. Additionally, Mr. Dowding has worked in Baltimore City schools as a team leader for Read-A-Story/Write-A-Story, supervising future leaders from Goucher College in a program that cultivates reading and writing for children in elementary school. Mr. Dowding has a B.A. in history from Goucher College and will receive an M.A. in special education in May 2017.
Dianna Duckett-Washington, Administrative Manager
Dianna Duckett-Washington is currently a member of the administrative team for Educare Washington, DC, with over 12 years of experience in the area of administrative management. With school operations as her center focus, Ms. Washington has extensive experience with all aspects of administration. Having held positions in public schools, nonprofits and governmental agencies, Ms. Washington has tailored her skills to meet the needs of various organizational models. Since joining Educare DC in May 2012, Ms. Washington has been responsible for coordinating and facilitating school tours, management of school facilities, food service coordination, vendor relations and procurement. She has over 10 years of prior administrative experience with public charter schools in the DC area. Ms. Washington is a native of Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Delaware State University and a M.A. in early childhood administration from the University of the District of Columbia in partnership with the Early Childhood Leadership Institute. She is an active member of the International Association for Administrative Professionals and the National Black Child Development Institute.
Angelo Knox, Sr., Family Engagement Supervisor
Mr. Angelo Knox, Sr., joined Educare Washington, DC, in 2015 as a dedicated public outreach professional with more than nine years experience in overseeing Head Start family service programs. Mr. Knox is experienced in all aspects of program development and management, program implementation, and creating and implementing strategic plans. During his previous tenure within the Baltimore City Head Start system, Mr. Knox developed written program approaches for the delivery of component services to Head Start families. In addition to his rich Head Start experience, Mr. Knox is a published author of a children's book designed to promote and encourage a child's construction of knowledge through passive and interactive learning that is based off the Head Start Performance Standards. Mr. Knox holds a B.S. in psychology and an M.A. in management and leadership.
Talia Newman, Instructional Coach
Ms. Talia Newman joined Educare Washington, DC, in June 2014, as one of the preschool master teachers. She has been in the educational field for 11 years and has worked in various child care centers and elementary schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Prince George's County, Maryland. Ms. Newman has experience working with children from newborns to eighth graders. She has taught, tutored and mentored high school students who aspired to become early childhood educators. Ms. Newman graduated magna cum laude from Towson University where she earned her B.S. in early childhood education, and received her M.Ed. in elementary education from Bowie State University. She plans to model and utilize the best instructional practices in order to promote optimal learning and meaningful professional development for the children and teachers at Educare Washington, DC.
Dawn Smith, Instructional Coach
Dawn N. Smith is a preschool master teacher at Educare Washington, DC, and a member of the Educare Learning Network's Educare Practice Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Educare in April 2012, Ms. Smith worked for the District of Columbia Public Schools where she taught preschool to third grade for more than 14 years. In addition to teaching, her previous professional experience includes parent educator for the Teen Parent-Independent Living Program of the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington. When working for the Student Support Center, Ms. Smith served as a Reading First Literacy Coach. She holds a B.A. in sociology with a minor in education from Xavier University of New Orleans and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from The George Washington University.