Christie Colunga is the Early Childhood Education Program Director and residential faculty at Paradise Valley Community College. Christie’s teaching career includes valuable experiences in many and varied settings from preschool through high school. Her college teaching includes studies of the visual arts, pedagogical documentation, designing environments, and developing emergent curriculum.
In the last ten years she has written for and been awarded over 4.5 million dollars in grant-funding to design and implement professional development for the local early childhood education community. As such she has co-constructed professional development experiences with local, national, and international leaders such as Dr. Gigi Schroeder Yu, Dr. Lella Gandini, Tiziana Filippini, Dr. Peter Moss, and programs such as Tucson Children’s Project, Childsplay, and the Musical Instrument Museum.
She is the co-founder of the Valley of the Sun Children’s Initiative, a grass roots organization committed to supporting educators interested in studying the Reggio Emilia Approach and is a peer reviewer for the North American Reggio Emilia Association journal, Innovations.
Christie has a Master’s in Education degree from Arizona State University and a post-graduate certificate in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. At Pacific Oaks College she was fortunate enough to study with Louise Derman-Sparks, author, researcher, and advocate of culturally relevant anti-bias approaches to teaching young children. She has studied early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand, British Columbia Canada and Reggio Emilia, Italy and brings an international perspective to her work.
She appreciates the support and recognition she has received from the college community and is the proud recipient of the 2018 Dr. Mary Lou Mosley Employee Excellence Award and one of Paradise Valley Community College's recipients for the League for Innovation 2019/2020 Employee Excellence Awards.