Early Childhood Education Conference

Conference Committee

PATRICIA CARRUTH, is the Assistant Director at Blessed Lambs Preschool in Charles County, MD.  She has worked at the school for 15 years with the last 6 in the Assistant Director role.  Patricia earned a Master's Degree in Audiology from the University of Maryland and enjoys taking college classes from time to time.  She is married with three sons who are in college and high school.  This is her 6th year serving on the conference committee.


CAROLYN CARTER, is the Director of Good Shepherd Education Center in Waldorf, MD.  She is completing her thirteenth year at Good Shepherd as the Director.  She has over 25 years of experience in the early childhood education field and is looking forward to retirement this year.  She is currently serving on the Charles County Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Charles County Judy Center Steering Committee and actively participates in the BWC Preschool Directors’ Roundtable and the Promise Resource Center’s Directors’ Roundtable.  She and her husband, Rob Carter, have three grown children and three very special grandchildren.  This is her 10th year serving on the conference committee.


JOHNNA PARKER, is the Director of Calvary Center School in Annapolis, MD.   She has worked at the school since 2004, first as kindergarten teacher, then 4's teacher and Director since 2014.  Johnna earned a BS degree in Business Administration from Towson University and MA Degree in Education from Loyola College.  This is her 2nd year on the Conference Committee.  Johnna and her husband have a son and a daughter.


JULIE ROBBINS, is the Director of Blessed Lambs Preschool, La Plata United Methodist Church in Charles County, MD.  She earned a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Maryland. She has 22 years of experience as a Director.  Julie serves as the Facilitator for the Directors Roundtable of the BWCUMC, is a member of the Promise Resource Center Directors Roundtable as well as a member of the Promise Resource Center’s Executive Board and is serving on the Charles County Early Childhood Advisory Council.  She has served on the Conference Committee for the past 10 years.  She is married with two grown children and has three beautiful grandchildren! 


DAMITA ROBINSON, has been serving on the Conference Committee since 2013.  She is the Director at Emmanuel United Methodist Preschool in Laurel (Howard County), Maryland.  This has allowed her the opportunity to pursue her passion for providing an exception first-school experience for young children.  Damita attended Notre Dame of Maryland University earning her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She attended Loyola University Maryland to pursue her graduate studies in Curriculum and Instruction. Her career in education has taken her on a wonderful journey since 2000 from preschool to fifth grade (and most of the grades in between) and now Preschool Director.  She is married with two wonderful boys.  Her free time is spent reading and chauffeuring and she still loves to cut and paste. 


LEAH DENECHAUD TIPTON, BA in History, MAT in Secondary Education, is the Director of St. Matthew’s Early Education Center, St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Bowie.  After 12 years as a middle school English teacher, Leah became active at the EEC as a parent, a board member and eventually the director.  Now a convert to the world of early education, Leah has been the EEC director for 10 years and on the conference planning committee for 6 years.  Leah resides in Bowie with her husband and two children.


CHRISTIN VARE, has a BM in Music Education and a MS in HR Management. She is currently the Assistant Director for St. Matthew's EEC, in Bowie, MD where she also lives with her husband and three of her four children.  Her oldest is in the USMC, stationed at Kaneohe Bay, HI.  She began as a music teacher in Prince George's County, then a classroom teacher and music teacher at the EEC, and now dedicates herself to supporting the talented and hard-working staff at St. Matthew's through her administrative role. This is her first year serving on the conference committee.


KRISTEN WALSH, has a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maine.  She has been the Director of the Rodgers Forge UMC Children's Center in Towson for 25 years.  This will be the 6th UMC Conference she has helped plan.   


VICKIE WHITLEY, has served as Director of Asbury Community Christian Preschool, in Arnold Maryland, since 2002 and as the Director of the before and after school program serving Arnold Elementary students since 2015.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Work.  A native Annapolitan, Vickie has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. She is has been serving on the Conference Committee for 3 years.