Early Childhood Education


WPCC Early Childhood Education Faculty

Kasey Gardner, Program Coordinator

e-mail: kgardner@wpcc.edu

Photo of Kasey Gardner

Kasey Gardner & Family with Her Sister

Hi! My name is Kasey Gardner and I am excited to begin my new journey as the Early Childhood Coordinator at WPCC. Most currently, I was the Exceptional Children’s Preschool Coordinator for Burke County Public Schools. My career began over 20 years ago with preschool students in the school system. I have also been an Adjunct Instructor with WPCC for the past three years. It has been an honor to share my experiences and knowledge with adult learners. My degrees in Psychology and B-K are from Appalachian State and Western Carolina. I received my Master’s Degree in B-K education from East Carolina University. I am married to a fellow educator and have two boys. They keep me very busy with sports! In my spare time I enjoy going to the movies and on family vacations.

My road to early childhood began with the birth of my sister when I was 17 years old. Having a baby/toddler at home during college opened my eyes to a field I had not thought about previously. My career began in Head Start as a Transition Coordinator and then I found my true calling as a Prek teacher in a Developmental Day classroom that was 50/50 children with and without disabilities. My passion is with preschool age children and my heart is with the children and families in the exceptional children’s program. Early intervention is the key to later success in life and school. Preschool children are excited to learn and explore through play and their senses. Early childhood education is vital to becoming a lifelong learner.

Paige Ziegler

e-mail: pziegler@wpcc.edu

Photo of Paige Ziegler with her familyMy name is Paige Ziegler and I am excited to begin my new adventure as an Adjunct Instructor at WPCC. My career in education started over 25 years ago working with preschool age students. I recently retired from McDowell County Schools, where I served as the Exceptional Children’s Preschool Coordinator and NCPreK Contract Administrator. As a student myself, I earned a degree in Human Resources from Gardner Webb and a Master’s Degree in B-K education from Lenoir Rhyne. My husband and I love to fish, camp, kayak, travel and spend time with our two daughters and our first grandchild.

During my career, I have enjoyed having the honor of teaching children and building relationships with their families. I have watched many former preschool students throughout their school careers and witnessed the importance of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education is truly the foundation of a lifelong learning career and I’m very excited to teach the next generation of Early Childhood Teachers and Leaders.

“If we succeed in giving the love of learning, the learning itself is sure to follow.”
— John Lubbock

Paula Arrowood

e-mail: parrowood@wpcc.edu

Photo of Paula Arrowood with her Children

Paula Arrowood with Family

My name is Paula Arrowood. I have two teenage children, one in high school and the other in middle school. Needless to say, the majority of my “non-working” hours are spent driving them to and from their countless social events and supporting their love of sports (basketball, cheerleading, and soccer). When possible, I enjoy reading and spending time with friends. I have family on the coast, so I also enjoy getaways to the beach as often as possible!

My journey in the field of education began over twenty years ago as a first grade teacher in Burke County. After only a few years of teaching, I developed a love of literacy instruction, especially with struggling readers. It was this love that prompted my completion of a Master’s Degree in Reading Education and Learning Disabilities. During my years as an elementary teacher, I taught first, second, and fifth grades, and after obtaining National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist, I was asked to give preschool special education a try. While I immediately fell in love with preschool-aged children, the teaching position was well out of my comfort zone! I quickly began reading and researching about instruction and development in the early years and attending as much professional development as possible, ultimately gaining my Birth-to-Kindergarten Certification. Since first entering this arena, I have worked in a variety of roles across several different settings. My current position is Preschool Instructional Facilitator for Caldwell County Schools. In this role, I as regularly serve as a district trainer, SEFEL coach, peer evaluator, ECERS-R coach, Autism evaluator and provider of general, on-going teacher support, for both school and community-based classrooms. I still carry my love of literacy instruction and feel strongly about empowering young children to see themselves as readers and writers. Early childhood education has become what I anticipate to be a life-long passion, and I am so excited about the opportunity to inspire other adults who are just beginning their teaching journey!

Find Your Way at WPCC!