About Us

Make a Difference

We are making a difference in the lives of children by:

  • Forming collaborative relationships with all important players in a child’s academic life
  • Providing extensive expertise in the field of appropriate early childhood curriculum and planning
  • Helping fellow educators to motivate children
  • Partnering with local schools and universities as mentors in professional development

Meet Our Team

Jamie Morrison Ward

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Jamie Morrison Ward is the owner of Curricula Concepts, Inc.  She earned her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and Master’s in Reading from the University of Central Arkansas. Jamie has over 20 years of experience in early care and education in a variety of roles- Head Start teacher and center director, Arkansas Better Chance Program Administrator for the AR Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, Adjunct Instructor for AR State University-Beebe and University of Central Arkansas.

Currently, her focus is on training early educators and caregivers on the importance of engaging families of young children. And, she has aligned her personal passion around health and wellness with her professional work with early educators and families. Jamie is called upon to provide consulting in all aspects of early care and education. She is a consultant for Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families.  Jamie has partnered with many organizations to complete work related to family engagement and other aspects of early education: Council of Chief State School Officers, AR Head Start State Collaboration Office, University of Arkansas-Early Care and Education Projects, Arkansas Children’s Hospital,  UAMS-Department of Family and Preventive Medicine/Research and Evaluation Division, and Nemours Children’s Health System to name a few.

Jamie has presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences. She is the President of the Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health, Past President and Policy Chair of the AR Early Childhood Association, and a current member of the following organizations/associations:  Arkansas State Parent Advisory Council, AR Equity Leaders Action Network, AR State Professional Development Steering Committee, Southern Early Childhood Association, and National Association of Early Childhood State Specialists. For self-care, she enjoys walking her dog, Lucy, and CrossFit!

Deborah Blackburn

Program Coordinator
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Deborah joined Curricula Concepts, Inc. in 2014 as the Program Coordinator. Prior to Curricula Concepts, she served in a multitude of positions with the Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education and was a Curriculum Coordinator for a developmental preschool. Deborah has almost two decades of experience in the early childhood field and has served as the AECA Vice President of Communications.

She is on the Children’s Council at Cabot United Methodist Church. Deborah lives in Sherwood with her husband and two daughters. In her personal time, she loves to read and might be a Pinterest junkie.

Amy Routt

Program Coordinator
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Amy joined Curricula Concepts in 2017 and is excited to be a part of this amazing team.  She started in the early childhood field 26 years ago working in a toddler room while in college.  That has led to a variety of experiences working with children.  She has a degree in Early Childhood Education, P-4 from The University of Central Arkansas and has been blessed to use that in many ways.  She had a preschool in her home when her children were young which she absolutely loved.  She has worked with the public school systems and most recently has spent the last 4 years working for AETN as the Early Childhood Education Coordinator.

Most of her adult career has been spent pursuing her other passion, which is health and wellness.  Amy spent 14 years at Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center as the Program Coordinator.  She ran the group exercise program, personal training and community outreach events.  She also spent many years assisting local schools to develop before and after school physical activity programs for the children and helped classroom teachers find more ways to integrate physical activity in to their daily routines.  She currently serves as the Chair for the Early Childhood and Schools Workgroup for Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, ArCOP, as well as other Early Childhood Obesity prevention advocacy work.

Amy has been married for 23 years to a stellar guy and has three amazing children.  She has one daughter in college in Utah, pursuing a career in Communications with an emphasis in PR and Marketing.  Her middle daughter will attend UCA in the fall, tackling a Mathematics degree and doing the STEM Teach program, and her son, the baby of the family, will enter high school next year and loves music, tennis and books.

Amy’s personal hobbies include loving her family, loving to exercise and teach others about health and wellness.  She loves to bake, garden and dream big.

She is looking forward to getting to share her love of family and love of education with all of you.

Sarah Paul
Program Coordinator
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Sarah truly has a passion for people. She spent the last 3 years as a Family Service Manager in a preschool program for low-income families. Her knowledge of poverty and the social service field bring a unique perspective to our team!

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Social Work. She serves as a volunteer advocate for the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County and is active with the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She is a credentialed Family Service Worker and a member of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association.

When she is not working this Fayetteville native loves strolling through the farmer’s market in downtown and traveling to national parks with her family. She is mother to an energetic, sport loving seven year old.

Trish Anderson
Trainer and Facilitator
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Trish Anderson graduated from the UALR with a BS in Education. After years of holding a key state office position with the Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters (HIPPY), Trish retired in 2014. In retirement, she continues to advocate for early childhood education with the same level of dedication and passion and brings with her all the knowledge and skills she acquired with HIPPY. Currently, Trish works independently as a trainer and consultant in the early childhood field. She continues to present workshops on parent, child, and caregiver interaction at the local, state, and national level. Trish is an active member of the Southern Early Childhood Association and the Arkansas Early Childhood Association. Trish enjoys spending as much time as possible with her twin grandsons!

Crystal Whittington
Trainer and Facilitator
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Dr. Crystal Whittington has worked in the field of early child development and education over 15 years. She has served families in settings that include early childhood classrooms, hospitals, foster care, and children with medical and special needs. She has worked on the development of trainings offered around the state and served as a consultant for multiple programs. Dr. Whittington also taught in higher education for 9 years before returning to her passion of working with children and with direct providers. She maintains certifications including: Certified Family Life Educator, Certified Child Life Specialist, Certified in Family Consumer Sciences Human Development, and Certified Educator of Infant Massage. She is also the pediatric liaison for Dear Diagnosis.

She has been a trainer in the state for Pre-K ELLA, Pre-K Math and Science, Pre-K Social and Emotional Development, Strengthening Families, Cradling Literacy, Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, the Growing Brain and more. In addition to her work with Curricula Concepts, Dr. Whittington consults for the University of Arkansas Early Care and Education Projects. She has a passion for infant mental health, family-centered care, and serving children in crisis.

She loves children’s literature, writing poetry, and creating art quilts. Her three lively children keep her on her toes!

She can’t wait to share her passions with you all!