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Our school has worked many years with Jacky as a consultant and trainer.  She is knowledgeable about many topics—leadership, professional development, curriculum, for instance—and is a great resource to us!  She is positive, engaging, insightful and listens well to teachers.  She brings decades of knowledge...and does so with an attitude of respect.  I recommend her highly!!
—James Clay, Former Director, School for Friends


Graciela Semidey, Consultant for azpire, llc, is a bilingual (Spanish-English) education professional that has been working in the field of education for over 30 years. Born in Valencia, Venezuela, Graciela relocated to the United States of America with her husband and two children. Graciela attended Jean Piaget University College in Caracas to obtain her degree in Psychological Pedagogy with a focus on Learning Disabilities. Graciela has worked with a variety of age groups from preschool to high school. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty Member at Montgomery College in their Workforce Development Program where she works with childcare providers and ECE teachers and students. Graciela works as a bilingual Early Childhood Development Consultant in the DC Metro Area. Recently, Graciela previously worked as an Education Coordinator and Early Head Start Program in a bilingual school. Graciela and Jacky have worked together over the last ten years both consulting and presenting workshops. Graciela brings her years of expertise to azspire, llc, along with the ability to consult and deliver sessions in Spanish.

Jacky Howell, Early Childhood Education Consultant and owner of azspire, llc,  has over 45 years experience working with young children, families and programs providing quality early care and education in many different roles including early childhood teacher, administrator, trainer, coach and technical assistant. She has over 35 years experience as a course instructor and presenter on topics related to early childhood development and curriculum. Jacky has worked extensively as a technical assistant and mentor to early childhood teachers in the District of Columbia for the past eleven years. In addition, Jacky has been a speaker and a keynoter at local, national, and international conferences, including NAEYC’s Annual Conference and Professional Development Conference, PACT, MCPPNS, MAESA and AEYC's throughout the country as well as overseas. Jacky has published in several early childhood journals and wrote a column for NAEYC’s journal, Teaching Young Children. NAEYC recently published the book she co-authored, Rituals and Traditions: Fostering a Sense of Community in Preschool. Jacky currently works with a variety of ece programs in the DC-Metro area as a consultant, coach, and workshop facilitator.  Her current passions include teaching on kindness and empathy, building classroom community and women in sports plus much more!