Gesell Staff

Peg Oliveira, PhD

Executive Director

Dr. Peg Oliveira is a child development expert and an activist. Since receiving her doctorate in developmental psychology from Brandeis University, Dr. Oliveira has advocated for fair pay for early childhood educators, child care assistance for working parents and equitable access to high quality education.

Peg is a member the Board of Directors of the Becket Chimney Corners YMCA, and serves as founding director of 108 Monkeys, a yoga service organization.

Click here to view Peg's CV

What have you enjoyed most about working at Gesell?

“Growing! I have learned so much from my colleagues here at Gesell. In my time here I have learned a great deal about how to connect with kids, how to imagine their intentions, understand their motivations, and empathize with their impeccable choices.”

How have you seen Gesell’s theory of child development at work in your own life?

“When my daughter Willow was finishing Kindergarten we were told that, unlike her peers, she was not falling in love with reading. It was suggested that some encouragement might be useful over the summer break. So, as a family we went swimming, crab catching, sea shell gathering, mountain climbing and camping. At some point during these excursions, I found her one rainy afternoon holed up in a blanket fort. She was reading The Trumpet of the Swan, a book I had read to her numerous times before. Dr. Arnold Gesell encouraged us to see each child as a unique being, and to allow them to find their own path & pace through the rituals of child development. Keeping this in mind allowed me to get out of the way, to put my own anxieties on the shelf and allow my daughter the space to find the deep connection she now has with story.”


Dominique O'Connell

Education Program Coordinator

Bailey Bunch

National Lecture Staff - California
Sally Coleman Keller, MAT

National Lecture Staff - Michigan
Cecilia Locke, MAC, LPC

National Lecture Staff - Texas

Cecilia Locke holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Counseling degrees from St. Edward's University in Austin TX.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and completed a Montessori Teaching Certification.  She has worked in the educational field for over 30 years; 20 in Early Childhood.  She is retired from a private school where she worked as the Director of Students Support Services.  In this role she worked with children in Pre-K 3 through 8th grade who needed guidance in order to be successful in school.

Cecilia was introduced to Gesell in 1999, attending her first GDO-R workshop in Grapevine, Texas. Cecilia subsequently joined the National Lecture Staff in 2015. Over her many years using the Gesell Assessment System she is convinced of the value of a tool to help in placing children with their developmental peer group.  She is fond of saying, “Viewing children through a developmental lens is life changing, it provides insight into developmentally appropriate behavior and academic expectations  for each child in your care.”

Cheryl Wolfe

National Lecture Staff - North Carolina