Author's Posts

Mary Sonnenberg

About the author:

Mary Sonnenberg became the president of the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County in July 2016.

Prior to this, she served on the faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Delaware and as part of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) from 2009 through 2016. Mary was the Deputy Director of Delaware Stars for Early Success, Delaware’s QRIS, and had been the project coordinator for two years for the Nemours project through DIEEC focusing on healthy eating, physical activity, and social-emotional health promotion for the young children in Delaware. She has taught coursework on families and their communities as well as guidance and behavior management and developed teaching strategies and training and technical assistance opportunities for early care and education providers in community-based programs across the state of Delaware. She has presented at state, national, and international conferences on a variety of early childhood topics, including state systems building. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Before moving to Delaware in 2009, Mary was the Director of Center-based and Outreach Services at Sandhills Children’s Center in Southern Pines, NC, for 20 years. Sandhills Children’s Center is a Developmental Day Program serving children birth – 5 years of age with significant developmental disabilities in an inclusive setting. The center has had a 5 Star Rated license since the inception of rated licenses in North Carolina. During her tenure there, Mary was the chair of the Moore and Richmond County Interagency Coordinating Councils and Chair of the Moore County Smart Start Partnership. She was one of the original facilitators of Moore County’s Smart Start proposal.

Prior to her time in North Carolina, Mary was a preschool teacher and program coordinator at Dallas Services for Visually Impaired Children in Dallas, TX, which was also an inclusive program serving children with and without disabilities. Mary began her career as a special education teacher in Warren County, Virginia, starting the first classroom for children with severe/profound disabilities. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate for developmentally appropriate practice and inclusive environments for young children. Mary has an undergraduate degree in special education from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University in special education and administration and supervision. She holds teacher licensure in Texas, North Carolina, and Delaware.

Mary is excited about the opportunity to contribute to high-quality early education programs and support services in Cumberland County, to counties in the region and at the state level through her role as President of the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.

Doing Better for Our Future Starts at Birth 

We have all heard the adage: I want “better” for my children. With 20 years of evidence-based research, the Family Connects... Continue Reading

Data Shows That Our System Continues To Fail Children Who Are Black

I am a white woman who is just a little past middle-aged. I have spent nearly all of my life in... Continue Reading

Empty swing at a playground. Sad dramatic mood for negative themes such as bullying at school, child abuse, pedophilia, traumatic childhood or kidnap. Seesaw in the background. Old retro vintage feel.

Mass shootings and early childhood trauma share a common thread

A recent LA Times article states, “First, the vast majority of mass shooters in our study experienced early childhood trauma and... Continue Reading