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Structural change, new leadership announced for WVU Nursery School

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In an effort to elevate early childhood education and expand opportunities for aspiring teachers, the West Virginia University Nursery School is now fully part of the College of Applied Human Sciences with Ashley Martucci, a longtime educator, appointed to serve as the school’s director.

Under the new structure, the curriculum at the nursery school will be aligned with the curriculum and best practices as taught in the School of Education as well as national accreditation standards. Further, aspiring teachers will also receive immersive opportunities in early education without leaving campus.

“I am thrilled the WVU Nursery School will work in concert with not just the School of Education, but will also be a source for other collaborative efforts as we serve our land-grant mission,” CAHS Dean Autumn Tooms Cyprès said. “I believe our youngest students at the nursery school will benefit greatly from having the School of Education as a primary resource, and I believe it will also enhance and support our teacher preparation in the state.”

Martucci has served as a teaching and service associate professor in the School of Education since 2009. Most recently, she was the online program coordinator for the Child Development and Family Studies and the Early Childhood Special Education certification program. Her teaching has focused on early childhood, teacher education, international early childhood programs and arts integration.

“Ashley’s extensive early education knowledge and practice along with her deep care for the WVU Nursery School and the children there makes her the right person at the right time to lead the school,” Cyprès said.

Martucci is active in the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Public Policy forum and involved with programming for the National Association of Early Childhood Educators. She is a two-time recipient of the Laddie Bell Award for Service.

Prior to her time at WVU, she taught pre-kindergarten in public schools in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia for nearly a decade.

“I have been preparing my entire career for an opportunity like this,” Martucci said. “I went to the WVU Nursery School. I worked as an intern there as a WVU student and I sent my children there. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role and have a positive impact on the lives of young students.”

Martucci earned her bachelor’s degree from WVU in 1999 and master’s degree from James Madison University in 2001. She earned her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from WVU in 2009.

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