About us

Our Mission & Vision

At the Heart of Teaching, Learning, & Leadership's unwavering commitment is to empower educators with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to positively impact the lives of children and their families to shape the future of education. We believe every child and family deserves access to a high-quality education founded on intentional relationships and connections. We believe the key to achieving this vision lies in educators' and families' continuous growth and development.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive professional learning solutions that elevate educators' capacity, foster innovation in teaching, and ultimately enhance the educational experience for children and families. We are dedicated to supporting educators at every stage of their careers, from aspiring teachers to seasoned professionals across all educational settings.


Our Core Values drive us to:

Inspire Excellence: We inspire educators to reach their highest potential by offering cutting-edge, research-based training programs and resources that promote excellence in teaching and leadership.

Foster Collaboration: We cultivate a collaborative community of educators where knowledge sharing, networking, and the exchange of best practices thrive while fostering a supportive environment for growth for all.

Promote Equity: We champion educational equity and diversity. We work tirelessly to ensure all educators have equal access to resources and opportunities to create inclusive learning environments.

Advocate for Children: Our ultimate goal is to improve children's and families' educational outcomes and well-being. We advocate for policies and practices prioritizing every child and family's holistic development and success.

We are committed to being a trusted partner in the educational journey, continuously evolving to meet the growing needs of educators, children, and families. Together, we strive to transform education for the betterment of children, families, and society."

Meet Melissa, CEO

Our founder, Melissa Williamson, EdD, CTP, is a faculty member at The University of Texas at San Antonio and the founder and CEO of At the Heart of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. She earned her doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Abilene Christian University. Melissa possesses an extensive career in leadership, family engagement, trauma-informed practices, and birth - 3rd grade education. She was awarded the Susan Hargrove Trainer of the Year from the San Antonio Association for the Education of Young Children.

As part of your community advocacy, she is a master trainer for the Community Resilience Initiative, and co-chairs the Early Care and Education Sector of the South Texas Trauma-Informed Care Consortium. In addition, Melissa is a certified trainer for Devereux Adult Resilience and Maxwell Leadership. She also possesses the Maxwell DISC Trainer certification.

Hear role as an early childhood expert and leadership coach has extended across the globe. Melissa has provided content to school districts, Head Start programs, and industry leaders outside of education. Melissa's breadth of knowledge in education supports her ability to connect with education leaders when facilitating professional growth opportunities. Her facilitation style is grounded in adult learning principles that focus on developing individuals using a strengths-based growth opportunity model. In addition, her experience is broadened by servicing as a content expert, keynote speaker, consultant, and professional learning facilitator.

  • Emily Williamson, Program Manager

    With a B.A. in Sociology & Psychology, Emily has been dedicated to the well-being and empowerment of children and families for over 12 years with extensive experience in social services, education, and mental health. Her passion lies in working with students labeled "behaviorally challenged," where she has witnessed the transformative impact that dedicated support, connection, and understanding can have on their lives. Having navigated through different facets of the field, her experience spans across a spectrum of needs and backgrounds, allowing her to tailor her approach to the individual needs of each child and family. Her commitment to fostering the holistic well-being of children and families and creating opportunities for growth has been a driving force in her career. 

  • Mia Mendieta, Program Assistant

    Currently pursuing her associates degree at JuCo, Mia is driven by a passion for education and continual growth. Her enthusiasm for learning extends beyond her current role, as she has set her sights on advancing her education further next fall at Tarleton State University focusing on Agricultural Communications. She plays an integral role as a Program Assistant for At The Heart, contributing her organizational skills and proactive mindset to ensure the smooth execution of various projects and initiatives. Known for her approachability and eagerness to assist others, she is always available to lend a helping hand, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment!

  • Sherry Palmer, Consultant

    She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Wayland Baptist University, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and has completed EdD coursework in Educational Leadership at the University of Wyoming. In her 42 years of experience in education, she has a diverse background including teaching, high school preparation, and teacher prep at multiple universities. In addition to her teaching roles she has also served as a principal, a professional development specialist, and a US Department of Education grant manager. Sherry is a consultant to ATH to assist with supporting educators across the nation.

  • Martin Silverman, Course Author & Consultant

    He is a father, grandfather, husband, and long-time educator in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. Marty is committed to providing the best educational experience for his students and families. Martin has worked as a teacher and administrator in urban, suburban, and rural districts.  His interests are creating and nurturing school culture, providing enriching experiences for students and families, and developing future teachers and administrators. As a former bilingual teacher and
    administrator,  Martin is committed to providing ELL students with quality programs to develop their unique skills.  He hosts a podcast called The Second Question, which highlights educators and provides them a forum to discuss ideas
    and honor the teachers who have influenced their lives.

  • Megan Stanley, Course Author & Consultant

    Megan Stanley graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education. She received a master’s degree in School Counseling with a Principal Certification from Angelo State University. Over the last 15 years, she has served in a Texas school district as both a General Education and Special Education teacher, Special Education Counselor, Special Programs Instructional Coordinator, and currently is a Director of Special Education. She is passionate about serving and supporting children with disabilities and their families. She is also committed to serving children who have experienced trauma both professionally and as a foster/adoptive family.

  • Alyssa Williamson, Program Administrator & Media Manager

    Holding a Bachelor's degree in Education, Alyssa's journey in the media realm has been marked by a dedication to merging the worlds of technology, communication, and learning. With experience in web development, social media management, and various administrative tasks, Alyssa has honed her skills in content creation, online community building, and digital marketing. Her proficiency extends to overseeing web projects, managing social media campaigns, and executing administrative duties with precision and creativity.

    For personal inquiries, please contact designsbylyss8@gmail.com.

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Team of 12 Professional Development Experts

Our team collectively possess over 300 years in early childhood and elementary education, classroom coaching, and organizational leadership experience. Our team is dedicated to delivering comprehensive and impactful educational strategies, drawing from their extensive knowledge in pedagogy, curriculum development, and effective teaching and leadership methodologies. We bring a wealth of expertise to create dynamic and innovative educational strategies tailored to meet evolving needs in the field.