Primrose Schools® Welcomes New Members to Early Learning Council

Additional members bring unique early education expertise from the music and human development fields

ATLANTA (May 15, 2019) – Primrose Schools, a high-quality early education and care provider, has announced the addition of two additional experts to the Primrose Early Learning Council: Dr. Jennifer Sutton McDonel of Radford University and Dr. Meg Small of Penn State University.

As part of the Primrose Early Learning Council, Dr. McDonel and Dr. Small will join ten education and child development experts from across the country in improving and enhancing Primrose’s unique Balanced Learning® approach. Members also serve as informed advisors to Primrose Schools on issues that impact children, families, staff and school communities.

“Dr. McDonel and Dr. Small bring over 50 years of combined early education and child development experience to the Primrose Early Learning Council,” said Dr. Gloria Julius, vice president of early childhood education for Primrose Schools. “Their deep understanding of the importance of the first five years will help Primrose continue to provide children and families with an early learning experience rooted in the latest research and early education philosophies.”

About Dr. Jennifer Sutton McDonel

Dr. Jennifer Sutton McDonel is an assistant professor of music and director of music education at Radford University. She is also a faculty member and former executive director of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.

Throughout her career, Dr. McDonel’s teaching and research has spanned across all ages, with a specific focus on the impact of early childhood music learning on children’s overall development. Dr. McDonel holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. McDonel will counsel Primrose Schools on the role music plays in early childhood development and how to further integrate music into its Balanced Learning curriculum.

About Dr. Meg Small

Dr. Meg Small is an assistant research professor and director for social innovation at Penn State University’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. She is also director of the university’s Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab.

With two decades of experience in the prevention research field, Dr. Small’s work is focused on using research to create programs and inform policies that promote the health and well-being of children and families. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health and human development from Penn State University, a master’s degree in community health at the University of Alabama and a doctorate degree in community and public health from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Small will advise on how health and well-being can improve the lives of Primrose children and parents.

Primrose Early Learning Council Members

Following today’s announcement, the Primrose Early Learning Council members are:

    • Dr. Kathy Trundle, Utah State University
    • Dr. Carol Donovan, University of Alabama
    • Dr. Anna Hall, Clemson University
    • Dr. Sandra Linder, Clemson University
    • Dr. Stephen Sanders, University of South Florida (retired)
    • Dr. Laura Jana, Penn State University
    • Dr. Nicol Swoszowski, University of Alabama
    • Dr. Robert Needlman, Case Western University
    • Dr. Douglas Bell, Kennesaw State University
    • Dr. Mary Zurn, University of Georgia (retired)
    • Dr. Meg Small, Penn State University
    • Dr. Jennifer Sutton McDonel, Radford University


About Primrose Schools®
Primrose Schools is the leader in providing premier early education and care to children and families in the United States. Founded in 1982, there are nearly 400 Primrose schools in 29 states today. Each school is independently owned and operated by Franchise Owners who work together with parents to help children build the right foundation for future learning and life. Primrose believes who children become is as important as what they know. The Primrose-exclusive Balanced Learning® approach is created from the best early education wisdom and balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence and compassion. For more information, visit, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, explore our blog, sign up for our Pointers for Parents emails and find a Primrose school near you.

Image of Meg Small and Jennifer McDonel of Primrose school's Early Learning Council