Shaneil “P.J.” Yarbrough

Early Childhood Trainer Manager, University of Arkansas

Shaneil is affectionately known as “P.J.,” short for her nickname, Precious Jewel. She received a Bachelor of Science with a major in elementary education and a minor in early childhood education from Southern Arkansas University. Her professional career spans over twenty years within the education field, with children at the heart of her work. She is intentional about striving for effectiveness, empathy and equality for all children and her colleagues.

Yarbrough initially worked as an elementary classroom and an instructional resource teacher for literacy and math. Her love for early education was ignited during her time with Families and Children Together Inc. While there, she was an education manager and the Arkansas Better Chance coordinator.

A dedicated focus on supporting early childhood professionals began during her time at Arkansas State University – Childhood Services. Her roles included serving on the curriculum team, being a technical assistance consultant, training facilitator, Arkansas Better Beginnings specialist, and certified and reliable assessor of the Program Administration and the Early Childhood Environment rating scales.

Currently, she is the Early Childhood Trainer Manager with the University of Arkansas Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP). She leads a team of Early Childhood Trainers who facilitate professional development curricula within the early childhood field, presenting and teaching ECEP courses to participants and coaching early childhood professionals across Arkansas.

Volunteer involvement includes past service as the vice president of the El Dorado School District and membership on the Excel by Eight Leadership Team, C.I.R.C.L.E. Initiative Foundation, and the Family Connects Community advisory boards. She is enthusiastically involved with the El Dorado Service League providing support to Union County children ages 0 –18. In her recent tenure as the President of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association (2022-2024), she led the statewide association in several initiatives to enhance early childhood for children, families, and her colleagues.

Yarbrough is also actively involved in her church, serving as an ordained minister and the director of ministries. Her passion for community is evident as she frequents civic events, leads projects, advocates and has been awarded numerous community-focused awards. Yarbrough frequents as a motivational speaker and is a published author.

“P.J.” is married to Larry D. Yarbrough, Sr. They are parents to two sons, Larry D., Jr. (L.J.) and Lance. She resides in El Dorado, Arkansas.