Supporting Children and Families
Toni Whitaker, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Division Chief of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. She directs the UTHSC Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and serves as consultant and Ambassador to Tennessee for CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program.
Preparing for the New School Year
For our Voices From the Field interview, we spoke with Natasha Brown-Willis and Kimberly Corkery, early childhood teachers in Michigan. They discuss preparing for a new school year.
Children’s Vision Health
Tami Garcia has been with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for more than 20 years and has more than 32 years of experience in the vision and healthcare field. Through her roles as Program Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, Ms. Garcia has high-level oversight and leadership experience coordinating, managing, and developing vision health programs spanning the state of Wisconsin.
Supporting State Systems of Early Childhood
Dr. Wendy Grove is the director of the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness at the Ohio Department of Education, where she helps develop and implement policies for preschool special education and early childhood education. Wendy earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in sociology from Portland State University, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Akron. Dr. Grove has a wide range of experience teaching experience, from preschool students, to middle school students in special education, to undergraduate and medical students.
Fanica Young, Julianna Kim, and Danica Moise
We invite you to read our interviews with Fanica Young, Julianna Kim, and Danica Moise, doctoral scholars and former OSEP interns. They each share what brought them to the field and how their doctoral programs have shaped their practice.
Kara Georgi is a parent to two children in New York and is a Member of the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance Birth Parent National Network. She is an Alliance Certified Trainer for the Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work.
What do you remember most about your experiences with early intervention?
Early Intervention was a game changer for me and my family. It was where I got the help and support I needed most for helping my child with some of the challenges we were facing. The best part is we went from being strangers to a family team to working to build on strengths and skills for long term success for not only for my child, but for us as parents too.
B. Gerard Woodrich is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. He obtained his Master of Social Work degree from Southern University, New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge. Mr. Woodrich specializes in treating depression and trauma-based anxiety due to emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. His greatest passion is centered around helping young African American males and at-risk youth using innovative and relatable techniques.
Katherine (Katy) Neas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Education
Sherry Lachman, Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance and Labor, White House Office of Management and Budget
Bert Wyman, Program Examiner, White House Office of Management and Budget
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving the lives of young children with disabilities and their families. We are working to ensure that every child who needs individualized and high-quality early intervention services receives them as early as possible. We have called on Congress to double funding for these services and we have made strategic investments to expand the number of early intervention providers, including in underserved communities. We are also developing user-friendly resources and technical assistance on expanding access to early intervention for early childhood state and local administrators and service providers, families, and advocates. As part of this effort, on December 14, the Department of Education, in partnership with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, hosted a webinar where we released informational guides for early childhood stakeholders to promote innovative and effective strategies for identifying and serving all children eligible for early intervention services.
Sadia Batool is a physician with a current focus on supporting families and professionals in Early Childhood Systems. Her passion for Early Childhood systems stems from her personal experience of receiving life changing early intervention services for her daughter with autism.
Working with Dual Language Learners
Montserrat Garibay is the Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition and Senior Advisor for Labor Relations, Office of Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. Previously she was the secretary-treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and served as vice president for Certified Employees with Education Austin. Ms. Garibay was a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years and a National Board-Certified Teacher. She is a graduate of the National Labor Leadership Initiative with the Worker Institute at Cornell University and is a University of Texas-Austin graduate with a master’s degree in Education. An activist on education and immigration issues, Garibay came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She has been instrumental in promoting opportunities for all students, including those from immigrant families.