Office of Early Learning
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Libby Doggett brings to the Office of Early Learning a lifetime of early learning experience from her work in schools, Head Start and child care, serving both children with and without disabilities. Most recently she was the director of the Pew home visiting campaign where she oversaw a robust research agenda and worked with advocates in target states to build political and public understanding and support for data-driven investments that align with federal guidance. Prior to that Doggett directed Pre-K Now, a 10-year campaign to advance high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds in states across the country. Through its successes, Pre-K Now significantly increased the investments and number of children attending state supported pre-k. Doggett also worked for the National Head Start Association, directing their HeadsUp! reading program to improve literacy instruction in early learning classrooms across the country. She began her career as a bilingual first grade teacher at Ortega Elementary School in Austin, and returns to the Department, where in the nineties she served as executive director of the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities and their families. Doggett holds a doctorate from the University of Texas in early childhood special education.
Group Leader for Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Tammy Proctor is the Group Leader for the Office of Early Learning in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. This office is responsible for the Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge program, Early Reading First, Early Childhood Educator Professional Development, and the Even Start State and Tribal programs. Prior to her current position she provided oversight and monitoring at the Federal level for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Parts B and C in the Office of Special Education Programs at the Department of Education. Her career portfolio includes more than 20 years of early childhood education experience in State and Local programs. She worked as the Director of Disabilities Services in the District of Columbia’s Public School Head Start Program; Supervisor of Early Childhood Programs in the Prince Georges County Public School System in Maryland and the Child Find/Public Awareness Coordinator for the Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program in the District of Columbia’s Early Care and Education Administration. Tammy holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education Administration.
Deborah Spitz serves as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Early Learning in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. For three years she worked as a budget analyst in Budget Service for a variety of Department of Education programs including 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Ready to Learn, and education technology programs. She served as Competition Manager for the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge competition in 2011, and the Lead Panel Monitor for the Race to the Top – Assessment competition in 2010. In addition to her work at the U.S. Department of Education, she was the Deputy Director of the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and managed research projects relating to special education, health education, and child support. She has worked as a program manager and policy analyst for the District of Columbia Public Schools and the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board. She received a law degree from Stanford Law School in 1996.
Katie Chase serves as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Early Learning, part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before joining the Department, she was the editor of ReadingRockets.org, a national multimedia project of public television station WETA that offers research-based and best-practice information on teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle. She began her career at Reading Is Fundamental, and has also been a reporter and editor at Education Daily. Originally from Maryland, Katie received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Boston University.
Mary Moran works as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Early Learning and has over 30 years of dedicated service in the U.S. Department of Education. Her accomplishments as an Education Program Specialist have included leading and participating on program monitoring teams throughout the country for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education programs of Impact Aid and Title I as well as providing technical assistance and input into policy. Additional responsibilities have focused on school district, State Education Agency, and Office of Inspector General audit closeouts and resolutions. Other Federal Government accomplishments include serving as Senior Research Associate for the Congressional National Commission on Student Financial Assistance, project bank staff for the President’s Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives, grants and contracts review, and serving on Federal disaster assistance teams responding to Presidential declared emergencies. Mary’s career of school district teaching, university teaching, and work in the Federal Government has concentrated on the education of at-risk children. She began her professional career in the Granite City, Illinois School District, teaching special education (learning disabilities and behavioral disorders) and regular education, along with helping to develop and teach the first district special education program for children with behavioral disorders. Mary interned with the Evaluation Division of the St. Louis Public Schools while writing and researching her doctoral dissertation, developing an evaluation model for a comprehensive system of personnel development in special education. Her work included university teaching and staff at the George Washington University. Mary earned her B.S. and M.S. from Southern Illinois University and Ph.D. from St. Louis University. Her research and education certifications have focused on program evaluation, school finance and accounting, school administration, and special education for children with behavioral disorders and learning disabilities.
Miriam Lund serves as an Educational Specialist, for the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Miriam currently works as a program officer for the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant Program; prior to this she was a program officer for the Teacher Incentive Fund, Mathematics and Science Partnerships; Javits Gifted and Talented Students program; 21st Century community Learning Centers; Literacy and Libraries and the Title II, Part A -Highly Qualified Teacher grant programs. Miriam joined the department after teaching middle school mathematics, science, and reading in Baker, Florida; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; and San Antonio, Texas. Miriam served as a consultant for New Mexico State University teaching educators how to incorporate technology in their practices. Miriam trained teachers how to analyze and use data to increase student performance results as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award trainer. In each district where Miriam worked, she began or worked in, an after school program with the goal of increasing student achievement. Miriam earned eleven education certifications, as-well-as National Board Certification as a Middle School Generalist. Miriam received her Masters of Arts in Secondary Education/Science Literacy from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mathematics and Science Education from the University of West Florida.
Rebecca (Becky) Marek serves as an Education Program Specialist at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) in Washington, D.C. Becky has more than 20 years of dedicated service to the U.S. Department of Education. She has held many positions during her tenure at the Department, including working in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of the Secretary and OESE's Executive Office. She is currently assigned to the Office of Early Learning within OESE where she serves as Project Officer to the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grants and the Early Reading First grants.
Rubén J Vázquez serves as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Early Learning, part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before joining the Department in 2006, he was English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Coordinator and Foreign Language Education Supervisor for the Florida Department of Education for nine years. During his tenure, Rubén coordinated activities for the Office of Multicultural Student Education as they related to English Language Acquisition, Foreign Language Instruction, Bilingual Education and the implementation of heritage language instructional programs. He coordinated and managed Federal and State programs for limited English proficient students, immigrant children and youth and refugee students. Prior to his current position, he advised States of requirements imposed on them by Federal laws and regulations and provided guidance on standards, assessments and accountability systems for English language learners in the Office of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs - Title III Group. He also coordinated programs that help ensure that children, who are limited English proficient and Native American, attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards. In addition, he also served as Education Program Specialist for the Office of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs - Title I Group at the U.S Department of Education and performed a variety of complex management/program analysis functions and advised senior management on difficult and/or complex issues facing States related to the administration and program operations to ensure compliance with Federal law and Title I ESEA Flex.
Sheila has more than 20 years of dedicated service in the federal government. She currently serves as a Program Assistant/Webmaster at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Office of Early Learning (OEL) in Washington, D.C. Sheila also worked in the Department of Education’s Office of Chief Financial Office (OCFO), Indirect Cost/Audit Resolutions, and in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Deputy Assistant Secretary’s Office. In this office, Sheila worked directly for the Speech Writer. Sheila left the Department to work in the private sector for the National Safe Kids Campaign where she worked closely with the Public Policy Director, Congress, and the Police and Fire Departments.
While at the National Safe Kids Campaign, Sheila was certified to safely secure child safety seats in vehicles. Sheila was also responsible for community activities such as: fire and bike safety events for children in the Washington, D.C area and surrounding communities. After leaving the National Safe Kids Campaign, Sheila took her love for the community and the children and went to work at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where she worked on several community events and experienced firsthand what it’s like to hear a call come in concerning a missing or abducted child. In addition, Sheila worked in the legal department where internationally abducted children cases were handled. On February 14th 2000, Sheila returned to the Department of Education and began working for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program where has worked for 12 years, and was first introduced to maintaining the web. She began maintaining one web site and one listserv and as her workload increased, she maintained 28 web sites for the OESE/AITQ Program. Sheila is currently studying Psychology at the University of Maryland University College.
Steven serves as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Steven initially joined the Department through the Department’s Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, a nonpartisan program designed to improve education for students by involving teachers in the development and implementation of national education policy. His portfolio includes intra-department coordination, early learning strategic planning, communications, education policy development, legislative technical assistance, stakeholder relations, and Secretary and senior staff briefings. Before joining the U.S. Department of Education, Steven was a pre-kindergarten through third grade teacher in Los Angeles, California. At the State level, Steven served for three years as California Reading and Literature Project Pre-K Director for the California State University Los Angeles Region, working with preschool teachers and paraprofessionals from various program models across the county. He also participated as part of the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) planning collaborative to establish high-quality preschool throughout the county. Later when the initiative was well established, the early learning center he founded at his charter school became the one-hundredth LAUP site. Steven holds a Masters of Education in Early Childhood and Primary Education, National Board Certification in Early Childhood Generalist, and a Child Development Program Director Permit.
Tanesha Hembrey currently serves as an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Early Learning in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She has been working in the field of education for the past seventeen years. Prior to joining the Office of Early Learning Tanesha worked in the Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) Office where she had the opportunity to work extensively on programs and policy for Title I, Part A (Basic); Title I, Part D (Neglected and Delinquent); and Title VII, Subtitle B, of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Education for Homeless Children and Youth). While in SASA she monitored State, and local education programs, providing technical assistance to State and local education agencies and community based organizations regarding the use of Federal program funds. She provided guidance on education policy and program matters in the areas of accountability; state standards and assessments; fiduciary requirements and allocations, homelessness; and the neglected and delinquent children and youth services. During 2009-2011 her focus incorporated accountability for spending under the America’s Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), uses of funds, and reporting requirements and support to States in a range of areas related to States’ administration of the ARRA funds. Mrs. Hembrey worked with senior management regarding the implementation of over 3.5 billion in FY 2009 formula grants to States. She has worked with the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, which was designed to raise student achievement in the nation’s persistently lowest-achieving schools. Tanesha also supported the development of the pilot monitoring protocol for SIG grants to states being monitored during the 2010-2011 school year for Title I. Most recently, Tanesha was a part of SASA’s team that invited each State educational agency to request flexibility regarding specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction. Tanesha came to the Department of Education under the Outstanding Scholar’s Program which selected and recognized college graduates who had demonstrated exceptionally broad academic achievement or the highest graduation honors. Prior to her tenure at the Department she worked for the Environmental Protection Agency helping to design the subsidized public commuting and emissions reduction program that assists federal employees with daily commuting costs to and from work currently known as “Transit Benefits.” Originally from Maryland, Tanesha received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Bowie State University.