Office of Early Learning
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
This position serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. She leads the Office of Early Learning, which administers the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge program and coordinates the Department’s Early Learning Initiative.
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.
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.
Tammi Fergusson 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 early learning for the past twelve years. Her degrees in Family Studies and Infant, Child, and Adolescent Development in Education have been instrumental in her family literacy career path. Prior to joining the Department in 2010, she worked as a Literacy Programs Trainer for Reading Is Fundamental. In that capacity, she had the opportunity to travel across the country and work with educators and parents who work “in the trenches” every day to improve literacy practices both in the home and at school. Currently, she is Project Office for the Even Start and Tribal Even Start programs, as well as one of the Project Officers for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge team.
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.
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.
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 Human Development at the University of Maryland University College.