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2018 TK Conference Speakers

Event Details Workshop Videos Sessions Plenary Info

Below are the 2018 TK Conference speakers with links to their presentations.

 

Speaker bios are filtered by last name:

Anna Arambula
Fresno Language Project Coach
Fresno Unified School District (FUSD)

Session 1: Supporting Administrators and Coaches in Serving Young Dual Language Learners and their Families
Session 2: Practical and Proven Strategies for Teaching Young Dual Language Learners (POLL)
Prior to Joining FUSD Early Learning Department, Mrs. Arambula worked for Fresno Early Head Start for ten years. Her experience extends from working in direct service with infants, toddlers and their families to curricular support and administration. Anna received a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from California State University, Fresno and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Early Childhood Education. Anna is currently the coach for the Fresno Language Project supporting nineteen programs, which consist of Center Base and In-Home Providers. Her role is to support ECE practitioners with the implementation of the Personalized Oral Language (s) Learner (POLL) Strategies.

Janis Arnerich
Program Consultant
New Teacher Center
Session 2: It’s All About Relationships: Explicitly Teaching Relationship Skills
Session 3: Learning Social-Emotional Skills Through Play
Janis Arnerich is a Program Consultant for the New Teacher Center. Janis loves the opportunity coaching provides to interact directly with teachers to elevate their influence and raise their expertise as intentional teachers. She supports teachers in providing caring, equitable, inclusive and developmentally-appropriate learning environments for all of their students. Janis began her teaching life as a Montessori teacher and later as a Pre-K CDC teacher. After a successful career as an elementary teacher and site administrator, Janis returned to her first love: early childhood education. She currently provides direct coaching to teachers and co-facilitates a DAP and Inclusion PLC in Oakland, California. Additionally, Janis co-presents the Early Learning Leadership Program for administrators at various sites in California to further administrators’ understanding and support of developmentally-appropriate practices in classrooms.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez
Director, Educator Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students
Californians Together Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
Session 1: Supporting Young Immigrant and Refugee Students through Safe and Welcoming Environments
A native Californian, Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez is very proud to be both a fifth-generation Azusa, California resident and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. Understanding the similarities and differences between the life experiences of her parents in California schools has driven her passion to be an advocate for all students in California public schools, but especially English Learners. Aligned with this passion, she has served on the Azusa USD Board of Education since 2001 and has served on the boards of several statewide and national non-profits. She works to provide tools and resources to educators to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment for immigrant and refugee students.

Kitty Dixon
Senior Vice President, Innovation
New Teacher Center 
Session 1: Self-Regulation
Session 3: Teacher’s Role in Play to Support Dual Language Learners
Kitty Dixon is the Senior Vice President, Innovation, at New Teacher Center. Kitty brings a background and passion for teaching, learning, leadership and school effectiveness from her 20 years as a teacher, literacy coach and trainer, Reading Recovery teacher leader, and principal and director of curriculum and instruction.Throughout her career, Kitty chose to teach and support schools in high-poverty areas with predominantly high percentages of English Learners. These challenges sharpened her skills and fueled her passion for excellent teaching and quality support for every teacher and principal as well as equitable working and learning conditions for all. Kitty joined New Teacher Center in 2000 and has spearheaded projects ranging from creating online technology tools and resources to reach new teachers and mentors, building a districts continuous improvement effort over 10 years, and supporting the human capital development internally at the Center. Kitty’s current work focuses on increasing our reach and deepening our touch in her own backyard, the greater San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area, and scaling Early Learning across the country. She also oversees a statewide partnership with the California Colleges and Universities, CSUs, and AICCU focused on creating a statewide teacher network, for teachers, by teachers. Many of the successes, challenges and learnings have influenced the work across the Center and across the country.

Mary Donnelly-Crocker
Executive Director
Young & Healthy   Facebook 
Session 2: How to Foster a Trauma-Informed Approach in Your Work with Students
Mary Donnelly-Crocker received both her BA and MA in Child Development at California State University of Los Angeles. Working in children’s health care for over 39 years, she was a Child Life Specialist at Huntington Memorial Hospital for ten years, and has taught at CSULA and the University of La Verne in the areas of child development, hospitalized children and nonprofit management. Mary is the Executive Director of Young & Healthy, a nationally-recognized program that connects low-income uninsured children with volunteer doctors who will provide them care at no cost. She has been a local leader in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, helping community partners enroll over 15,000 people into health insurance in the last two years. Recently, Young & Healthy has received numerous awards and recognitions, both nationally and locally. In 2015, Young & Healthy was named Pasadena’s Best Nonprofit. Young & Healthy is currently embarking on a program, bringing new research and best practices around the concepts of Trauma-Informed Care. While awards are wonderful, it is the need of one child at a time that drives Mary’s passion for the work. Mary is most proud to be the parent to a great nephew, 3 adult children…and if that wasn’t happy enough, Mary is grandma to the cutest toddler in the world!

Linda M. Espinosa
Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education University of Missouri, Columbia 
Session 1: Supporting Administrators and Coaches in Serving Young Dual Language Learners and their Families
Session 2: Practical and Proven Strategies for Teaching Young Dual Language Learners (POLL)
Dr. Linda Espinosa is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has worked extensively with young DLLs and their families throughout the state of California and authored 2 books and over 80 articles on how to best support the development and achievement of children from diverse backgrounds.

Betsy Fox
Director, Early Learning Partnerships
New Teacher Center   LinkedIn 
Session 1: Self-Regulation
Session 3: Resources to Help TK Students Develop Social and Emotional Skills
Betsy Fox is the Director of Early Learning Partnerships with NTC. She has been a teacher and learner for the past 4 decades, working in preschools as well as K-8 schools. After earning degrees in Early Childhood Education and Educational Administration and Supervision, Betsy has worked in various roles (preschool teacher, teacher of grades K-4, instructional coordinator/coach, preschool director, principal, and head of school). Betsy has been a national trainer and presenter in many areas of curriculum, specializing in social-emotional learning, early learning, and literacy. She has developed early learning workforce development and quality improvement programs designed to provide quality experiences for children. In addition to working with teachers through training and coaching, she has worked for over 15 years with leaders to enhance their leadership knowledge and skills. Betsy believes strongly that the combination of strong teaching and visionary leading help create the best possible learning opportunities for children.

Esmeralda Fuentes
Program Consultant
New Teacher Center 
LinkedIn
Session 1: Beginning Steps to Building Resilient Classrooms
Session 3: Teacher’s Role in Play to Support Dual Language Learners
Esmeralda Fuentes serves as a Program Consultant, Early Learning at New Teacher Center, where she joined in the Fall of 2015 after teaching Head Start in San Antonio, Texas and Transitional Kindergarten in San Francisco. She currently coaches pre-kindergarten teachers in Oakland, California.

Elia Garcia
Program Consultant
New Teacher Center 
Session 1: Building Effective Relationships with Culturally Diverse Families
Session 3: Learning Social-Emotional Skills Through Play
Elia García serves as Program Consultant for NTC’s Early Learning Services, supporting teachers and administrators within the Alum Rock Union Elementary School district. While this is her fourth year with NTC, Elia was, coincidentally, in the first cohort of student teachers at UC Santa Cruz who received coaching under Ellen Moir and NTC’s inaugural coaching program. Prior to joining NTC, Elia served as the TK specialist for the Santa Clara County Office of Education, where she supported the implementation of TK programs in 26 school districts, several of which became TK demonstration sites and, one, a state-recognized model TK program. Elia began her career in education as a kindergarten dual immersion teacher with the Pájaro USD and went on to teach kindergarten and first grade in several northern California school districts. Additionally, she served as a literacy coach for several years and, ultimately, the lead coach training coaches for Region XI Migrant Education summer programs. Elia went on to serve in several other Northern California school districts as a high school vice principal, summer school principal, district-level multilingual specialist, and district director of English learner programs. Elia earned her BA, teaching credential, and MA from UC Santa Cruz, her preliminary administrative credential from Saint Mary’s College, and her professional administrative credential via the AB 75 program at the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

Whit Hayslip
Early Childhood Education Consultant
Starting Smart and Strong Initiative
Session 1: Supporting Administrators and Coaches in Serving Young Dual Language Learners and their Families
Session 2: Practical and Proven Strategies for Teaching Young Dual Language Learners (POLL)
Whit Hayslip has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 45 years. He currently serves as a consultant to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Starting Smart and Strong Initiative with a particular focus on support for young Dual Language Learners and their families. In 2010, Whit retired from his position as Assistant Superintendent, Early Childhood Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) where he was responsible for programs serving over 35,000 children between birth and 5 years of age. He helped initiate Transitional Kindergarten in LAUSD and provided support to multiple districts throughout California in their implementation of the program. He has also been a member of numerous local, state and federal advisory boards related to Early Childhood Education including the Federal Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation.

Nick Johnson
Postdoctoral Scholar
DREME Teacher Education at UCLA  Twitter
Session 2: Developing Language and Mathematics: Counting and Operations
Session 3: Developing Language and Mathematics: Geometry, Spatial Relations, Measurement, etc.
Nick Johnson is a postdoctoral scholar with DREME Teacher Education at UCLA. A former classroom teacher and county office coordinator, Nick is fascinated with children’s mathematical thinking and its transformative possibilities for learning and teaching. He is co-author of Young Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction in Early Childhood Education.

 

Amy Lanza
Early Education Consultant
CPIN Region 11
Session 3: Writing: An Integrated Module, Language and Literacy and English Language Development
Amy Lanza is a Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education with the California Preschool Instructional Network, Region 11. Prior to working with CPIN she was the Assistant Director at Norwalk-La Mirada Preschool Programs and a Program Specialist with Head Start. She earned her BA in Child Development and holds an MA in Education from Whittier College in Whittier California. During her time at Whittier College, she began her work in education at The Broadoaks Children’s School, where she learned to nurture and challenge children based on their strengths, creativity, problem-solving skills and confidence. This approach is the driving force in her work today as she coaches teachers to focus on the whole child, encouraging all of us to capitalize on curiosity and continue to find ways to be active participants and confident learners at every age and every stage of life.

Karina Loza
Disabilities Consultant
LACOE, Head Start Division 
Session 2: Social-Emotional Development, Challenging Behaviors, and Building Self-Regulation
Session 3: Differentiating Instruction for Children’s Optimal Social-Emotional Development
Karina Loza is a school psychologist working as a disabilities consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Head Start State Preschool Division. She has worked in promoting children’s social emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors for the last thirteen years.

 

Elizabeth Magruder, M.Ed.
Senior Program Associate
WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies 
Session 1: Supporting Administrators and Coaches in Serving Young Dual Language Learners and their Families
Session 2: Practical and Proven Strategies for Teaching Young Dual Language Learners (POLL)
Elizabeth S. Magruder is Senior Program Associate at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies. She currently designs and delivers professional development for the Fresno Language Project as an independent consultant. Elizabeth works directly with early childhood educators in supporting young dual language learners and families in their care.

Karen Manship
Principal Researcher
American Institutes for Research Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
Presenting during General Session prior to Plenary
Karen Manship is a Principal Researcher at American Institutes for Research in San Mateo, focusing on early childhood and K-12 education policy and finance. She directed the recent evaluation of transitional kindergarten in California and is currently the project manager for the First 5 California-funded Dual Language Learner Pilot Study.

Julie A. Montali, Ph.D
Twitter Twin Rivers USD   Twin Rivers Unified Facebook   
Session 2: The Art of Collaboration
Julie Montali is the director of Early Childhood Education for Twin Rivers USD in Sacramento. As a trained psychologist with 20+ years of school district experience in New York and California, Julie began conducting developmental evaluations with preschool-age children in Fresno 10 years ago. This quickly turned into creating a language-rich early education program model, and later, manager for curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional learning for the Fresno Unified Early Learning Department’s prekindergarten, transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs. She is the co-author of 3 visual arts integrated curricula currently used in all Fresno Unified PK through K classrooms. Julie has taught at various universities, most recently at California State University, Fresno, on Leadership in ECE as well as Advanced Educational Psychology for beginning teachers. Julie is committed to high-quality early learning experiences with an emphasis on language and social-emotional development.

Nicole Nelson
Associate Program Director
New Teacher Center 
Session 1: Beginning Steps to Building Resilient Classrooms
Session 3: Resources to Help TK Students Develop Social and Emotional Skills
Nicole Nelson is an Associate Program Director at the New Teacher Center, working with Early Learning teachers and administrators in Oakland, California. She believes that developing a strong social and emotional foundation is critical for the success of young learners. Recognizing and addressing the structural inequities that can prevent students from developing this healthy foundation is key. She strives to create systemic change by working with Early Learning teachers to enhance their leadership skills and develop effective practices, as well as with administrators to further empower their teacher leaders. Nicole has taught at public schools throughout most of her teaching career and co-founded a K-8 gifted and talented public school in New York City, where she served as Assistant Principal for 5 years. Currently, Nicole leads the NTC’s Oakland Project in Oakland Unified School District where she and her team provide direct coaching and professional development for Pre-K teachers.

Carola Oliva-Olson
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Studies
California State University, Channel Islands
Session 1: Scaffolded Dialogic Reading Practice for Dual Language Learners in TK Classrooms (POLL)
Dr. Carola Oliva-Olson has extensive local, state and national experience working with young DLLs and their families, teachers, administrators and policy leaders, including preparing early care and education teachers to effectively work with children and families from birth to 8. In addition, Dr. Oliva-Olson is an early scholar for a national award from the Foundation for Child Development to analyze the relative significance of three measures of classroom quality, two classroom language models, and initial language performance in predicting language outcomes for Preschool Head Start and Migrant Head Start DLLs. She is a member of the First 5 Santa Barbara Ventura Commission, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Early Childhood Advisory Group, and lead consultant for dual language early learning efforts with Educare California Silicon Valley, Head Start grantees across the nation, and community programs. Dr. Oliva-Olson is a bilingual former toddler, preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade teacher and coach.

Laurie Olsen
SEAL Founding Director and Strategic Adviser
Sobrato Family Foundation 
Session 1: Language Development Strategies for DLL Supportive TK Classrooms
Session 2: What should we teach? Integrated TK Curriculum for DLLs
Dr. Laurie Olsen is Founder of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) PreK-3 initiative, currently being replicated in 100 schools and early education programs across 20 school districts in California. Dr. Olsen has spent the last five decades designing and piloting programs, researching, writing, and providing leadership development and technical assistance on dual language, immigrant and English Learner education. She has published dozens of books, videos and articles on Dual Language/English Learner education. Her research has impacted policies and practices throughout the nation. A dedicated advocate, Dr. Olsen was a founding board member and serves on the Executive Board of Californians Together – a coalition to protect the rights of English Learners, and most recently served as state Co-Chair of California’s English Learner Road Map. For 23 years, Dr. Olsen directed California Tomorrow’s work in PK-12 education. Dr. Olsen holds a PhD in Social and Cultural Studies in Education from U.C. Berkeley.

Tamarra Osborne
Project Manager DRTTA
WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies 
Session 3: Supporting Student English Language and Socio-Emotional Learning through the DRDP-K 
Tamarra Osborne is the Project Manager for WestEd’s Desired Results Training and Technical Assistance Project. In this role, she provides professional learning for administrators and teachers using the DRDP in California and several other states. Prior to joining WestEd, Tamarra directed nonprofit childcare centers for 10 years, and served as a Professional Growth Advisor for the Child Development Training Consortium. Tamarra earned her BA in Early Childhood Education at California State University, Sacramento and an MS in Education with an Early Childhood Curriculum option from California State University, East Bay.

Katherine Powell
Program Consultant
New Teacher Center
Session 1: Building Effective Relationships with Culturally Diverse Families
Session 2: It’s All About Relationships: Explicitly Teaching Relationship Skills
Katherine Powell is a Program Consultant at the New Teacher Center. Katherine has worked as a teacher, administrator, and coach in East San Jose for the past 10 years at both public and charter schools. She strives to ensure high-quality outcomes for all students by supporting teachers to meet the diverse academic and social-emotional needs in their classrooms. Katherine joined the New Teacher Center in 2016 working with Pre-K and TK teachers in the Franklin-McKinley School District. Her work this year focuses on the training and coaching of Pre-K, TK, and Kindergarten teachers to implement the Pyramid Model to support students’ social-emotional skills. She is excited to be a part of such vital work to equip our students with the skills they need to be successful in school and life.

Cristina Preuss, MA
Disabilities Consultant
​LACOE, Head Start Division 
Session 2: Social-Emotional Development, Challenging Behaviors, and Building Self-Regulation
Session 3: Differentiating Instruction for Children’s Optimal Social-Emotional Development
Cristina Preuss holds a Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education and has been working in the field of Early Care and Special Education for over 23 years. Her work experience includes supervision, project coordination, management and oversight of Disabilities Service Area for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. As a member of leadership teams, Cristina has participated and supported the development of policy and procedures across service areas taking into consideration strategic plan goals and objectives. Cristina believes in actively participating in the community, as a member of a variety of advisory committees, establishing community partnerships related to the field of early childhood, mental health and special education, and providing workshops to different agencies regarding child find activities, early intervention, social-emotional development and parenting. As an Adjunct Faculty at Los Angeles Mission College Child and Family Studies Department, Cristina’s focus is in organizing, planning, and analyzing data that will assist in program developing, provision of resources, and classes taught according to the needs and learning styles of the students.

Claudia Readwright
Instructional Coach
Fresno USD 
Facebook  Twitter 
Session 2: The Art of Collaboration
Early Learning Instructional Coach Claudia Readwright has been creating merriment with young children for 44 years. She co-wrote the Visual Arts program that is enjoyed by the children in Fresno Unified School District. Claudia has led art experiences with children aged 3 through adulthood. She enjoys teaching art while combining collaboration, humor, music and storytelling.

Usha Sampath
Early Education Consultant
CPIN Region 11 
LinkedIn 
Session 1: Relationships: A Foundation to Social-Emotional Learning
Usha Sampath is a consultant with the California Preschool Instructional Network, Region 11, Los Angeles County Office of Education. She is an experienced early childhood educator and a highly-qualified professional development trainer who inspires and empowers teachers and administrators to implement powerful instruction that is developmentally-appropriate and addresses the well-being of the whole child. She brings a wealth of experiences as a teacher, a Ready-for-School Coordinator, math coach, and CPIN Lead to support and guide early childhood educators to reflect on their practice and consider how they will change their instruction and strategies as a result of participation in Professional Development activities. Usha has an MS in Educational Administration and is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Preschool-K-3 CLASS Certified Observer. Those who know Usha best will testify to her love of young children, her approachable and humorous ways to connect with people, and her passion to make a difference with teachers, parents, and administrators to build a community of support in early childhood settings for all children.

Stacy Sewell
Coordinator, Early Learning Department
Sacramento County Office of Education 
Session 2: Supporting Social-Emotional Development for ALL Children: TK Resources to Support Administrators and Teacher Leaders
Stacy Sewell is a credentialed teacher with over 25 years of experience in education. She works at the Sacramento County Office of Education as a Coordinator in the Early Learning Department. Stacy recently assisted with leading the work to develop 10 online TK professional learning modules for the CDE. Prior to her current position, she was a transitional kindergarten teacher, an early childhood education/parent education consultant, and a kindergarten-2nd grade elementary teacher. Prior to teaching in the TK-12 system, Stacy spent 15 years in adult education, specifically preschool and parent education. Stacy earned a BA in Child Development, a multiple subjects credential, an adult education credential, and a supervision and coordination credential from San Jose State University.

Angela Chan Turrou
Senior Researcher
DREME Teacher Education at UCLA
https://twitter.com/Angelaturrou
Session 2: Developing Language and Mathematics: Counting and Operations 
Session 3: Developing Language and Mathematics: Geometry, Spatial Relations, Measurement, etc.
Angela Chan Turrou is a senior researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and a member of the DREME Teacher Educator Professional Development (http://prek-math-te.stanford.edu/) project team. Her research explores teachers’ and students’ mathematical thinking as they participate together in learning mathematics, particularly in early childhood and elementary school settings. In her work with preservice and inservice teachers, Turrou leverages purposeful instructional activities to support teacher learning and collaboration. Angela received her PhD in education from the UCLA Graduate School of Education.

Sandra D. Williams, Ph.D
Mental Health Consultant
LACOE, Head Start Division  
Session 2: Social-Emotional Development, Challenging Behaviors, and Building Self-Regulation
Session 3: Differentiating Instruction for Children’s Optimal Social-Emotional Development
Dr. Sandra D. Williams is a Mental Health Consultant at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Head Start State Preschool Division, where she provides technical expertise and consulting to Early Head Start/Head Start delegate agencies. Her responsibilities include monitoring children’s progress, aligning curricula and supporting the structure and delivery of mental health services for children throughout Los Angeles County. Dr. Williams has served as a Vice President of Programs for a family strengthening international organization; as Division Director, Special Education and Pupil Services in a public school district; and as adjunct professor at Cal Polytechnic University, Penn State University and Temple University. She has also worked as a statewide Special Educational Consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Special Education and is a state-certified school psychologist. Dr. Williams earned her PhD and MA from The Ohio State University and her BS from Elizabeth City State University.

Natalie Woods Andrews, Ed.D.
Director, Early Learning Department
Sacramento County Office of Education, California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) 
Session 2: Supporting Social-Emotional Development for ALL Children: TK Resources to Support Administrators and Teacher Leaders
Natalie Woods Andrews is a credentialed administrator and teacher with 30 years of experience in educational leadership, early education, and public school and university instruction. Her role as Director of Sacramento County Office of Education’s Early Learning Department and the California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) is focused on expanding access to high-quality early learning programs and providing leadership that guides professional learning opportunities for administrators and teachers serving children, birth through age 5. She administers Sacramento County’s Quality Rating and Improvement system and led the development of statewide resources for transitional kindergarten. Dr. Woods Andrews has served as an elementary school principal for Title I elementary schools, education specialist for Head Start programs, and program administrator for school readiness and preschool programs. She earned her EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California and serves on a number of state and local advisories and committees.

 

Tony Chi-Chang Wu, Ph.D,
ABPP Mental Health Consultant
LACOE, Head Start Division 
Session 2: Social-Emotional Development, Challenging Behaviors, and Building Self-Regulation
Session 3: Differentiating Instruction for Children’s Optimal Social-Emotional Development 

Dr. Tony Chi-Chang Wu is a mental health consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Head Start and Early Learning Division. He holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and School Psychology, an Education Specialist (EdS) degree in School Psychology, an MS in Research Methodology, and a BA in Psychology, all from the Indiana University at Bloomington. He also holds a post-doctoral Master’s degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology (M.S.C.P.). He has been working in the early childhood, special education, and mental health fields since 1998. He is licensed as a psychologist in the Hawaii and California, and is certified in School Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Wu is an accomplished university instructor, presenter, clinician, and researcher.

Marlene Zepeda
Professor Emerita
California State University, Los Angeles 
LinkedIn 
Session 3: Book Reading: How can we make it more effective for young DLLs?
Dr. Marlene Zepeda is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. A former preschool and elementary school teacher, Dr. Zepeda’s scholarship focuses on dual language learning in Spanish speaking preschool children and child development in Latino infants and toddlers. Dr. Zepeda has participated in a number of activities relevant to dual language learners. Dr. Zepeda is a member of the Campaign for Quality Early Education, a California advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of Dual Language Learners and currently is a member of Los Angeles’, First Five Commission. Marlene received her BA in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles and her MA and PhD in Developmental Studies and Early Childhood Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.