Step Up to Quality Program Coordinator
Morgan is the newest addition to the Step Up to Quality Team. She is excited to assist programs and their staff as they start and continue on their path to quality.
Morgan will help to answer any questions about Step Up to Quality or the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System. She is looking forward to serving providers and families through the helpline.
In her free time, Morgan enjoys spending time with family and friends. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Child Care Subsidy Administrator
Nicole has been a part of Step Up to Quality since 2013. Nicole actively works to increase accessibility and quality of child care for low income children and families in her role as Administrator for the Child Care and Development Fund Program with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Nicole has been with DHHS for more than 12 years in an array of positions. Much of her experience has been with the Division of Children and Family Services, Economic Assistance, focusing on empowering individuals and families to become self-sufficient.
Nicole received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in social work, with an emphasis on children and families, from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and children. Her pride and joy are her three beautiful daughters.
Early Childhood Data Manager
Tammi is in charge of the design and development of the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System (NECPRS). She works with Step Up to Quality staff to coordinate building and design efforts with the NECPRS programmers.
Tammi has worked for the Nebraska Department of Education for more than 10 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and information management systems from Chadron State College.
Tammi and her family enjoy exploring different attractions across the state.
Early Childhood Administrator
Melody is the Administrator of the Office of Early Childhood at the Nebraska Department of Education. As a former child care director, Melody has always felt that a Quality Rating Improvement System, like Step Up to Quality, would help programs communicate their quality to the communities they serve.
Melody holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She has approximately 10 years of experience as a teacher and director in community–based early childhood education and care programs.
Melody and her husband enjoy riding their bikes on local trails, as well as spending time with their son and daughter.
Step Up to Quality Rating Specialist
Diane oversees the rating reviews of participating Step Up to Quality programs reaching Steps 3, 4 or 5. Prior to joining the Step Up to Quality team, Diane spent more than 30 years working in child care, in the Child Care Grants and Child Care Licensing programs of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Diane received her degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her passions lie in understanding human behavior and how people of all ages think and learn, and helping people realize their own strengths to accomplish things they never thought possible.
Diane and her husband live in Omaha and are refusing to age gracefully.
Step Up to Quality Quality Specialist
Jenny coordinates observations for programs ready for a rating review in Step Up to Quality. She organizes all aspects of training for program assessments and assists programs with Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) questions.
Jenny received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Wayne State College. She has experience as an assistant director and director in early childhood programs and many years of teaching experience with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Jenny is passionate about creating environments where all children can thrive as individuals while being given equal opportunity to learn from nurturing role models.
Jenny’s proudest accomplishment is earning the title of mom to two children.
Step Up to Quality Coach Specialist
Lynne is responsible for the recruitment, training, development and assignment of Step Up to Quality coaches. She helps child care programs understand the benefits of coaching and matches them with a coach to help them on their path to quality.
Lynne is a native Nebraskan but has had the opportunity to travel the world as a military spouse — which has provided her with a variety of rich early childhood experiences. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood educational studies from Empire State in New York.
Lynne’s experience includes a wide variety of early childhood roles, including family home care provider, lead teacher, preschool teacher, home visitor and Early Head Start supervisor. Lynne is passionate about high quality education for all children and wants caregivers to understand the incredible impact they can make on a child’s life.
Lynne and her husband are proud parents of four children and reside in Lincoln where they enjoy family, friends and Husker ballgames! GO BIG RED!
Early Childhood, Program Associate
Ann is the social media guru for the Office of Early Childhood. She also assists with the development of the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System (NECPRS).
Ann started her work for the Nebraska Department of Education as the Program Coordinator for Step Up to Quality. She is looking forward to broadening the communication efforts of the department and spreading the word about early childhood in Nebraska.
In her free time, Ann enjoys spending quality time with her husband and cat. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Step Up to Quality Director
Lauri has been working in early childhood education for three decades, joining the Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood in 2014. She is a Nebraska native and received her education degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Lauri has served in a wide range of early childhood roles, from teacher to assistant director to director to regional director and regional manager. She’s worked in public schools, nonprofits, federal government programs and corporate child development centers.
Lauri has a passion for creating and fostering environments where children and families, and those caring for children and families, can develop to their full potential. Her favorite role is that of “Nana” to her three young granddaughters.
As director of Step Up to Quality, Lauri is excited about the new awareness being brought to the important work of teachers, administrators and family child care providers across the state, who are preparing our next generation of children for school and life.