Kristen Derr Project Manager, TAPP Para Familias Latinas
Kristen Derr is currently the project manager of “TAPP Para Familias Latinas.” In this role, she manages collaborative teams of consultants, parents and teachers; maintains partnerships with school personnel; and develops working relationships with new schools and communities. Derr joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2012 as a key team member on an IES-funded study and has assisted with several projects involving the Teacher and Parents as Partners (TAPP) model. She received her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Doane College.
Sommer Fousek Project Coordinator, Early Learning Network Lead
Sommer Fousek is the project coordinator for the Early Learning Network Lead project. She develops and maintains cooperative relationships with Network research and assessment teams across the country. She also provides support for collaborative and supplemental activities. Fousek promotes Network research findings to researchers, practitioners and policymakers, and facilitates technical support for preschool development grantees and other early childhood practitioners. Fousek is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Tamara Hechtner-Galvin Project Coordinator, Getting Ready 0-3
Tamara Hechtner-Galvin is the project coordinator for Getting Ready 0-3. This study focuses on strengthening the relationships children have with adults, as well as strengthening the partnerships between parents and their childcare providers. Collaboratively, parents and teachers identify and build on a child’s strengths, establish developmental goals, and create home-center plans to support developmentally appropriate child goals. Hechtner-Galvin's research interests include family-school partnerships, early childhood education, assessment and early intervention. She earned her doctoral degree in human development and family studies with an emphasis in early childhood education from Iowa State University.
Belle Scheef, M.S. Project Manager, Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan: Birth to Age 3 Evaluation
Belle Scheef is the project manager for the Buffet Early Childhood Institute, Superintendent’s Early Childhood Plan: Birth to Age 3 Evaluation. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Scheef is currently conducting her dissertation, funded by a federal grant through the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. She received her master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Sandra Scruggs Early Childhood Research Technician
Sandra Scruggs has assisted with research-related tasks across multiple early childhood projects since 2007 and currently provides support for the Getting Ready project. She received her master’s in nutrition, with an emphasis in public health, from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Amanda Witte Project Manager, Learning Frontiers
Amanda Witte is the project manager for Learning Frontiers: PreK to Grade 3. This study involves learning about the factors that promote children’s early learning and development as they develop from preschool through third grade. Witte is also the principle investigator on a pilot project for family-school partnership intervention training and coaching for educators in rural communities. Her research interests include family-school partnerships, early learning, and rural education. She earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.