Our Team

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center is made up of a team of dedicated experts whose institutional knowledge is foundational to the work of the Center

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Sue Russell, Executive Director

Sue is Executive Director of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center, which helps states implement effective workforce strategies to address the education, compensation and retention of their early care and education workforce. She has over forty-five years of experience in the early childhood profession, most recently as the President of Child Care Services Association. Her work has included developing successful national initiatives, like T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® and Child Care WAGE$®, building effective systems to improve access to high quality early childhood programs for all children, and doing research on the workforce, the early care and education system and access issues for children from families with low incomes. She has served on numerous state and national boards and committees, including terms as both President and Treasurer of the NAEYC Governing Board. She is an advocate for better systems and more investments for our young children and their teachers.

    Email: Suer@teachecnationalcenter.org

Jill Arnold, Director of Database Support and Services

Jill has been with CCSA for over 15 years, most recently managing national database support and training. She lends support to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center by providing database quality control oversight for all states teams via periodic, individualized database assessments. Additionally, Jill provides training on the current T.E.A.C.H. database.

    Email: Jilla@teachecnationalcenter.org

Teresa Graves, Communications Manager

Teresa has worked for Child Care Services Association for over 20 years as the Special Assistant to the President. Currently she is the Communications Manager.  She has also worked for the National Center as the Manager of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Alliance. Teresa holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership. She has been a working student, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working full-time at CCSA. In addition, she has had considerable experience in association management, working as the association manager for the NC Early Education Coalition. In that job she connects with members daily, supporting their needs, managing their social media pages, etc. She has held a number of supervisory jobs, including her early work in early childhood settings as a lead teacher and director.

    Email: Teresag@teachecnationalcenter.org

Edith Locke, VP, Professional Development Initiatives

Edith has directed the T.E.A.C.H. NORTH CAROLINA Project since 1996. She is the person to contact regarding the day-to-day operations of T.E.A.C.H. Projects. Edith is the lead team member responsible for organizing and conducting orientation sessions for new staff. She is also the lead team member responsible for scheduling and conducting on-site monitoring visits and participates as a reviewer for the competency assessment process.

Email: Edithl@teachecnationalcenter.org

Barb Merrill, Consultant

Barb is supporting the work in the states, including the compensation project and consulting with T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs. She brings the perspective from the field, having been the first director of T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ in Iowa, and has recently retired as Executive Director of the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children. She holds a Master's degree in Adult Education and Training, alongside an undergraduate degree in Child Development/Education. Her thirty five year career also includes teaching in family child care, centers, and Head Start, adjuncting at the community college level, and serving as a child care resource and referral consultant.  

Email: barbm@teachecnationalcenter.org

Allison Miller, VP, Compensation Initiatives

Allison is director of the education-based salary supplement initiative, Child Care WAGE$®, and has been with the program since 1994. She is the person to contact regarding the day-to-day operations of WAGE$ Projects and affiliates.   This includes programmatic issues such as policies, procedures, protocols and monitoring. She provides training and ongoing programmatic technical assistance, coordinates monitoring visits and reviews competency assessments for WAGE$ states.

Email: Allisonm@teachecnationalcenter.org

Julie Rogers, Director, Quality Assurance and Program Operations

Julie is Director of Quality Assurance & Program Operations for the Center. She has worked in the early education field for 25 years in rolls as diverse as in home parent educator, preschool teacher, policy/program specialist, T.E.A.C.H. program director and vice president of professional development initiatives for a statewide resource and referral agency. She has worked extensively with broad, multi-disciplinary stakeholder groups, helping to build consensus toward the expansion of professional development systems. She holds a Master’s Degree in Family Studies and has authored and edited several publications in the area of early childhood professional development.

Email: Julier@teachecnationalcenter.org

Sharon Sullivan, Higher Education Program Manager

Sharon has been a Head Start director and regional Head Start professional development consultant, program chair at Ivy Tech-Indianapolis (11 years), worked in statewide professional development programs at the Ohio State University (14 years) and has served on T.E.A.C.H. Advisory Committees in Indiana and Ohio. Sharon is responsible for working with seven T.E.A.C.H. state programs involved in the Innovative Counseling Project and 10 states participating in Articulation Project Teams.

Email: Sharons@teachecnationalcenter.org

Judy Leinbach, Administrative Manager

Judy is the Administrative Manager for the National Center. She joined the team in 2016 after a varied career path including: engineering, project management, child care, paralegal services, landscaping and tax office administration. Judy maintains the files for each T.E.A.C.H. Program including: licenses, reports, and other documents.  She also prepares invoices and updates the website.  She relies on the broad range of her past experiences to keep the Center running smoothly. 

Email: Judyl@teachecnationalcenter.org