Alliance Advisory Committee

The staff of the 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


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 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®, 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.


Jill Arnold, Database Support

Jill has been with CCSA for almost 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.


Teresa Graves, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Alliance Program Manager

Teresa has worked for Child Care Services Association for over 20 years as the Special Assistant to the President. Currently she is the Manager of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Alliance. Teresa holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management, and is currently working towards her Master’s 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 Childhood Association. In that job she deals 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.


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.


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 and conducts monitoring visits and reviews competency assessments for WAGE$ states.


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. Project 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.


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.


Debra Torrence, Director, Resource Development

Debra is the Director of Resource Development for the Center.  She has been active in the early childhood field for over 26 years, with a wide array of experiences from the provision of direct services to children in a home-based setting to coordinating early childhood research projects at the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Torrence has extensive experience in developing and implementing federal, state and privately funded early childhood professional development research, training, and technical assistance grants and strategies She has served on multiple statewide committees and presented to numerous national and state groups about distance learning, professional development systems, early childhood workforce professional recognition and certification, continuing education development and more. In her work as the Director of Resource Development, she coordinates fund and tool development to support the work of the Center and outreach efforts of state projects. She holds a M. Ed. In Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education.