Noel Kelty, President
Dr. Kelty is the Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Education at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Office of Great Start/Early Childhood Development and Family Education. In addition to this work, Dr. Kelty coordinates MDE Early Intervention/Early On® program. Prior to this position, Dr. Kelty was the Early Literacy and Family Engagement Consultant for the MDE. Dr. Kelty has experience as a program administrator, classroom teacher, early intervention specialist, home visitor, and consultant. Dr. Kelty completed her PhD this year in Early Childhood with a focus in Special Education from Oakland University.
Robin Wilkins, Vice President
Robin Wilkins has been an Education Program Development Specialist with the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), Division of Early Childhood Education for 15 years, developing policy, providing technical assistance, and serving on New Jersey’s QRIS Leadership Team. Prior to returning to the NJDOE in 2010, Robin was the Director of Professional Development for Teaching Strategies, along with many other roles. Robin also had the privilege of being part of the CEELO Leadership Academy in 2018. A versatile professional with over 20 years in the field of early childhood education, Robin has worked in Head Start, community-based programs, and school district settings.
Nicole Madore, Treasurer
Nicole Madore is the Early Childhood Specialist on the Early Learning Team at the Maine Department of Education. In her current position, Nicole oversees Pre-K policy in the public setting and provides technical assistance, professional development, and additional resources for best practice to early childhood educators and administrators in the field. Prior to this role, Nicole worked as an IDEA, Part B, 619 team leader, as an itinerant special education teacher and as a regular, multi-age classroom teacher in a public school setting.
M.Ed.: Early Childhood Education
B.S.: Early Childhood Education
Jennifer Jones, Secretary
Jennifer is an Education Consultant with the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC). She has been a member of NAECS-SDE since 2021 and has served as Secretary since 2022. In her role at the OEC, Jennifer oversees various state-funded early care and education programs, including State Head Start and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. She also supports agency coordination with the Connecticut Department of Education, Department of Housing, and the Head Start Collaboration Office around the birth to grade three continuum and ending childhood homelessness in Connecticut. Prior to her transition to state agency work, Jennifer worked with infant/toddlers, preschoolers and school age students in non-profit settings, both as a teacher and as an administrator.
M.Ed.: Early Childhood Administration
B.A.: History, Early Childhood Education
Mandy Sorge, Executive Director
Mandy Sorge is the Executive Director of the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE). In this role, she will work directly with the Executive Committee on developing a refined vision and goals for the association, as well as partnering on strategic planning, communications, fundraising and membership.
Most recently, Mandy served as a Senior Policy Analyst for Early Care and Education in the Education Division at NGA. In this role, she worked directly with Governor’s office staff on early childhood education issues, from birth through third grade. Mandy’s work at NGA focused on improving policies around the ECE Workforce, integrating and aligning services for young children across health, education and human services, and embedding social-emotional learning into classrooms. Prior to joining NGA, she worked in training and technical assistance for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants. She began her career as an early childhood educator at both Frank Porter Graham in North Carolina and Educare DC in Washington, D.C. Mandy holds a master's degree in Education Policy from the George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mandy is currently completing research as an Ed.D. candidate with the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University and will be graduating in December 2020.
Lauren Zbyszinski, Past President
Lauren Zbyszinski currently serves as a Senior Policy Analyst focused on early childhood at The Hunt Institute. Prior to this role, Lauren served as the Texas Inter-Agency Deputy Director for Early Childhood, a collaboration between the Texas Education Agency, Texas Department of Family Protective Services, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Department Health and Human Services. There she supported collaboration among the partnering agencies, establishing priorities, coordination, and evaluation of program activities, collectively creating a comprehensive early childhood system for Texas. Lauren’s background includes a tenure at the Arizona Department of Education as the Director of Professional Learning and Sustainability for Early Childhood. During her work in Arizona, Lauren organized all state departments to create a singular professional development track for Early Childhood Education in the state of Arizona. Additionally, her scope of work included collaborating with internal partners, external stakeholders, and Arizona educators to support the early childhood education pipeline by establishing a K-3 Formative Assessment system in Arizona. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in business marketing, master of education, and doctor of philosophy all from Arizona State University. Her PhD is in the area of Curriculum and Instruction, with a specialization in Early Childhood Education, and her research included a focus on executive function and social-emotional development in the birth through kindergarten years. Lauren also holds a law degree from Loyola University, focused on social justice reform through social-emotional learning and education.
The function of the committee is to work with the President to assure effective mechanisms for organizational communication. The committee shall advise and/or oversee the Association's electronic communication capabilities and protocols as well as traditional means of communication such as any newsletters or print communications.
Contact: Michelle Levy
Membership Support Committee
The function of the committee is to encourage active membership representing all states and territories in the respective regions, to facilitate regional communication, and to provide professional development and induction activities for new members.
Contact: Nicole Madore
The Program Committee shall work with the Vice President who will be a member of this committee, to make arrangements for the annual meeting of the Association, including but not limited to site selection and program arrangements
Contact: Noel Kelty
Public Policy Committee
The function of the Public Policy Committee is to address issues which are of interest and relevance to the general membership. Issues may be addressed by reviewing policies and position statements from other organizations for possible endorsement, developing position statements for the Association as recommended by the membership or Executive Committee, or other actions which would support an informed and active membership.
Contact: Lauren Zbyszinski