KDE takes advantage of ARP ESSER funding to use 5 new early understanding experts – Kentucky Instructor

Graphic with 5 headshot photos that reads: Alisha Reeves, Jennifer Hagan, Kathy Meredith, Lori Bean, Nicole Scarberry.

The Kentucky Office of Education’s Office environment of Particular Education and learning and Early Learning hired five early understanding specialists employing ARP ESSER funding to support address unfinished understanding introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kentucky Division of Education’s (KDE’s) Business office of Special Instruction and Early Discovering (OSEEL) is utilizing federal funding to support deal with the unfinished learning introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preschool as a result of 2nd-grade learners knowledgeable some of the finest loss of instruction, according to KDE System Manager David Wickersham.

The American Rescue Program (ARP) Act – which bundled far more than $2 billion for Kentucky general public schools – approved a 3rd round of funding from the Elementary and Secondary Faculty Emergency Aid (ESSER) fund. The federal funding supports the safe and sound and sustained return to in-human being learning and expands fairness by supporting pupils who want it most, notably those people most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

OSEEL is utilizing ARP ESSER funding to just take ways to assistance households, schools and academics as they navigate variations to early discovering, student’s transitions into school and supports for university and staff in addressing the demands of early learners.  

In order to offer this assist, OSEEL hired 5 early finding out experts: Lori Bean, Jennifer Hagan, Kathy Meredith, Alisha Reeves and Nicole Scarberry.

ARP Task Direct Traci Sharpe and ARP Project Advisor Jillian McGraw are doing work with the two the early finding out staff and the postsecondary changeover group. 

“I certainly feel we will be able to detect the barriers, conquer road blocks and unite like-minded individuals who are passionate about changing the trajectory for our pupils with disabilities and early learners,” reported Sharpe. 

McGraw stated early learners have knowledgeable a deficiency of important schooling and experiences throughout a critical window of time in their enhancement.

“We are passionately and strategically dedicated to delivering support for learners in preschool by means of 2nd-grade, as properly as other stakeholders this kind of as communities, households, educators, and school districts,” McGraw mentioned. 

Lori Bean

Born and lifted in Franklin, Bean is a 3rd-era teacher with 29 many years of services to general public training. She started her vocation as an elementary trainer in the Simpson County School District and taught for 14 decades. As a classroom instructor, she served as a group chief and was awarded the Campbellsville College Excellence in Educating Award.

In 2007, Bean still left the classroom to serve as a curriculum, instruction and assessment specialist for 1st-3rd quality at Simpson Elementary (Simpson County). She performed a important function in creating a Reaction to Intervention system at the elementary stage. Bean made and introduced skilled progress involving literacy, gifted and proficient and formative evaluation. She also prepared and coordinated loved ones celebration evenings at her faculty and made a training method for visitor readers.

Two years later on, Bean grew to become the curriculum, instruction and assessment specialist for kindergarten at Franklin Elementary (Simpson County), a part she served in for 13 several years. Although at Franklin Elementary, she also spent time as a reading through interventionist, a math interventionist, substantial faculty dance crew mentor and a library media specialist. 

“Early studying has usually been my enthusiasm,” she reported. “I am excited about the possibilities of doing the job with this remarkable staff. This operate will allow for our group to assist, persuade and empower the early learning instructors in our point out as they continue to do the most crucial work in the entire world.” 

Bean done her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Kentucky College (WKU). She is a credential trainer through Childcare Conscious of Kentucky. She also taught for VIPKid, a company that allowed her to nearly instruct college students in China. 

Bean lives in Franklin with her spouse, Craig. She has 3 young children, Kate, Logan and Sam, and 1 granddaughter, Rylee. 

Jennifer Marcum Hagan

Hagan has committed 18 decades of provider in Kentucky’s general public education and learning technique. She commenced her career as a community preschool trainer at Bardstown Independent University District where by she taught 3- and 4-year-previous students. For the duration of her time at Bardstown, she served two yrs as the childcare outreach liaison. In her purpose, she collaborated with local childcare facilities and Head Commence, supplying help through mentoring and education of childcare employees, instructors and other staff members.

“It is my hope that through this possibility I can teach our communities on the worth of early childhood instruction and establishing a audio instructional basis for the small children of Kentucky,” mentioned Hagan. “By supporting early schooling academics with significant-top quality, evidence-dependent procedures we can have a lasting influence on our youngest students.”

Hagan also served as a developmental interventionist for To start with Ways, in which she provided interventions to children birth to age 3 that targeted on supporting children’s discovering by means of interactions with other folks, particularly caregivers. Making use of a coaching strategy, she was equipped to assistance people as they navigate their child’s finding out and progress. 

Hagan accomplished her bachelor’s degree at the College of Kentucky and her master’s and Rank 1 at the College of the Cumberlands. She is a credentialed coach for the point out of Kentucky and has a enthusiasm for supporting early childhood educators.

Lifted in Laurel County, Hagan life in Bardstown with her partner, Hart, a social research trainer in Bardstown Impartial School District, and sons, Gibson and Cannon.

Kathy Meredith

With nearly 40 a long time of provider throughout West Virginia and Kentucky, Meredith has committed her career to doing the job with pupils with autism and significant disabilities, with a big concentrate on spouse and children engagement. Her profession started as a distinctive training instructor in Cabell County Schools (West Virginia), where by she concentrated on classroom inclusion, pre-vocational scientific studies and work coaching for college students with reasonable disabilities in pure options.

Soon after leaving the classroom, Meredith served as a family members advocate and coordinator for the Marshall College Autism Schooling Center. Following her get the job done there, she used the bulk of her career with the Kentucky Educational Enhancement Corporation as a regional expert for pupils with autism and sophisticated needs.

Meredith’s most new purpose was as a state preschool Favourable Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coach and facilitator for KDE. She assisted train regional coaches in the Pyramid Procedures and at present serves as a qualified nationwide marketing consultant for the Pyramid Product Consortium.

“I’m incredibly passionate about my function in schooling academics how to establish the what and why for their challenging behaviors to develop proof-dependent practices that assistance early learners in psychological and social competence,” claimed Meredith. “Given the included trauma from COVID, it is most crucial that we give these pupils, households and university team the coping expertise tactics they need to have to be prosperous in faculty.”

Born and elevated in West Virginia, Meredith received her bachelor’s degree and master’s diploma from Marshall University. She has two kids, Joshua and Keenan, and at present resides in Kenova, W.Va., with her spouse, Berlin.

Alisha Reeves

Reeves has spent 26 a long time serving Kentucky’s general public faculties. Raised in Franklin, Tenn., Reeves’ passion for working with people with disabilities started when she worked together with her grandmother in a Sunday College course for grown ups with disabilities and continued to improve as she served as a camp counselor at Muscular Dystrophy Affiliation summer camps.

Reeves began her vocation as an elementary particular schooling trainer, serving learners who were being faced with distinctive mastering issues. As a particular educator, she collaborated with other teachers to create inclusive environments in which all college students could be successful.

In 2005, Reeves turned the director of distinctive education and learning and preschool coordinator for Caverna Unbiased Schools. She moved into a similar function in 2010 with Glasgow Independent Educational facilities. In both of those roles, she labored to support learners, instructors, households and other directors to guarantee all students acquired an appropriate high-excellent training.  

Reeves is thrilled about the opportunity impression the operate can have in bettering outcomes for education in Kentucky. 

“As we mirror on the impact COVID-19 experienced on the lives of pupils, educators and family members, we can see the pandemic has offered us moments to celebrate as perfectly as heightened our consciousness of the inequities confronted by so quite a few of our neighbors during the state,” she said. “The ARP perform makes it possible for us to explore approaches to close finding out gaps, help lecturers and administrators and improve family members engagement.”

Reeves gained her bachelor’s, master’s and Rank 1 from WKU. She was the receiver of the 2002 Kentucky Council for Outstanding Children Special Training Trainer of the Calendar year Award.

Reeves lives in Glasgow with her spouse, Ron. They have a few children, Sam, Drew and Megan.  

Nicole Scarberry

With 17 decades of assistance to Kentucky’s public colleges, Scarberry observed her passion for early learning when she began her job as a substitute teacher for kindergarten by 8th quality. From there, she moved into her complete-time position as a kindergarten teacher with Johnson County Schools.

In the course of her time as a teacher, she labored closely with local community partners to improve family engagement in her classroom and participated in many proof-based mostly observe sessions and high-leverage method trainings. She was an active member of the Family members Useful resource Center Advisory Council and participated in a number of outreach projects within just her group. She arranged and held dad or mum meetings for learners transitioning into kindergarten.

“During my schooling job I have usually held the motto ‘Every Baby, Each and every Day’ for the reason that the young children are the coronary heart of our educational institutions. I also know that our college employees are the heartbeats,” mentioned Scarberry. “Serving as a teacher at the height of the pandemic, I know not only what our learners dropped, but our personnel as well. I hope that I can proceed to uncover techniques to empower not only teachers, but our assistance workers as well, and enable them reignite their enthusiasm to train.

“We have to be able to give them the right support and techniques to conquer, adapt, unite and to keep in mind it is probably not just ‘Every Boy or girl, Every single Day’ but ’Every Individual, Every single Day.’ We are all in this alongside one another.” 

Scarberry finished her associate diploma at Significant Sandy Local community and Complex College, her bachelor’s degree at Morehead Condition College and her master’s degree at Union Faculty. She is pursuing her instructional management degree and doing the job on writing a children’s book. She is a Amount 5 credential coach for Kentucky. 

Scarberry was elevated in the hills of Martin County and is a 3rd-era teacher. She now lives with her partner, Jeff, and her daughters, Lexie and Chloe, in Paintsville.


Wickersham thinks concentrating ARP ESSER funding on early studying aids the agency tackle 3 spots of want: household engagement, schoolwide supports and teacher skilled development.

“A ton of familial supports disappeared in terms of support programs they would have at residence and not just in terms of protection and housing,” he claimed. “The workforce will seem into approaches to straight interact and aid families as they assist with that position of getting to be superior companions in excess of a child’s academic existence.”

Historically, Kentucky has been widely supportive of favourable behavior interventions and furnishing schoolwide units of aid, Wickersham claimed, but a broader design is a new need.

“What’s bubbling up is the notion that there are behavioral wants we have in no way seen before. It stems from deficiency of exposure to other little ones and deficiency of socialization to a college environment,” he claimed. “Societally, that’s not a need to have any person has found probably given that the commence of community training. Wherever kids don’t know what lunch is like, what the constructing is like or what team time is like.”

Dependent on feed-back from school districts across the Commonwealth, the team obtained perception into the tutorial and behavioral affect of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The supports to instructors and colleges will incorporate sources and education on the rising desires as early learners get re-engaged or become engaged for the initial time in public college.