Meet our Team

Our team is comprised of advocates, volunteers, educators, and community leaders  individually and collectively committed to empowering our community to support early learning.

Dr. Jody Britten

Founder

ELAN Founder

Jody has been an educator, leader, and advocate for purposeful learning experiences for all children for over 25 years. Jody is a mother of two, a community volunteer, and an educational thought leader that has contributed to sustainable, responsive learning organizations that engage, inspire, and prepare all children for 21st Century challenges and opportunities. Learn more about Jody here or follow her work in education at a more international level here.

Contact Jody

Melissa Rich

Partnership Development Director

Melissa Rich - Partnership Development Director

Melissa serves as our partnership development director, helping our organization to scale ideas, services, and supports. Melissa has crossed paths with our founder for years in the ed tech industry. She is an award winning entrepreneur, expert at thinking outside of the box, and passionate about social impact investing. Melissa currently lives in Indianapolis after a relocation from Southern California. Melissa is a mother of two, consultant, builder of great things, and dreamer.

Contact Melissa 

Sara Mills Henderson

Networking &  Outreach Coordinator

Sara Mills Henderson - Director of Outreach and Networking - Early Learning Alliance Network

Sara is an organizer, communicator, and ring leader for communities, organizations, and collaboration that can support the mission of our organization. Sara is a mother of two girls and has a professional background in consulting, and is a proven leader in change management, networking, identifying opportunities for growth, and utilizing data to direct and inspire positive change. Sara currently lives in Southern Florida where she continues her work with the Alliance on behalf of young children and early education.

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Dr. Susan Drumm

Strategic Planning and Impact Coordinator 

Susan Drumm

Susan is a long-time friend of ELAN. She holds an EdD in instructional systems technology and has a deep understanding of systems level change. Dr. Drumm has been a steadfast advocate for innovation in education, driven by her passion for serving children and supporting educators as they use the best in class tools to prepare all students for their future. Susan is a questioner, thinker, doer, and dreamer. As the mom of three adult children (a technical wiz, a designer, and an advocate) Dr. Drumm has served as a teacher, teacher leader, teacher librarian, coach, analytics coordinator, and more. She leads strategic planning and impact work at ELAN.

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Angela Loser

Disabilities Advocate

Angela Loser, Educator, Mom, Disabilitiies Advocate

Angela comes to us with a passion for doing what is best for kids. She served formally as an educator for ten years prior to deciding to be queen of the chaos at the Loser home when she and her husband Steve had four boys in under four years. While in education Angela served as a teacher, staff developer and assistant principal. Her desire to do what was right for EVERY child led to many professional development opportunities in special education, high ability, and ENL inclusion. She was a proponent of school wide positive behavior support and a model classroom while the state created RTI. Angela brings her passion for serving kids with disabilities to the focus of her work with ELAN. 

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Cheyenne Land-Requiz

Instructional Support Specialist

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Cheyenne is a passionate educator and mom of young children. She has a background in early education as a teacher, curriculum designer, advocate, and trainer. Cheyenne has been a preschool teacher and director. Cheyenne is one of the hardest workers we know, and is driven by her passion for children and the importance of the early years in shaping children to be life long learners who are curious, creative, and ready for life! She holds down the fort for her family of three boys in the greater Atlanta area. Cheyenne's work supports our commitment to igniting conversations around early learning and quality learning experiences for all children ages 0-8.

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Amanda Comage-Trower

Parent and Family Education Coordinator

amanda. comage trower

Amanda has been an early learning professional since the age of 15, when she began volunteering in a preschool. She has been a key contributor to the field of early learning in her home state of Arizona. Amanda is a mother, grandmother, coach, and a superstar with so much passion for learning in the early years. Amanda's work will reinforce and enact our commitment to parents and families of young children. Her vast experience and core understandings and commitments to young children make her a perfect addition to our team!

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Lauren Garcia

Research Director

Lauren Garcia - Research Director

Lauren has over 15 years experience in evaluation and research in education. She has worked for universities, state departments of education, corporations, non profit organizations, and more. She holds a master's degree in evaluation and has the smarts we need to ensure data is clean, clear, and effective to achieve our mission. She provides support to our team in coordination of research activities, while maintaining her number one role of mom to her sweet little guy! Lauren and her family reside in San Francisco. We are thrilled that she brings a sense of humor, knack for sweating the details, and a love of all things data to the ELAN team.

Contact Lauren

Joe Tacosik

Social Media and Public Relations

Joe Tacosik Socail Media Guru

Joe is our resident millennial who keeps our social media and outreach in check. Joe is a graduate of Ball State University, and a rock star in social media. Joe is a "newish" husband of an awesome person and a sibling to too many for us to count. Joe's work supports our overall mission to ignite conversations in our community.

Connect with Joe

Emily Headings Early LEarning Alliance NEetwork

Emily serves as our founder's Special Assistant. Emily started her commitment to young children and education at Butler University with Dr. Britten as a professor. She has a passion for early childhood education and a mind towards purposeful learning. Emily currently lives in North Carolina after a relocation from Indiana. She was a kindergarten teacher for 6 years and served in additional roles as a curriculum designer, professional development leader, and teacher mentor. While helping organize the world of the ELAN and raising her young daughter, Emily also teaches online part time. Emily is the master scheduler and is your direct point of contact to connect with Dr. Britten.

Contact Emily

David Kanter

STEM Advisor

david-kanter

David is a long time friend of the Alliance and a dad of two little ones. Dr. Kanter is a nationally recognized leader in STEM education. Having worked with PBS kids, the NY Hall of Science, and several other national early childhood programs that promote play-based learning that encourages inquiry, problem solving, and curiosity. David brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to our team. David serves as our STEM advisor and partner for STEM funding and strategic planning.

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Peg Rideout

Early Intervention Advisor

peg-rideout-early-intervention-specialist

Peg is a mother to three and a Mimi to four sweet grandkids. She is recently retired after more than 25 years in education where she served populations from early childhood through post-secondary learners. She maintains a passion for helping parents, caregivers and educators navigate the educational system in order to maximize the learning opportunities for all children. Peg is passionate about early learning and brings a wealth of knowledge to our organization as someone with experience navigating the early intervention landscape in our community.

Contact Peg