Meet our staff

Ann BaileyAnn Bailey, PhD


Dr. Bailey has over 20 years of experience in the field of education and special education, specifically in technical assistance and dissemination at regional and national levels, teaching, evaluation, research, and training development. She oversees the research and evaluation work of CEED and is currently working on evaluation planning and research related to early childhood assessment, early childhood literacy, and childcare systems.

Deborah OttmanDeborah Ottman, MA

Associate Director of Professional Development

Deborah Ottman is CEED’s Associate Director of Professional Development. She oversees CEED’s partnership with the Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities and directs the Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute, both funded by the Minnesota Department of Education, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). In these roles, she contributes to supporting Minnesota’s ECSE professionals and related service providers via a state-wide professional development system and yearly professional learning event. In addition, Deborah oversees the development and delivery of rigorous, relationship-based online courses, self-study modules, and in-person trainings offered by CEED.

Kristina Erstad-SankeyKristina Erstad-Sankey, MSW

Associate Director of Program Quality

Ms. Erstad-Sankey oversees the Program Quality work at CEED and is currently working on supporting early childhood coaches, educators, and administrators in a variety of settings (Head Start, Licensed child care, and school districts) to expand their impact through intentional everyday practices. She oversees the CLASS® observations and 6 Principles of Quality Coaching observations for Parent Aware, Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, and leads a team of tool anchors and observers who continuously provide reliable, professional, and high quality observations. She also oversees professional development for Parent Aware coaches including online learning communities, in-person training, online courses, and developing guidelines and protocols for delivery. She enjoys introducing early childhood professionals to motivational interviewing techniques, classroom observation tools, executive function measures, and relationship-based professional development practices.

Alyssa MeuwissenAlyssa Meuwissen, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Meuwissen is a CEED Research Associate and Research Coordinator for the Reflective Practice Center at CEED. She specializes in supporting adults who support children. Her work focuses on supporting professionals through reflective supervision/consultation, as well as supporting parents in promoting the development of children’s cognitive skills and self-regulation.

photo of Anne LarsonAnne Larson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Research Associate, Co-Director of Reflective Practice Center at CEED

Dr. Larson studies language assessments and caregiver-implemented interventions for young children with or at risk for disabilities, families experiencing economic hardship, and dual language learners. Her community-based research projects are equity-focused and aim to involve and inform relevant stakeholder groups. Dr. Larson’s current projects include an Institute of Educational Sciences Early Career Award that will allow her to develop and test the initial efficacy of an app-based intervention with video coaching (VALI) for Spanish-speaking families who have young children with language delays.

Christopher WatsonChristopher Watson, PhD, IMH-E®[IV]

Co-Director of Reflective Practice Center at CEED

Dr. Watson focuses on professional development with a focus on the social and emotional development of young children and reflective supervision/consultation, to support practitioners working with young children and their families.

Michele Mazzocco headshotMichele Mazzocco, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Mazzocco is a professor at the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development. Her research spans studies with children ages two to 15 years, and adults. Her research focuses on cognitive development in early to middle childhood, individual differences and development of numeracy, mathematical thinking, math anxiety, and lexical ambiguity.

Ashley Midthun, MS

Ashley MidthunProgram Quality Manager

Ashley uses the CLASS® tool as an observer and as a trainer.  She serves as the CLASS® Anchor and conducts monthly webinars for CLASS® Coaches through the Online Learning Community.

Margarita Milenova, PhD

Margarita MilenovaProgram Quality Specialist

Margie works on early childhood program quality projects and trains early childhood professionals on the Desired Results Developmental Profile assessment tool.

Hannah Riddle de Rojas, MA

Hannah Riddle de RojasProgram Quality Specialist

Hannah started working at CEED in November of 2019 as an Early Childhood Program Assistant. She conducts CLASS® observations for child care centers and creates content for online courses.

Karen Trewartha-Weiner, MEd

Karen Trewartha-WeinerRelationship-based Professional Development Manager

Karen started working at CEED in the spring of 2016.  She co-facilitates the Parent Aware CLASS® Coaches’ Online Learning Community, is a trainer for a variety of CLASS® trainings offered through CEED, and is the anchor for the Parent Aware Coach Observation Project.

Karen Anderson

Karen AndersonProgram/Project Specialist

Karen provides technical and administrative support to all of the projects and programs at CEED. She also serves as CEED’s online course manager.

Meredith Reese

Meredith ReeseResearch Assistant

Meredith started working at CEED in September 2019 as a Research Assistant. She works on projects involving program evaluation and research in early childhood.

Support staff

Daniel Peterson

Accounting – Financial Professional 2

William O’Brien

Finance Professional II

Hannah Baxter

Hannah BaxterCommunications Consultant

Hannah started working as a Communications Consultant for CEED in June 2019. She assists in strategy and implementation of CEED’s print and digital communications.