TARSS at CEED

Trainers and RBPD specialists can access TARSS support from CEED staff by emailing tarss@umn.edu or calling 612-624-5708. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; we will respond to calls and emails within two business days.

About us

CEED is home to the Trainer and Relationship-based Professional Development Specialist Support program (TARSS), funded by the state of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Development Services. The TARSS program supports trainers, coaches, and relationship-based professional development (RBPD) specialists in the early education field.

Outline of the state of Minnesota bisected by a wavy line that looks like a river

We provide support through:

  • Professional development for trainers, coaches, and RBPD specialists
  • Events and conferences
  • The Trainer Academy
  • “Training of trainer” events for DHS courses
  • Observation and mentorship for trainers
  • Building trainer capacity statewide
  • Recruiting trainers statewide
  • The RBPD credential
  • Support for Develop users
  • Data collection to evaluate the TARSS program

Keep in touch

Join a trainer listening session to learn more about TARSS and share feedback, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive TARSS news and opportunities right in your inbox.

Program staff

Get to know our team in this video excerpt from the 2021 RBPD Fall Retreat
Ann Bailey

Ann Bailey, PhD

Director, CEED

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Bailey has over 20 years of experience in teaching, evaluation, research, training development, and technical assistance at the regional and national levels. She oversees CEED’s work as well as conducting research and evaluations.

Daisy Corona

Daisy Corona

Community Program Assistant – Bilingual Community Mentor
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Corona joined CEED in August 2022. She has been a part of the early childhood field in various roles for over three years

Melissa Donovan

Melissa Donovan, MEd

TARSS Training Specialist
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Donovan has been in the early childhood field for about 20 years in various roles.

Kristina Erstad-Sankey, MSW

Associate Director of Program Quality

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Erstad-Sankey oversees CEED’s program quality work, including classroom observations and coaching. She also directs CEED’s professional development offerings for coaches, trainers, and RBPD specialists.

Mary McEathron

Mary McEathron

Research Associate and Lead Evaluator

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McEathron has 20 years of experience evaluating state and local programs with an emphasis on useful evaluations that support learning and program improvements. She has worked with numerous training and professional development programs, and brings that experience to her work as the lead evaluator for TARSS.

Meredith Reese

Meredith Reese

Research Assistant

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Reese joined CEED in 2019. Her work includes project management, program evaluation, and early childhood research.

Hannah Riddle de Rojas

Hannah Riddle

TARSS Program Manager

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Riddle joined the early childhood program quality team at CEED in November 2019 after cofounding SolBe, an early childhood program in Boston, MA. She has been a trainer for the last 7 years.

Deborah Ottman

Deborah Ottman, MA

Professional Development Coordinator
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Ottman is CEED’s Professional Development Coordinator. 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, Ottman oversees the development and delivery of rigorous, relationship-based online courses, self-study modules, and in-person trainings offered by CEED.