Within The Framework Webinar
For State Leaders, By State Leaders: State Leadership Team Equity Inventory

Within The Framework Webinar Series


January 27, 2022
Duration: 55 min



Many state leaders use the evidence-based Pyramid Model framework as an approach to build social and emotional competence in early care and education programs. Wisdom gleaned by state leaders to systematically implement, scale up and sustain their Pyramid Model efforts are being highlighted in this webinar series. Each webinar includes lessons learned and resources related to specific aspects of statewide implementation. We welcome champions of this work to join, share, and learn with us.

Certificate of Attendance

A downloadable certificate is available for recorded webinars.

To receive the certificate, you must fill out the evaluation survey.

How to access the survey:

  • Recording viewers: The URL link for the survey will be displayed at the end of the webinar. You will need to type that URL into your internet browser to access the survey and certificate. Note: Type the URL exactly as you see it. URL is CASE SENSITIVE.

Once you submit the survey, the certificate will appear. You can then save and/or print your certificate.


Alissa Rausch

Alissa Rausch, University of Denver

Alissa Rausch, EdD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver. She has worked as clinical faculty in the early childhood and early childhood special education licensure program at CU Denver. Her work in higher education blossomed from 15 years of practice as an early childhood educator working in inclusive preschool classrooms serving young children and their families. Alissa also had the privilege of serving children from diverse backgrounds and their families in their homes and in community settings. Her current work centers on supporting preservice and in-service practitioners to build their capacity to act as agents of social change and implement quality inclusive practices for young children in the field of early childhood education.

Angela Van Polen

Angela Van Polen, University of Denver

Angie Van Polen is a LEAP Project Manager at the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver. She provides consultation and technical assistance to LEAP Model and Pyramid Model implementation sites. Angie has 20 years of experience in the field of education. Much of her work has been focused on improving systemic scale up and sustainability while engaging multidisciplinary teams to improve agreed upon outcomes. Her experiences provide her with a strong understanding of inclusive practices at a classroom level, as well as, at a state-wide systems level to inform implementation practices, scale-up and sustainability.

Ashley Fehringer

Ashley Fehringer, University of Maryland

Ashley Fehringer, MPH, is the Training & Coaching Specialist for the Parent, Infant and Early Childhood Program, at the Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work. In this role, she works to support statewide implementation of the Pyramid Model through training, coaching and technical assistance to local leadership teams. Ms. Fehringer has several years of experience in early childhood development, adult education and coaching. Most recently she served as a Maternal & Child Health Specialist with the Peace Corps in Guatemala. In this position, she used adult learning methodologies to train health professionals on behavior change theory to support the programs they were developing. Ms. Fehringer obtained her Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Ginny Howard

Ginny Howard, Nebraska Department of Education

For over 20 years, Ginny Howard’s work has been in early childhood education. She worked in Omaha Public Schools as a Pre-K teacher for 12 years and four years as an ECSE teacher & program coordinator in a smaller Nebraska district. In 2016, she left the classroom and began coaching and training on the Pyramid Model for the Nebraska Department of Education, which at that time was utilizing the cohort model. She also coached and trained on the Pyramid Model in several community child care programs for Rooted in Relationships. During this time, she also was a consultant for Verbal Behavior for the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Network of Nebraska. In the spring of 2020, Ginny was hired by the Nebraska Department of Education as an Early Childhood Special Education Specialist. Under this role, Ginny leads the Early Childhood MTSS team, under NeMTSS, in making Pyramid Model accessible to all early childhood programs across the state, as well as co-leading the state’s Pyramid State Leadership Team.

Angelique Kane

Angelique Kane, University of Maryland

Angelique Kane is a Program Specialist for the Parent, Infant & Early Childhood (PIEC) Program in The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at University of Maryland School of Social Work. She provides administrative and technical assistance for program and policy work for all parent, infant and early childhood activities which include the training, coaching, and statewide implementation of the Pyramid Model, Maryland’s Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, and Maryland & DC’s Facilitating Attuned INteractions (FAN) community. Her experience includes promoting positive social and emotional health and family well-being in educational settings and guiding families to access resources and services to improve quality of life. This work includes collaborating with stakeholders that include federal, state, and local government and private organizations to support and inform systems-level reform efforts. Alongside her professional endeavors, Angelique has served in various leadership roles for community organizations where she has organized and facilitated groups to provide information on topics that include equity, improving outcomes for targeted groups of oppression, trauma-informed care, and family and community engagement. She is an active citizen and models her service after the term “sankofa” which simply means to reach back into the past to use the lessons learned to effect positive change in the future.

Rachel Vannatta

Rachel Vannatta, University of Maryland

Rachel Vannatta, PhD, LCPC, is a Senior Training Specialist on the Parent Infant Early Childhood (PIEC) team. In this role she works to support the early childhood workforce through training, coaching and implementation of best practices related to social and emotional supports for parents and young children. Rachel has over 10 years of clinical experience working with clients across the lifespan, and she has additional training and experience in working with the perinatal population. Prior to joining the PIEC team, Rachel was an assistant professor at Immaculata University, where she taught master’s level counselor trainees. Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern University, a Master’s in Education from Southern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the George Washington University.

Christen Million

Christen Million, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

Christen works with the Rooted in Relationships Initiative where she assists state and community partners to develop systems of care that support the social and emotional well-being of children birth through age 8. She previously worked as an Early Childhood and Family Specialist, where she provided Pyramid Model training, coaching, and support for Early Childhood staff. In addition, Christen has also worked for Head Start as a Family Advocate and a Mental Health/Disabilities Specialist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in Child Development from the University of Arkansas, and a Master of Science in Developmental Therapy from Henderson State University. Christen also holds a Developmental Therapy certification through the state of Arkansas. Christen currently serves as a co-lead for the Nebraska Pyramid State Leadership Team, and helps to support Nebraska’s statewide Early Childhood Coaching and Pyramid systems.