Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Tori Lee and Marisela Nava to the Texas Early Learning Council for terms set to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. The Texas Early Learning Council serves as Texas’ State Advisory Council as required by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. The Council utilizes its breadth of stakeholder representation to increase coordination and collaboration across state agencies and local program and service providers in order to improve the quality of and access to early childhood services across Texas. In 2019, the Council led a statewide birth-five needs assessment and developed the Early Learning Strategic Plan as part of Texas’ Preschool Development Grant project.
Tori Lee of Oak Cliff is the Division Director of Early Childhood Education for the Texas Education Agency. She was previously an elementary and high school principal. Lee received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Georgia State University.
Marisela Nava of Brownsville is the Director of the Texas Southmost College Child Care Center. She is a Vice President of the Southmost Association for the Education of Young Children Chapter and a member of the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. She also volunteers at the Children’s Museum of Brownsville as a Focus Group Member and serves as Chair of the Texas Southmost College Child Development Program Advisory Committee. Nava received an Associate of Applied Science in Child Care and Development from Texas Southmost College, a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Early Childhood from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.