Press Briefing Recording

Press Briefing Hosted May 17th, 2023 

Press Inquiries Ashley Davison, Director of Communications 

Speaker & Bios 

Swati Adarkar is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently, she served as the National Policy Director for Start Early. Prior to this, Swati was the Co-Founder and President & CEO of the Children’s Institute in Oregon for 15 years, an early childhood policy and advocacy organization. Swati served on statewide advisory committees on early childhood for three Oregon governors. She provided the vision and leadership to launch and sustain the Early Works initiative which aligns birth to five services and supports with elementary school. For more than thirty years she has been a strong advocate for meeting the comprehensive needs of low-income children and families in Oregon and California and has a passion for ensuring the health and early school success of young children. Swati has served on the Advisory Boards of Attendance Works and the National P-3 Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School. 


Jamila Smith is the Director of the Office of Innovation and Early Learning Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. She oversees several initiatives that provide financial and technical support to improve the educational achievement of students, particularly high-need students and our youngest learners. Jamila began her career in education over fifteen years ago in the Risk Management Service supporting states and the Insular Areas in assessing program performance risk and developing monitoring and fiscal control protocols for the Title I and Title III program offices. She has led initiatives to support students and communities in rural and geographically isolated areas and has also served as a technical assistance lead, leading initiatives focused on performance management and education reform sustainability. Prior to joining the Department, Jamila’s commitment to education reform was solidified early in her career in her work as a social work advocate for homeless children; where she advocated for coordinated and timely assessment services for elementary school aged children. 


Patricia Lozano is the Executive Director of Early Edge California. She leads the organization's work to support California's Early Learning and Care system including the implementation of Universal Preschool to all 4-year-olds in California through the expansion of Transitional Kindergarten; expanding supports for infants and toddlers; developing robust supports for Dual Language Learners in their learning experiences; and advocating for ongoing investment in the state’s Early Learning workforce. As a former teacher and associate director at a child development center, Patricia is passionate about supporting the needs of Early Learning teachers and improving quality for young children. 


Kaylee Rosencrance is a preschool teacher a Beverly Elementary School in West Virginia. She has been teaching for five years. Her favorite aspect of preschool is learning through play and learning based off of the child’s interests. She says “Preschool is a place where children learn to problem solve, build self confidence, focus on academics through exploration, and build positive working relationships and friendships with their peers.” Paige Hendricks is from Beverly, West Virginia. She is a full time pharmacy technician and a mother of a 5-year-olds. She was born and raised in West Virginia. When she’s not working, she enjoys time with her family.