ESEA Regional Representatives

ESEA Timeline

REGION 1 - Kathryn Nichol (NH)

ALTERNATE - Erica Meaker (NY)


Kathryn Nichol Bio

A leader nationally recognized for her innovative approach to education, Kathryn “Joey” Nichol, M.Ed., has successfully held several leadership and management positions for the New Hampshire Department of Education spanning fourteen years. Joey has served administration, educators, students and families in the capacity of School Improvement Grant (SIG) Coordinator, North Country Title I Regional Manager, and as a member of the School Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) State Implementation Team. Currently, Joey is the New Hampshire State Title II Director in the Bureau of Instructional Support where she oversees educational initiatives. As a strength-based leader with a passion for helping schools and students who are most in need, Joey has been a valuable asset to the New Hampshire Department of Education and the schools it serves.


Over the past four years, as a result of her work managing Federal grant programs and School Improvement initiatives in the State of New Hampshire, Joey has been able to provide experienced leadership, organizational skills, and valuable insights to the ESEA Conference Planning Committee. Her goal is to assist in the development of high-quality professional learning opportunities for the nations’ educators especially during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Joey has consistently brought valuable insight, experience, leadership, and organizational skills to the ESEA Conference Committee. As a planner and innovative leader and seeking to be more involved with NAESPA, she successfully ran and is the current Region 1 Representative. During this past year Joey also served on the Government Relations Committee.


Joey graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Elementary Education. She received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

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REGION 2 - Bernell Cook (LA)

ALTERNATE - Wes Sherrell (GA) 

Bernell Cook Bio

Bernell Cook is the Director of the Division of Federal Programs, in the Office of Fiscal Operations and Federal Support at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE). With an extensive and robust career in education, he has been with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) for approximately seventeen years.


In his current leadership position, he facilitates the effective implementation of several federal programs: Title I, Part A, Title II, Part A, Title IV, Part B under ESSA. As Director, these responsibilities also include supporting the LDE’s design, training, and approval process of new Super Application. He also is responsible for the coordination and data validation of the Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) submission to the USDOE.


Bernell currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Title I Directors as treasurer. He has a Master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Southern University, A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Via alternative certification, he achieved NCLB’s Highly Qualified status in Secondary Mathematics (2007). A former middle and high school mathematics and science teacher, he also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Bernell resides in Louisiana’s capital, and enjoys spending precious time with his wife and daughter Samiah Grace.

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REGION 3 - Erin Sudduth (KY)

ALTERNATE - Shoua Vang (MI)


Erin Sudduth Bio

Erin Sudduth is the branch manager for the Title I, Part A Support and Improvement Branch at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Erin began working with KDE in November 2016 and has worked as a program consultant for Title I, Part A and Title III, Part A. As branch manager, Erin works with ESEA foster care requirements, paraeducator requirements in Title I schools, consolidated monitoring, and Title V, Part B Rural Low-Income Schools. Prior to joining KDE, Erin was a Spanish teacher at the elementary and high school levels for 7 years. Erin has a Bachelor of Arts in international business and Spanish and a Master of Arts in Education from Georgetown College as well as a Specialist in Education degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

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REGION 4 - Tate Toedman (KS)

ALTERNATE - Dottie Heusman (NE)


Tate Toedman Bio

As an Assistant Director on the Special Education, and Title Services team, Tate oversees multiple ESEA programs and serves on cross-team monitoring processes. Title I, Part A, Title II, Title IV, Part A, Title V, and Title VIII of ESEA are a large part of his responsibility when it comes to programming. He also serves on our monitoring teams that monitor across programs for early childhood, special education, and ESEA monitoring of programs. He currently serves as the Private School Ombudsman for the state. He has previously served as the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. He has been an Assistant Director since July 2017. He has been with the Kansas State Department of Education since 2006.

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REGION 5 - Christy Hendricks (MT)

ALTERNATE - Kathy Gauby (Idaho)


Christy Hendricks Bio

Christy Hendricks is the Federal Grants Coordinator for the Montana Office of Public Instruction and oversees Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title V and is the Foster Care Point of Contact for the state of Montana. She has been on the Conference Planning Committee for NAESPA for the past 2 years and is grateful to extend her role as the Region 5 Representative. 


In her current role at OPI, she works with Egrants, Targeted Assistance, and Schoolwide Programs and Private/Non-public participation in Title II. The Federal Grants Unit distributes and monitors Title I, Parts A, C, and D; Title II, Part A; Title III Part A; Title V (RLIS); and Title IX McKinney-Vento Homeless Education. Prior to this Christy was the Data Control Specialist for the Career Technical Adult Education Department at the OPI. She also spent 18 years as a CTE/Business Education and Elementary Librarian in a very small rural school in Montana. Christy is a proud 5th-generation Montanan and loves to be outdoors as much as possible and enjoy the beautiful state she is blessed to call home!



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