ESEA Regional Representatives

ESEA Timeline

REGION 1 - Kathryn Nichol (NH)

ALTERNATE - Mark Harris, Jr. (DC)


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 Alternate 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 - Melanie Purkey (WV) 

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 - Shelly Babler (WI)

ALTERNATE - Shoua Vang (MI)


Shelly Babler Bio

Shelly is an assistant director for the Title I and School Support Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In her role, she provides leadership and management for the ESEA consolidated application and monitoring process. Shelly is heavily involved with the management and software design of WISEgrants, Wisconsin’s in-house grants management system. This responsibility affords her the opportunity to work with a variety of federal grant programs including all Titles of ESEA, IDEA, and the CARES Act. Shelly has extensive experience with providing technical assistance regarding federal rules and regulations, analyzing and reporting data, and monitoring progress of federal grant recipients. Shelly has been a member of Wisconsin’s Title I and School Support Team since 2008.

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REGION 4 - Tate Toedman (KS)

ALTERNATE - Marie Silverhatband (BIE)


Tate Toedman Bio

As an Assistant Director on the Special Education, and Title Services team, I oversee multiple ESEA programs and serve 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 my responsibility when it comes to programming.  I also serve on our monitoring teams that monitor across programs for early childhood, special education, and ESEA monitoring of programs.  I currently serve as the Private School Ombudsman for the state.  I have previously served as the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.  I have been an Assistant Director since July 2017.  I have been with the Kansas State Department of Education since 2006.

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REGION 5 - Kathy Gauby (ID)

ALTERNATE - Jason Miller (WA)


Kathy Gauby Bio

Kathy Gauby is currently the Title II-A and Educator Effectiveness Coordinator for the Idaho State Department of Education. I am also a member of the NAESPA board serving as Regional 5 alternate and am active on both the Membership and Communications committees. Under NASTID, I was a part of the Effective Programs Committee, and was also the lead on the Math Subcommittee.


Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, I was the Title I-A and IV-A Coordinator in the ISDE Federal Programs Department. I also served as Curricular Materials Coordinator at the ISDE for a little over a year after moving to Idaho. Additionally, I have over 30 years of teaching and instructional coaching experience in both Indiana and Kansas.



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