Nicol Russell is the Director of Head Start Research & Support at Teaching Strategies where she supports our Head Start and Early Heard Start partners. Previously, she served as the deputy associate superintendent for early childhood at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and the Director of the Arizona Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO). In those roles, she provided oversight for Arizona’s administration of the Preschool Development Grant, implementation of IDEA Part B, Section 619 (Early Childhood Special Education), and execution of the HSSCO grant.
Nicol began her career in education as a librarian’s assistant at her local Boys & Girls Club in Wai’anae, Hawai’i. Since then, she has worked as a classroom assistant, teacher (general and special education), center director of a private child care, education program specialist, and a state IDEA 619 coordinator. She currently serves as an at-large board member for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has served as the treasurer for the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS-SDE). In addition to championing high-quality early learning for every child in all settings, Nicol enjoys time with her family and considers being mom to her 3-year-old, Makena Hokule’a, as her greatest role.