HAZEL COMBS, COMMUNITY EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCIL COORDINATOR
joined our team in May 2014 as a staff member for Kentucky’s Race to the Top Early
Learning Challenge grant. In February 2015, she has also assumed the coordinator role for
Community Early Childhood Councils. She started her career
in Kentucky State Government as a parole officer in Louisville and left as the
Deputy Commissioner of Probation and Parole and Local Facilities. She has
witnessed firsthand the value of education and advocacy for our most vulnerable
population, children. She is a lifelong learner who graduated with her
Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville.
She serves in a leadership role on several community organizations and
volunteers as a master gardener when time permits. Hazel brings a breadth of
life experiences and knowledge to our team. She and her husband, John David have
one son, Bentley.
DIANA HUTCH, ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST
Diana joined the Governor's Office of Early Childhood in October 2015 as a professional administrative support to the Executive Director and GOEC staff. She formerly served in the office of the Ohio Attorney General. Diana is married to Pastor David Hutch and has served children in various capacities working with faith-based child care programs, as well as private Christian schools. Through the years in ministry, Diana has seen the value of reaching children at an early age in order to propel them into well-rounded, well-educated, productive adults. Diana and David have one daughter (Briana), who is an educator and resides with her husband in Texas.
AMY JETT, PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COORDINATOR
Amy joined the GOEC in April 2016. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University. Amy has worked in a variety of capacities with young children over the past 8 years, including providing mental health services, providing classroom behavioral supports and advocating for wraparound services for children and families. Most recently, Amy was the manager for Success By 6, an early childhood initiative through United Way of Greater Cincinnati, in Boone County. She holds a Kentucky Early Care & Education Trainer’s Credential and has provided high quality trainings for early care professionals on a wide variety of topics across the state. She lives in Lexington with her two young daughters.
KAYLA JONES, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Kayla joined the Governor's Office of Early Childhood in June 2016. A graduate of Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, this former 6th grade Language Arts and Reading teacher decided she wanted to improve education for Kentucky’s students. In 2009, Kayla received a master’s degree in Educational Policy and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky and interned with Cindy Heine at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. After working with the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and later with Alice Lloyd College, Kayla developed a diverse skill set which she brings to the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood as Leadership Development Coordinator. Kayla will be working with the School Readiness Summit, the Superintendent School Readiness Toolbox and the Early Learning Academies. Kayla is excited to better education for Kentucky’s children.
JENNIFER MILLER, DIRECTOR,HEAD START COLLABORATION OFFICE
Jennifer facilitates collaboration between Kentucky’s 32 Head Start grantees and State and local partners. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Morehead State University and her Master’s degree in Education from Georgetown College. Most recently, Jennifer was the Regional Program Manager for the Office of Employment & Training. Previously, she worked for seven years with the Department of Education where she was the State Future Educator’s Association coordinator. A former kindergarten teacher and principal of a private Christian school for seven years, Jennifer is passionate about building relationships with community partners and advocating for children. Jennifer is a native to Franklin County and resides with her husband Chad and her two children Brayden(16) and Braxten (9).
AMANDA RILEY, RTT-ELC PROJECT MANAGER
Amanda joined the Governor's Office of Early Childhood as
Project Manager of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant in
November 2016. Her professional career, in state government and the non profit
sector, has focused on improving the education system to ensure all students
can be successful. She previously worked with the Governor's Office of
Early Childhood from 2012-2014 as Administrative Assistant and then Data
Analyst for the RTT-ELC Grant. Amanda graduated from the University of Kentucky
in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology. She lives in Lexington with
her husband Ben and son Isaac.
ASHLEE WHISMAN, ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST
Ashlee joined our team on May of 2014. She graduated from college in May of 2012 with a degree in Science. Before joining the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, Ashlee spent her time in the medical field providing administrative and professional assistance to local physicians. Her role with our office is providing professional assistance to the Executive Director and the staff. Ashlee enjoys her new role and sees the importance for Kentucky’s children to have a good start to their education and agrees that children taught at an early age benefit and excel academically and socially at a higher level than children who have not had the opportunity for early childhood education.