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Events, News and Events | | Early Edge California, Children's Equity Project, Unidos US

Webinar: DLL Federal Recommendations

The DLL Federal Recommendations Webinar was co-hosted by Early Edge California, The Children’s Equity Project, and UnidosUS on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Watch the webinar recording below for a panel discussion about the recommendations from our co-authored brief, Immediate Actions the Biden Administration Can Take for DLLs, as well as bright spots across the country.

DLL Federal Recommendations Webinar
Recorded on: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 | 10 – 11 am (PT) / 1 – 2 pm (ET)

*Note: Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, Montserrat Garibay, Assistant Deputy Secretary & Director in the Office of English, was unable to join the webinar to give her opening remarks. We would like to thank her for being a champion for DLL children in the U.S.


  • Opening remarks: Montserrat Garibay, Assistant Deputy Secretary & Director in the Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education
  • Carolyne Crolotte, Director of Dual Language Learner (DLL) Programs, Early Edge California
  • Tania Villarroel, Senior Policy Analyst, UnidosUS 
  • Shantel Meek, Executive Director, The Children’s Equity Project
  • Conor Williams, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Jessica Gutierrez, Program Manager, Early Learning, Fresno Unified School District
  • Patricia Alvarado, Director of Education Programs, Adelante Mujeres
  • Moderator: Patricia Lozano, Executive Director, Early Edge California


DLL Federal Recommendations Webinar: Speaker Bios


Montserrat-Garibay-Head-ShotMontserrat Garibay
Assistant Deputy Secretary & Director
Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education 
Montserrat Garibay is the Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition at the U.S. Department of Education. She was formerly Senior Advisor for Labor Relations at the Office of the Secretary. Garibay was a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years and National Board-Certified Teacher in Austin, Texas. She came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a Master of Education.


Carolyn Crollette

Carolyne Crolotte
Director of Dual Language Learner (DLL) Programs
Early Edge California 
Carolyne Crolotte is the Director of Dual Language Learner (DLL) Programs at Early Edge California where she leads the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts to support DLL children and families across California and nationally. She comes to the organization with nearly two decades of experience in Early Childhood Education, having worked primarily supporting DLL students and teachers in the classroom across several roles, including Site Supervisor/Academic Coordinator, English Learner Specialist/Coach, and Curriculum Developer. She obtained her Masters of Arts degree in Linguistics with a focus on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of California Davis as well as a Bachelor’s of Science and Early Childhood certification from UCLA. She is also proficient in Portuguese, French, and Spanish and is raising her two young children as multilingual learners.


Tania-Villarroel-Head-ShotTania Villarroel
Senior Policy Analyst
Tania Villarroel, a Senior Policy Analyst at UnidosUS, focuses on expanding early childhood education access for Latino infants in the US. She has over 10 years of experience offering legal advice and research-based policy counsel to policymakers in Chile and the US, and managing education projects in Africa. Tania earned her Master’s degree at Columbia and Law degree at Universidad de Chile, where she teaches.


Patricia Lozano
Executive Director
Early Edge California 
Patricia Lozano is the Executive Director of Early Edge California. Prior to joining Early Edge California, Lozano served as a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and worked on their national Early Learning strategy. In California, Lozano has spearheaded projects at UCLA’s Center for Improving Child Care Quality, First 5 LA, and the RAND Corporation, and developed research and evaluation projects to find evidence-based best practices for teachers to work with dual language learners. As a former teacher and associate director at a child development center, Patricia is passionate about supporting the needs of early childhood educators and improving quality for young children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Los Andes University in Colombia and a Masters in Psychology (M.A.), Child Development Concentration, from California State University, San Bernardino.


Shantel-Meek-HeadshotShantel Meek
Executive Director
The Children’s Equity Project 
Dr. Shantel E. Meek leads the Children’s Equity Project (CEP) and teaches at Arizona State University. She builds partnerships with universities, nonprofits, and policymakers, guiding CEP’s direction. Previously, at the Bipartisan Policy Center, she advised on early childhood policies. In the Obama Administration, she shaped policies on Head Start and child care. Dr. Meek contributed to the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. She writes for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and serves on boards including Child Trends. With a background in Psychology and Family and Human Development, she’s committed to improving education for marginalized communities. Dr. Meek lives in Phoenix with her husband and bilingual babies.


Conor Williams Head shotConor Williams
Senior Fellow 
The Century Foundation 
Conor P. Williams is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, where he writes about education, immigration, early education, school choice, and work-life balance challenges for American families. Williams was previously a senior researcher in New America’s Education Policy Program, a senior researcher in its Early Education Initiative, and the founding director of its Dual Language Learners National Work Group. He is a member of the Children’s Equity Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures’ State Policy and Research for Early Education (SPREE) Working Group. Williams is a regular columnist at the 74 Million. His work has also been published by the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, TIME, The New Republic, Dissent, Commonweal, The Daily Beast, Vox, Talking Points Memo, and elsewhere. Before beginning his doctoral research, he taught first grade in Brooklyn, New York. Williams attended public schools for his K–12 education, and has two children enrolled in a public elementary school in Washington, D.C.


Jessica GutierrezJessica Gutierrez 
Program Manager, Early Learning
Fresno Unified School District
Jessica Gutierrez is currently the Program Manager of Early Learning for Fresno Unified School District. Jessica has served the early learning field in various capacities throughout her career ranging from direct service to children and families as an early learning and care provider to her current administrative role. She has participated in the Language Learning Project since its inception in 2016, with firsthand experience implementing the Personalized Oral Language Learning (POLL) dual language learner strategies in her early learning setting. Her experience lends a unique perspective to her work, much of which centers around supporting early learning and care providers working with diverse populations, with an emphasis on dual language learners. In her current role as a program manager in the Fresno Unified School District Early Learning Department, Jessica manages dual language learner supports for children ages birth to 5 years, including the Language Learning Project, through which she provides professional learning and technical assistance to others seeking to implement the POLL strategies in their community


Patricia Alvarado Head ShotPatricia Alvarado
Director of Education Programs
Adelante Mujeres 
Patricia Alvarado is the Director of Education Programs at Adelante Mujeres, where she provides mentoring and empowerment opportunities for education professionals, emphasizing high-quality services for children, youth, and adults in the community. With 17 years in Head Start, Patricia has worn many hats—from parent volunteer to teacher—supporting migrant, low-income, and BIPOC families. Her passion for education and social justice drives her belief in equitable access to learning. As an immigrant herself, she advocates for immigrant rights and actively promotes racial justice and equity. Patricia holds an AA in Early Childhood Education and Families studies, a BA in Social Science with a certificate in Working with Children with Special Needs, and an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy. She is a Master Trainer with the Oregon Center for Career Development, a Parent Trainer 4 with Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, and a Part-Time Professor at Clackamas Community College, where she shares her expertise with students in the AA Spanish program, enriching Oregon’s education landscape through her ongoing learning and teaching efforts.
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