Amy Schmidtke is director of program development. In her role, she conceptualizes and leads systemic approaches to reducing achievement and opportunity gaps in early learning and education settings, birth through Grade 3, blending a working knowledge of applied research, high-quality practices, and effective family engagement strategies to improve school, community, and child outcomes. Schmidtke began working at the Institute in 2016, first as a bilingual educational facilitator for the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan, then as a program specialist with the program development and professional learning teams, and most recently as director of professional learning. Schmidtke, who brings more than two decades of experience as an early childhood teacher and coach, spent 18 years with Omaha Public Schools and is an adjunct instructor in early childhood education in the Teacher Education Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has an Ed.D. in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Schmidtke also earned a master’s degree in education at UNO with endorsements in early childhood education and English as a second language, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska ̶ Lincoln.