NGW logo for August 10

Quality Counts California Workforce Pathways Grant available to support early childhood educators

Preschool teacher

The Early Childhood Education Program recently renewed its Quality Counts California (QCC) Workforce Pathways Grant for the third year. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of qualified Early Learning and Care (ELC) professionals as well as increase the educational credentials, knowledge, and competencies of existing ELC professionals in Tulare County. “By advancing the level of professional development within the ELC workforce, we’ll see increases in the quality of instruction provided and learning among Tulare County’s youngest students,” said Samantha Terry, manager for the Tulare County Council on Child & Youth Development.

The QCC Workforce Pathways Grant offers eligible ELC professionals stipends for professional advancements, such as obtaining a degree in early childhood education or child development; taking additional college units; attending professional development trainings; obtaining, renewing, or upgrading a Child Development Permit; or becoming a licensed family child care owner (FCCO). For the 2022-23 year, stipends range from $250 to $5,000 with eligible participants having the option to receive multiple stipends for different professional advancements. The stipends are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until May 18, 2023, or until the funding is depleted.

Participants eligible for this grant are those who are employed part time or full time as a teacher, teacher aid/teacher assistant, FCCO, assistant to a FCCO, site supervisor, or Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) in an ELC environment (child care center, Tribal Child Care, or home environment). Applicants must serve children ages 0-5 with one or more of the children receiving some form of subsidy payment.

To apply for a stipend, begin by completing the interest form at this link. For additional information, please contact Samantha Terry at or (559) 651-1723.

California Center on Teaching Careers to hold second annual virtual substitute fair September 14

Virtual Substitute Fair lobby

Entering the new school year, classrooms across the country are still facing a familiar problem – a shortage of substitute teachers. Substitute teachers are essential to classrooms when teachers must leave to attend trainings or for personal reasons. In most counties, districts find they are also competing in the same limited pool of substitute teachers for their classrooms.

Taking the issue head-on, the California Center on Teaching Careers (The Center) is holding its second annual virtual substitute teacher fair on September 14 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The virtual fair is for California education agencies such as: school districts, county offices of education, charter and private schools, and universities.

Agencies seeking substitute teachers can register now until September 2. For those seeking employment, candidate registration opens August 15 and closes September 13. Registration for agencies and candidates is free and can be found at

“Substitute teachers fill an important need in California schools,” said Marvin Lopez, executive director of The Center. “For those exploring a career in teaching, substituting is also a great way to gain experience in the classroom.”

For questions about the fair or registration, contact Jonathan Mendoza at or Jose Covarrubias at 

For any other questions regarding The Center, please contact Marvin Lopez at

Photo above:

~ A virtual lobby is set up for those attending the virtual substitute teacher fair on September 14

Three new curriculum specialists now on board at Educational Resource Services to support Tulare County schools

Nancy Nagatani, McKenzi Hurrick, Laura Gunning

Educational Resource Services (ERS) is expanding its capacity to support Tulare County schools with professional learning and consulting services for curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. Last month, three new staff development and curriculum specialists joined the staff to begin helping districts with their own continuous improvement processes.

ERS welcomed Laura Gunning, an English language arts/English language development and history social science staff development and curriculum specialist, and McKenzi Hurick and Nancy Nagatani – both mathematics staff development and curriculum specialists.

“Laura, McKenzi and Nancy are welcome additions at ERS,” said Samantha Tate, ERS administrator. “Each brings a love for teaching and learning, joy in the work they do, and commitment to continuous improvement. In the short time they have been with us, they have been busy connecting with our districts, ready to serve our teachers and students.“ 

Laura Gunning
Prior to joining Tulare County Office of Education, Gunning served Tulare City School District for 17 years. She enjoyed 10 years of service as an elementary school teacher before becoming a Response to Intervention teacher. During this time, Gunning provided support at the site level for full implementation of instructional area standards, interventions, assessments, and accountability. She later served as an administrator fulfilling the roles of administrative intern, vice principal and principal.

In her new role at ERS, Gunning supports district improvement efforts at the classroom and systems level. She collaborates with districts to provide curriculum planning, professional development, and coaching in the areas of English language arts, English language development and history social science. In addition, she enjoys building the capacity of staff and students to help them find their love of reading and writing.

McKenzi Hurick
McKenzi Hurick worked for Porterville Unified School District as both an instructional coach and teacher. Prior to working for Porterville Unified, she served the Exeter Unified School District as a teacher. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for Fresno Pacific University at the Visalia campus, where she teaches elementary mathematics, reading foundations, and science courses. Hurick is a member of the editorial panel for the California Mathematics Council’s journal, The ComMuniCator, and enjoys spreading the message that anyone can do mathematics at high levels.

In her new role, she supports districts’ improvement efforts at the classroom and systems level. In addition, she serves as an improvement specialist for the California Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC) - College Ready and the CVNIC - Mathematics 3-8 projects. For both CVNIC projects, she assists in planning, leading, and supporting network meetings for educators in elementary, middle and high school. Hurick also serves as a mathematics content specialist for the California Collaborative for Learning Acceleration (CCLA) grant, where she will create resources for educators statewide and support Tulare and neighboring counties in their own implementation of accelerating learning.

Nancy Nagatani
Nancy Nagatani is a Central California native whose personal commitment is to bring joy to the lives of teachers and students through mathematics. Over the last 18 years, Nagatani has served as a high school and middle school math teacher, and has served on numerous school, district, and state-level committees. She currently serves on the California Mathematics Council as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) representative. Mathematics is her passion, and she loves helping students and others understand who they are as mathematicians.

In her new role, she supports district improvement efforts at the classroom and systems level. In addition, she serves as an improvement and content specialist for the CVNIC - College Ready project, where she assists in planning, leading, and supporting network meetings. Nancy also serves as the lead consultant for the Gear Up grant, where she deepens the instructional capacity of secondary teachers to support students preparing for college.

For more information on ERS district support services, contact Samantha Tate at

Photo above:

~ From left to right, Nancy Nagatani, McKenzi Hurick, and Laura Gunning join Educational Resource Services as staff development and curriculum specialists. 

Editor: Robert Herman, Communications Director
Contributors: Nayirah Dosu, Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Samantha Terry, Samantha Tate, Nancy Nagatani, McKenzi Hurrick, Laura Gunning, Marvin Lopez,  Jose Covarrubias, and Jonathan Mendoza.

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