In 2003 House Bill 1094 created our organization, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR). This legislation recognized more state-level action is required to successfully support families and children from birth to five-years-old. At this state level, OPSR engages and informs policy makers and the public on how to improve children’s health and development. Together, we lead public and private partnerships, so that children arrive at school with the knowledge, skills and physical and emotional health to achieve success. We also utilize data, research and best practices that engage parents, nonprofit leaders, community partners and business leaders to inform recommendations to the Governor and legislature.
The Oklahoma School Readiness Pathway serves as our roadmap to identify, monitor and report how Oklahoma is or isn’t meeting school readiness benchmarks. This pathway brings the latest research to the forefront and identifies areas for improvement in programs, policies and funding. Ultimately, our goal is for Oklahoma’s early childhood system to be coordinated, aligned and adequately funded.
Our vision is that all Oklahoma children are safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed by the time they enter school.
Our mission is to lead Oklahoma in coordinating an early childhood system that strengthens families and ensures all children are ready for school.
The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Board is comprised of a diverse group of members, including early childhood experts and state leaders, that are responsible for carrying out state and federal legislatively-defined mandates.
Each year the OPSR Board prioritizes several focus areas to improve the lives of young children and their families, such as the following:
Click the links below to learn more about the OPSR Board.
If you’re interested in becoming an OPSR board member, you can apply on the governor’s website. Click here to be directed to that application page.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Designee: Tiffany Neill
State Commissioner of Health
Keith Reed, Interim Commissioner
Designees: Joyce Marshall & Lorri Essary
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner
Designee: Audra Haney
Oklahoma Department of Commerce Director
Designee: Marshall Vogts
Oklahoma Department of Libraries Director
Designee: Adrienne Butler
Department of Human Services Director
Designees: Jennifer King & Brittany Lee
Oklahoma Health Care Authority Administrator
Designee: Dr. Nathan Valentine
Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth Director
Annette Wisk Jacobi
State Department of Rehabilitation Services Director
Designees: Chris Dvorak & Rita Echelle
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority Executive Director
Designee: Curtis Calvin
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Director
Designee: Joann Carter
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor
Designee: Gina McPherson
Cabinet Secretary with Responsibility for Education Agencies
Dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Jon Pedersen
Designee: Jennifer Stepp
State Director of Head Start Collaboration
Designee: Karla Benford
Representative of Licensed Child Care Providers
Vice President, Child Care, Inc.
Representative of the Licensed Child Care Industry Appointed by the Governor from a List Submitted by an Association Representing the Licensed Child Care Industry
Kids R Us of Tecumseh
Two Parents of Children Age 8 or Younger
Music & Preaching Minister, The Spring Church of Christ
Director of Pharmacy, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Representative of a State Association of Federally Funded Early Childhood Programs
Program Director, Green Country Behavioral Health Services Head Start and Early Head Start
Marianne "Marny" Dunlap, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Pediatric Specialist, Jackson County Memorial Hospital
Co-owner, Floyd's RV
President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City
Dean of New College, Oklahoma Christian University
Community Programs Director, Youth & Family Services, Inc.
Adjunct Professor for the Educational Psychology Department at Oklahoma State University
Vicki Weaver Payne
Mental Health Counselor, Hope Community Services
VIce President of Programs, Inasmuch Foundation
Senior Program Director, Sunbeam Family Services
Annie Koppel Van Hanken
Senior Program Officer, George Kaiser Family Foundation
June 23, 2022
May 19, 2022 (Canceled)
April 14, 2022 (Special Joint Meeting w/ the OPSR Foundation)
March 10, 2022
February 17, 2022 (Canceled)
October 21, 2021
July 15, 2021
April 15, 2021 (Virtual Meeting)
March 2, 2021 (Virtual, Special Joint Meeting w/ the OPSR Foundation)
January 21, 2021 (Cancelled)
October 22, 2020 (Virtual Meeting)
September 17, 2020 (Virtual, Special Meeting)
July 16, 2020 (Virtual Meeting)
To inquire about previous OPSR Board agendas or minutes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness staff work diligently to ensure children are on a successful path. Currently, OPSR has seven team members with various expertise and skills that allow our organization to maximize efforts and impact Oklahoma children.
Carrie Williams joined OPSR as chief operating officer in May 2021 and worked alongside interim executive director Dr. Amy Emerson to ensure Oklahoma’s early childhood system remained strong, cohesive and vigilant against pandemic challenges.
A native of Marlow, Okla., Williams is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. Before coming to OPSR, she spent seven years as executive director of Rainbow Fleet, a fifty-year-old nonprofit that improves access to child development programs and services for central Oklahoma families, children and child care providers.
Carrie serves her community by volunteering with Palomar, Oklahoma City's family justice center. Carrie and her husband, Brian, have two sons, Noah and Benjamin.
Angela Bryant joined OPSR as the executive assistant in April 2022. A Putnam City High School graduate, Angela is a proud mother to three boys and one girl, and a grandma to two adorable pups. Angela loves reading, exercising and eating – but NOT in that order. She also loves listening to live music.
In her previous positions, Angela enjoyed supporting the implementation of programs that support quality of life in the community.
“Early child care is important because the earliest part of a child’s life has a huge impact on the rest of their life,” said Angela. “If teachers, caregivers and family members can learn skills, gain tools and be provided with the best resources for this great undertaking, then our children will have a much better chance at living a life full of happiness, health and education like they deserve.”
Vicki Bumpas joined OPSR's finance department in January 2019. Vicki graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and, before joining OPSR, acquired years of accounting experience for the public/private oil and gas sector, a private family foundation and a private accounting practice. She has also served in the treasury capacity on numerous community boards.
Vicki loves being at OPSR because values like integrity, connection, diversity, equity, inclusion, quality and innovation are “core to the important work we do in building partnerships across the state to benefit and educate our youngest citizens.”
“Every child is unique with their own abilities, talents, personality and passion,” said Vicki. “Every child deserves to feel safe, cared for, nurtured and loved. Oh, how they will grow!”
Vicki and her husband, Tony, are Oklahoma City residents and enjoy keeping up with their adult children Jillian, Adrian and Barrett.
Kasey Cabello joined the OPSR team in August as communications director. Kasey spent the last five years at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and earned her business administration degree from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
While Kasey doesn't have a background in early childhood development, she has two small children of her own and has spent more hours than she can count on researching how to best prepare them for school and success.
A native of Moore, Oklahoma, Kasey and her husband, Kevin, alongside their children, Keela and Kerby, are excited to promote OPSR and learn everything they can along the way!
Mary, raised in Tulsa, joined OPSR in August after having spent the last two-and-a-half years at Rainbow Fleet. Before that, she taught fourth grade in the Putnam City School District. Mary graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in elementary education. She believes that when children have high quality early childhood experiences, it sets the foundation for them to be lifelong learners and increases their opportunities for success.
Mary’s husband, Chad, teaches eighth-grade math in Putnam City and together they have one lab named Brian.
Taffy Henderson joins OPSR as a program director in February 2022. A southwest Oklahoma native, Taffy has a rich background in child care resource and referral, having managed Great Plains Child Care Resource & Referral in Hobart, Oklahoma, as well as Rainbow Fleet Child Care Resource & Referral in Oklahoma City. She also worked five years at the Oklahoma City County Health Department specializing in infant safe sleep education.
Taffy earned an associate of arts degree in early childhood education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She loves to travel and spend time with her friends, her miniature Golden Doodle and her family. She is expecting her first grandchild in June 2022.
“A child begins learning at birth, not when they enter school,” says Taffy. “Every child deserves the very best early experiences that can prepare them for academic success and lifelong mental and physical well-being. I am excited to be a part of an organization that supports and protects the future of our littlest Oklahoma citizens.”
Taylor Knooihuizen joined OPSR in October 2021 as the program coordinator. Taylor graduated with a master’s in special education from Southern Methodist University and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Oklahoma. She looks forward to working with OPSR to effect positive change for children and their families at a state level. Taylor believes that early intervention is the key to overall success in academics and that equal access to resources and materials prior to kindergarten should be available to all.
Taylor and her husband, Brent, have two dogs that love to join them on their travels and adventures.
As Business Process Engineer, Chris utilizes his 9 years’ experience in education to support OPSR’s mission and vision. He has his Master of Business Administration from Argosy University. In addition, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Azusa Pacific University where he studied under the Heidelberg Philharmonic’s principle horn player in Germany. Born and raised in Southern California, Chris is a member of the Red Coyote Racing team and enjoys spending his free time running half marathons.
Allison Loeffler joined OPSR as a program director in April 2022. Allison brings 20 years of experience working in state and local early childhood systems building and evaluation of collaborative initiatives.
She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma where she focused her learning and training in community social work and evaluation.
“Throughout my career, I’ve remained committed to building and sustaining an effective, efficient and equitable comprehensive early childhood system that responds to the needs of young children and their families,” said Allison. “I especially love seeing state and local efforts collaborate with one another so that more children and their families access early childhood opportunities and resources. OPSR’s mission to build a high quality and coordinated early childhood system is a smart investment for our state, our communities, and ultimately supports all young children’s success in school and beyond.”
Allison was born and raised in Oklahoma and is proud to call Oklahoma City home. She and her late husband have two children in grade school who are both competitive tennis players. She (and occasionally their dog, Wes) spends many hours cheering on their children during their tennis matches but makes time to volunteer for and support grief and loss services in the community.
OPSR is happy to welcome Adelaide Webb as the new director of research. Raised in Tulsa, Adelaide received both a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in human & health services administration from the University of Oklahoma.
Adelaide is happy to join OPSR because she believes “critical changes occur in childhood in social, emotional and physical development that fundamentally alter who that person will be. Prioritizing early child care means that we are prioritizing future generations who will affect change in the world.”
Adelaide and her husband, Tyler, have two Labrador-mix rescues. In her free time, she loves advancing her culinary skills, hiking, camping and supporting her local community through the arts, food and culture.