Lissa currently works as a public policy director for an early childhood education non-profit. In this role, she collaborates with a variety of early learning professionals, and educational and community organizations, both regionally and across the state. Lissa works to improve education and development outcomes for young children, their families, and communities. Lissa works to secure increased resources from both the public and private sectors so that every family receives the support they need for their young children to grow, learn, and succeed. Lissa has worked on some of the most successful statewide advocacy coalitions, growing state investments in early childhood programs like pre-k for more than four consecutive years.
Lissa has also worked as the Chief of Staff to a state representative in Pittsburgh’s South Hills. In this role, she gained knowledge of a broad range of state programs, including state grant and funding opportunities that support growth and economic development and bring amenities into suburban communities. Lissa learned how collaborating with local elected officials and community organizations is essential to fairly represent all residents in the state Capitol. Lissa also played an integral role in launching the Disability and Mental Health Summit, an annual event that is the largest gathering of information and services for people with disabilities in Western PA. Many of the bills Lissa worked on improved supports for people with intellectual disabilities, including children, transition-age youth, and young adults.
Lissa previously taught middle school in the public schools for nearly four years. This work gave Lissa firsthand experience with inequities in our education system which hamper fiscally responsible decisions for districts of all sizes and types. Lissa also understands the immense pressure teachers are facing to be all things to all children while social support resources dwindle. She has seen federal and state education policy that exacerbates these issues, and will be on the frontlines of the fight for all teachers and schools to have the resources they need for children to succeed.
Lissa has a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, Honors College, and an M.A. in Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She lives in Hampton Township with her husband Josh and two children, ages 4 and 2. Lissa and Josh are expecting a third child in 2020.