Press Release

CASEL Welcomes New Leaders To Social and Emotional Learning Policy Team

Lakeisha Steele, Andy Tucker to Lead Policy Efforts at State and Federal Level

July 28, 2022

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a nonpartisan, education nonprofit advancing evidence-based social and emotional learning in the United States, has announced two new hires to lead the Policy Department: Lakeisha Steele as vice president of policy and Andy Tucker as director of policy.

“At a time of recovery in our education system when Federal policymakers continue to build on the largest investment in K-12 education to respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, I am thrilled to welcome two new leaders to strengthen our policy efforts,” said Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel, CASEL President & CEO. “Lakeisha’s rich background and dedication to education make her a talented addition to the team to guide us in advancing evidence-based policies that support efforts at all levels: federal, state, and local. We are one step closer to our mission of helping make social and emotional learning an integral part of education in all 50 states to help students succeed in school and life.”

Steele brings a wealth of experience in education policy at the federal level. She most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Steele served eight years in the Legislative Branch between the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, including leading K-12 education on the House Committee on Education and Labor. Steele is guided by a key tenet that all children are entitled to equal educational opportunity. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from American University. Given the growing spotlight on social and emotional learning and education, Steele will lead the Policy Department toward the goal of strengthening efforts at both the state and federal levels. 

“I am excited to join CASEL under the leadership of Dr. Samuel where we will build our federal and state efforts on CASEL’s legacy of helping states and districts implement evidence-based SEL programs to create equitable learning environments to support all students,” said Lakeisha Steele.

Steele is joined by Andy Tucker who will serve as CASEL’s director of policy. Previously, Tucker led programs for K-12 students at the Colorado Department of Education to help effectively prepare young people for the future. As director of policy, Tucker will direct the Collaborating States Initiative (CSI), a partnership with state departments of education, to help lead the initiative’s strategic goals including the focus on SEL across the education continuum and workforce education.

Learn more about CASEL’s efforts to support SEL policy at the state and federal levels.

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