Director of WIDA Early Years
Lorena Mancilla serves as the Director of WIDA Early Years. Her research and development work is informed by her professional experience as an educator, her commitment to social justice, and her passion for serving bilingual/multilingual children and families. She brings to her work knowledge and expertise in family engagement, language development, multicultural education, and professional learning. Lorena joined WIDA in 2010 as a professional learning specialist for WIDA K-12 standards and assessments. Since then, she has held various positions including serving as the lead developer of family engagement resources and a core member of the WIDA Spanish language development standards team. She joined the WIDA Early Years team in 2016. In this role, she leads the development of WIDA Early Years resources and supports state leaders across the Early Years Network. Lorena completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the intersection of family engagement and language education.