I am a mother and life-long Detroiter who is both personally and professionally committed to the restored vitality of Detroit’s communities and educational environments. I have been a passionate early childhood advocate, educator, consultant and system developer for over 20 years. In my present role, I am the vice president of early learning at Excellent Schools Detroit. In this role, I oversee the organization’s work related to the system of early learning and care. In alignment with the organizational goal of ensuring an excellent education for every child in Detroit, I assist in driving the conditions that ensure that adults prepare our youngest learners early for success. To this end, I define goals and oversee strategies that support the development of all adults – parents, educators, administrators, policymakers and stakeholders, who impact the readiness of children to successfully meet and exceed transition benchmarks of kindergarten, third grade, and ultimately in life. I completed my undergraduate work in both Communication and in French at the University of Michigan and earned my graduate degree in Human Development, Education Leadership and Infant Toddler Development, from Pacific Oaks College.
Blog Post List
May 2, 2017
As educators, advocates and organizers, we know it’s not easy to unite, and much less execute effectively, as a collective. Nonetheless, we must continue to diligently pursue these collective conversations and actions to achieve a thriving ecosystem for young children. To me there’s undoubtedly an interconnectedness between mental health, physical health, food sovereignty, education and more with respect to young children’s well-being and the struggles our communities are facing on a daily basis. One of the underlying themes that continues to shine through each sector’s respective work is a...
April 11, 2017
“Never start a fight, but you better finish it.” My mother drilled this message home to my siblings and me, and it’s the same instruction I’ve given to all three of my birth children, and now my great niece that I am adopting. Basically, it means not to get in trouble or pick with others but to make sure that if someone is bullying you that you give them something to remember, and to think twice about ever doing it again! My niece who is seven years old would call these bullies “miscreants” – a recent addition to a vocabulary that is ever expanding. Aaliyah Jessica Smith despite being born...