McAuliffe announces members of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success

image001On August 11, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order 22, establishing the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success. The Council will work to ensure that basic health, education, and childcare needs are being met for our youngest Virginians, ages 0-8. Today, the Governor announced members of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success.

Members of the Council will include:

  • The Honorable Ralph S. Northam, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Chair
  • Toni Cacace-Beshears, of Chesapeake, CEO, Children’s Harbor; Immediate Past President Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education
  • Karla Blasquez, of Sterling, Parent Liaison in Loudoun County Public Schools
  • William R. Ermatinger, of Toano, Corporate vice president and Chief Human Resource Officer, Hunnington Ingalls Industries; Immediate Past Chair Virginia Chamber of Commerce
  • Debra Ferguson, PhD, of Richmond, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • The Honorable Rob Krupicka, of Alexandria, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Dr. Marissa Levine, MD, of Richmond, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health
  • Angelica D. Light, of Norfolk, Vice President, Elevate Early Education
  • Selena Childress-Mayo, of Roanoke, Director, TAP Headstart/Early Headstart, Total Action for Progress
  • The Honorable John Miller, of Newport News, Virginia Senate
  • Kurt Newman, MD, of Washington, DC, President and CEO of Children’s National Health System; Co-CEO, Pediatric Specialists of Virginia
  • The Honorable Chris Peace, of Hanover, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Robert Pianta, PhD, of Charlottesville, Dean, Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia
  • Patricia A. Popp, PhD, of Mechanicsville, State Coordinator, Education of Homeless Children and Youth, Project HOPE-Virginia
  • John C. Purnell, Jr., of Richmond, Retired Executive Director, FRIENDS Association for Children; Chairman, Voices for Virginia’s Children
  • The Honorable Beth Dillow Rhinehart, of Bristol, Director of Government Relations, Wellmont Health Systems; Member, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
  • The Honorable Frank Ruff, of Clarksville, Senate of Virginia
  • Margaret Schultze, of Richmond, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Lisa Specter-Dunaway, of Richmond, CEO, CHIP of Virginia; Chair, Virginia Home Visiting Consortium
  • Steve Staples, EdD, of Williamsburg, Virginia Superintendent for Public Instruction
  • Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, of Stephens City, President of Lord Fairfax Community College
  • Anne-Marie Twohie, of Fairfax, Director, Fairfax County Office for Children, Department of Family Services
  • Dora G. Wynn, of Alberta, Superintendent, Brunswick County Public Schools

The Governor has also appointed key agency staff to the Council to bring relevant expertise and ensure collaboration across agencies. A full roster of the Council can be found online here.

In addition to these members, the Council will rely on support from a variety of stakeholders who are committed to ensuring that all Virginians start off with the best possible chance to thrive, succeed in school, and become contributing adult members of their communities. A list of these organizations can be found online here.

“The Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success and its members are charged with ensuring that every child born in Virginia has the resources he or she needs to succeed in school and thrive in a new Virginia economy,”said Governor McAuliffe. “I am thrilled with the overwhelming response we have received since announcing the creation of this Council and am pleased that so many stakeholders will be engaged in this important work.”

“As Chair of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, I thank the Governor for appointing such an esteemed group of members. I look forward to working with them to develop strategies for improving the funding for, access to, and quality of childcare and early education programs in Virginia; ensuring all students enter kindergarten ready to thrive and succeed academically; and closing the achievement gap that exists for far too many kids in elementary school.”

Regarding the enthusiastic response to the creation of the council, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel commented, “Issues facing our families with young children are very complex. Having great representation on the council and input from stakeholder groups will ensure we approach those issues in a holistic and collaborative manner.”

“We are firmly dedicated to improving the lives of our youngest Virginians, and the council’s diverse and experienced membership reflects that,” said Secretary of Education Anne Holton. “With the creation of both the CCCS and the Children’s Cabinet by Executive Order, we are making it abundantly clear to the next generation that we are committed to improving and expanding educational opportunities all across the Commonwealth.”

The first meeting of the Council will take place at 1:00pm on Monday, October 6th. Meetings of the Council are open to the public and additional information can be found online here.

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