Ready At Five Welcomes New Colleagues!

DeanErtwinePhotoFor nearly two decades, our statewide, jurisdictional, and community-level work has been instrumental in Maryland's impressive school readiness gains.  Maryland Business Roundtable for Education works with the state's schools to better prepare students for a world where STEM disciplines (science, engineering, technology and math) are needed to succeed.

Ertwine said he applied for the job because he cares about STEM education and its importance in creating a strong workforce in Maryland. He was most recently an executive with Battelle, a nonprofit technology research and development organization based in Harford County.

"We know that learning begins at birth and continues through K-12 and throughout life, and I am excited to be contributing to a world-class education system that prepares students for college and career success," he said.

The goal is to put more STEM experts into classrooms so students can have contact with actual people working in the fields.  Northrop Grumman Corp.,  AAI Corp., Battelle and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. are among the nearly 200 companies and government agencies working with MBRT.

Ertwine was educated at West Point and Lehigh University, earning degrees in engineering and chemistry. He ended his military career in 2002 as commanding general of the U.S. Army Developmental Test Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Robin Head ShotReady At Five is delighted to welcome Robin Hopkins as our Senior Program Director.  For close to two decades, Ms. Hopkins has worked to develop and promote innovative educational initiatives in Maryland. At the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education, Hopkins managed the initial development of Maryland EXCELS, a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care facilities, and an integral part of Maryland's winning application for the federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.

Most recently, Hopkins served as the Director of K-12 Educational Services at Maryland Public Television, managing a wide range of projects and programs implemented both online and face-to-face, including curriculum design and development for elementary through high school students and educators.

"As a national leader in education, Maryland demonstrates a strong commitment to early childhood care and education. Maryland's leaders know that young children are better prepared for school and life when provided a solid educational foundation through early care and education. There is nothing more powerful than providing families and communities with the tools they need to help every child develop skills that will prepare them for academic, physical, and social-emotional growth and success. The best way to ensure that all students enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed is to start with a child's very first teachers, and her caregivers. I'm honored to be the new Senior Program Director at Ready at Five to increase awareness of the critical importance of early care and education, and to work with families, early childhood professionals, educational, business and philanthropic leaders, and other stakeholders to ensure that every child in Maryland has access to nurturing environments, engaged families and high-quality early childhood experiences, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life, said Ms. Hopkins."

Ms. Hopkins earned her Master's Degree in Educational Studies and graduate certificates in Teaching Reading and Leadership in Technology Integration from the Johns Hopkins University, and an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Towson University.

Jeff Head ShotReady At Five is pleased to welcome Jeff Brookes to our Executive Leadership Committee.  Mr. Brookes is President of Brookes Publishing Co., an independent, Baltimore-based educational publishing company with a strong focus on helping all people - with or without disabilities - reach their potential. Partnering with top experts in their fields to deliver relevant, high-quality, research-backed content, Brookes publishes 50+new titles a year on screening and assessment, early childhood and early intervention, inclusive and special education, autism and other disabilities, literacy and reading, behavior, communication, and more.

With 20 years of publishing experience, in which he has served in nearly all capacities and job functions at the company, Mr. Brookes leads a team of dedicated colleagues to create the field's leading print and electronic products that serve educational professionals' and students' need for innovative, cutting-edge resources and texts. A graduate of Dickinson College, Mr. Brookes also has 4 years of experience in environmental consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC. Mr. Brookes holds an MBA in Finance, with honors, from Loyola University in Maryland and completed the prestigious Yale Publishing Course. Never shy to challenge assumptions and to push people toward innovation, he has strong business acumen and is experienced in team building, budgeting, strategic planning, product development, and management. Over the past 3 years, Mr. Brookes has led the transformation and modernization of Brookes Publishing's infrastructure and reinvigorated its publishing program to ensure its long-term growth, viability, and profitability.

As a life-long Maryland resident, Mr. Brookes believes strongly in the role of early education for our children, and has dedicated his career to advancing the idea that all children should and can be given the opportunity to succeed. Now in its 37th year, Brookes Publishing echoes this same commitment - nationally, internationally, and in Maryland. To help celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2012, Brookes Publishing launched an ongoing campaign called "35 Good Deeds in Maryland" in which all employees were supported in a multitude of charitable activities across the state. Mr. Brookes emboldens his colleagues to continue on this path by supporting the many worthy entities that give our children the chance to succeed. 

"Ready at Five is at the forefront of helping Maryland's youngest children on the path toward school - and life - success, and I am honored to join Ready at Five's Executive Leadership Committee. I believe that Ready at Five's mission and focus align well with what we've set out to do at Brookes Publishing for the past 37 years: help each child reach his or her potential. Quality early childhood education is the foundation for success and school readiness for every child, and Ready at Five is helping ensure that all Maryland children have access to essential research-based programs that support strong development and that increase parent involvement. I am so pleased that we will be working together toward those common goals in Maryland," said Mr. Brookes.

The goal of Ready At Five's Executive Leadership Committee is to support its mission- we are committed to school readiness for all Maryland school children, with a special focus on children in greatest need.  The organization does this by providing annual Maryland school readiness data and national research across the state, delivering innovative practices and resources, generating public awareness and engaging various constituents, and convening stakeholders for action and impact.  

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About Ready at Five


Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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2017-18 kindergarten readiness data 

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