The Executive Leadership Committee of Ready At Five is pleased to announce that Steven Hicks, former Senior Policy Advisor on Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education, has been named the new Executive Director. He is replacing Louise Corwin, who is retiring after having led the organization for 15 years.
Hicks has spent nearly 30 years teaching and working to build and improve quality early learning systems for America's young children. Most recently, he served as Senior Policy Advisor on Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education, where he focused on advancing the national early learning agenda through, among other areas, the Preschool Development Grants and Early Learning Challenge programs. Prior to that, he was a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the Department following 20 years as a preschool, kindergarten and early elementary school teacher. He is a frequent speaker on early childhood topics across the U.S. and internationally.
Hicks holds a Master's degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education from California State University in Los Angeles, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California in Santa Cruz.
"We are delighted to welcome Steven as the new leader for Ready At Five. He is exceptionally well qualified to build on the strong foundation that Louise effectively built and nurtured," said Meredith Callanan, Chair of the Ready At Five Executive Leadership Committee. "Steven brings tremendous experience, passion, and a deep commitment to young children, their families and the teaching profession. The entire Executive Leadership Committee looks forward to working with Steven as he leads the next phase of our work."
Working with the Executive Leadership Committee and the Ready at Five staff, Hicks will advance the organization's mission to elevate the discussion, practice and quality of early childhood education so that all children in Maryland enter kindergarten ready to succeed. He is also charged with supporting the organization's long-term financial sustainability and building public awareness and support for Ready At Five's work. He brings extensive experience and expertise in early childhood education and public policy, and is an innovator and reformer with a focus on effective management, collaboration, and building strong partnerships to achieve significant outcomes.
"I am excited to join Ready At Five, now in its 25th year of working collaboratively to ensure that the children of Maryland - no matter the zip code in which they were born - have the skills needed for success in school, career, and life," Hicks said. "I am eager to get started with this incredible and hard-working team and build on the strong foundation Louise and the Executive Leadership Committee have built to support children, families, and early childhood teachers across Maryland's twenty-four jurisdictions."
Louise Corwin, Ready At Five's current Executive Director, announced her intention to retire last year and has been actively involved in the leadership selection and transition process. "Steven's background is a perfect fit for Ready At Five's mission. He is well prepared to further Ready At Five's work at the state, jurisdiction and community levels. I believe he will maintain the organization's standing as a vibrant and well-respected early childhood leader in Maryland and I feel confident leaving the organization in his hands," said Corwin.
"We are very grateful for Louise's leadership and inspiration over the past 15 years, witnessed across the entire state of Maryland and across a broad spectrum of stakeholders" Callanan added.