The former Head Start director for the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City, Mo., will take over as head of Colorado Springs branch Head Start next month.
Steven R. Lewis has been chosen as the new CEO of the Community Partnership for Child Development, or CPCD, the organization announced Tuesday.
He will replace Noreen Landis-Tyson, who for 20 years served as president and CEO of Local Head Start, the federal government’s early childhood development and education program for low-income families.
Landis-Tyson, in all a 31-year employee of the Colorado Springs-based organization, said june 1st that she intended to retire in December.
Lewis takes over on December 19.
He rose to the top of 40 nominees and four finalists because of his “incredible resume,” with more than 25 years of experience in social services, many with Head Start, said board member Cyndy Scriven. administration that headed the selection committee.
Lewis began his career at Head Start in his hometown of Baltimore as a Family Services Coordinator.
He became executive director of Montgomery County Head Start in Norristown, Pennsylvania, before becoming an independent nonprofit management and leadership consultant. He held that position for eight years before leading the Kansas City Area Council, which serves 2,400 children.
His background “aligns perfectly with CPCD,” Scriven said. “His enthusiasm for children, his love of helping people, his personality that exudes confidence and the ability to succeed” were other considerations, she said.
“He will just be an inspiration for the whole program,” she said.
Lewis and Landis-Tyson have in common that they are both mentors in the Head Start New Director mentorship program.
“So I experienced first-hand his enthusiasm and passion for the Head Start mission,” Landis-Tyson said in announcing his hire. “Lewis’ extensive management and leadership experience” will help her take Colorado Springs’ services for children and families “to the next level,” she said.
In addition to running Head Start Preschool for children ages 3-5 from low-income families, CPCD also runs Early Head Start for pregnant women and their children up to toddler age, and the Preschool Program of Colorado, which will be absorbed into a new state-funded Colorado universal preschool program.
State lawmakers have approved 10 hours a week of free preschool education for 4-year-olds in public school classrooms or private day care centers, churches, or brothels.
The program takes effect in August 2023 and will cause organizations such as CPCD to reassess their roles, Landis-Tyson told The Gazette in June.
“We’ll have to rethink what our model will look like,” Landis-Tyson said, especially since six school districts operate Colorado’s preschool program in El Paso County, in partnership with Head Start.
The organization continues to research the affected rules and awaits further policies to be developed, Scriven said.
Applications for the 2023-24 school year will begin to be accepted in January.
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