Educare West DuPage school director named 2016 Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow

Marcela Sweeney, school director of Educare West DuPage, was named a 2016 Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow.

The new fellowship program is part of Erikson Institute’s Early Childhood Leadership Academy, which offers opportunities for early childhood stakeholders to influence the development of key early childhood policies and create positive outcomes for children, families and communities.

Sweeney, who has worked at Educare West DuPage since 2012, says she plans to build on her knowledge and skills in leadership and policy during the fellowship.

“I think it is essential to develop leaders in the early childhood field because in order to advocate for what we know is needed for all children, we need to empower people in the field at all levels,” Sweeney said. “Building leadership skills with teachers, parents and other stakeholders is key in making strides towards improving our field and continuing to professionalize early childhood education so that the salary gap is closed and the achievement gap is prevented.”

Over the program’s eight months, the fellows will continue their full-time jobs while taking part in a variety of activities that will help them develop their knowledge and skills related to public policy.

“The fellows program builds on Erikson’s commitment to developing a pipeline of effective leaders reflecting underrepresented communities and diverse early childhood sectors who possess the knowledge, tools and practice to shape early childhood policy in a way that brings about positive change to benefit young children and families,” says Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Ph.D., director of policy at Erikson.

Learn more about Erikson Institute and the Early Childhood Leadership Academy.