Durham PreK Governance Committee

The Durham PreK Governance Committee serves to provide vision and direction to the Durham County preschool expansion effort. In June 2018, Durham County Commissioners voted to support and fund the creation of a system designed to expand opportunities for all 4-year-old children in Durham to attend high-quality early learning programs. Durham PreK focuses on providing families access to preschool programs meeting the highest standards for early learning. The Governance Committee is involved in advising and approving plans, strategies, standards and policies for Durham PreK. Content-specific advisory committees with wider membership/participation support particular focus areas requiring more intensive engagement and input. The intent of the Governance Committee and its advisory committees is to establish an inclusive, community-driven initiative that will enhance public will and engagement and strengthen the resulting system of preschool services developed through the initiative.

Dr. Iheoma Iruka

Governance Committee Chair

Leigh headshot
Leigh Bordley


Dr. Wykeshia Glass


Durham PreK Governance Committee 2018 – 2020

Voting members:
  • Peggy Ball, CCSA Board Chair
  • Leigh Bordley, Executive Director for LEAP
  • Cathy Collie-Robinson, Durham’s Partnership for Children Board Chair and Durham Technical Community College Early Childhood Director
  • Deric Boston, Director of Durham Head Start and Early Head Start, Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project
  • Xavier Cason, Durham Public Schools Foundation Director of Community Schools and School Transformation
  • Wendell Davis, Durham County Manager
  • Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines, Associate Professor at Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy and Associate Director of the Center for Child and Family Policy
  • Dr. Wykeshia Glass, Professor of Early Childhood Education at North Carolina Central University
  • Dr. Nakia Hardy, Deputy Superintendent at Durham Public Schools
  • Dr. Iheoma Iruka, Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director of the Center for Early Education Research and Evaluation, Highscope Educational Research Foundation
  • Tammy Jacobs, Educational Program Manager of Resident Services, Durham Housing Authority
  • Michelle Lyn, Director of Community Health, Duke University Health System
  • Karen McLeod, Durham County Public Health (Program Supervisor for Care Coordinator for Children, designated member by the Director of Public Health)
  • Beth Messersmith, Mom’s Rising
  • Darnella Warthen, Owner and Director of A New Beginning I, II, III and IV
  • June Shillito, Director of Yates Baptist Child Development Center
Other non-voting members:
  • Drew Cummings, Chief of Staff, Durham County
  • Cate Elander, Durham County Early Childhood Coordinator at Durham County Government
  • Marsha Basloe, President of CCSA
  • Dr. Linda Chappel, Senior Vice President of CCSA
  • Danielle Johnson, Executive Director of Durham’s Partnership for Children
  • Dr. Alex Livas-Dlott, Durham PreK Manager, CCSA

Governance Meeting Agendas and Notes