For Immediate Release - June 10, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES NEW APPOINTEES TO BOARD OF EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE

BOSTON – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the appointment of Jay Gonzalez and Katie Joyce to the state’s Board of Early Education and Care. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to create a Department of Early Education and Care to coordinate and consolidate the range of education and human services focused on children.

“Our best opportunity to close achievement gaps is to provide all children with a strong start,” said Governor Patrick. “Jay and Katie bring to the board diverse experiences and knowledge that will help further the good work already underway with the Board of Early Education and Care to ensure success for all students.”

Gonzalez will serve as Chair of the Board, replacing outgoing Chair JD Chesloff, who has held the position since 2009. Chesloff will remain on the Board as a member.  Joyce will serve as a representative of a parent of a child currently in an early education and care program.

Gonzalez is President & CEO of CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts, Inc. From January 2007 through January 2013, he served under Governor Patrick in the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, including as Secretary of Administration and Finance beginning in October 2009. Prior to joining the Patrick Administration, he was a Partner at the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, where he focused on public finance. During his time with the Patrick Administration, Gonzalez oversaw state finances and helped the Commonwealth achieve its highest bond ratings ever. He also worked closely with the Legislature to enact and implement a number of significant government reform initiatives, including transportation reform, pension reform and municipal health care reform.  Gonzalez lives in Brookline with his wife, Cyndi, and two daughters, Isabel and Abby. He is filling the seat vacated by Dr. Cheryl Stanley, whose term has expired.

Joyce is currently the Vice President for Policy and Domestic and International Government Relations at Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. She previously held positions as Chief of Staff to former Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and Senior Advisor to Governor Deval Patrick. Joyce also has worked for then-U.S. Senator John Kerry and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications from Boston College, and a Master of Public Management from George Washington University. Joyce is a native of Holyoke and resides in Natick with her husband and three young children.  She is filling the seat vacated by Dr. Chi-Cheng Huang.

“Increasing accessibility for early education is a top priority of the Patrick Administration. We must build a solid foundation for future success for all of our children,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “I’m looking forward to working with Jay and Katie to help support the needs of the Commonwealth’s youngest citizens.”

“Children need a strong developmental foundation for learning and this is achieved through high quality enrichment and engagement opportunities from a very early age," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. "Jay Gonzalez and Katie Joyce will be outstanding stewards of the Commonwealth's early education system, helping lead a vision that will positively impact children's futures and the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth."

"Chairing the Board of Early Education and Care for nearly five years has been the most rewarding experience of my professional career.  I am grateful to the Governor for this opportunity, to EEC's staff, and the committed providers and advocates who work tirelessly each day on behalf of the state's children and families," said JD Chesloff. "Katie and Jay are exceptional additions to the Board, and I look forward to continuing to serve with them and my outstanding Board colleagues to advance the Department's critical work on behalf of young children and their families."

Governor Patrick has prioritized early education and care as a key strategy in closing the achievement gap and position all children for success in school and life. Under the Governor and the Board's leadership, the Department has advanced key initiatives to provide a strong foundation for young learners, including a Quality Rating and Improvement System; state Common Core Standards that outline expectations for preschool learning and development; early learning guidelines for Infants and Toddlers; a statewide, inter-agency Early Childhood Information System and pilot activities to assign student identifiers to children in early education and care settings; efforts to link the early education and K-12 systems from birth to third grade through aligned screening, assessment and curricula practices; and an effective professional development system based on evidence-based practices that includes a workforce qualifications registry designed to advance educator competencies.

For more information on the Board of Early Education and Care, please visit http://www.mass.gov/edu/government/departments-and-boards/board-of-early-education-and-care/.

###