- Executive Office of Education
- Department of Early Education and Care
Media Contact for Board Recommends New Early Education and Care Commissioner
Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
Boston — The Board of Early Education and Care today voted unanimously to recommend Samantha Aigner-Treworgy for the position of commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Pending formal appointment by Education Secretary James Peyser, Ms. Aigner-Treworgy will leave her current position as chief of early learning for the City of Chicago to become the next commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care this summer.
The Board interviewed two finalists for the position Tuesday afternoon, wrapping up a three-month search that yielded local and national candidates for the position. The other finalist was Cliff Chuang, senior associate commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The board’s recommendation will now be submitted to the Secretary of Education for his approval and appointment. Under state statute, the Secretary decides whether to appoint the recommended candidate or ask the Board to submit another candidate for consideration. The Secretary is also a member of the Board, and voted in favor of Ms. Aigner-Treworgy.
“We were lucky to have two such accomplished and qualified finalists for this very important role in our educational system,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “I look forward to working with Ms. Aigner-Treworgy as the next commissioner. She brings a depth of experience in early education that will benefit child care providers and preschools, as well as children and their families across the Commonwealth. I would again like to thank Chair Lesaux and the search committee for their great work in recruiting and screening an excellent pool of candidates.”
“The Board enthusiastically recommends Ms. Aigner-Treworgy be appointed the next commissioner of early education and care,” said Early Education and Care Board Chair Nonie Lesaux. “Ms. Aigner-Treworgy is highly qualified to head the department at this critical juncture, leading to even greater impact and supporting positive outcomes for all young children served, including our most vulnerable. I would like to thank both finalists, members of the Board and the preliminary search committee, as well as department staff for their contributions to this important search.”
“I am thrilled to be selected by the Board to serve as Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care,” Ms. Aigner-Treworgy said. “I have spent my career working to improve the lives of young children and families across the country, and I couldn’t be more excited to come back to my home state to build on the great foundation and legacy of early childhood leadership in Massachusetts.”
The current Early Education and Care Commissioner, Tom Weber, announced in March he was stepping down after more than a decade of service in senior roles within the Education Secretariat. Weber has served as Commissioner of Early Education and Care for six years, the longest serving commissioner for the department. Commissioner Weber will conclude his service by June 30. The Board of Early Education and Care, led by Chair Nonie Lesaux, launched a national search to identify a successor to Weber.
The Department of Early Education and Care licenses approximately 9,000 child care programs and provides financial assistance for more than 56,000 children to attend high-quality learning programs that support their growth and development.
About Samantha Aigner-Treworgy:
As the chief of early learning for the City of Chicago, Ms. Aigner-Treworgy is leading implementation of the city’s early childhood plan to provide universal full-day pre-kindergarten to all four-year-old children in the city. Ms. Aigner-Treworgy oversees approximately $350 million in early childhood funding across multiple city agencies, including coordination of birth-to-five services in schools, community-based organizations and home visiting programs.
Prior to working for the City of Chicago, she was the national policy manager at Ounce of Prevention Fund – a nonprofit focused on expanding early childhood learning opportunities for low-income children. At Ounce of Prevention she launched a national policy initiative focused on supporting school districts to effectively implement early learning strategies in collaboration with local communities. From 2012 to 2013, she was a special projects coordinator for the Chicago Public Schools where she oversaw the implementation of a sliding-scale fee in school-based preschool programs to expand access and maximize public funding.
Early in her career, she was a pre-kindergarten teacher in Evanston, IL. She holds a Master’s in social service administration and a Master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Northampton, MA.
About the Board of Early Education and Care:
The Board of Early Education and Care sets policies and regulations related to early education and care programs and services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is comprised of eleven members, two of whom are ex-officio and nine of whom are appointed by the Governor. The Board of Early Education and Care is chaired by Nonie Lesaux, Ph.D., Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society, and academic dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
About the Department of Early Education and Care:
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is the lead agency for early learning programs and services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is part of the Executive Office of Education, one of nine Executive Offices under Governor Charlie Baker.
EEC licenses child care programs, residential programs, and adoption/foster care placement agencies; and provides information and referral services, inclusive programming for children with special needs, parenting and family support, and professional development opportunities for early educators. EEC’s mission is to provide a system of early education and care and out-of-school time in Massachusetts that provides all children with the necessary foundation for healthy and positive educational development and lifelong success. For more information about the Department of Early Education and Care, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/eec.