NJDOE News
Contact: Bob DeSando
609-633-9788
For Release: October 7, 1999

Commissioner Hespe Forms Task Force on Early Childhood Education Programs

Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe today formed a Task Force on Early Childhood Education Programs and named Barbara Fridy Scott, a consultant who has served as the early childhood supervisor for the Newark school district, to be its chair.

"We are fortunate that so many experts in the field of early childhood education have volunteered their services," said Hespe. "I am especially pleased that Barbara Fridy Scott has agreed to lead this effort.

"I am confident that the task force will be of tremendous assistance in developing an enriching educational program for our preschool programs in the Abbott districts," the commissioner added.

The task force is expected to begin its work this month and forward its recommendations to the Department of Education for implementation by the commencement of the 2000-2001 school year in all preschool programs. It will develop guiding principles and performance standards and expectations to ensure high quality early childhood programs.

"These expectations will be used to assure preschool children enter kindergarten ready to learn," noted Margretta Reid Fairweather, Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood Education. "We want to be sure preschools offer developmentally appropriate educational experiences that will prepare children to achieve the core curriculum content standards in the early grades."

Hespe said the members will bring a wide range of experience to the task force's deliberations. Members were drawn from all areas of the state and have a variety of backgrounds. Following is a list of participants:

  • Wilma Farmer, acting assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Camden school district.
  • Anna DeMolli, assistant superintendent, Paterson school district.
  • James Lytle, superintendent, Trenton school district.
  • Carmina Villa, principal, Long Branch school district.
  • Claire Warnock, early childhood supervisor, West New York school district.
  • Vic Sciacchetano, supervisor of special education, Union City school district.
  • Sue Anderson, master teacher, Garfield school district.
  • Joann Burns, master teacher, Millville school district.
  • Linda McGinnis, pre-kindergarten teacher, Keansburg school district.
  • Ruth Piatt, center owner/sponsor, Little Lamb Preschool, Vineland.
  • Lorraine Cooke, director, Egenolf Child Care Center, Elizabeth.
  • Paula Bunyan, director, Essex County College Child Development Center, Newark.
  • Carol Irving, director, Jersey City Day Care 100.
  • Ginny Martin, training specialist, Community Coordinated Child Care of Union County, Cranford.
  • Carolyn Atherly, director, Atlantic Human Resources.
  • Lorraine Johnson, president, Head Start Association.
  • Maria Benejan, project director, Bank Street Early Childhood Project, New York City.
  • Pat Fields, Family Care Development Fund, Lucent Technologies.
  • Katie Johnson, parent and school management team member, Passaic.

Other members are expected to be named to the task force in the near future.