Governor appoints NAU prof to new early education board

powell library

An assistant professor from the College of Education has been appointed by Gov. Janet Napolitano to a newly created board to strengthen early childhood education throughout the state.

Pamela Powell, who teaches literacy, curriculum and early childhood education courses, was chosen to serve on the Early Childhood Development and Health Board established to help implement the recently passed Proposition 203, First Things First initiative.

“This appointment is a privilege and I am pleased to represent Northern Arizona University on the board,” Powell said. “Prioritizing and meeting the needs of our smallest members of society will ultimately help create strong citizens.”

Powell’s work at NAU focuses on preparing future educational professionals. Besides teaching, she develops College of Education summer conferences that provide a venue for continued conversation regarding quality early learning environments.

Proposition 203 will fund quality early childhood and health education at local levels. The board will oversee regional efforts to ensure children throughout the state start school health and ready to succeed, thereby strengthening K-12 education in Arizona.

“I have a great deal of experience as an educator in the primary grades, which is considered early childhood,” she said. “In addition, my area of focus for my doctoral degree was early childhood, and I am actively involved in promoting quality early care and education in northern Arizona and around the state.”

Rhian Evans Allvin, a past president of NAU’s Alumni Board and former student regent at NAU, also was appointed to the new board.

Other appointments include, Nadine Basha, Jack Jewett, Vivian Juan-Saunders, Paul Luna, Gary Pasquinelli, Cecil B. Patterson Jr. and Gene Thompson.

The directors of the Department of Economic Security, Department of Health Services and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or a designee of their choice, will serve as non-voting ex-officio members.

“The passage of Prop. 203 and the creation of this diverse board is an opportunity for Arizona to set an example nationally for ensuring all children begin their education on equal footing,” Napolitano said.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, board members were chosen to represent the state’s diversity. The appointees are from six counties and include five men, four women, four democrats, four republicans and one independent. They bring experience in early education, K-12 education, health care, juvenile justice, higher education, philanthropy, business and tribal government.

All positions will require Senate confirmation.

For more information about the appointees, click here.