Educational First Steps Welcomes Eight New Members to Board of Directors

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Educational First Steps is a North Texas non-profit dedicated to improving the quality and availability of early childhood education for economically disadvantaged children. EFS recently named eight new members to its board of directors, each enhancing the board's effectiveness through their skills and expertise.

Educational First Steps

Eight new members were elected to the board of directors on May 13, 2013, each beginning a three year term of service.

Educational First Steps helps create early learning centers of excellence for the children and communities who need them the most. Through the Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 program, child care center teachers, directors and EFS staff work in close relationship to prepare disadvantaged and at risk children for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Eight new members who bring a wealth of talent were elected to EFS’ Board of Directors on May 13, 2013, each beginning a three year term of service.

Passionate about the education of low income children, Lydia B. Addy brings financial, fundraising and leadership expertise to the EFS board. She is a member of the Center on Communities and Education of SMU's Simmons School of Education and Human Development and has held many leadership roles at St. Mark's School of Texas.

Gilbert C. Garza is the owner and chef of Suze restaurant in the Preston Hollow/Bluffview area of Dallas. A committed philanthropist, Mr. Garza's volunteer work includes co-chairing the Dallas Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation, serving on the advisory board for N. F. Neurofibromatosis and participating for 13 years in the March of Dimes Signature Chef's event.

Brett Kirstein is a Managing Director with WayPoint Health Care Advisors. A former Partner at Arthur Anderson, Mr. Kirstein has served as Chairman of the Board for Head Start of Greater Dallas and is a former Board member of the Housing Crisis Center and Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Kathryn Lake is the Chief of Staff to Tom Luce, Chairman of the Board of the National Math and Science Initiative and Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. A graduate of Stanford University, H.E.R.O. Mentor for the Uplift Education Charter Schools, and Fundraising Chair for the Slipper Club, Ms. Lake brings education, research, analysis and development skills to the EFS Board.

Georgia Scaife joins the EFS Board with more than 30 years of experience in human resources and employee administration. Ms. Scaife currently serves as President of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and a Board member of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. She has also served two terms on the Board of the Grapevine Colleyville Independent School District.

Jane Taber is a Partner at Estes Okon Thorne & Carr PLL, skilled in administrative, general corporate and business law and negotiation. A graduate of Leadership DISD, Ms. Taber was a founding Board member of a local Parents' Day Out Program and a volunteer with the Austin Street Shelter and Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Michele Valdez returns to the EFS board after her work as a Board member for Planned Parenthood of North Texas during its recent merger. A former attorney at American Airlines and Vice President of the People Department at American Eagle Airlines, Ms. Valdez is a skilled and effective volunteer, columnist and philanthropist whose service includes the Baylor Foundation and Women for Orphans Worldwide.

Carolyn Westberry has worked in human resources for KPMG, Lucent Technology and Compucom Systems and is an active community volunteer. A member of the Board of Trustees for the Lamplighter School since 2003, Ms. Westberry has served as President of its Parent Association in addition to her service for the Northpark Presbyterian Church, the National Charity League and the Hockaday School.

EFS would like to thank these individuals for serving with us on behalf of our community’s most vulnerable children, as well as recognize those whose Board terms have ended. In that spirit, EFS gives it deepest appreciation to Barbara Moroney, David Hale Smith and Chris Spivey for their energy, enthusiasm, unique talents and purposeful leadership. Each has significantly advanced the cause of quality early childhood education for children in poverty through their association with Educational First Steps.

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Jim Richardson
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