Message from Michelle
You are here
There is nothing more meaningful to me in my role as NAEYC’s chief executive officer than to have the opportunity to visit early learning programs. As I meet educators and program leaders, I often hear two common themes about leadership. Some educators realized the leader in themselves: they looked up one day at a leader they identified with, and they saw themselves in the same position. Others share how someone else saw the leader inside of them and encouraged them to believe in themselves too.
We need different stories and journeys to be represented in leadership. It’s essential for our field, for the children and families we serve, and for our society. I’m so grateful that NAEYC Governing Board President Natalie Vega O’Neil and I—along with NAEYC’s Governing Board and leadership team—are representing the diversity of lived experiences and showing the importance of providing different perspectives.
There is no perfect or right path to becoming a leader. But as you’ll read from early childhood leaders in this issue, like Aarie Wade, mentoring and ongoing support, encouragement, and belief in ourselves and others can help each and every leader take on opportunities and work through challenges.
Because leadership means listening, I continue to prioritize it as I go into my second year as CEO. I will continue listening and working to ensure that NAEYC amplifies your stories and adapts our work to best meet your needs so we can be a community of belonging for all educators.
Chief Executive Officer
Copyright © 2023 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. See permissions and reprints online at NAEYC.org/resources/permissions.
Michelle Kang serves as NAEYC’s Chief Executive Officer.