Pandora pixel

MARC is pleased to announce Dr. Toni Sturdivant will be joining the organization as director of the Early Learning and Head Start Department.

Sturdivant brings a wealth of experience in early education, having served as a Head Start educator, professor of early education and nonprofit executive. She currently serves as vice president of early education and workforce development for Camp Fire First Texas in Fort Worth. In this role, Sturdivant provides visionary, financial, programmatic and operations leadership for early education workforce development programming. Sturdivant is a researcher, a thought leader and a collaborator with a passion for improving early learning systems. She deeply values stakeholder engagement and relationship building, having partnered with multiple organizations to secure grants, advance systems change and connect families to resources.

Sturdivant has a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education and her doctorate in interdisciplinary learning and teaching. She supports multiple professional organizations, including serving on the North Texas Early Learning Alliance and as a board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

In her role as director of early learning and Head Start, Sturdivant will lead an innovative and committed team as they serve children and families across the Kansas City region, providing critical support to numerous early learning partners. She will engage civic leaders and stakeholders and work with them to develop strategic initiatives at local, regional and state levels to expand access and improve the quality and accessibility of early learning programs.

“We are excited to welcome Toni to the Kansas City region and believe that her extensive knowledge of early learning, combined with her creativity, vision and ability to collaborate with partners of all kinds, will help further a strategic approach to early education in the region,” said David Warm, MARC’s executive director. “She will be leading a team of highly qualified professionals who are committed to preparing all young children for academic and lifelong success.”

“I am very excited to join such an outstanding MARC team that is doing such meaningful work,” Sturdivant said. “The Kansas City region has a rich array of early learning resources and I look forward to working with many partners as we continue to develop and deliver quality early learning programs for all children.”

Sturdivant replaces Dr. Jovanna Rohs, who stepped down earlier this year as MARC director of early learning and Head Start to assume her current role as chief program officer at the Children’s Services Fund of Jackson County. Kasey Lawson served as interim director during the search process.