TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced her appointments to the Early Childhood Transition Task Force, which was created by Governor Kelly’s first executive order of her second term, Executive Order 23-01.
The Task Force is charged with reviewing the Kansas early childhood care and education system and developing a roadmap for the creation of a cabinet-wide agency dedicated to supporting our youngest Kansasers.
Locally, Monica Murnan of Pittsburg was appointed to the Task Force. Murnan is a former Democratic member of the Kansas House of Representatives and a former Pittsburg City Commissioner.
“I am proud to announce the appointment of this bipartisan group of Kansans to the Early Childhood Transition Task Force,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Representing the business, government, defense and early childhood sectors, these appointees bring years of experience and a wealth of expertise to the most important challenge we face as a state: giving our next generation the strongest start ever. possible life. I look forward to collaborating with this group and reviewing their findings in the coming months.”
Named members of the Early Childhood Transition Task Force are:
- Barry Downing, Wichita, honorary chairman
- Cornelia Stevens, Wichita—Co-Chair
- Sam Huenergardt, Shawnee—Co-Chair
- Secretary Laura Howard, Topeka
- Secretary Janet Stanek, Topeka
- Melissa Rooker, Fairway
- Amanda Petersen, Lorenzo
- Sara Bloom, Hays
- Lona Duvall, Garden City
- Kelly Davydov, Overland Park
- Betsy Wearing, Salina
- Jennifer Adhima, Lawrence
- David Giordano, Hutchinson
- Monica Murnan, Pittsburgh
- Senator Pat Pettey, Kansas City
- Senator Brenda Dietrich, Topeka
- Representative Susan Ruiz, Shawnee
- Troy Waymaster Representative, Bunker Hill
Governor Kelly also announced that The Hunt Institute will provide staffing and operational support to the Task Force. Established in 2001 by former North Carolina Governor James Hunt, The Hunt Institute’s mission is to provide impartial research, technical expertise, and learning opportunities that empower and enable educators and policymakers to lead equitable educational reforms.
The Hunt Institute will serve as the Task Force’s lead convenor, provide research and policy expertise, and operate a statewide community engagement tour. The Hunt Institute has provided similar services in reviewing early childhood programming in states including New Mexico, Missouri, North Dakota, Alabama and Delaware.
“With the establishment of the Early Childhood Transition Task Force, Governor Kelly has placed Kansas at the forefront of a national debate on early childhood system governance,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President and CEO by The Hunt Institute. Hunt Institute looks forward to supporting the state as it works to make its systems more efficient and coordinated on behalf of Kansas children, families and taxpayers.”
The Task Force will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks.