Durham PreK Governance Committee

The Durham PreK Governance Committee serves to provide vision and direction to the Durham County preschool expansion effort. In June 2018, Durham County Commissioners voted to support and fund the creation of a system designed to expand opportunities for all 4-year-old children in Durham to attend high-quality early learning programs. Durham PreK focuses on providing families access to preschool programs meeting the highest standards for early learning. The Governance Committee is involved in advising and approving plans, strategies, standards and policies for Durham PreK. Content-specific advisory committees with wider membership/participation support particular focus areas requiring more intensive engagement and input. The intent of the Governance Committee and its advisory committees is to establish an inclusive, community-driven initiative that will enhance public will and engagement and strengthen the resulting system of preschool services developed through the initiative.

Recent Updates

The Durham PreK Quality Subcommittee approved the SY21-22 Durham PreK Equity Plan in May 2021.


Dr. Iheoma Iruka

Governance Committee Chair

Research Professor of Public Policy; Fellow and Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity Program Director, FPG

Leigh headshot

Leigh Bordley


Executive Director, LEAP Academy


Dr. Wykeshia Glass


Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Human Sciences at North Carolina Central University

Untitled design (1)
Peggy Ball

CCSA Board Chair

Cathy Collie Robinson
Cathy Collie-Robinson

Early Childhood Program Director, Durham Technical Community College

Untitled design (1)
Deric Boston
Xavier Cason

Durham Public Schools Foundation Director of Community Schools and School Transformation

claudia hager
Claudia Hager

Durham County Manager

Studio portrait of Anna Gassman Pines
Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines

WLF Bass Connections Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology and Neuroscience, Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University; Faculty Affiliate of Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy

nakia hardy
Dr. Nakia Hardy

Deputy Superintendent of Durham Public Schools

Michelle Lyn, MBA, MHA, Chief of the Division of Community Health, photographed in the Duke Children's Health Center.
Michelle Lyn

Chief of the Duke Division of Community Health, Community & Family Medicine Department;

Co-Director of Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement;

and Leadership Faculty for the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program


Karen McLeod
Karen McLeod

Program Supervisor for Care Coordinator for Children, Durham County Public Health

Untitled design (1)
Beth Messersmith

Mom’s Rising

Ben Rose Photo
Ben Rose

Director of Durham County Social Services


June adjusted
June Shillito

Director of Yates Baptist Child Development Center


Untitled design (1)
Darnella Warthen

Owner and Director of A New Beginning I, II, III and IV



Non-Voting Resource Members

Marsha Basloe pic (1)
Marsha Basloe

President of CCSA


Linda Chappel Photo
Dr. Linda Chappel

Senior Vice President of CCSA



Drew Cummings Photo
Drew Cummings

Chief of Staff, Durham County



IMG_20200422_134746 (1)
Cate Elander

Durham County Early Childhood Coordinator at Durham County Government


Danielle Johnson

Executive Director of Durham’s Partnership for Children

Governance Meeting Agendas and Notes

  • May 20, 2021 Meeting Agenda
  • March 18, 2021 Meeting Agenda
  • January 21, 2021 Meeting Agenda

The 2021-2022 Durham PreK Application is still open! Click here to access the application information and materials.