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

Due to COVID-19, the Durham PreK Governance Committee voted on August 19, 2021 to waive parent fees for the 2021-2022 school year.


The Durham PreK program is governed by the NC Child Care Rules, the NC open meetings law, the NC public records law, the NC State Board of Education Policy (Educator Licensure and Teacher Evaluation), the NC Pre-K Program Requirements & Guidance Manual, the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development and the NC Pre-K Program Fiscal and Contracts Manual, and the Durham PreK Program Requirements. These documents may be downloaded from the Division of Child Development and Early Education website and the Durham PreK website. Meetings will be livestreamed for public viewing on YouTube. Please check below for the link at the start of each scheduled meeting.


Dr. Iheoma Iruka

Governance Committee Chair

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

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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

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Peggy Ball

CCSA Board Member

Deric Boston

Director of Durham Head Start

Xavier Cason

Durham Public Schools Foundation Director of Community Schools and School Transformation

Cathy Collie Robinson
Cathy Collie-Robinson

Early Childhood Program Director, Durham Technical Community College

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Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines

Associate Professor at Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy and Associate Director of the Center for Child and Family Policy

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Claudia Hager

Durham County Manager

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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

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Beth Messersmith

Mom’s Rising

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Michael D. Page

Board Chair, Durham's Partnership for Children

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Ben Rose

Director of Durham County Social Services


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June Shillito

Director of Yates Baptist Child Development Center


Darnella Warthen

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



Non-Voting Members

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Marsha Basloe

President of CCSA


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Dr. Linda Chappel

Senior Vice President of CCSA



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Drew Cummings

Chief of Staff, Durham County



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Cate Elander

Durham County Early Childhood Coordinator at Durham County Government


Danielle Johnson

Executive Director of Durham’s Partnership for Children

Non-Voting Resource Members

Brittany K Gregory

MPA, Durham’s Partnership for Children, Director of Programs

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Monnie Griggs

Child Care Services Association, Senior Director of Quality Enhancement Initiatives for Early Learning


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Dr. Marina Mendoza

Child Care Services Association, Senior Director for Scholarship Program


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Melinda Rodriguez

Child Care Services Association, Administrative Manager

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Child Care Services Association, Sr. Manager, Durham PreK

Governance Meeting Agendas and Notes


UPDATE: The Durham PreK Governance Committee voted on August 19, 2021 to waive parent fees for the 2021-2022 school year. The Durham PreK Application is still open! Click here to access the application information and materials.