PRESS RELEASE – The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors – Dr. Eric Bracy, Superintendent of Sampson County Schools, and Banu Valladares, Executive Director of the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool.
Since 2014, Dr. Eric Bracy has been the Superintendent of Sampson County Schools. He has a passion and longstanding commitment to student-centered education and achieving equity, having earned national recognition for his role in closing the achievement gap in Advanced Placement course for Sampson County Schools. He has worked as a teacher, an assistant principal in elementary and middle school, a principal and central administrator, and Superintendent in Northampton County Schools. Bracy holds a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Virginia State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University.
“The early years – from birth to age eight – are a critical period for children. As a teacher, principal, and school district administrator, I have witnessed firsthand what happens when we support our families in these formative childhood years,” Bracy said. “That is why I am honored to serve as a champion for quality programs and policies as a board member of the NC Early Childhood Foundation. Collaboratively, we can give young children a foundation that will prepare them for future success.”
As the Executive Director of the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Banu Valladares has extensive experience in education, the arts and humanities, and in forming strategic partnerships with national, state and local agencies. Banu is a native of Venezuela and brings a wealth of diverse experience to NCECF. She served as the former Executive Director of SonEdna, Program and Grants Administrator for NC Humanities Council, a Spanish instructor and a teaching artist. Valladares currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arts & Science Council, the Mecklenburg County Early Childhood Executive Committee and the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council.
“I am delighted to join the Board of NCECF. I have admired NCECF for their bold work in building effective, statewide collaborations that move the needle to create equitable access to success for every child. It is an honor to serve and to bring the voices of economically marginalized Latinx children and their families with me to this important table. Together, we create a brighter future for our community” said Valladares.
“I am thrilled to welcome these superstars to our Board,” said Tracy Zimmerman, NCECF Executive Director. “Their experience will help shape our work to bridge the birth-to-five and school systems and align policies and practices that best support children’s healthy development.”