All Star Trio Joins NCECF’s Board of Directors

Raleigh, NC (February 9, 2021) – The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) announces the election of three new members to its Board of Directors – Nation Hahn, the Director of Growth at EducationNC; Hal Kaplan, the Executive Chairman of Kaplan Early Learning Company; and Rashidah Lopez Morgan, Principal Consultant with Education First.

As the Director of Growth for Education NC (EdNC), Nation Hahn is dedicated to telling the stories that matter most to local communities as it relates to education. Hahn helps drive the postsecondary and community college coverage, and also works on fundraising and partnership efforts to increase audience growth, readership and engagement at EdNC. Outside of EdNC and being named as Southerner of the Year by Southern Living magazine, Hahn plays an active role in the community by serving on the boards of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, and the Raleigh-Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness.

Hal Kaplan is a second-generation early childhood advocate through his family’s business, Kaplan Early Learning Company, which strives to improve outcomes for all children by providing products and services that enhance learning. As the former President and CEO, Kaplan led the company to international levels while still maintaining his roots and loyalty to North Carolina. The company is headquartered in Lewisville, where Kaplan and his wife reside. NCECF will benefit from Kaplan’s keen insights in early learning and his strong civic engagement having served with organizations such as UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development and Winston-Salem State University.

Rashidah Lopez Morgan serves as the Principal Consultant for Education First where she works with education leaders to create and implement organizational strategies and talent management solutions that help prepare students for success in college, careers, and life. Lopez Morgan brings to NCECF executive experience within the private sector that will only strengthen NCECF’s ability to create corporate champions for young children and their families. “I pursued a career in education because I was appalled by the inequities that Black and Brown children experience as they seek a high-quality education,” says Lopez Morgan. “I credit a quality education with positively impacting the trajectory of my life and believe every child deserves a high-quality education.”

“NCECF is eager to welcome three brilliant new perspectives to our Board of Directors,” shares Muffy Grant, NCECF’s Executive Director. “For over half a century, the Kaplans understood the importance of enriching early learning tools, toys, books, materials and stimulating learning environments. Nation Hahn brings with him a strong persuasive voice for public education in our state. His ability to frame public education as a public good, as THE public good, will only serve to move our mission forward as we champion the earliest years of high-quality care and education. Finally, we are thrilled to welcome Rashidah Lopez Morgan. Lopez Morgan has dedicated much of her career to improving outcomes for children in the public K-12 system. She felt compelled to advocate as she dug into the data and recognized education outcomes as a racial equity issue.”

NCECF is honored and thrilled to bring such a unique and talented trio onboard to the Board of Directors in 2021.