Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A personal note from Director Bette Hyde

The Department of Early Learning announced today that Dr. Bette Hyde will leave her position as director after six years of leading the department. Dr. Hyde will stay until August 31 to complete work in the legislative session which has a heavy early learning agenda and to provide time to find a new director.

Since taking the directorship in early 2009, Dr. Hyde has made significant strides in improving the quality and availability of early learning opportunities for the youngest Washingtonians. Under Dr Hyde’s leadership, the department developed a comprehensive 10 year early learning plan in Washington State that supported the development of ready and successful children, families, early learning professionals, schools, and communities.

One of Dr. Hyde’s proudest accomplishments is the creation and dissemination of the Early Learning and Development Guidelines, Birth Through 3rd Grade. These guidelines support families and providers in the recognition and cultivation of key developmental milestones for children from birth through 3rd grade. These guidelines are a useful tool for everyone who loves, cares for and educates young children. The guidelines also promote a whole child approach that acknowledges and honors the diversity of our state.

“We have made great progress in building a quality early learning system that is nationally recognized. While there is always more to do, I am honored by the partnerships we have established with fellow state agencies and community partners” Hyde said.

Other key accomplishments under Dr. Hyde’s leadership include: the launch of WAKids, a transition process and evaluation tool that enables a more successful start in K12 education for early learners; the development and implementation of Early Achievers, our state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System; and, the award of a $60 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge federal grant and a $43 million federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program grant.

“Under Bette’s leadership, Washington has made tremendous strides forward in improving access to high quality early learning opportunities for Washington’s families,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “I couldn’t be more proud of everything Bette has accomplished and appreciate her role in putting Washington on the map as a leader in early learning. The work of her and her team means thousands of Washington children are on the path to a brighter future.”

Prior to her directorship with the Department of Early Learning, Dr. Hyde served as superintendent of the Bremerton School District, a special education teacher, and a school psychologist, deputy superintendent for Puget Sound Educational Service District, a building principal and assistant superintendent in the Seattle, Vashon Island, and Highline school districts.

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