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Board of Early Education and Care


Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq. Chairperson
Paul Reville, Secretary of Education (effective July 1)
JudyAnn Bigby, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human Services (Marilyn Anderson Chase, designee)
J.D. Chesloff
Elizabeth Childs, M.D
Julie P. Culhane, Ph.D.
Chi-Cheng Huang. M.D.
Orlando Isaza
Mary Pat Messmer
Carol Craig O'Brien

For EEC Board Meeting dates and information, click here.

Board Member Biographies

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq. Chairperson

Vice President for Head Start and Children’s Services of Action for Boston Community Development

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq. is currently the Vice President of Head Start and Children’s Services for Action for Boston Community Development. Sharon has been engaged in early child policy and services for ten years. She previously served as the Director of Child Care Choices of Boston, the Child Care Resource Referral Agency for the Metro Boston Region. Sharon has a degree in law from Northeastern University and was the former Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Policy and Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts Attorney General, Scott Harshbarger. Prior to that, she was also an Associate in a Boston law firm and a Legislative Aide to a U.S. Congressman in Washington, DC. She was a 2005 Schott Foundation Fellow and serves on numerous Boards & Taskforces related to Early Childhood and youth issues. She is a native Bostonian who now resides in Natick with her husband and three young children.


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Paul Reville, Secretary of Education

As Secretary of Education, Paul Reville directs the Executive Office of Education. The Secretary oversees the three education agencies of the Commonwealth – Department of Early Education and Care, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Higher Education. Prior to becoming Secretary, Governor Patrick appointed Paul as the chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. He also served on Governor Patrick’s Transition Team and was chair of the Governor’s Pre-K – 12 Task Force on Governance.

Until his appointment as Secretary of Education, Paul was the president of the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. Paul was also the Director of the Education Policy and Management Program and a lecturer on educational policy and politics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Paul is the former executive director of the Pew Forum on Standards-Based Reform, and was the founding executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE). From 1991-96, he served on the Massachusetts State Board of Education and chaired the Massachusetts Commission on Time and Learning as well as the Massachusetts Education Reform Review Commission, the state body that provided research and oversight for the state's implementation of education reform in the Commonwealth.

In 1985, Paul was the founding executive director of the Alliance for Education, a multi-service educational improvement organization serving Worcester and Central Massachusetts. He continues to play an active role in Worcester as chair of the Worcester Education Partnership's Steering Committee, a key partner in a Carnegie-sponsored initiative to transform Worcester's high schools.

He is a graduate of Colorado College and holds a Master's degree from Stanford University.

He is a trustee of Wheelock College and the Nativity School of Worcester, and serves on numerous other boards and advisory committees. Last year, he edited the book, “A Decade of Urban School Reform: Persistence and Progress in the Boston Public Schools.” He is a frequent writer and speaker on school reform and educational policy issues. Finally, he has four children and two step-children who are committed to his continuing education.


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JudyAnn Bigby, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human Services (Marilyn Anderson Chase, designee)

Marilyn Anderson Chase, Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth and Families, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, serves as designee for Secretary Bigby

Immediately prior to her appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby was the Medical Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She was also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, where she focused on the health care of low-income and minority women, including breast and cervical cancer and infant mortality.

Dr. Bigby has spent her career addressing health care disparities and the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. She has published a number of studies and participated in conferences and forums across the country related to these issues. She also edited a book about how health issues present themselves in different racial-ethnic-cultural populations. Dr. Bigby is nationally recognized for her pioneering work in substance abuse education for primary care physicians.

Dr. Bigby served on the Public Health Commission for the City of Boston (since 1996), Teen Voices, and the Medical Foundation. She was also a member of the Institute of Medicine’s committee Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century and the Minority Women’s Health Panel of Experts for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. Dr. Bigby served on the Council of Graduate Medical Education from 1994-1999.

Dr. Bigby holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She lives in Jamaica Plain.


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JD Chesloff

Director of Public Policy, Massachusetts Business Roundtable

JD Chesloff brings a diverse perspective on early education and care to the Board. Chesloff is the Director of Public Policy for the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. Previously, he served as Legislative/Issues Director at Strategies for Children - a leading early education and care advocacy group in the state. Chesloff has also held policy-making, budget and legislative positions in state government and in higher education.

In the Legislature, he was the Chief of Staff to the House Committee on Commerce and Labor, and was the education issues analyst and Deputy Budget Director for the House Committee on Ways and Means. After working as both a budget analyst and Assistant to the President at the University of Massachusetts, JD worked as the Legislative Director for State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien and then as Issues Director for the O’Brien-Gabrieli gubernatorial campaign. He joined MBR after serving as Legislative/Issues Director for the Early Education for All Campaign (EEA), where he was responsible for developing and driving legislative support for EEA’s legislation and agenda which included the creation of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

JD holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Public Policy and Telecommunications Writing from Syracuse University. He lives in Arlington with his wife Lori and his daughters, Sadie and Tessa.


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Elizabeth Childs, M.D.

Dr. Childs has an extensive background in providing services to people with serious mental illness, which includes both the private and public sectors. Prior to coming to DMH, Dr. Childs was Chief and Director of Psychiatry at the Carney Hospital, in Dorchester, MA, a position she held since 1996. She holds Diplomates in Adult, as well as in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Childs received an A.B. degree from Mount Holyoke College, and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. She completed her residency in Psychiatry in 1990 at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, where she was Chief Resident in Adult Psychiatry. She went on to complete her training in Child Psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center and the Gaebler Children’s Center in 1992. She has been associated with the Carney Hospital since then. She served as a consultant in Child Psychiatry at the Dana Farber Institute and Children’s Hospital, and worked as a child psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Health Plan. She also has a private psychiatric practice. Dr. Childs has held academic appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Cincinnati. She has been an active member of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, serving as its president in 2002 – 2003, and as chair of its Legislative Committee.


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Julie P. Culhane, Ph.D

Julie P. Culhane is the recently retired Director of Early Childhood Programs for the Hampshire Regional School District, covering five rural communities in western Massachusetts. In that capacity she oversaw public, inclusion preschools, wrote grants and conducted annual out-reach and enrollment. Dr. Culhane also coordinated transitions for families from early intervention, Head Start and community programs into the public schools. She began teaching kindergarten and children with special needs in 1971 while earning an advanced degree in special education, going on to attain her Ph.D. in early childhood special education. Dr. Culhane has also taught as an adjunct instructor of psychology at the college level. She is a validator for National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and a frequent speaker at conferences. In addition to her work as Director, Dr. Culhane has extensive experience in providing staff development within, and outside of, the United States. She is co-owner of an independent consulting firm with particular expertise in three areas: improving program quality, assessment, and inclusion. She has conducted research in Hawaii, assisted Departments of Education in Delaware, South Carolina and Florida in implementing early childhood assessment programs, and worked with teachers in New Mexico and Arizona at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Additionally, her knowledge of global education has been broadened through working with Department of Defense Schools in Europe, consulting to eight Eastern European countries in an initiative called Step By Step, and completing a Fulbright Administrator’s Exchange in Argentina. Dr. Culhane lives in Northampton with her husband. Their daughter is a pediatric nurse in Colorado.


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Chi-Cheng Huang. M.D.

Chi-Cheng Huang received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and is a physician in pediatrics and internal medicine. He has been affiliated with the Boston University School of Medicine as an assistant professor and is the medical director of the pediatric inpatient service at Boston Medical Center. He is also the President and Founder of the Bolivian Street Children Project a non-profit, social welfare organization that works to address the unique needs of street children in Bolivia. Dr. Huang and his wife have three daughters, ages 1, 2 and 14.


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Orlando Isaza

Orlando Isaza of Northampton is the Senior Program Officer and Manager for Grant Making Initiatives at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Human Services at Springfield College and an Adjunct Professor of Spanish and Social Work at Elms College. Isaza has held a number of positions at Holyoke Community College including the Director of ESOL and Multicultural Services as well as Special Assistant to the President for Community Affairs. Previously, he worked at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance as Director of the Springfield North Area Office. Isaza received his bachelor's degree in Sociology at Brandeis University and holds an MSW in Community Organization, Social Planning and Social Policy from the University of Connecticut. He also is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Elms College.


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Mary Pat Messmer

Mary Pat Messmer of Centerville is the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Child Development Program - the third largest nonprofit organization on Cape Cod that provides Head Start, Preschool, Afterschool, Family and Teen Parent Early Education and Care and Early Intervention Services to families on the Cape. In addition, she serves as Vice-President of the Massachusetts Association of Child Care Agencies. Previously, she served close to 10 years as an adoption social worker followed by another 9 years as a Program Development Specialist for the Department of Social Services. Messmer has also worked as the Assistant Director of the HALT program in Plymouth, planning and implementing community outreach and education programs. She completed her undergraduate work in Psychology at Rosemont College and received a master's degree in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts. Mary Pat is the mother of two children, Sarah, 25, and Michael, 22.


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Carol Craig O'Brien

Carol Craig O’Brien, a resident of Westwood, is the Early Childhood Coordinator for Westwood Public Schools and is responsible for a community network of services for professionals and families. She manages multiple Early Childhood grants within the school district and worked as a program developer to create, develop and implement early childhood programs within the Westwood public school system. Previously, she worked in the Needham Public Schools as an Early Childhood Special Educator and was also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Wheelock College as a course instructor and field supervisor for undergraduate and graduate student teacher interns in early childhood, early intervention and special education.


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