Announcing the Forsyth County Early Education Task Force

June 8, 2021

It’s official, Forsyth County has an Early Education Task Force!

Task Force members have been selected to represent an array of stakeholder sectors and demographics, ensuring that equity aspects are embedded in all its processes. Note that three parent representatives are still to be named.

Forsyth County Commissioner Don Martin will chair the Task Force and WS/FCS Superintendent Tricia McManus will serve as Vice-Chair. The first meeting will be an orientation session held Thursday, June 17. The Task Force will continue to meet every two months over the next year to determine recommendations and a plan of implementation for a comprehensive and integrated Pre-K system to provide all families an affordable, high-quality Pre-K program.

While task force meetings are not open to the public, the final recommendations will be shared in open meetings involving county, city, and school officials.  

For more information, contact Leslie Mullinix at

Task Force Leadership

Don Martin
Vice Chair, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners

Vice Chair
Tricia McManus
Superintendent, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Early Childhood Education

Louis Finney
Executive Director, Smart Start Forsyth County

Sabrina Hinton
Owner/Operator, North Point Learning Academy

Claudia Barrett
Executive Director, Imprints Cares

Dean Clifford
Principal, Clifford Consulting

Community Organizations

Kellie Easton
Executive Director, Action4Equity

Nigel Alston
Executive Director, North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Regina Hall
Executive Director, Boston-Thurmond United

Derwin Montgomery
Advocate, American Cancer Society

Odette Sanchez
Executive Director Latino Community Services

Iris Cole
Board President, Hispanic League

Higher Education

Kim Pemberton
Interim Chair of Education, Winston-Salem State University

Cassaundra El-Amin
Director of Early Elementary Graduate Placement, Winston-Salem State University

Stephanie Lackey
Program Coordinator, Early Childhood Education, Forsyth Technical Community College


Barbara Burke
Council Member City of Winston-Salem

Ronda Tatum
Deputy County Manager Forsyth County (Retired)

Human Services

Debbie Wilson
Chief Impact Officer, United Way of Forsyth County

Bob Feikema
President & CEO, Family Services

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Malishai Woodbury
Chair, Board of Education, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Nicolette Grant
Chief Academic Officer, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools


Chad Setliff
Senior Vice President, President & COO, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center

Kathy Poehling
Pediatrician Wake Forest Baptist Health

Valerie Wardrick
Care Manager, At-Risk Children Forsyth County Department of Public Health


Don Flow
President Flow Companies

Mark Owens
President & CEO Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.


Paul Robeson Ford
Senior Pastor First Baptist Church, Highland Avenue

Chuck Spong
Executive Director Love Out Loud


TBD (3)


The Pre-K Priority was formed in 2014 as a coalition of education, childcare and community leaders with the goal of providing every four-year-old in Forsyth County with the opportunity to attend a high-quality Pre-K program. Our studies and reports document that Pre-K providers in Forsyth County are prepared to increase the quantity and quality of their programs. Most importantly, surveys have found that 90 percent of parents with young children would enroll their children in affordable, accessible, high-quality Pre-K programs were they available. For a complete listing of The Pre-K reports, visit