KU leader earns national recognition

Abena - Headshot (2a)Earlier this week Abena Ocran-Jackson, director of teacher preparation at Knowledge Universe, was named an Exceptional Emerging Leader by Childcare Exchange Magazine as part of their Most Powerful Emerging Leaders Search.

More than 191 applications were submitted for Childcare Exchange Magazine’s Most Powerful Emerging Leaders Search. Of those, only 48 candidates were identified as exceptional leaders.

“Abena articulates and demonstrates the importance of education as a pathway toward well-being and a successful life,” said Linda Hassan Anderson, Knowledge Universe vice president of education. “With this as a core value, she advocates for educational excellence and equity, including issues of diversity, which are essential for all educational leaders working with 21st century learners and those who teach and work with them.”

Abena began her career as a teacher at a Maryland child care center more than 20 years ago. From there she went on to a successful 16-year career with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). While at NAEYC she worked on the national accreditation program for early childhood education centers. Abena joined KUin August 2014 as the director of teacher preparation, overseeing all aspects of teacher training for the company’s 24,000 teachers.

“I am pleased, honored, and humbled to be chosen as an Emerging Leader in the field of early childhood education,” said Abena. “Throughout my career I have always been fortunate to surround myself with individuals who were honest with me and, more importantly, pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am pleased to have a supervisor and mentor who continues to do that and even more pleased to be a part of Knowledge Universe and to provide a vision for ongoing teacher professional development.”

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