San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently announced that First 5 Executive Director Ingrid X. Mezquita will lead the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) as its new director. First 5 greets this news with great enthusiasm and optimism for the future. First 5 has always worked as a close partner of OECE, and we look forward to further strengthening this vital relationship toward achieving our shared goal that by 2023, all children entering kindergarten will possess the knowledge and skills to succeed. We thank Ingrid for her more than 13 years of service to First 5, and we are confident that she will excel at OECE for the same reasons that she thrived at First 5 – a relentless focus on the education, health, and well-being of all children and a willingness to listen to and learn from the community in pursuit of this goal. Ingrid will always be part of the First 5 family.

Although Ingrid will switch positions as of April 8, First 5 San Francisco remains in good hands and will continue to move forward with its current initiatives in family support, early education, and child health. The First 5 San Francisco Commission has named Senior Program Officer Theresa Zighera as Acting Executive Director. Theresa has been with First 5 for 12 years, starting out as the department’s evaluation officer in 2007. She led our data and evaluation work, including the evaluation of our Family Resource Center Initiative, school readiness assessments, data system development, and annual reporting.  For the last two years, Theresa turned her attention to spearheading our Help Me Grow initiative. Under her leadership, First 5 brought together the city’s pediatric and early education communities to lay the groundwork for universal developmental screening and intervention, with the goal of identifying children with developmental delays as early as possible and targeting supports where they are needed most.

We recognize that leadership changes can often produce uncertainty or anxiety among stakeholders, but First 5 San Francisco hopes that you will join us in embracing these changes, which only strengthen our resolve and give us confidence in a much brighter future for young children and their families in San Francisco.