Meet Our Staff

Educational First Steps Executive Director
Executive Director
John joined EFS in January 2012. Former president of a major subsidiary of Transamerica Corporation, he brings exceptional skills in business, strategy and management to Educational First Steps. For the last ten years, John served as an educator, enlightening young minds in the areas of science and technology at the Lamplighter School. John received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and its public management program. After years in the business world, John's young children inspired him to change careers and he became a teacher at Lamplighter. During the decade he spent at Lamplighter, John grew in his passion for the education of young children. The executive director position at Educational First Steps provides him with an opportunity to apply both his business and education experience and skills for the betterment of young children.
Educational First Steps Dallas TX
Director of Strategic Initiatives 
A 17  year education professional, Shannon currently serves as Director of Early Learning Programs for Educational First Steps (EFS) in Dallas, Texas. The agency annually mentors and trains almost 1,000 early childhood teachers and directors serving low- income children ages 0-5, executing its early learning center assistance program,  Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 , under Shannon’s leadership. Shannon is passionate about ensuring each child ‘s opportunity to succeed from the start, and her early childhood expertise has benefited countless children as they have been instructed in developmentally appropriate ways by teachers under Shannon’s guidance. Shannon is an enthusiastic trainer who enjoys sharing her knowledge of building and managing effective teams through strengths- based leadership.
Judy Berg Schecter
Development Director
Judy joined EFS in July 2013. Judy has been a Development Director and consultant in Dallas for over 20 years. Her fundraising skills and event planning talents took root in the schools her children attended. As an avid volunteer and advocate for education she took leadership roles, raised funds and planned events for Temple Emanu-el Early Childhood Education Center and Greenhill School of Dallas . Judy’s children inspired her to pursue fundraising for the arts education and theatre arts, leading to positions as Development Director for Dallas Children’s Theater and then WaterTower Theatre. Before joining EFS, Judy’s fund raising and event planning consulting work spanned working with a number of non- profits, helping to further their missions and passions for the arts, education and health and human services.
Educational First Steps Dallas TX
Director of Outreach and Enrichment
Linda joined EFS in August 2006. She serves as the Director of Outreach and Enrichment and strives to maximize programming delivery and increase attendance in all the Enrichment Programs. She oversees the 5 field trip programs which provides a thriving educational experience to the children in all our centers; Literacy Day at the Zoo; the Annual Conference and Symposium; the Director Network Program and the College Scholarship Program which allows our teachers to achieve their CDA Certification.  She is the Site Coordinator for the ‘Touchpoints’ team at EFS.  Linda is a Master Trainer on the Texas Trainer Registry.
educational first steps dallas tx
Director of Early Learning Programs
For the last 24 years, Samantha has served as an early childhood professional, sharing her passion for improving the lives of young children. She started her career as a Preschool Teacher and quickly moved into management. She has been a Program Director in both local and national agencies including La Petite Academy, YWCA and Girls Incorporated. In May of 2007, Samantha joined EFS and was successful in several roles as a mentor, Team Lead and Program Manager before being promoted to Director of Early Learning Programs. She is proud to play a key role in the development of Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 as well as EFS’ new tracking program, MAAP (Mentoring, Academy and Assessment Profile).
Educational First Steps Dallas TX
Tarrant County Director
Kym spent many years as a Program Specialist for EFS and was promoted to Tarrant County Director in the spring of 2010. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Management and an Associate's Degree in Child Development. Kym has more than 20 years experience in child care working as a teacher, an assistant director and director of childcare centers and also an after school coordinator.
Elizabeth Nelson
Development Director (Tarrant)
Elizabeth joined EFS in July 2013. She has spent more than thirty years in the nonprofit community working in fundraising, management and consulting capacities. She attended St. John’s College and graduated from The University of Texas with a BBA in Finance. After working for the Arts Council of Fort Worth and the American Cancer Society she served as Assistant Director of Development at UTA, Executive Director of Equest and managed the Arts & Business Connection in Fort Worth. While serving as development director for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation she discovered her passion for quality education for all.
Educational First Steps Dallas TX
Director of Finance and Human Resources
Donna started working part-time for EFS in June as our bookkeeper. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a degree in Finance. She moved to Dallas in 1985 and worked for nine years as a National Bank Examiner for The Comptroller of the Currency. Since 2000, she has performed accounting functions at her husband's law firm. They have four children and two black labs. "It's chaos, but fun chaos," comments Donna.
 

Program Managers

educational first steps dallas tx
Program Manager
educational first steps dallas tx
Program Manager
educational first steps dallas tx
Quality Assurance Manager
 

Development Managers

educational first steps dallas tx
Development Manager
educational first steps dallas tx
Donor Relations Manager
 

Early Learning Specialists

educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
 
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist (Tarrant)
 
educational first steps dallas tx
Quality Assurance Assessor
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
educational first steps dallas tx
Early Learning Specialist
 
educational first steps dallas tx
Tarrant County Early Learning Specialist/Trainer
 

Early Learning Trainer

educational first steps dallas tx
Education Trainer
 

Administrative Staff

educational first steps dallas tx
Data Analyst
 
Site design by Advice Interactive Group.
Educational First Steps • 2815 Gaston Avenue - Dallas, TX 75226 • (214) 824-7940
Educational First Steps • 2100 Circle Drive, Suite 300 Fort Worth, TX 76119 • (817) 535-0044