Prominent child development expert joins premier early childhood education provider to lead proprietary curriculum development and implementation
Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School, has appointed Dr. Lauren Starnes as senior vice president and chief academic officer, effective immediately. In this newly established role, Starnes will be responsible for leading the development of The Goddard School’s proprietary education program, driving research-based innovation and implementing new accreditation standards across the franchise system.
Starnes joins GSI with more than 20 years of experience in education, including curriculum development, evaluation and implementation, as well as teaching and consulting in the fields of preschool, special needs and elementary education. As senior vice president and chief academic officer, she will lead The Goddard School’s nationally acclaimed F.L.EX.® philosophy, which is used to educate over 70,000 students across the country. This curriculum uses the most current, academically endorsed methods in early childhood education so children can explore, learn and discover through many different subjects and enrichment classes.
Starnes will guide The Goddard School’s curriculum on social-emotional development, which educates children on how to be kind to themselves and others, further helping students become school, career and life ready. One way in which students experience this is through The Goddard School’s Life Lesson Library, a targeted curriculum built around great works of children’s literature focusing on social and emotional learning.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Lauren to the Goddard family! The breadth of expertise she brings to support Goddard’s focus on play-based learning will be paramount as we foster both academic and social-emotional growth in the little learners cared for and educated in Goddard Schools each day,” said Dennis R. Maple, chairman and CEO of GSI. “I look forward to Lauren’s leadership, passion for students and expertise in early childhood education to drive innovative, flexible programming and standards as we continue our mission to make the world a better place through early childhood development.”
Most recently, Starnes served as vice president of early childhood education at Primrose Schools Franchising Company, where she oversaw the continued evaluation, development and implementation of Primrose’s proprietary early childhood curriculum and research models, as well as served a subject matter expert and advisor to the executive team.
“I have always believed the role of a curriculum is to empower teachers to make the right decisions for the children in their classrooms. I’m proud to align myself with the leader in premier early childhood education as they accelerate their flexible, supportive educational programming to elevate their academic offering for Goddard families,” said Starnes. “Goddard’s reputation for high-quality, academic programming is truly what sets them apart in the early childcare market, and I’m excited to help them continue to provide a warm, safe and caring educational environment where students can thrive.”
A widely published author and lecturer, Starnes holds a doctorate in educational leadership, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in child development.
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