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Meet our Experts

Marie Raymond

Advisory Board

Marie Raymond is the Early Literacy Coordinator for Scottsdale Public Library. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and has taught Pre-K through Grade 4 in a variety of public and private school settings. In addition to her education background, Marie also has undergraduate degrees in Music and French. She had the opportunity to develop Early Childhood music programs for the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and managed their nationally recognized Creative Communities grant project jointly funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Office of Housing and Urban Development. Marie currently oversees all programs and services for children ages 0 - 5 and their parents and caregivers at Scottsdale Public Library's five branches and in community settings. She also plans and organizes the library's annual Ultimate Play Date which brings in over 5,000 children and adults from the Scottsdale area to enjoy eight interactive play zones. Marie currently serves as the Vice Chair for the First Things First East Maricopa Regional Partnership Council and serves as the Co-Chair of Read On Scottsdale.

    Alan Taylor

    Advisory Board

    Alan Taylor has been with Southwest Human Development for over 25 years. His areas of experience and expertise include design, delivery and evaluation of training programs for a wide range of adult learners, early childhood leadership development, administration and supervision.

    Alan has been responsible for contracts with numerous multi-state and regional training programs designed to deliver training and technical assistance to Head Start, child and other early education programs throughout the western United States. Other programs within his department include programs that support young children's early language and literacy development, provide a wide range of training and technical expertise to child care programs, as well as support for Quality First!, Arizona's Quality Improvement and Rating System.

    Alan has a long-term commitment to supporting Father Involvement and helping parents learn the importance of reading to their children. A member of the National Association of Young Children, Alan was actively involved in a systems change project in Eastern and Central Europe that assisted in the redesign of early childhood education systems.

      Ginger Ward

      Advisory Board

      Ginger Ward is the Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Human Development, which she founded in 1981 with six employees serving 175 families. Today, Southwest Human Development is Arizona's largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, with almost 800 employees serving 135,000 young children and families each year.

      Under Ginger’s direction, Southwest Human Development has established a national reputation for leadership and high-quality programs and services in the early childhood fields of education, mental health, family support, disabilities services and training. Ginger has made a significant contribution to the early childhood field in Arizona by ensuring that the latest best practices and research are used to create programs and educate parents, professionals and policy makers about the importance of children’s earliest years to later development.

      Ginger sits on a variety of boards and committees charged with forming policy on, and improving services for, children and families. Current positions include the ZERO TO THREE National Board of Directors, the American Academy of Pediatrics - Arizona Chapter Board of Directors, BUILD Steering Committee, Educare Arizona Board of Directors, the Arizona State Department of Economic Security Child Care Advisory Committee, the Health Advisory Committee of Children’s Action Alliance, the Healthy Families Steering Committee, and Early Childhood Advisor to the Junior League. Past positions include the City of Phoenix Human Services Commission and the Ryan House Board of Directors.

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