BECC Welcomes New Executive Director

Branford Early Childhood Collaborative Announces New Executive Director

 The Branford Early Childhood Collaborative (BECC) has hired Michele Krumenacker as the organization’s new Executive Director. Michele will officially begin her position on January 20, 2014.

 Michele has decades of experience working with and leading programs involving children and families.  Most recently, she has been the Program Director at the Women and Family Life Center in Guilford, CT, where she was responsible for developing and implementing a variety of programs and for building partnerships within the shoreline community. For example, Michele helped revamp the Center’s peer-mentoring program for girls ages eight to sixteen.

 Previously Michele served as a Community Facilitator with the Hamden Transition Academy for more than 10 years. She has additionally worked as a Program Coordinator/Probation Officer in Lehigh County, PA, where many of the programs she developed are still used today. During graduate school at Southern Connecticut State University, she initiated programs to assist with self-esteem for third grade girls and workshops for elementary teachers on promoting good mental health.

 “We are just thrilled to have Michele join the BECC team and help us move to the next phase of our development,” said Robin Comey, Chair of the BECC Board of Directors. “Michele brings a passion for children and families, but also an incredible energy and enthusiasm that will help BECC continue to lead the Branford community in ensuring all students enter school happy, healthy, and ready to learn.”

The Branford Early Childhood Collaborative (BECC), on behalf of the Town of Branford, was formed approximately 13 years ago by a group of citizens to help ensure that all of  Branford’s children, ages birth through eight, be successful in learning and in life.  The organization receives significant funding from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund as a Discovery Community, and aims to create a collaborative local early childhood system to ensure early learning success for all children aligning with Connecticut’s Early Childhood Investment Framework, “Ready by 5, Fine by 9.”  BECC receives a community investment from the Town of Branford, as well as contributions from a wide range of organizations and individuals throughout Branford and beyond. Some of the BECC’s recent events include: the 2013 “Not a Box” town-wide literacy celebration in honor of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Week of the Young Child; and “Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader?” event in September, which was also its first fundraiser.  In collaboration with the East Shore District Health Department and Branford Cares, the BECC recently completed a dental survey of Branford residents and children to better understand the dental health of the community. Lastly, a well-respected roundtable series for pre-K instructors has helped improve children’s transition to kindergarten for the past few years. 

Michele takes over leadership of the BECC from Jennifer Ballen Riccards, who served as Interim Executive Director since the departure of Jodi Kelly, who left in September of 2013.

In addition to her Masters of Science in Counseling and School Psychology, Michele has a Bachelors of Science from DeSales University. She lives in Hamden, CT, with her husband and son; another son proudly serves in the U.S. Air Force.

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