Ypsilanti, Michigan (October 29, 2013) — HighScope Educational Research Foundation, headquartered in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has named Dr. Cheryl Polk as president, following the retirement of Dr. Larry Schweinhart. Dr. Polk is relocating to Detroit from San Francisco. She will assume leadership of the Foundation on November 1, 2013.

Dr. Polk joins HighScope with a long record of success in translating research knowledge about the first five years of life into programs that address the continuum of young children’s needs, from high-quality childcare to mental health consultation and treatment. Most recently she served as the executive director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund where her dual expertise in early childhood development and philanthropy advanced the creation of groundbreaking intervention programs for children exposed to community and interpersonal trauma. Dr. Polk was president of the board of directors of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and has been a board member of that organization for more than 10 years.

“This is an exciting time in early childhood education and the vision, energy, and abilities of Dr. Polk as an accomplished leader in the child and family services field will help lead HighScope in promoting the development of young people worldwide. With her leadership, the Foundation will continue to fulfill its important mission to lift lives through education,” notes Marianne Udow-Phillips, chair of the HighScope Board of Directors.

About HighScope

HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an early childhood leader in pursuit of a world where all children have the opportunity to develop socially, emotionally, and cognitively so they have satisfying, productive lives. HighScope supports the development of young children from birth through age eight by developing and providing quality, research-based, high-quality curricula, assessments, professional learning, and other supports in the context of families and their communities.

HighScope’s roots extend back to the Perry Preschool Project (1962–1967). Launched in Ypsilanti, Michigan and led by Ypsilanti Schools psychologist David Weikart and Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, the Perry Preschool Project was one of the first early childhood programs in the United States intentionally designed to increase school success for preschool children living in poverty. Today, HighScope’s work can be found in classrooms throughout the United States and in educational settings around the globe.


Media Contact:

Tara Baliat
[email protected]
734.485.2000 Ext. 256