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Dr. Thea Wilson, Ed.D.
Vice President of Children and Families

Dr. Thea Wilson is the Vice President for Children and Families at Step Forward. Dr. Wilson is responsible for managing the operations of Early Head Start, Head Start and Parental Involvement programs. 


Dr. Wilson has 47 years of early childhood development experience in a public school system and spent 11 years in administration. She has 13 years of experience teaching college level courses as well as creating workshops and facilitating training for parents, teachers and other professionals. 

Dr. Wilson served as the Chair of Early Childhood at The Music Settlement — a five-star, arts-based, early childhood education program in Cleveland. Immediately prior, Dr. Wilson served as the Executive Director of the Office of Early Childhood – Pre-K to Third Grade – for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  Additionally, she is the author of the children's book, 13 Peas.

Dr. Wilson received her Doctorate in Education Leadership and Specialist degrees from the University of Sarasota (Argosy University). She also holds a Master of Science in Reading Education from John Carroll University and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Baldwin Wallace College.

Dr. Wilson has been on various Boards, including the Cuyahoga Community College Early Childhood Advisory Board and Ohio Association for the Education of the Young Child, Duffy Liturgical Ensemble, Cleveland Children’s Museum, and the Advisory team for East Cleveland. Dr. Wilson was named Outstanding Educator in 2018 by Baldwin Wallace University. She received the Professional Woman of the Year award in 2020 from the YWCA Greater Cleveland, Person of the Week in South Euclid, Black Teacher of the Year, Most Influential Teacher, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and Cleveland Crain’s Who to Watch in Education 2016.

Dr. Wilson was a member of the 2020 Leadership Cleveland class and has been published in numerous education magazines. Dr. Wilson is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. In January 2019, Dr. Wilson became the first African American president for Ohio Association for the Education of the Young Child. 

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