Ashley Harrell is the center director for the Burke Early Education Center, a large program of the COA Youth and Family Centers. In this role she provides leadership to a team of educators who strive to make a difference in the field and who believe that quality early education is a key component to optimizing children’s growth, building strong families and serving the community.
Since 2002, Ashley’s passion for the early childhood field grew through her varied positions and experiences. Early on she discovered her calling for education while working at a small family child care program. Since then she has served in roles that include teacher, family advocate, instructional guide and community engagement coordinator. Her collective experiences have rooted her passions to not only fight for quality services within programs serving our youngest learners, but also for equal access for all children and families to quality services.
Ashley attributes much of her success to the guiding principles she learned while pursuing her BA degree in behavior science with a minor in early childhood education from Mount Mary University. Her love for education including her own continuing education provides direction as her service to the early childhood field continues. Ashley is currently completing post-baccalaureate coursework in early childhood leadership at UWM.