By Beth F. Moore for The Island Connection
South Carolina First Steps, the state’s early childhood agency and a statewide nonprofit organization, has announced that Gov. Henry McMaster has designated business leader David Morley as the new chair of the South Carolina First Steps Board of Trustees. Morley, a Kiawah Island resident, will also serve as chair of the Early Childhood Advisory Council, an interagency group coordinated by South Carolina First Steps that works to develop and implement a unified system for early childhood services across the state.
“David is a highly-respected and accomplished leader and a true champion for children,” said McMaster. “I am confident that his business acumen and passion for serving others will be a tremendous asset to South Carolina First Steps and the young people it serves.”
Morley brings decades of strategic leadership experience to his new role on the board. He spent the majority of his career with the Monsanto Company, where he started in financial management and rose to become the chief financial officer of the company’s largest division. Later, as senior vice president, he was responsible for all commercial activities in North America and South America and global manufacturing for the company’s agricultural sector.
Finally, he served as the corporation’s chief strategist.
For over 30 years, Morley has supported youthserving organizations with a focus on building socialemotional skills in disadvantaged children. He is the past board chair and a current executive committee member of Parents as Teachers, an international parent education organization and the largest home visiting program in South Carolina. SCFS has served as the state office for PAT since 2011 and currently provides implementation support to 44 PAT affiliates in 31 counties.
Morley is also the past board chair and a current executive committee member of the Wyman Center, a nationally recognized provider of teen outreach programs. He is the immediate past chair and a current executive committee member for Wings for Kids, a Charleston-based after-school program for elementary school students, as well as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University.
“I have worked in early childhood education for more than 20 years and understand that First Steps is one of the most impactful investments we can make to support our state’s economic future,” said Morley. “I look forward to leading the board as First Steps continues the important work of improving and expanding access to early childhood care and education in South Carolina.”
About South Carolina First Steps
South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness is the only statewide, dedicated comprehensive early childhood agency in South Carolina and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Established in 1999 by the South Carolina Legislature to close the gap on kindergarten readiness, SCFS works collaboratively to ensure that all children start school ready to reach their highest potential, with engaged support from their parents, caregivers and communities.
With a holistic approach to accomplishing its mission, SCFS offers services that improve children’s health, strengthen families, expand access to quality child care, increase participation in 4-year-old kindergarten programs and help transition rising kindergartners into school.
Each year, South Carolina First Steps impacts more than 30,000 children from birth through 5 years in 81 school districts across 46 counties.
About the Early Childhood Advisory Council
The South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council includes the directors of state agencies and government entities that provide services to young children, including the Department of Education, Department of Social Services, Department of Health and Environmental Control, Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Trust, Head Start Collaboration Office and South Carolina First Steps.
South Carolina First Steps is the connector, convener and fiscal agent of the ECAC.