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Check out the latest news about NAA and special announcements pertinent to the field of afterschool.

Meet the New NAA Board Members

The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) recently elected and appointed new members to its Board of Directors. The strong slate of candidates was impressive, which was reflected by the large number of members who voted in this election—it was an all-time high for our association! Thank you to our members who took the time to vote.

"Leadership for our field—and our association—matters. These new members of our Board of Directors possess the knowledge, skills and professional connections that will continue to move the work of NAA forward," said Gina Warner, President and CEO of NAA. "We are excited to welcome them to our team of leaders and look forward to much success working together on behalf of our members and the children and families we serve."

The following board members will serve a three-year term:

Suzette L. Harvey
President/CEO, Prime Time Palm Beach County


Suzette has worked in the youth development field for nearly 20 years. Her experiences, professional network and passion for giving all children the best opportunities to be successful will make her an asset to the NAA board.

"I have witnessed the growth and expansion of NAA under the present leadership and am proud to lend my support to continue this trajectory!"

Anita Krishnamurthi, Ph.D.
Special Advisor, Office of External Affairs and Communications University of Cambridge, UK (beginning September 2017)


As a scientist with a passion for increasing equitable access to STEM education, Anita has a deep commitment to afterschool STEM. She is extremely sensitive to the needs of the field to be able to offer high quality afterschool STEM programs including: professional development for front-line facilitators, supportive management, accreditation, flexible funds for training, partnerships with STEM-rich institutions and professionals, and policies.

"I am passionately dedicated to afterschool STEM education and look forward to continuing to support the field and NAA's members by serving on the NAA Board."

Carlos Santini
National Vice President of Programs, After-School All-Stars


Carlos is a veteran of the afterschool profession and a social entrepreneur. He enjoys adjusting the role of afterschool to meet the needs of our communities and our nation—and also likes the challenge of using the management practices of other industries as a model to help afterschool improve.

"I'm excited to bring my experience and interests to the broader field and the NAA Board."

Dara Rose
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, Horizons National


Dara has spent her entire two-decade career in the youth development/afterschool field in a variety of roles—from direct service (youth worker, program coordinator, manager) to technical assistance and resource provision (curricular resource development/best practice distillation, technical assistance and training for youth workers and program leaders, and most recently grant giving). She has partnered as a funder with most of the leading out-of-school-time field building organizations in the country—including NAA—and is familiar with the national landscape of policy advocates, researchers, intermediaries and leading service providers.

"My familiarity with the field as well as NAA is going to allow me to 'hit the ground running,' and deploy my strategic planning, knowledge of the philanthropic sector and a host of personal skills to be an engaged and effective member of the Board. I have maintained a real enthusiasm and sense of excitement about the work of the afterschool field and look to bring that positivity—mixed with pragmatism—to the position."

Michele Wilkens
Vice President of Education and Training, Right at School, LLC


Michele has served in education and psychology for over 20 years, including the past five in the afterschool industry. As Vice President of Education and Training for Right At School, LLC and Right At School Canada, she is part of an international team of dedicated professionals serving over 30,000 children across North America. She also has a passion for organizational leadership and will soon complete her Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California.

"My hope is to collaborate with fellow Board members and state affiliates to forge a powerful voice of advocacy and innovation for our industry that positions providers and children for long-term success. NAA is the critical medium through which we can work together to realize a progressive vision for child access, professionalization, funding growth and world-class quality."

Thea Pace
Area Manager, Champions


As a veteran Area Manager for Champions (a division of KinderCare Education), Thea has been overseeing the management of multisite before-school and afterschool programs—as well as pre-K wrap programs and enrichment clubs—for over 12 years. Over the course of her career with Champions, she has received several awards and accolades for staff and family retention, building strong client relationships and family engagement.

"I bring passion and dedication to my role, and look forward to sharing best practices and learning from other leaders in the field. In addition, having observed firsthand the impact of quality after school programs on a child's future success, I continue to be a strong advocate for support and recognition for the professionals who work in the field."

The following members were elected as Officers of the Association:

Chair – Tracey Lay
Director, School Age Programs & Development Services

Vice Chair – Kirk Astroth, Ed. D
Assistant Dean and Director
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Cooperative Extension
The University of Arizona

Treasurer – Derryck Fletcher
Vice President, Youth Development
YMCA of Central Maryland