YMCA announces new director for childhood development

NILES — YMCA of Southwest Michigan has chosen to select Dr. Zechariah Hoyt as the director of early childhood development.

In this new role, he will develop the new Early Childhood Center of Excellence in coordination with various community partners, and position the YMCA as an innovative leader of community focused early childhood care and education programs.

Hoyt brings a wealth of experience to the YMCA with a background in early childhood education and leadership. He will work closely with Denise Peters, chief operations officer, who will lead overall development of the project.

“We are extremely excited to have the expertise and energy of Zechariah as part of the YMCA of Southwest Michigan Team,” Peters said. “Zechariah is recognized as an expert throughout Southwest Michigan in early childhood development and will lead the collaborative effort in Berrien County to address early childhood care and education.”

The Early Childhood Center of Excellence will seek to provide families with affordable, high quality early care and education. Children will be given a safe, stimulating place to learn, explore their world, and build relationships. This early care environment provides the foundation for youth to be successful in school, work, and life.

“Zechariah will be focused on working with collaborative partners to meet community needs for child care and building the capacity of our community to promote and attain kindergarten readiness as a standard for Berrien County,” Peters said.

Hoyt has served Niles Community Schools as a teacher, vice principal, and principal over the past 19 years. He has received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University, and a doctoral degree in leadership from Andrews University.

YMCA of Southwest Michigan is a volunteer-led public charity 501(c) (3) that works collaboratively with community partners to improve the lives of children, adults, families, and the entire community. Our purpose is to strengthen and enrich the development of individuals and families through quality programs and services that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

For more information, visit ymcaswm.com. 

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