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Dr. Celia C. Ayala has more than 40 years of early childhood leadership experience in schools, Head Start, and government. She has dedicated her career to advocating for early learning investments, quality improvements, policy, workforce development, and resources for children and families. Dr. Ayala currently holds leadership and advisory positions in the Congressional Pre-K Caucus and Child360 (formerly Los Angeles Universal Preschool), and serves as Spanish media spokesperson for the National Institute for Early Education Research’s annual “The State of Preschool” report. Most recently, Dr. Ayala served as Chief Executive Officer for Los Angeles Universal Preschool, helping over 200,000 children receive the best start to school and life throughout Los Angeles County and beyond. Over her career, she has also served as a public school teacher, principal, curriculum and instruction director, and assistant superintendent. She holds firmly to the belief that educating children depends upon a long-range, holistic approach that involves family, educators, and the larger community. Dr. Ayala received a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California; her master’s in education administration from California State University, Los Angeles; and her bachelor’s in Spanish and Sociology from the University of Southern California.

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