You are currently viewing A new ED for AzAEYC! Introducing Dawn Wilkinson

A new ED for AzAEYC! Introducing Dawn Wilkinson

“A world class education truly does start before kindergarten. It is our job, and our responsibility, to make sure everyone else knows that.”
-Nadine Mathis Basha, Board Chair, First Things First


Dear AzAEYC Members, Colleagues and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the hiring of the first-ever Executive Director of the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC), Dawn Wilkinson!

Dawn has extensive experience with the Arizona Early Childhood System, including her most recent role as Professional Development System Specialist with First Things First.

Previously, Dawn worked with tribal, non-profit and for-profit child care programs, and has been a center director and teacher. Along with garnering skills in grant writing and administration, Dawn is a passionate seeker of professional development opportunities including early childhood studies, leadership, school reform, and data collection and analysis techniques. As a life-long learner, Dawn enthusiastically shares her professional knowledge by serving as an ECE adjunct instructor for Mesa Community College.  

“My passion is to support the early childhood workforce so they in turn will be able to provide the highest quality experiences for our youngest children,” says Dawn. “”I am very dedicated to my work, and I’m proud to say that my colleagues know me as someone who can get things done!  I view AzAEYC as our organization and will look to you, the members, to help guide our work.”

Dawn lives in Chandler with her husband Aaron and sons Nathan and Brandon. She enjoys camping and fishing all over Arizona and beyond with her family and friends.

An affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), AzAEYC first achieved affiliate status in 1989. Since that time AzAEYC has depended heavily on the work of volunteers to advance the mission and vision of the organization. Through recent grants and contracts, AzAEYC has grown into a thriving non-profit organization that is poised to expand its capacity as a valuable early childhood system partner in the State of Arizona.

As a dynamic leader, we know that Dawn will further strengthen our organization, increase our ability to serve members, support our accredited programs, and advance the early childhood profession.

Join us as we work together so that all young children in Arizona can thrive and learn in a community dedicated to ensuring that all reach their full potential! 

With gratitude,


Photo: Melissa welcomes Dawn at the very first informal meeting of Team AzAEYC in Mesa.