The following is a letter by SFC Board Chairman, Paul O’Brien

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Strategies for Children (SFC), I am writing to share the news that after twelve years with our organization, President and CEO Carolyn Lyons has announced her intention to leave SFC in late spring/early summer to pursue new professional opportunities. We are extremely grateful for Carolyn’s leadership over the past decade. She and her colleagues have laid a strong foundation for a system of high-quality early education so that all children in the commonwealth enter school ready to succeed.

photo by Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
photo by Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

After joining the organization in 2002 as Chief Operating Officer, Carolyn has served in a variety of senior management roles, including Director of Marketing and Director of Strategic Development and Partnerships. In 2011 she was promoted to President, and in 2012 to CEO. Under Carolyn’s leadership, we have raised visibility and support for third grade reading as a critical benchmark to future school and life success; advanced high-quality early education policy at the state level; created and maintained strong partnerships with influential leaders from diverse sectors; and helped guide early learning and literacy campaigns in communities across the state. We will miss Carolyn’s spirit, commitment and unbridled enthusiasm for improving the lives of children and their families. Her leadership and entrepreneurial spirit have helped make Massachusetts a national leader in early education; and she leaves SFC well positioned for future growth.

We are thrilled to announce that Chris Martes, a current SFC board member and long-time K-12 superintendent, will be SFC’s next President and CEO. Chris is uniquely positioned to build on SFC’s foundation and move our organization into the next phase of advocacy and impact for young children and families. A former director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Chris has decades of experience in many K-12 leadership roles. After starting his career in the classroom, he served as both principal and superintendent in a number of communities including Framingham, Newton, Foxborough, and Medfield. Throughout his career, he has been at the forefront of educational policy reform in Massachusetts. From his K-12 perspective, Chris has been a strong proponent of high-quality early education that is delivered through a mixed system of public and private providers. He knows first-hand that this is a critical component of children’s long-term educational success. He is the perfect person to advance our vision.

Carolyn and Chris have committed to a seamless transition which will occur over the next several months. We are grateful for your support and advocacy, and look forward to continuing our work in 2014 and beyond to ensure that all children have the start they need to succeed in school and in life.


Paul O’Brien, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Strategies for Children, Inc.