ECEC has new leadership


For the first time in 16 years, UM-Dearborn’s Early Childhood Education Center has a new leader.

Seong Hong

Seong Hong recently assumed the director’s role, a position left vacant last month when Mary Trepanier-Street retired. Trepanier-Street spent 33 years at UM-Dearborn, including the past 16 years as ECEC director.

Hong, associate professor of education and coordinator of the early childhood program, assumed the director’s role on Jan. 1.

As director, Hong will oversee the children’s academic program, as well as the practicum and internship experiences offered to prospective teachers.

“Seong has been at UM-Dearborn for 12 years, and she is a highly-regarded scholar in the area of early childhood education,” said School of Education Dean Edward Silver. “She has also helped launch, and is currently heavily involved with, collaborative research projects between the SOE and the Oakwood Health System’s Center for Exceptional Families.”

But Hong isn’t the only one with a new title. Deborah Jones recently took over as ECEC site director. In that role, Jones will oversee the center’s day-to-day operations.

Debbie Jones

“Debbie has worked at the ECEC for nearly 10 years, and has most recently been responsible for supervising the staff of the ECEC and providing support to teachers to foster a high-quality learning environment, implementing a welcoming and thriving learning environment at the ECEC, and nurturing and maintaining the collaboration between the ECEC and Oakwood Health System’s Center for Exceptional Families,” Silver said.

And although leadership roles have changed, the mission remains the same at the ECEC – educate children in developmentally appropriate programs, prepare UM-Dearborn students for positions in early childhood and elementary teaching and study the development of young children and the best practices for their education and care.

“Not only does the ECEC provide first-class educational experiences for the children who attend, but it also serves as a splendid training site for prospective teachers,” Silver said.

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