By Jeremy P. Kelley Staff Writer
Learn to Earn Dayton, the local “cradle to career” education advocacy group, has named Kristina Scott as its new CEO, replacing longtime leader Tom Lasley, who will continue working on policy and college attainment issues. Scott, who will start Sept. 14, comes to Dayton after serving as executive director of Alabama Possible, a nonprofit group that fights systemic poverty in that state through education efforts. “Kristina has the passion and experience to help ensure every young person in our community earns a 2- or 4-year-college degree or credential,” Colleen Ryan, board chair of Learn to Earn, said in a statement. “Her accomplishments at Alabama Possible fit perfectly with Learn to Earn’s relentless focus on setting up all young people for success and creating the educated workforce we need to compete for great jobs.” Learn to Earn Dayton leads a number of programs — Preschool Promise, which boosts high-quality preschool access for lower-income families; Equity Fellows, which promote equity in education policy in K-12 schools; and college access efforts, including programs to get more students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Learn to Earn’s stated mission is “fostering the success of all Montgomery County children from birth until they graduate from college or earn a high quality credential … to have a career that allows them to earn a living wage.” Scott has been with Alabama Possible since 2008. Her resume says she grew the agency’s budget by 900% and made it financially sustainable, convened a statewide Education and Workforce Network, and increased FAFSA completion among Alabama students. Prior to that, she was a managing attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from 2003-07 and worked on political campaigns. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Florida and her Juris Doctorate from Emory University. “I’m thrilled to join Learn to Earn,” Scott said in a statement. “I’ve admired the great work that’s happening in the Dayton region promoting student success and eliminating opportunity gaps for children from cradle to career.” She called the education partnerships that Dayton has built “a national model.” “From helping get more of our youngest learners ready for kindergarten to driving up college completion, Dayton strategically tackles challenges that prevent young people’s success, first in school and then in life,” Scott said. Lasley, 73, was Learn to Earn Dayton’s first CEO. He will transition to become the group’s Program Manager for Policy and Attainment, focusing on increasing college and credential completion in Montgomery County and working with statewide partners to improve Ohio’s educational attainment rate.