Under the Dome

Fanjul resigns as Smart Start president

Stephanie Fanjul is resigning as president of the N.C. Partnership for Children, the umbrella group that oversees the early childhood health and education program Smart Start.

The Partnership for Children said Fanjul's resignation was announced at a board of directors meeting Friday. She had been president since 2007. The date of Fanjul's departure has not been determined.

"I am grateful for my time as President of NCPC, " Fanjul said in a statement. "Together, with the Board, staff and Local Partnerships, we have accomplished a great deal for children and families across North Carolina and have continued to build a strong organization that is recognized as a national model. I am proud of where we are today and have decided that it is time for me to explore new opportunities and see how else I can contribute to improving our communities."

Fanjul helped launch Smart Start when she was director of the Division of Child Development in the state Department of Health and Human Services under Gov. Jim Hunt. Smart Start became a nationally recognized child development program.

Financial support from the legislature has declined in recent years. With the state newly controlled by Republicans, Smart Start supporters have had to fight to prove its value.

After she left DHHS, Fanjul worked for the National Education Association as director of student achievement.

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