Tiny Trees Preschool’s Executive Director Transition

13 Jul Tiny Trees Preschool’s Executive Director Transition

We are excited to announce that after six years of service with Tiny Trees in leadership roles with progressive strategic responsibility, Khavin Debbs will be Tiny Tree’s next Executive Director, beginning September 1st.

One of the Board’s few and most important responsibilities is to select the organization’s Executive Director. This is a big responsibility that we take VERY seriously. We are excited to announce that after six years of service with Tiny Trees in leadership roles with progressive strategic responsibility, Khavin Debbs will be Tiny Tree’s next Executive Director, beginning September 1st. Please join us in congratulating Khavin and sending him well wishes as he prepares to lead Tiny Trees into the next chapter of high-quality outdoor preschool and community engagement. 

In her three years as executive director, Kellie Morrill has provided Tiny Trees with amazing steady and strategic leadership. Operating mostly during a pandemic public health crisis, Kellie steered Tiny Trees through the completion of the Outdoor Preschool public licensing process, stood up the organization’s first full-day program, right-sized the number of parks/classrooms that could be operated sustainably and in line with the community’s sky-high expectations for quality. She’s helped set new structures and systems in place internally and continued to support the organization to live into our anti-racism goals and values. Whew. And of course, she did this by continuing to cultivate a team of teachers and administrators second to none in our field.  

Kellie Morrill, Outgoing Executive Director: “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished together in the past three years. I am grateful for the lessons and for the opportunity to lead such innovative programs, alongside incredible teachers, support staff, leaders, and board members. I feel incredibly lucky to work with so many who are committed and willing to examine and modify their own practices to move towards our common goals of anti-racism and creating safe and affirming outdoor learning for all children. I’m proud of where we are and could not think of a better time – with an extremely talented and dedicated staff- to turn the leadership of Tiny Trees over to new voices and ideas. We have been developing succession plans for the organization for the past two years, and clarifying roles and responsibilities in the organization. Tiny Trees couldn’t have a more qualified, prepared, and visionary leader than Khavin. “

When Kellie shared her intention to step down, she encouraged requested that the board to consider Khavin as her replacement, as outlined in our succession planning. Normally a board would begin a traditional search for the next executive leader, but it became clear we already had a very strong candidate to consider first.  Khavin has been a leader at Tiny Trees since its founding and excelled in his roles as Supervisor and Curriculum Coach, Operations and Partnerships Manager, and Deputy Executive Director. He is uniquely positioned to deepen the work to form meaningful community partnerships, guide staff in best practices, and strengthen the organizational commitment to anti-racist learning and leadership. His background as a teacher speaks to his deep appreciation for teachers, and his resume provides evidence of his capacity to design curriculum and educational programs that achieve our organizational goals and positively impact the community. Over the last three years, Kellie and Khavin worked closely together and shared leadership in key programmatic areas.

After meeting with Khavin to discuss his vision for the organization, the choice was clear.  Khavin will finalize our strategic plan for Tiny Trees this Fall, bringing his strong commitment to anti-racism and prior experience coaching teachers and developing collaborative community partnerships. The board of directors has great confidence in Khavin’s ability to lead with equity, innovation, and partnerships at the heart.

Khavin Debbs, Incoming Executive Director: “Tiny Trees has come a long way, and I have been very fortunate to watch it evolve into what it is today. It wasn’t always pretty; hard conversations and unforeseen challenges have tested my resolve and resilience. However, as I look forward to what we can accomplish together, I’m filled with cautious optimism, excitement, and determination as we work to make Tiny Trees deeply rooted in community, informed by evidence-based practices, and empowered by a passionate teaching and administrative team. In the words of Kobe Bryant, “Jobs not finished.” Let’s get to work!”

Please join us in celebrating Kellie and Khavin and their commitment to leading from Tiny Trees core values of community. We urge you to stay tuned for what’s next and to consider connecting directly with Khavin to learn more about the plans ahead and what’s next for Tiny Trees. 

Warm Regards,  Rajsi and Carlin, Tiny Trees board Co-Chairs. 

Tiny Trees Incoming Executive Director, Khavin Debbs presenting Nature So White at the Children and Nature Network Conference in Atlanta, GA
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