Virginia Smart Beginnings DP Names New Executive Director
July 22, 2021

Danville, Va.Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania (SBDP) named Angela M. Wells as its new executive director at the organization’s quarterly board of directors meeting July 14, 2021. The announcement follows a nationwide search conducted by a retained executive search firm. The announcement follows a nationwide search conducted by a retained executive search firm.

Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania is a regional school readiness coalition whose mission is to ensure young children are healthy and prepared for school, life and workforce success.

SBDP’s board chair and Director of Advanced Learning at the Institute for Advanced Learning, Julie Brown, Ph.D., commented, “Angela has played a pivotal role in Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania’s success to date and we are thrilled to have her as our new executive director. Over the years, she has been integral in securing additional public and private funding to continue our work of ensuring every child in our area is ready for school, ready for life, and ready for future success in the workforce.”

Angela Wells’ longstanding history with Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania began in 2011, when she was hired as Director of Quality Care and Education to improve the quality of care in preschool settings and coordinate the implementation of Virginia’s childcare quality rating system. Since that time, she has held a variety of roles within the organization, steadily expanding her leadership and responsibility. Most recently, she successfully led the implementation of the organization’s largest publicly-funded opportunity, a $1.25 million School Age Child Care grant that provided crucial support for local families and childcare providers coping with challenges of the pandemic. A Danville native and graduate of Tunstall High School, Ms. Wells earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She worked in early childhood education in North Carolina for twelve years before returning to Danville to join SBDP.

“I am excited and honored to lead the next phase of Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania’s systems building work,” commented Wells. “We are committed to ensuring equitable opportunities for all families with young children to thrive. Over the past ten years, I have witnessed the collaborative spirit and dedication of our board, our community partners, our childcare providers and their staff, and feel fortunate to work with so many individuals dedicated to the common good of our youngest citizens.”

Kelvin Perry, SBDP’s vice chair and Project Manager with the City of Danville’s Office of Economic Development, added, “I see every day in my line of work that school readiness is a workforce issue. The workforce pipeline begins at birth and having high quality early learning opportunities for our children is paramount. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Danville Regional Foundation and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation that enables Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania to continue strengthening the quality of early care in our region.”