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Dr. Lawrence received her Bachelor's degree from Empire State College in Saratoga, New York. This degree focused on Social Research, Social Structure, and Social Change. She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Ph.D. in Education from Walden University in Minnesota. Her Master's and Ph.D. are both in Early Childhood Education. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of early childhood, Debra has served as a teacher and director of numerous child care programs, the executive director of a child care resource and referral agency, and the regional director of southeast Pennsylvania's quality rating and improvement system, Keystone STARS.
Strongly committed to the field of early care and education she was appointed to the Governor's Colorado Early Childhood School Readiness Commission and served as co-chair with Senator Suzanne Williams. This commission was responsible for the successful passage of several early childhood bills. Her other service includes chairing the El Paso County Commission on Children and Families, serving as president of the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children and the Pikes Peak Association for the Education of Young Children as well as serving four years on the National Association for the Education of Young Children's governing board.
Debra is a national, state, and local presenter and has co-authored an article in Child Care Information Exchange and is currently working on two chapters for a Head Start publication.