Our Team

Mark Barnes

Interim Executive Director

Mark is the Interim Executive Director of South Carolina First Steps and the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

As the Interim Executive Director of South Carolina First Steps and the Early Childhood Advisory Council, Mark is linking public, private and nonprofit systems to ensure whole families are supported in their efforts to become successful in school, work and life.

Read LessRead More

Laura Baker

Communications Coordinator

Laura supports communications and public affairs needs to help fulfill the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Alissa Durham

First Five SC Coordinator

Alissa Durham serves Early Childhood Advisory Council as the First Five SC Coordinator to support the upkeep of the First Five SC web portal.

Rachal Hatton-Moore

Two-Generation Systems Manager

Rachal serves as the state-level lead for South Carolina in the Two-Generation role by coordinating cross-agency work, system-wide adoption of policies, programs and approaches that benefit whole families, specifically young children and the adults in their lives.

Emma Matzko

AmeriCorps VISTA

Emma supports expanding capacity of the ECAC through her role as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

She creates field building and professional development opportunities that expand our reach and impact by increasing the knowledge and skills of partners and stakeholders of the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) and its portals, First Five SC and Palmetto Pre-K. 

Read LessRead More

Beth Moore

Communications Director

Beth leads the development and implementation of communication strategies that inform and engage constituents and stakeholders of the ECAC. She oversees all communication activities, including media relations, public affairs, and digital outreach.

Karen Oliver

Program Manager

Karen manages the Council’s grant-funded activities, provides information about the early childhood state system to policymakers and leaders, and facilitates and monitors progress toward state early childhood system goals.

Chelsea Richard

Chief of Staff

As the Chief of Staff, Chelsea works to optimize the agency's Capacity Building team and to directly support research, strategy, communications, grantmaking, and development for First Steps and the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Kaitlyn Richards

Government Affairs Liaison

Kaitlyn monitors and analyzes bills, regulations, and research on early childhood state systems and educates policymakers on issues related to South Carolina’s babies, children, and their families.

Molly Tuck

Strategic Data Fellow

As the Strategic Data Fellow, Molly contributes to the SC Early Childhood Integrated Data System by aiding in the development of data governance documentation and processes.

She also supports the ECAC in the areas of research and strategy by analyzing and interpreting ECIDS data, evaluating outcomes, and creating data visualizations to tell the stories of South Carolina’s early childhood system.

Read LessRead More

Stay up to date on News + Events.