Following a long career of public service and leadership in the early childhood education sector, Panu Lucier, director of Alaska System for the Early Education Development (SEED), housed and managed by thread, will retire at the end of December 2021. In the past 20 years, Lucier has advocated for Alaska’s children, families and the early childhood/school-age workforce in several roles, including as executive director of the Alaska Children’s Trust and Friends of the Alaska Children’s Trust, where she helped spread the message of child abuse prevention. She was also a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, advocating for Alaska Native children and their families.
“I have reached a point in my life where I have decided to embrace and relish my golden years and retire,” Lucier said. “My work at thread and Alaska SEED has contributed to the person I have become. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to start the next chapter in my life having worked in supporting children, families and early childhood and school-age educators.”
Lucier has spent the past ten years advancing the early childhood education workforce as the director of Alaska SEED. She was pivotal in leading the statewide efforts in the development and implementation of the system and has been a voice for the important role early educators have in Alaska, tirelessly advocating for professional compensation and recognition. In this role, Lucier has successfully advocated for $1 million from the State of Alaska to support wage incentives. She has also been a strong community partner, having served on many advisory committees for the state’s university system, King Tech and Healthy Alaskans, to name a few.
“We are delighted and saddened about Panu’s retirement announcement,” said Stephanie Berglund, CEO of thread. “We are so proud of how Panu has grown and scaled Alaska SEED. She has expanded the professional career ladder for educators, helped to create Alaska’s first early childhood professional credential, and developed a trainer and training approval system. Panu has not only been a leader at thread and Alaska SEED, but a community leader working across the state on early education issues. We congratulate her on retirement and thank her for incredible leadership and advocacy. We look forward to her next chapter!”
Lucier’s vision for early childhood education is that all families have access to high quality, affordable child care and that early educators are fairly compensated for their hard work.
On behalf of thread and Alaska SEED, congratulations Panu!
For immediate questions about Alaska SEED, please email Stephanie Berglund, thread’s CEO.