Ruth Schmidt

Executive Director


For over 15 years, Ruth Schmidt has led Wisconsin’s largest membership organization for early childhood educators and state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Ruth has extensive executive leadership experience that includes working with organizations, associations, counties and municipalities. She’s a founding member of the Wisconsin Early Learning Coalition and Wisconsin Partners, a member of the Prenatal to Three Coalition and serves on the planning committee for the UW Prenatal to Five Initiative. On the national level she is active in Congressman Mark Pocan’s K-12 and Early Childhood Education Advisory Group.  Ruth is a leading voice on both state and national levels for strengthening the early childhood education workforce through policy and systems improvement and greater public investments.  Ms. Schmidt earned her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College.

Jeanette Paulson

Director of Workforce Initiatives


During her tenure with WECA Ms. Paulson has been instrumental in bringing the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin Scholarship Program to Wisconsin. Prior to becoming the Director of Workforce Initiatives she was the director of both the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship program and the  REWARD Wisconsin stipend program. Ms. Paulson has 25 years experience working with infants through school- aged children in a variety of settings. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Continuing and Vocational Adult Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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