College of Education and Human Development

Institute of Child Development

Williams Ridge announced as the new Director of the Child Development Laboratory School

Sheila Williams Ridge

The Institute of Child Development is delighted to share an update on the search for the new Director position at the Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS). Following an open search, the search committee has unanimously recommended Sheila Williams Ridge as the new Director of the CDLS.

Sheila is an internationally-renowned leader with over 20 years of experience in the field of early education. She serves on several boards that focus on early childhood education, equity and anti-bias education, environmental education, conservation, and K-12 education. She is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and has authored numerous publications on education. With Sheila’s experience and the contributions of our dedicated CDLS staff and families, we look forward to an exciting future for the CDLS community.

In this newly-expanded role, Sheila will be responsible for crafting the vision of the CDLS and providing leadership and oversight in the areas of CDLS programmatic offerings, teacher and staff engagement and development, academic and research integration, and family engagement. As a first priority, she will work in collaboration with Sarah McKee and other leaders to reimagine the organizational structure of the CDLS. Sarah remains an integral member of the CDLS leadership team and we look forward to her continued contributions to the CDLS mission and operations.

The new leadership structure will further enhance our ability to grow our high-quality early learning community serving the University of Minnesota and Twin Cities region. Sheila will start her new role effective April 3, 2023. Thank you for your continued support of the CDLS community and we look forward to sharing more from CDLS in the months to come.

Kathleen Thomas, William Harris Professor
Institute of Child Development Director