Jacqueline Y. Pelzer

For the past 29 years, Jacqueline Y. Pelzer has been Executive Director of EARLY STEPS. Early Steps is a nonprofit organization that guides families of children of color through the process of applying for kindergarten and first grade at New York City independent schools. Additionally, she has 22 years of classroom and administrative experience in a variety of public and independent school settings including a rural six-room schoolhouse in Vermont, suburban open-space classrooms in Maryland and inner city schools in Philadelphia. Her independent school experience includes teaching kindergarten and first grade and admissions work at the New Lincoln School and at The Day School (now Trevor Day School) both in New York City.

Jacqui is a graduate of the oldest HBCU Cheyney State Teachers College now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. She has done extensive graduate study at the University of Maryland, Temple University and Bank Street College. She is actively sought as a speaker at national conferences and seminars and writes from her experience on diversity issues.

She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) where she was Secretary and chaired the Equity and Justice Committee as well as NPEA (National Partnership for Educational Access) She currently serves as a Trustee at Trevor Day School, the Parents League of New York and The Town School. Additionally, she has served as a Trustee of The Brick Church School, Westside Montessori School, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) and Grace Church School. In 2011, the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NAACP presented her with their Roy Wilkins Outstanding Service Award for her commitment to the education of our children. She is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

She and her husband live in New York City and her adult son is an independent school graduate.