Idaho AEYC announces new executive director

Robert Sanchez, the former vice president of Idaho Business for Education, has been named the next executive director for the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. 

Sanchez will step into the role on June 10, replacing Idaho AEYC’s former leader Beth Oppenheimer, who recently moved to Washington, D.C., to become the head of policy and research for the XQ Institute, an organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs. 

“I am eager to join the Idaho AEYC team and continue the work of advancing early childhood education across our state,” Sanchez said in a news release. “By working together, we can ensure that Idaho AEYC remains a beacon of excellence in early childhood education.”

Robert Sanchez will become Idaho AEYC’s executive director on June 10. Photo:

An Idaho native, Sanchez holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership and two master’s degrees: one in management and the other in strategic studies. In his time at Idaho Business for Education, Sanchez promoted early childhood literacy, math proficiency, STEM engagement, workforce development, and college/career readiness. He also forged partnerships with leaders from the business, industry, and education realms. 

Sanchez has held leadership roles within municipal government, nonprofit organizations, and the U.S. Army. 

As the AEYC’s leader, Sanchez will focus on several key areas:

  • Community Engagement: Strengthening partnerships with local communities, businesses, and policymakers to advocate for quality early childhood education.
  • Program Development: Enhancing and supporting a variety of early childhood education programs to better meet the evolving needs of children, families, and educators.
  • Financial Sustainability: Exploring diverse funding sources and innovative financial strategies to support and grow Idaho AEYC’s initiatives.

“Dr. Sanchez’s vast experience and dedication to early childhood education make him an excellent fit for Idaho AEYC,” said Kevin Bailey, the incoming president of the AEYC’s board of directors. “His strategic vision and collaborative approach will undoubtedly strengthen our organization and enhance our impact on young children, families, and communities across Idaho.”

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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