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Irwin takes reins at state Early Learning Division

After almost a year, Megan Irwin will get to remove the “interim” from her title as director of Oregon’s Early Learning Division.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday she is advancing Irwin, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Irwin, formerly the division’s policy director, stepped in after Jada Rupley retired in August 2014.

Lawmakers created the division within the Department of Education in 2013 to consolidate the state’s supervision of preschool and child care programs, plus home visits and respite care for families. A 17-member council oversees the division.

Brown credited Irwin, who’s 31, with helping obtain more state money for early childhood programs in the current two-year state budget.

“I look forward to working with her as we implement programs that set children on pathways to success from cradle to career,” Brown said in her statement.

Irwin also has played a key role in shaping the development of early learning hubs across Oregon and aligning early childhood programs with practices in kindergarten through third grade.

Irwin was national expansion and program director for Stand for Children, an advocacy group, before joining state government.

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