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The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning proudly announces the appointment of Tyran Butler, Ph.D., as Early Learning Principal. Dr. Butler brings a wealth of experience to the role in developing academic programs in early childhood education, advancing workforce development initiatives, and serving in senior administrative leadership roles.

In her role as Early Learning Principal, Dr. Butler will lead Lastinger Center initiatives aimed at enhancing early childhood educator professional learning programs, fostering collaboration with educators, researchers, community stakeholders, and policy makers, and driving the development of cutting-edge strategies and programs to optimize the provision of high quality learning experiences for young children.

Dr. Butler holds a Ph.D. in Special Education and Teacher Education from the University of Florida, and she has published on evidence-based instructional practices, inclusion, and teacher development. Her commitment to improving educational outcomes aligns seamlessly with the Lastinger Center’s mission to research, develop, and scale equitable educational innovations for adults and children that put all learners on trajectories for lifelong success. Her dedication to advancing educational practices and commitment to creating positive change make her an invaluable addition to the Lastinger Center’s executive leadership.

In the words of founders Allen and Delores Lastinger, “The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning helps teachers teach and students learn” and improves the quality of teaching, learning, and childcare. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Tyran Butler to the team,” said Phil Poekert, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Lastinger Center. “Her vision, leadership, and passion for early learning will undoubtedly contribute to the Center’s ongoing efforts to create positive and lasting impacts on education from the earliest years. Dr. Butler’s expertise will be instrumental in advancing our mission to empower educators and enhance the learning journey for young children.”

Dr. Butler joins the Lastinger Center from Santa Fe College, where she has served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Career and Technical Education. Her unique combination of academic insight and practical experience positions her as a dynamic force in Florida’s early childhood education ecosystem.

I am honored to be a part of the Lastinger Center for Learning, an institution that is at the forefront of shaping the future of education for our state,” said Dr. Butler. “I am excited to collaborate with the talented and committed team at the Center and contribute to the development of innovative strategies and programs that will positively impact the early learning landscape.”

Dr. Butler will join the UF Lastinger Center in January 2024. 

Phil Poekert headshot