Early Education Program Manager, Merced County Office of Education, Early Education Department

Samantha C. Thompson is the Early Education Program Manager with Merced County Office of Education, Early Education Department. She is currently responsible for the administration of the Merced County Collaborative for Children and Families (also known as Local Planning Council) and Quality Counts! Merced (Quality Rating Improvement Systems.) She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies from Merced College, a Bachelors of Sciences degree in Human Services and Masters of Business Administration, both from University of Phoenix. Samantha worked for many years as a Paralegal in Merced and Fresno counties and served as a Court Clerk for the Merced County Superior Court. Her transition to education began at a small Christian preschool/elementary school in Merced in 2002. Samantha worked for Madera County Office of Education prior to joining the leadership team at the Merced County Office of Education/Early Education Department in 2006. Her time at Merced COE has included oversight of the Centralized Eligibility List, the Local Child Care and Development Planning Council, Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant, CA-QRIS Block Grants and many other state and local initiatives. Samantha is a long-time resident of Merced County and is adjunct faculty in the business division at Merced College. She and her husband, Herschel have been married for almost 21 years and have two children, Alexis (20) and Desmond (17).