Heather Gerker

Manager for Early Learning Success, StrivePartnership


Areas of Expertise: early childhood education, strategic leadership, program development

“I love to see people making connections and working successfully together, not just to see better outcomes, but to feel good about their individual roles.”

In her role, Heather serves as the StrivePartnership expert on strategies and outcomes related to learning and education achievement for children prenatal to nine years old that occur within the ecosystem, which includes the Greater Cincinnati Region. In this position, Heather regularly interacts with a broad, diverse group of education practitioners, system and community leaders, parents and students to determine how effectively institutions and communities are functioning to achieve goals related to kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading and other critical education outcomes. Heather identifies interventions that will achieve these outcomes by strengthening and expanding effective activities within the ecosystem or addressing weaknesses and gaps within it. She takes the lead on designing these interventions in collaboration with others at StrivePartnership and works hands-on with stakeholders within the ecosystem to execute their implementation.

Heather was previously Director of Professional Development and Events at The American Montessori Society where she designed professional development for the global Montessori community. She has worked in the early childhood field for over ten years in many capacities: as a teacher, administrator, teacher educator and a program director.

Heather earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and her master’s of education from Endicott College. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Invest in Neighborhoods, Inc.