Legislators

Jeana Ross

House District 27 - (Marshall County)

Jeana Ross is a retired educator with 26 years in public education service and currently is an advisor (OR consultant ) on early education policy & practice. Previously, she served from 2012 to 2020 as the Secretary of Alabama’s Department of Early Childhood Education, serving under two consecutive governors. 

Guided by the principle of “Doing what is best for children,” Ross oversaw the largest expansion of Alabama’s voluntary First Class Pre-K program, growing it from 217 classrooms in 2012 to 1,350 classrooms located in all 67 counties of the state in 2020, while maintaining the program’s nationally recognized high quality. Under her direction, the agency piloted the Pre-K through Third Grade P-3 Integrated Approach to Early Learning and its corresponding Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy to strengthen and support high-quality early learning experiences as part of Governor Kay Ivey’s “Strong Start Strong Finish” education initiative. 

To study the effects of Alabama’s early childhood education programs, Ross led the creation of a multidisciplinary research and evaluation team, including researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education, and the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. These research teams’ findings continue to be used to ensure that decision-making at the state level is driven by what works best for children. In addition, the National Institute of Early Education Research released Effective State Offices of Early Learning: Structural Features, Enabling Conditions, and Key Functions in Four States. Alabama was chosen to be highlighted in this research report highlighting Ross’ leadership. 

As a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, Ross also oversaw the Office of School Readiness, Alabama Children’s Policy Councils, the Children First Trust Fund, State Home Visiting, Alabama Integrated Approach to Early Learning (P-3), and the Head Start Collaboration Office. She is a founding member of both the Office of School Readiness Advisory Board and Evaluation Task Force and the Alabama Children’s Cabinet. In 2017, Governor Kay Ivey appointed Secretary Ross to serve as a commissioner for the Education Commission of the States. 

As part of her role in overseeing State Home Visiting, Ross led the launch of Born Ready, an initiative to raise Alabama parents’ awareness of the importance of early brain development and high-quality early care and education. Born Ready was developed both to inform parents and to empower them by giving them access to the tools they need to be their children’s first and most important teacher.

Ross holds a Master of Arts degree in education leadership from The University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She and her husband, Carey, reside in Guntersville. She has two sons, John (Allison) and Wright (Aubrey), and twin grandchildren (Clara and Mac). She was elected to her first term in April 2024.

Committees

Contact

412-A Gunter Avenue Guntersville AL, 35976

(256) 582-0619