Chancellor of Early Learning Matthew Mears
As Chancellor of Early Learning, Matthew H. Mears oversees the Division of Early Learning which administers the state’s early learning programs, including the School Readiness Program and the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, as well as the Child Care Resource and Referral Program.
Before stepping into this role in August 2021, Matthew served as General Counsel for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) for more than six years, providing legal advice and representation to the State Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education, all units within the FDOE, as well as the 67 school districts and the state colleges and universities.
Prior to joining FDOE, Matthew practiced in the Litigation Section of the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP, with a focus on supporting the needs of health care providers. He also served two years as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Hinkle, then Chief Judge of the Northern District of Florida. Prior to attending law school, he served as a legislative analyst for the Florida House of Representatives.
Matthew’s commitment to improving the quality of early childhood programs in Florida grew not only from his own love of learning and his years of service to FDOE, but also as a volunteer math tutor for six years at Kate Sullivan Elementary School, and as a mentor at Griffin Middle School. He understands firsthand the difference caring individuals can make in encouraging and supporting learning and the impact of those early years on lifelong achievement and success.