Jumpstart for Young Children Announces Crystal Rountree as New Chief Executive Officer

Jumpstart for Young Children Announces Crystal Rountree as New Chief Executive Officer 

Rountree joins Jumpstart as the organization prepares to celebrate 30 years of impact in early education

New York, NY  – The Board of Directors of Jumpstart for Young Children, a national early care and education nonprofit advancing equitable learning outcomes in underserved communities, announced last night that Crystal Rountree will join the organization as Chief Executive Officer on January 8, 2024. Rountree will replace current CEO Naila Bolus, who announced her departure in June. 

“After an extensive national search, we are confident that we found the right leader in Crystal for the future of Jumpstart,” said Kim Mitchell, Chair of Jumpstart’s Board. “The breadth and depth of Crystal’s experience and expertise in the education sector are a perfect match for Jumpstart at this moment in our evolution. She is a visionary leader with an impeccable track record who embodies a clear drive for educational equity.” 

Currently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue and Development Officer at Teach For America, Rountree has more than two decades of experience in education and organizational leadership. During her time at Teach For America, Rountree has led strategic initiatives, a team of regional executives, as well as recruitment and fundraising efforts enabling incredible impact and transformation for young people across the US and in the education sector. Rountree served as the executive director of Teach For America – Charlotte-Piedmont Triad and was also the founding executive director of Teach For America — Jacksonville, where she launched and scaled efforts for nearly 8 years resulting in over $20 million raised during her tenure. 

“I’m honored to join and lead an organization that I have such a deep personal and professional commitment and connection to its mission and values,” said Crystal Rountree, newly appointed CEO of Jumpstart. “I’ve always been a fierce advocate for educational equity, and I’m looking forward to working towards a world where we don’t have to make up for gaps that students have in their educational career because we’ve prepared every child with what they need to thrive the first day they step into kindergarten.”

Jennifer Marrus, Jumpstart’s longest serving national Board member and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, led a broadly representative CEO Search Committee in partnership with the executive search firm Spencer Stuart.  Extensive and inclusive internal and external partner stakeholder engagement was conducted by Spencer Stuart, as well as an all-community survey which greatly informed the search.  

As Jumpstart’s next chief executive officer, Rountree will be leading the national early education nonprofit and a dedicated team working on 65 college campuses and in 14 states providing college students with high-quality training and ongoing coaching to deliver Jumpstart’s research-based early childhood curriculum to children living in underserved communities. In partnership with the Board and the leadership team, Rountree will work to expand Jumpstart’s impact and raise its national profile through direct service programming, early education workforce development, and advocacy, driving strategy and facilitating collaboration, innovation, and support to propel Jumpstart into its next chapter.

“I am extremely excited for the future of Jumpstart with Crystal at the helm” said Naila Bolus, current CEO of Jumpstart. “Her decades of leadership across multiple communities, and her deep commitment to and knowledge of education will position her as an immeasurable asset to the organization. We can’t wait to see where she takes the organization from here.”



For nearly 30 years, Jumpstart has been fueled by the belief that providing high-quality educational opportunities to all young children prepares them for academic and economic success later in life. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart has trained more than 60,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing over 140,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across the country in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at jstart.org. 

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

Donate Now