Woman that Makes Things Happen

Samantha C. Thompson, MBA is the Woman That Makes Things Happen at BlackECE. 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 2002. Samantha joined the leadership team at the Merced County Office of Education/Early Education Department in 2006 and, for almost 15 years, she administered the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL), the Local Child Care and Development Planning Council, ECE Workforce Development and Retention initiatives, Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant, CA-QRIS Block Grants, and many other local initiatives. She was particularly honored to author and administer the “Caring for Our Black Children” grant, funded by Merced County First 5 from 2017-2020. Prior to joining BlackECE, she served as the Associate Director of Early Learning Policy at the Education Trust West.

While at Merced COE, Samantha began participating in many of California’s established early learning and care associations, also serving on their public policy committees. She was the Co-Chair of the California Child Care Coordinators Association from 2016-2018 and subsequently served in various capacities on their Executive Committee. She participated in California’s Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2018. Recently, she participated in Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Fellowship for Prenatal-To-Three Leaders and is currently participating in California’s Universal PreKindergarten Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup.

Samantha is a long time resident of Merced County. She is a Leadership Merced (Class 26) alumni having also served as the Chairperson for the program. She served on School Site Councils at the elementary, middle school and high school levels for Merced City and Merced Union High School districts from 2009-2020. And, Samantha served as adjunct faculty in the business division at Merced College from 2012-2021.

She and her husband, Herschel have been married for almost 26 years and have two adult children, Alexis who is a School Counselor and Desmond who is pursuing his degree in Sports Communication. Samantha is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan and you can guarantee if the Golden State Warriors are playing then she is watching! She enjoys gardening and reading a good biography about strong women leaders.