Debbie Wells named interim Director

Debbie Wells has been named the interim director of Children First and will be serving in this capacity until the permanent Executive Director position is filled.

“Debbie brings a wealth of knowledge as an educator and administrator, an experienced community leader, and a trained Children First Champion with a dedicated commitment to supporting our St. Louis Park youth,” said Larissa Reid, Chair of Children First.

Debbie is assuming the interim role due to the retirement of long-time Executive Director Karen Atkinson and will keep the organization on course while the Executive Committee conducts a search for a new Executive Director. She will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

“I was lucky to be around in the 1990s when Children First launched in St. Louis Park. I was inspired by the message of the developmental assets then and am excited for this opportunity to sustain the community-wide work that has developed over 25+ years,” said Debbie Wells. “I know that Children First Champions and the those in the community who embrace the promise of growing assets in children through ordinary but intentional actions will provide the guidance needed during this interim assignment. “

Debbie can be reached at and 952-928-6075.

Updates about the Children First Executive Director position will be posted on the initiative’s website,