New Jersey Department of Education

Tonya Coston

Deputy Assistant Commissioner - Early Childhood Education

Tonya D. Coston is the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) for the New Jersey Department of Education. Ms. Coston oversees aspects of implementation of the state’s Birth through 3rd education initiatives. This division includes the Office of Early Childhood Education, Kindergarten to Third Grade, Head Start Collaboration and the Governor’s Council for Young Children.

As Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Ms. Coston manages a team whose focus is to enhance social, emotional, physical, and academic development of New Jersey’s children birth through third grade by providing leadership, resources, and professional development in support of high-quality early childhood programs within a comprehensive, collaborative program

Tonya Coston ensures interagency communication by coordinating within the NJDOE and other state agencies.  She is one of the integral leaders in the an inter- departmental group to support and ensure coordination of all programs and services for children from birth to five years of age and supports the Early Learning Commission.

Ms. Coston previously served as the manager and Acting Director of the Division of Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement; Acting Executive Director for Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant; and Acting Chair of New Jersey Council for Young Children within the NJDOE.

Ms. Coston has a Master of Science degree from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Pennsylvania State University.


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