In 2019, we launched the Louisiana Early Leaders Academy at the Louisiana Department of Education. We were inspired to do this because we saw that while the average early childhood teacher worked for 2 or so years, directors stayed in their centers for 7-9 years. How could we leverage these leaders to increase both organizational culture (to increase teacher retention) and improve systems? In my role as the Director of Early Childhood Leadership Development, I (founder, Emmy O’Dwyer) conducted a landscape analysis, designed a pilot that won us second place at Harvard’s Saul Zaentz Innovation Challenge, secured full funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and launched an RFP process to identify a vendor to implement the program. Now in its fourth year, we have trained over 120 directors across the state, who increasingly lead at national, state, and local levels.