Monday, 27 May 2024

2010 Early Childhood Educator of the Year event recognizes great teachers

Joy Swartz (center), provider of the year, center-based, with honorable mentions Katrina Mansell and Katrina McDonnell. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – A special group of educators received recognition for their efforts in teaching young children at an event earlier this month.

The Lake County Child Care Planning Council held its second annual Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award Dinner on May 7 at Moore Family Winery, offering recognition and valuable award packages to 13 exceptional early childhood educators and three child care centers.

Lake County organizations, businesses and individuals offered significant support to make this event possible, according to Shelly Mascari, director of the Lake County Child Care Planning Council.

First 5 Lake, North Coast Opportunities, Yuba Community College and Department of Social Services were significant supporters, along with many others, she said.

Supervisors Denise Rushing, Jeff Smith, and Anthony Farrington attended the event, and presented awards to deserving providers, along with the Superintendent of Schools and other agency directors.

“It is encouraging to see our community’s organizations and leaders unite in recognition of the valuable contribution early childhood educators make throughout Lake County,” said Mascari.

Nearly 50 providers were nominated in recognition of commitment to excellence by their peers, community members and the families they serve.

Winners were selected based on a detailed interview and evaluation process that took into consideration education, commitment to their profession, answers to specific interview questions, and effectiveness in their role as educators.

Early childhood educators contribute significantly to communities, Mascari said. Quality early childhood education dramatically impacts high school graduation rates, keeps communities working, and helps Lake County develop productive, effective, happy citizens of the future.

“Many of these recognized educators have dedicated decades to their profession,” Mascari said. “Their education, in many cases, equals that of the K-12 educator, yet we were lacking a forum to recognize excellence in their field. The goal of this program is to do just that.”

Congratulations to the 2010 Early Childhood Educators of the Year:

Student Scholarship: Carley Rae Jones.

Firefly Award: Marcella Lopez, Early Head Start.

Appreciation of Service: Elaine Robinson, The Learning House.

Center of the Year: Lakeport Head Start; Honorable mentions – Meadowbrook Head Start, The Learning House, Early Head Start.

Advocate of the Year: Katrina Hickey, Lake County Office of Education.

Outstanding Special Needs Inclusion: Shirley Littleton, Early Connection Preschool, Lakeport.

Provider of the Year (Family Child Care): Liberty Perry, Perry Family Day Care; Honorable mentions – Racheal Breeze-Harmon, Breezy Days Child Care; Linda Hamner, Wild Kid Kingdom.

Provider of the Year (center-based): Joy Swartz, Upper Lake Head Start; Honorable mentions – Katrina McDonnell, Lakeport Head Start; Katrina Mansell, Early Connection Preschool, Lakeport.

Leading the Field Award: Gina Griffin, Lake County Office of Education.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Louise Garrison, Garrision Family Child Care.

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