I am a mother of two wonderful sons, Eddie who is 34 and Joey who is 27. I earned a bachelor’s degree in education (secondary social studies) at Slippery Rock State College (now University), and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. Teaching and learning are my passions, and those two paths have converged in the field of early childhood. I have been a teacher and caregiver of children from birth through age twelve, a director of a for-profit center, a trainer and regional training coordinator for the state, a program assessor, a child screener, and have offered professional development opportunities for almost 30 years.
Prior to all of these besides the typical server and dining room host route, I was the first female hired into a steel pipe and tubing warehouse for secretarial and export paperwork duties. This taught me much about working with men and creating diversity from adversity. One of the biggest influences on my career was a 10-week substitute stint at the end of a school year in a profound handicapped class for youth ages 14 to 21. I had to locate early childhood development resources for daily activities and to write the IEP’s for my six angels for the following year. This was trial by fire for a novice to special needs education, but the IEP’s stood and I found a passion for early childhood education (only with younger children!).
The field of early childhood excites me because this is our future. The caring and compassion I model and teach adults to use for the children now will help determine how or if those same children will vote at the polls as adults to take care of me when I am 80. And I do expect to be treated respectfully. If I can influence even one adult to treat a child with respect and dignity, and to provide that child with a top quality educational experience, then I have reached not only that child but also his/her children, and their children, etc. I will have done my job of “paying it forward” and promoting professionalism in early childhood.