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2013 NAEYC

Governing Board Election Candidate Statements


CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNING BOARD PRESIDENT One member to be elected to a four-year term—one year as President-Elect, two years as President, one year as Past President.

Dscribe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Carol Brunson Day Retired/Consultant Silver Spring, Maryland

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and their families.   Professionally, I have experiences teaching young children in Head Start and preschool classrooms; teaching adults at the community college and upper division levels; advocating at the local, state, and national levels for policy change; working in executive administration and leadership positions for two national associations; and speaking and writing nationally and internationally. These experiences make up a 40-year history of improving the professional practice and working conditions of early education practitioners, supporting programs and working to create and improve systems to achieve high-quality programs, and advocating for engaging in practices that build inclusive organizations.

  As chief executive officer of the Council for Professional Recognition when the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing program was in its early stages of expansion, I worked to increase the credibility of the CDA Credential by stabilizing the program and growing its acceptance throughout the early education community. This work involved building coalitions among the federal government, national early education organizations, training and preparation institutions, state child care licensing offices, and individual early education programs. As a result, the program grew from serving 16,000 CDAs to serving well over 100,000.   I oversaw the establishment of the National Head Start Fellowships program. This highly successful program represented an unparalleled working coalition of organizations striving to build the next generation of leaders for the field.   At the National Black Child Development Institute, I led the organization through a leadership transition and maintained membership, funder, and supporter stability.   Throughout my career I have worked as an NAEYC committee member and panelist to develop position and policy statements for the field, and have helped to establish consensus on breakthrough thinking about very difficult issues. The resulting documents stand today, containing strong fundamental principles that continue to guide the field—Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs (Office of Head Start) and NAEYC position statements “Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8” and “Responding to Linguistic and Cultural Diversity.”

  My career has been rewarding and full. And I am excited about the challenge to potentially provide leadership for NAEYC in the role of President

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?

  The most critical issue facing the field is the condition of young children from families who have chosen out-ofhome child care and early education. Studies continue to show that although the potential is there for programs to contribute substantially to children’s well-being, overall their development and learning have been less than optimal. Children from families with low incomes—and culturally and linguistically diverse children especially— are falling farther and farther behind in their development and school achievement.   A number of problems playing a role in this continuing condition, if solved, could have a favorable impact: the overall uneven quality of centerbased and family child care programs; the lack of availability of services for infants and toddlers and children with special needs; the wages and working conditions of the workforce; the quality and accessibility of teacher preparation; the failure of federal, state, and local governments to systematize program delivery and integrate systems and services; and our failure to nurture leadership in the field. All of these, if improved, would affect the daily experiences that parents, family members, caregivers, and teachers have with children as they work to ensure children’s optimal development.   NAEYC’s role is to strengthen the capacity of adults to prevent the underdevelopment of young children by improving both what adults do with children and what they do on behalf of children. The goal is to provide exceptional knowledge, skills, tools, and motivation to engage in high-quality practice, policy development, and advocacy.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G overning B O A R D P R E S I D E N T One member to be elected to a four-year term—one year as President-Elect, two years as President, one year as Past President.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.   I have experience in the following areas:

Marjorie Kostelnik Dean College of Education and Human Sciences University of Nebraska, Lincoln Lincoln, Nebraska

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families.   My life in early education began as a Head Start teacher. Making the world safer, healthier, and more supportive for all young children and their families is the ideal that drew me to the field and that remains my passion. I have pursued this vision in many ways—as a classroom teacher, early childhood program director, teacher educator, author, presenter, researcher, Affiliate representative, NAEYC vice president, T.E.A.C.H. advocate, school district consultant, and college dean. In each role my goals have focused on helping adults to • Better understand and appreciate children as children. • Translate their understandings into developmentally appropriate practices.

• Working with children, families, early childhood practitioners, and programs throughout the United States and in several other countries; working in urban, rural, and suburban communities; working in inclusive programs; working in economically, culturally, and linguistically diverse environments; working with infant, toddler, preschool, and early elementary programs. • Leading and growing organizations— bringing together disparate groups of people and helping them find common ground for moving an organization forward; working collectively to achieve powerful results while also respecting individual strengths and approaches to doing the work. • Operating across professions and organizational boundaries—bringing together practitioners from various (and sometimes politically divergent) community organizations to work together to achieve important goals; encouraging program development across multiple colleges/institutions; achieving greater cooperation and program development among early childhood education, special education, and elementary education programs. • Supporting effective change—leading numerous groups and organizations through the change process—for instance, supporting the transition of Michigan AEYC from an all-volunteer organization to one with professional staff; helping more than 50 school districts develop seamless prekindergartenthrough-third-grade curricula and multigrade guidance policies; working with faculty, staff, and students to combine two former colleges into a single unified college dedicated to strengthening children, families, and schools. • Serving NAEYC and its Affiliates through membership on Affiliate boards; as president of Michigan AEYC; as vice president of NAEYC; by participating on NAEYC panels; by contributing to NAEYC position statements.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   Today we have made significant progress in elevating the quality of early childhood programs. Yet, we still have many children who spend long hours subjected to poor-quality practices and poor birthto-grade-3 educational environments. In the past few months, I have seen • Babies plopped in front of videos • Preschoolers scrawling on worksheets • Kindergartens with no toys or learning centers • Second grade with no recess   Inadequate professional preparation, misguided attempts to accelerate children’s achievement, misunderstandings about early learning, and demands for narrow skill development contribute to these circumstances. Cultural divides between child care and other formal learning programs, as well as among infant/toddler, preschool, and elementary personnel, also lead to discontinuity for children moving from one program to another.   NAEYC has a window of opportunity to influence young children’s learning experiences that is unmatched in our history. However, this window will not remain open forever. Moreover, the organization’s numbers are falling and infant/toddler as well as K–3 practitioners are not as highly represented in NAEYC as society’s needs demand. Thus, it is time for NAEYC to more fully and intentionally • Embrace the entire birth-to-age-8 span that defines early childhood. This must be evident in every aspect of the organization and its activities. • Support practitioners and programs in developing more shared understandings, practices, and policies from birth to grade 3. • Do more to attract the full range of birth-to-age-8 practitioners into the organization. • Intensify efforts to influence educational continuity for all children.   It would be my privilege to work with the membership on such issues.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G overning B O A R D T R E A S U R E R One member to be elected to a four-year term.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Rhian Evans Allvin Chief Executive Officer First Things First Phoenix, Arizona

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families.   My life’s work has been on behalf of young children—first in politics, next as a nonprofit leader, then in the philanthropic sector, and now as chief executive officer of First Things First (FTF).   In 2006, decades of being ignored by politicians led Arizona voters to the ballot box—creating a new tax and an early education system infrastructure for children birth to 5, First Things First. I have proudly served a central role in what is a movement in my state from the dream of a few early childhood advocates to a working reality that is changing leaders’ minds because it is changing children’s lives.

  In addition to a solid grounding in early childhood theory, policy, and practice, I bring a strong fiscal foundation, overseeing an organization with a $130 million annual budget. My role requires strong skills in governance, communications, political strategy, and fund-raising.   Effective governance is critical to the success of any organization. It takes the ability to develop strong working relationships and to conceptualize a vision, but also the ability to be a solid implementer. Examples are my various roles at First Things First: first as a member of a small team involved in researching, conceptualizing, and writing the initiative that would create an early childhood system; then as a gubernatorial appointee to the FTF state board, where we created the fiscal, fiduciary, governance, and programmatic policies that would guide the organization; and finally as the CEO, now responsible for implementation. I am accountable, along with our staff, for ensuring that the relationship and shared governance between our statewide board and 31 local councils is effective and that both statewide accountability and local flexibility together change outcomes for young children. I have served at national levels—most recently, in 2011, I was appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan to serve on the Western Regional Advisory Committee to the US Department of Education.   In 2008, my consulting firm assisted in raising the funds to overhaul the AzAEYC brand and led the organization through a strategic planning process. Our collective work resulted in clearly defined strategic priorities and an updated organizational identity and web presence.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   Strong teacher preparation is the most significant issue facing the field, especially for those working with infants and toddlers. Early care and education suffers from the public misconception that infants, toddlers, and even preschoolers need adults simply to keep them safe while they are in child care. However, the concept development, language scaffolding, and discovery a teacher creates in a classroom are important components of the foundation upon which a child’s future learning will be built. To be able to do this work in a developmentally appropriate way requires strong professional development opportunities, including formal higher education, which is too often not attainable for early care and education professionals.   As the premier national membership organization focusing on early care and education, NAEYC has the audience, the expertise, and the bully pulpit to tackle the complicated systemic issues facing the field. With eighty thousand NAEYC members and close to two million professionals in the early care and education field, there is a significant opportunity for NAEYC to bring value and relevance to individual professionals and to coalesce a field around a common agenda. Top priorities include overcoming barriers to entering the field, such as the high cost of higher education and dearth of scholarships for professionals, and barriers to retaining a highly qualified workforce, such as insufficient wages, benefits, and continuing professional development.   Supporting and maintaining a strong, vibrant, well-educated workforce requires us to have a decisive and clear vision for the next decade and to be nimble enough to rapidly respond to emerging opportunities.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G overning B O A R D T R E A S U R E R One member to be elected to a four-year term.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

William H. Isler President The Fred Rogers Company Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families.   My career has focused on working on behalf of children and families, first as an elementary teacher, then as executive director of a multiservice child development and early intervention program. These experiences led to an appointment as senior early childhood advisor, followed by executive assistant to the secretary of education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Currently I am president of The Fred Rogers Company, where we develop quality programs in various media for children, parents, and those who work with children. I am a longtime advocate for good public policy that promotes children’s success in school and in life.

  Currently I co-chair the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council, charged with advising the governor, cabinet officials, and the legislature on policies to maintain, expand, and improve high-quality early learning programs for all children. I am an elected member of The Pittsburgh Public School Board, serving for 13 years, with five of those years as president of the board. During my tenure, the board has expanded and improved the quality of pre-K. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Pittsburgh in overseeing the school district budget, which exceeds $550 million. I represent the Pittsburgh Public Schools on the board of the Council of Great City Schools, and now am serving as a member of the Executive Committee, which I chaired in 2008. I serve on the board of The Grable Foundation, a local family foundation whose mission is to help children and youth become independent, caring, contributing members of society by supporting programs critical to a child’s successful development. And as president of The Fred Rogers Company, I lead the company in producing and broadcasting two national PBS programs for young children. In addition, we work with a broad base of community partners to develop quality media programs for children. Through these endeavors I have opportunities to lead and follow, organize and execute agendas, develop work plans, and be creative in finding ways to support children and families. I believe my work and volunteer experiences have fostered leadership skills and enhanced knowledge that will help me support the mission of NAEYC.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   To impact public policy and advance legislation that supports the healthy growth and development of young children, parents and the voters must communicate what is at stake. Fortyfive years of research is clear—investing in quality early education increases kindergarten readiness and improves a child’s chance for success in school and beyond. Investments have quantifiable short- and long-term economic benefits: reduced grade retentions, reduced numbers of referrals to special education, increased high school graduation rates, and increased higher educational attainment levels—producing higher lifetime earnings. Public awareness can translate research into budget priorities and convince our elected officials to invest.   NAEYC is uniquely positioned to work with its Affiliates to develop awareness campaigns for parents, seniors, business leaders, the media, and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Help from other champions—neuroscientists explaining brain development, economists mathematically computing our investment’s economic return, military leaders needing a sufficient pool of eligible recruits who are physically fit high school graduates without criminal records—all can highlight possible societal improvements as a result of supporting the needs of young children. NAEYC is the gold standard for developmentally appropriate practice and educating young children. NAEYC can also become the national voice to explain “what’s in it for all of us.” NAEYC has the knowledgeable and respected membership and staff to develop strategies that will increase awareness in all sectors of society. I believe I can assist with strengthening this national–local relationship to increase involvement by members and ultimately to increase benefits to young children.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Margaret Bauer Director Work Life Services Providence Health & Services Alaska Anchorage, Alaska

Please describe your efforts on behalf of children and families.   I have spent the last 29 years of my career advocating for children and families by helping to build public support and understanding around quality early care and education. I have worked to assist Alaskan communities, both rural and urban, to assess their needs and options for quality child care. I have been involved in the development and management of employer-sponsored child care centers for a hospital, a credit union, and an oil company. I consult and train early educators and directors in the field. I am an active board member of two statewide boards that support investing in young children and their families.

  My greatest strength is my commitment to quality child care and excellence in the field. I have experience as a teacher, center director, and administrator. I have served as an NAEYC Accreditation validator and as adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Department of Early Education. I bring my professional experience as a senior leader in health care. I have experience with annual budgets and long-term financial planning. I have been involved in facilitation improvement projects such as Alaska’s early childhood professional development system, the formation of the Providence Early Learning Lab, and collaboration with UAA to prepare, educate, and train preservice teachers.   I have served in several leadership and board capacities. My role on the state child care resource and referral board led to supporting the staff in a fund-development and marketing department, launching an agency endowment, completing submission of National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Quality Assurance Best Practices, and growing public policy/ advocacy efforts. I have served on the local AEYC board as conference chair through president emeritus. Re-affiliation led to my appointment to the state AKAEYC board. As a region representative, I was on the NAEYC Affiliate Council. I have held each of the chair positions on the NAEYC Affiliate Council Executive Committee. My experience supported the development of the Affiliate governance structure and revision of the policy manual. I have actively participated in NAEYC’s National Dialogue discussions and developmental process. Work on the council has offered collegial and lifelong relationships.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   The single greatest issue facing our field is the lack of support for national policy that promotes quality early care and education for all children. Children deserve access to high-quality early learning experiences in the communities in which they are growing up—experiences that honor their languages and cultures.   NAEYC needs to continue its work from a national standpoint to influence the importance of a national policy. NAEYC is referenced and noted for research on and support of quality early learning for children birth through age 8. NAEYC provides a strong foundation promoting standards of excellence in programming, education, and public policy. NAEYC should continue to be a resource and support in conjunction and coordination with membership and future potential partners. Through the work of the National Dialogue, NAEYC and its component parts are working strategically and intentionally with membership to define and strengthen the current structure. This strategic work will help to define and strengthen NAEYC to leverage future public policy positions to state, local, and national policy makers.   I am committed to cultivating, recruiting, and developing relationships with future business partners and leaders to join NAEYC’s efforts in promoting the importance of early education. I believe my experience and attributes will provide a positive contribution to the NAEYC Governing Board in advancing the NAEYC mission and goals, particularly as we move forward with Vision 2015. My experience and relationship with NAEYC have led to my candidacy as NAEYC governing board member at large.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Dscribe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Sandy Blanco Director First Presbyterian Children’s Center San Antonio, Texas

Please describe your efforts on behalf of children and families.   For 36 years, my efforts on behalf of children and families have included working with the state Affiliate; serving as president-elect, president, and past president of the local Affiliate; and developing future professionals as an early childhood education adjunct faculty. As a former NAEYC validator, a teacher, and the current director of an NAEYC-Accredited program, I have a unique understanding of the level of commitment that quality programs engage in. Most recently, my six years on the Council for NAEYC Accreditation provided a valuable perspective on the systemic operation of the NAEYC Academy and the role of NAEYC as the premier early childhood organization.

  In the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Mr. Magorium tells his protégé, “Life is an occasion; rise up to it.” Throughout my journey as an early childhood professional I have used my love of learning and reflective practice to rise to the occasion. My willingness to be open to new ideas and experiences has helped me to develop and use the skills necessary to become a well-rounded, effective leader.   As an Affiliate board member and a program director, I have implemented, developed, and monitored budgets, policies, and procedures. My involvement with state and local Affiliates has advanced my advocacy efforts for standards for all early childhood sectors and for accreditation processes to improve the quality of programs for all children. Taking my school through the new NAEYC Accreditation system provided me with firsthand knowledge of the change processes involved when putting new systems into operation. As a validator in the old system, I recognized the value of diversity among programs striving for accreditation to improve the lives of children. My experience as a member of the Council for NAEYC Accreditation taught me to dream big, face obstacles, and believe that all things are possible. My leadership skills were challenged and my critical thinking skills nurtured and refined. I experienced staff and council members rising to the occasion when situations seemed darkest.   These unique experiences, along with my tenacity, communication and listening skills, appreciation for diverse perspectives, experience, and passion for the field, would make me an asset to NAEYC’s Governing Board mission and goals.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   I once heard Dr. Pam Schiller make a thought-provoking statement at our state conference. She said that “the quality of learning rarely exceeds the quality of teaching.” What an enormous responsibility that places on us to bind our practices to scientific research, to practice best practices until we own them, and to stand up for what is right in the face of outside pressures.   These are challenging times for children, families, and the field of early childhood education. The economic recession has left families, programs, and states searching for ways to sustain viability while maintaining high standards for our most precious resource, children. Families’ choices are diminished when programs, due to lack of adequate resources and support, no longer strive to improve their quality or when they need to close their doors. Teachers without access to professional development or worthy wages have no incentive to improve or to stay in the field. States cannot expand programs or services with the current education cuts.   It is critical for NAEYC to persist in addressing these issues by focusing on advocacy for high-quality early care and education. The future of our country is dependent on the development of critical thinkers for economic stability in a global economy. NAEYC must continue to take the multidimensional approach of advocating for reform of public policy, working toward increased access to quality care for families, ensuring high program quality through accreditation, and providing professional development for teachers, along with just compensation.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G overning B O A R D M E M B E R A T L A R G E Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Dscribe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Chad Dunkley Chief Operating Officer New Horizon Academy Plymouth, Minnesota

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families.   For over 20 years I have been a provider of early learning services that care for more than 8,000 children a day. I am the chief operating officer of one of the largest family-owned, center-based companies in the country. I have the practical experience of operating NAEYC-quality classrooms for children from families of all income levels. Specifically, one of our proudest accomplishments was having 100 percent of our 60 eligible programs in Minnesota be accredited by NAEYC in 2012. I have also worked tirelessly as an advocate at state and national levels to provide access to NAEYCAccredited programs for children of all income levels.

  I bring the provider’s perspective on how to offer high-quality programs for children from families at all income levels. I have especially keen insight into the challenges and issues that have a significant impact on our field. As a provider, I have firsthand knowledge of the amazing experiences and rewards that come from working with children in NAEYC-Accredited centers.   I have governing board experience. I have been president of the Minnesota Child Care Association since 2004, and I serve on the board and executive committee of the Early Care and Education Consortium. I have been a board member for the National Child Care Association and Minnesota’s Ready4K. I have worked collaboratively with many different organizations, including Child Care WORKS and the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council. I am a frequent spokesperson and presenter on early childhood issues and have been featured in numerous publications. I have testified before national and state officials as an advocate for improving programs for young children.   I would bring to the Board my insatiable appetite for continuous improvement, and I would work to create an environment where new ideas are encouraged and people are respected and valued. I believe that I can inspire others to work toward the achievement of common and challenging goals. As a proven leader, I am highly motivated to collaborate with other Board members to support NAEYC’s work in all areas of our profession.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   The greatest challenge for the early childhood field today is our need to strike a balance between increasing expectations for quality improvement and making sure we continue to provide equal access to those quality programs. Parents have 18 years to plan for the expense of sending their kids off to college, but only nine months to plan for the expense of early learning programs. Most middle-income families cannot afford NAEYC-quality care. At the same time, at-risk families may lose their access to quality care because lagging rate reimbursements do not cover the cost of quality. We are united in our belief that we need more resources in this field to help low-income, at-risk, and middleincome families access NAEYC-quality care. Standards and resources go hand in hand, and we must be careful when changes are made to the former without the financial support of the latter. When we do a rate increase as a provider, I know some families will no longer be able to afford my service. It is one of the most painful decisions that I have to make. But I also need to invest in my programs and staff to continue to provide NAEYC-Accredited, high-quality services for families. It is this unique balance as a provider that I will bring to the NAEYC Board.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G o v erning B O A R D M E M B E R A T L A R G E Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Lori Harris Adjunct Faculty, Wheelock College and Champlain College; and Consultant and Trainer Lebanon, New Hampshire

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families.   I have been working with young children and families for more than 25 years in a number of capacities. I am the recent director of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Child Care Center in New Hampshire, where we have 100 children and 27 staff. I have just completed my term as the New Hampshire AEYC Affiliate president and am currently serving on the Affiliate Council subcommittee, working on recommendations from NAEYC’s National Dialogue. I am a member of the New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition, working with environmental educators and others interested in getting children outside.

  I live and work in a rural community, and it is important to me to contribute and be involved and active on a state and national level as well. Doing so allows me to experience multiple perspectives on early childhood education. I am good at seeing the bigger picture, but I am able to pay attention to the details also, so having a broader perspective is useful to me in my professional life. I know how to take advantage of the expertise around me and of others’ ideas, which helps me think about issues and ideas with new eyes. I was the chair of the NAEYC Council for Accreditation in 2009, when the revised accreditation standards were released, and while the work was challenging, the chance to work with others at the national level was very satisfying.   As I mentioned above, I have just finished my term as president of NHAEYC. We are a small, rural state Affiliate with fewer than 1,000 members. We have no paid staff and so do all the work on a volunteer basis. Our members and board are a great group of people, and working within the early childhood community in New Hampshire is enlightening.   I believe the skills I have gained through my experiences working with lots of different people in different ways can be very helpful when working with groups such as the NAEYC Governing Board.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   There are many critical issues for us in early childhood education, and they all relate to the “trilemma” (coined by Gwen Morgan years ago). Quality of environments and staff, the cost of providing high-quality care, and affordability for families have seen improvements in past years with adequate funding, but in our current financial and political climate, that is becoming more challenging. NAEYC has always had a role in these issues: the Association’s strong advocacy role has been successful in raising awareness of the issues and bringing ideas for solutions to the table.   NAEYC Accreditation criteria are one of the ways the quality of environments and staff are being addressed. The self-study process allows all programs access to another tool for assessment, whether or not they pursue accredited status at that time. These national standards are a way NAEYC can continue to support the overall quality of the field.   The accreditation criteria point to a need for national standards in our states. We have national standards for how we care for people who are elderly or disabled and people who are medical patients. There are issues that go along with national standards, but NAEYC is positioned through its membership to move this forward. The membership—those of us who work in direct service and those of us who support direct services and families in a variety of ways—are a resource that could inform and partner with the national component to bring real change to our field.   I hope you will consider giving me your support and your vote.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC.

Nili Luo Professor and Director of Early Childhood Education Southwestern College Winfield, Kansas

Please describe your efforts on behalf of children and families.   For 26 years, my work in teaching, research, and service has centered on early childhood education and special education. • Starting my career in China, I worked to provide education for institutionalized children. • As a teacher educator in the United States, I have created opportunities to better train teachers at both preservice and in-service levels. I developed one of the first bilingual (English/Mandarin) online graduate programs in early childhood education. • Every summer I supervise US students working with orphans in China; I also provide cultural insights and support to US families who adopt children from China. • I cofounded the Dingqi training school, serving 3,000 families in Asia.

  Some of my leadership roles include project supervisor for the Chun Lei project and Half the Sky Foundation in China, coordinator of early childhood education in orphanages in China, advisor to state chapters of AEYC, and director of Southwestern College’s early childhood program.   Growing up in the least developed area of China, I learned how to care for others, even though my family was poor. I learned determination in school and was the only student selected for college from my village. These experiences shaped my strong commitment to providing equal educational opportunities for all children and for early childhood professionals.   My global connections include steadfast relationships with colleagues and students in China, Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan. I can offer interested early childhood professionals internships in China, bring participants from Asia to NAEYC’s Annual Conference, and increase our access to global resources. I can take US policy makers to visit early care centers in other parts of the world to benefit from other people’s experiences. I would promote NAEYC internationally and build our international partnerships.   I believe the global perspective I can bring to NAEYC’s leadership would be an asset to the Board and the Association. By demonstrating its understanding of and commitment to multiculturalism through a culturally diverse leadership, NAEYC provides a positive response to the changing face of education today. As an immigrant and an academic with experience in early childhood education, both here and abroad, my unique perspective can help guide the organization in communicating best practices with cultural sensitivity to international constituents.

What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   For more than 75 years, NAEYC has been a strong advocate for children and their families. The greatest issue in early childhood is meeting the needs of our diverse population of children. I would encourage NAEYC to continue to • Intentionally guide early childhood teachers and preservice teachers in individualizing teaching strategies to effectively meet the needs of children from different backgrounds, so that all children have access to quality education and can experience success in school. • Review and expand developmentally appropriate practices for children from birth through third grade, including NAEYC standards and criteria and assessment tools like self-study, to ensure that children and families receive comprehensive high-quality services. • Develop and effectively implement policies to promote a high-quality workforce by providing early childhood professionals with educational opportunities, mentoring educators throughout their careers, and seeking better compensation for the field. • Collaborate with community resources to provide better services to children and families.

• Become a global resource by encouraging and serving families and early childhood centers around the world.   I would grow our membership and, by developing domestic and international partnerships, promote NAEYC internationally as an organization with strong sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural differences.   I wish to have the chance to serve NAEYC’s members, so many of whom have dreams similar to my own. Our dreams can change the world one step at a time by providing the best for our children’s future and presenting better educational opportunities to everyone, everywhere. Thank you for your support.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements


C A N D I D A T E F O R G overning B O A R D M E M B E R A T L A R G E Three members to be elected to four-year terms.

Ann McClain Terrell Director Early Childhood Education Milwaukee Public Schools Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Please describe your efforts on behalf of young children and families. Describe the specific strengths and skills you would bring as a member of the NAEYC Governing Board, emphasizing leadership roles you have had at local community, state, and/or national levels, including prior contributions and service to NAEYC. What do you see as the single greatest issue facing the early childhood field today, and what role do you see for NAEYC in addressing this issue?   I have worked in the profession of early childhood education for almost 40 years, with experiences that begin as a child care classroom assistant teacher and range to teacher, director/administrator, state child care licensor, higher education adjunct faculty, and currently school district administrator. I believe that these experiences provide me with a keen sense of the field and uniquely qualify me for a position on this board. While most of my professional career has been in the child care field private sector, the last 10 years as an administrator—now director of early childhood education—in the largest school district in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee

Public School district (MPS), have been significant as well.   There are a number of critical issues facing the field today. The continuing schism between communitybased child care providers and school districts is one of the more pressing issues. However, my experiences on both sides of this issue tell me that there are dedicated and knowledgeable people in both groups who want to do what’s in the best interest of our youngest learners. I also believe that the current national focus on preK–3 alignment will address this issue. NAEYC, as a membership organization and advocacy body, can raise awareness of the importance of this movement and its impact on school readiness and closing the achievement gap. I am in a place where I have been a bridge between the public schools and the community and have been successful in that effort. As an example, in July 2004 I was appointed by Governor Jim Doyle to chair the Quality Counts for Kids Task Force, which was charged with developing a proposed quality rating system to evaluate the quality of child care in Wisconsin and a tiered reimbursement system to accompany it. The 21-member task force included representatives of public and private organizations and agencies—individuals with strong perspectives, coming from very different walks of life and representing groups with vastly differing views. Yet, I was able to use my ability to relate to the diverse perspectives of the group to help it reach consensus on its recommendation. Governor Doyle touted the work of the task force in his State of the State address in 2005, and praised my work as chair as he unveiled the initiative.   Accountability, be it called No Child Left Behind or another name, has become the centerpiece of federal educational policy, and its legacy is probably with us to stay. Educational leaders are concerned about the “trend” toward standards and testing; however, these leaders, including

teachers, must think about standards and the documentation of attainment of standards in ways that are compatible with how young children learn. We know that it is the early childhood years when children learn to read and write, acquire an understanding of content areas, and develop dispositions toward learning. Traditional methods of assessment, like standardized tests, can put pressure on our youngest learners and their educators. Educational leaders, led by groups like NAEYC, must be willing to take risks and stand up for what we know are best practices for teaching and learning. Currently, I am leading, along with leadership from the local teacher union, a task force of individuals who will examine MPS district policies and practices and current research on early childhood developmentally appropriate practices, and make recommendations to the MPS Board of School Directors.   NAEYC is a well-respected, farreaching organization that must continue to address these and other critical issues of this professional community through research, position statements, publications, professional development, and other opportunities.

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements  

2013 NAEYC Governing Board Election—Candidate Statements

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