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HiMama's Early Childhood Educators of the Year - 2017


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Nominations for HiMama's Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award 2017. These are the top 10 most votes nominees.

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HiMama's Early Childhood Educators of the Year - 2017

  2. 2. Ellie Ferrier | TowerLight Child Care | Minneapolis, Minnesota Nominated by: Michelle Jirik, Center Director Ellie has been working for TowerLight Child Care since the first day it opened. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing our Intergenerational Curriculum. On a daily basis, Ellie makes the environment for the children and grandfriends her top priority. Her passion for excellence in education for the children is so clearly demonstrated in the children she has impacted. Our children and families are drawn to her love for everyone who enters her room. Ellie has been a Teacher at TowerLight for 5 years in our young preschool room. She has a degree from North American Montessori School, and is an Early Childhood Educator. Ellie has taught English as a second language at Wizard Idioms School and her home country is Brazil. Ellie has countless colleagues, parents and friends who are a strong advocate for this nomination and all her hard work. 1207
  3. 3. Julia Hardy | Ferris Lane Community Daycare | Barrie, Ontario Nominated by Michelle Goss, Center Director Julia Hardy has been a Registered Early Childhood Educator for the past 10 years. She is a well-rounded teacher who is always willing to try new and exciting activities and experiences with the children in her care. She is responsible for our before and after school program and also runs our nursery school program in the mornings throughout the school year. The children in her care have incredible experiences like no other; from dress- up, dramatic play, science, sensory, creative and so much more. Julia always has something going on in her class, big or small. Julia isn’t afraid to test and try new approaches in early education. She tries it all and is never afraid to get dirty herself! What I admire about Julia is that circle time is her specialty! She loves to sing, dance, read stories with props, even dress up in character so the children have the full experience. Julia has more than 10 years of experience in the field of childcare. She started with Ferris Lane Community Daycare when she was still studying at Seneca College. She graduated in December, 2007 and was hired as a full- time permanent RECE in January 2008. She has worked with children from toddler age to school age. She is married with a toddler-aged son and another one on the way!533
  4. 4. Brenda Holmes |Madison Montessori Academy |Kemptville, Ontario Nominated by Ashley Graham, Parent Each morning when I drop off my daughter in Miss Brenda’s Toddler Montessori class, we get a tremendous smile and a big warm greeting! It is not easy to leave your child each day but having her in Brenda's class feels right as I know she will be safe and loved. To see my child naturally reach out to grab Brenda's hand and go play, fortifies why we made the decision to have her at that daycare. Even with two young children of her own that attend the same Montessori, she has a natural gift to make each child feel special and important to her. Whether it is getting down to their level and asking about their new shirt or a small toy in their hand, her genuineness is felt by the kids and their parents. It is often the little things that add up. Just one small example of many exemplary things she does is she is hardly ever gone but if she is going to be away, Brenda sends an email to the parents and will let us know. A simple detail such as this is so comforting as she takes the time to keep parents connected. She is always thinking of us even on her time off to keep us aware and prepared for upcoming events and activities. She is a knowledgeable educator and has the ability to observe and assess each child. Brenda provides new creative and fun material for children to work on when they are in need of a challenge or will continue to encourage them until they have mastered that skill. She sets these children up for success through fun and play! She always takes the time to talk to parents and never rushes us whenever we have a concern. She also tells us little details of our child's day during pickup, even at the end of her day, as she gets her own children ready to go home. It will be a sad day when the time comes for our toddlers to transition into the next program of Casa leaving behind a wonderful role model. I can confidentiality say that how I feel about Brenda as my child's Early Years Educator is felt by the many children, parents and families she has enriched. I just don't want to nominate Brenda, I want to praise and thank her for going above and beyond for our children! Brenda is an exceptional Early Years Educator. She is truly deserving to be acknowledged as a professional in her field of Early Education. Brenda is one of the Head Toddler Directresses at Madison Montessori Academy in a small town outside Canada's Capital. She has been with MMA since 2007. Brenda has wanted to work with children ever since she was a little girl. Brenda remembers inviting the neighbourhood kids over when she was young to play school in a classroom that she made. 924
  5. 5. Heidi Lacroix | Madison Montessori Academy | Kemptville, Ontario Nominated by Melissa Button, Parent If you were to look up the definition of what an ECE should be, there would be a picture of Heidi. She isn’t just an ECE, she is a mother to these kids when we are at work. She goes above and beyond to ensure every one of those kids feels loved and nurtured. She thinks outside of the box for activities and I’m pretty certain she gets just as excited, if not more so than the kiddos – ha! Heidi isn’t just one our child’s providers. She has become family. She is going through an uphill battle currently as she is sick and instead of focusing on that, she’s asking how the kids are. Please consider her for this. She is so deserving. Heidi has worked for 2 different centres and has been with Madison Montessori for a few years. She currently works in the Kingston Mills Toddler class. 384
  6. 6. Ebony Mayham | Impact Learning Center | Jacksonville, Florida Nominated by Star Postell, Center Director Ms. Ebony a passionate, dedicated, and hard-working teacher! She has been working with us at Impact Learning Center for the last two years and has grown so much as an educator during that time. Her students have made excellent growth as well. She started as a “Two Teacher”, then was promoted to the “Three’s” and is now is the Lead VPK Teacher. The students that have transitioned with her during this time are exceeding their VPK benchmarks, reading and writing on a kindergarten level! During these last two years, Ms. Ebony has completed her National CDA and is now one semester away from completing her Bachelors' Degree! We can’t think of a better person for this award! Ms. Ebony has been working in childcare for almost 10 years. She has a National CDA, with staff credentials, and is one semester away from completing her Bachelor’s Degree. She has two daughters of her own and hopes to show them that with hard work you can accomplish anything! 312
  7. 7. Brittany Nelson | Goshen Learning Center & Pre-K | Augusta, Georgia Nominated by: Shannon Tharpe, Center Director I have been here at Goshen for 28 years and Miss Brittany is the BEST I have seen! She goes way beyond her daily duties. She helps ALL of the teachers with everything and is always pleasant and willing to help...EVERY DAY. Parents even ask before school starts, "Is Miss Brittany still there?" And I HAPPILY tell them yes!! Our children are the luckiest in the world, but I am biased (: She studied at Augusta State, has a Bachelors degree, is in school now going for her Masters. Brittany just bought her first home and she has worked at the Ronald McDonald House. In her spare time, she is always spending time with other children, and it’s per passion to help them. 344
  8. 8. Kecia Nunn | Discovering Me Academy #1 | Houston, Texas Nominated by Tanisha Butler, Head Teacher Mrs. Kecia has been a wonderful addition to Discovering Me Academy. A native Houstonian, Mrs. Kecia has worked for several corporate childcare centers in administrative positions before joining the Discovering Me Academy Team in 2013. Since her tenure, she has assisted in growing the center from approximately 80 children to over 200 children, and from one location to two locations. She has pioneered our Texas Rising Star success, has been a veteran liaison between Discovering Me Academy and the Texas School Ready project, and recently worked with the Directors on implementing a new nationally recognized curriculum. In 2015, Mrs. Kecia was promoted to Lead Teacher and assisted in growing the Pre-School Program from 30 all day children to over 70 all day pre-school children. Mrs. Kecia is a firm believer learning begins on the carpet. She assists in creating tools and find resources to aid in making the Teacher’s and Assistant Teacher’s jobs innovative and enjoyable. In her role as Lead Teacher, every day was different and never boring! She has a true passion for leading the school ethically, challenging and supporting not only the staff but the children as well. Mrs. Kecia builds a sense of community, self-awareness and focuses on the core beliefs of early child development while encouraging children to be the best they can be. Mrs. Kecia was recently promoted to Curriculum Coordinator and continues to assist Lead Teachers and both facilities. She strives to make every day pleasant and enjoyable for the children and staff. She is passionate about sustainability and goes the extra miles on days Discovering Me Academy experiences staff shortages. She is a true role model in professionalism and leads by example. Over the past year, Mrs. Kecia has facilitated Saturday training on classroom management, teaching techniques, literacy, and most recently conducted a training on Helping Children Cope in the Wake of Traumatic Experiences a training she conducted to assist staff help children affected by Hurricane Harvey. I am very proud Discovering Me Academy as a role model of best practices on our team. Not only do we value Mrs. Kecia our fantastic parents and school community partners value Mrs. Kecia pleasant attitude, warm and genuine demeanor. When parents partner with us and look forward to working with staff it makes a big difference on the impact we have on children during their early years. The dedication and commitment Mrs. Kecia has exemplified not only to the school but children and parents are one of the vital reasons Discovering Me Academy is able to stand by our mission. Her back to basics approach to the early learning environment and 100 percent dedication makes her a true leader in the Early Childhood Industry. Mrs. Kecia Nunn is from Houston, Texas. She received her associate degree in Early Child Development from Houston Community College. She has over 30 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education and has held several administrative positions at corporate childcare facilities but finds her true passion working directly with children in underprivileged areas. She has been married to her wonderful husband Randy for 15 years, and enjoys spending time with her three granddaughters and German Shepard Peppa. 834
  9. 9. Jenny Rahm | Elegant Child Early Learning Center | Ballwin, Missouri Nominated by Meg Saak, Lead Teacher Have you ever heard the term "Act in such a way that if anyone spoke ill of you, no one would believe them"? Well, that quote was most likely coined because they met Miss Jenny. Having worked with Jenny for 40 hours a week for a long while, I can tell you that there is not one minute of that she wasn't caring, nurturing, enthusiastic and most importantly KIND. She would go over and above for each child and would take time out to really, REALLY learn each child's learning style. She would format her curriculum around each child, and be excited while doing it. She always does the right thing not just because it's the right thing to do, but because she sincerely wants the best for each child and parent she meets. My life is different because of her, each day just seems a bit sunnier to each person she is around. She teaches a classroom full of 4-year-olds and basically comes running in each day. She goes around the room and individually says good morning to each child I have never met someone quite like Jenny, but I sure am a better person because of it. I just cannot imagine a better person for an award such as this...she exudes perfection as an example and teacher. Jenny attended BYU in Idaho where she studied Early Childhood Education. She now lives in Saint Louis and is happily married to her darling husband Jordan. She enjoys photography (which she is incredibly good at) and spending time with her big family! 368
  10. 10. Johanna Richardson | Christian Life Academy | Baton Rouge, Louisiana Nominated by Kathleen Megahan, Center Director Johanna is very patient with all types of learners. She meets them where they are, and gently encourages them to grow. She is kind, and loving, yet firm and creative in all she does. She has a true passion for helping children believe in themselves and their potential, especially children that are struggling to find their way. Johanna has been with us since 2011 as a Pre-K4 teacher but has been teaching since 1998. She is a mentor teacher in our school and is highly requested by parents. She has a Bachelors in Early Childhood and Elementary Childhood from Kutztown University 418
  11. 11. Leah Sawadski | Childventures Early Learning Academy | Burlington, Ontario Nominated by Lily Nicholson, Parent Leah forms warm and loving relationships with all the children at Childventures. She continually puts their safety as a top priority while enhancing their learning and development with new opportunities every day. Every morning my boy gives Leah a huge smile and it makes me so happy to see what a positive relationship they’ve developed. She goes above and beyond each day by keeping parents informed of their child’s day to day activities. I love seeing how proud she is of her students daily achievements. We love Leah, and we are so happy to have found such a fantastic role model for my boy! Leah has been with Childventures for three years and has nine years total experience as a Registered Early Childhood Educator in Ontario 350