#vtaeycAC and #naeycAC Conference Recap

By Sharron Harrington, Executive Director

It’s the season of gratitude, and after several wildly busy and fruitful months, I’ve needed to reflect and give thanks. Our November conferences were rich with resources, sharing, and excitement. I want to share a few conference highlights below, and some thanks here:

  • To VTAEYC’s Meg Atwood, who did incredible work as the lead planning and executing the VTAEYC conference. And to our conference planning committee, volunteers, and sponsors who all made our conference possible.
  • To all my colleagues at VTAEYC, who bring so much talent and fun to our important work, and to our dedicated and caring volunteer Board of Directors.
  • To my colleagues leading fellow AEYC affiliates for our shared commitment to centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
  • To the presenters and speakers at #vtaeycAC who inspired, affirmed, motivated, and brought learning and laughter to the ECEs in your audiences.
  • To NAEYC CEO Michelle Kang for fully and warmly participating in our conference and celebrating Vermont’s dedication to ECE.
  • And to Vermont’s early childhood educators, whose commitment to developmentally appropriate practice, professional development, advocacy, and children and families is the reason Vermont is nationally out in front.

#vtaeycAC Highlights:

  • A thunderous standing ovation for Early Childhood Educator of the Year Tammy Gosley.
  • Hundreds of early childhood educators with tears in their eyes, feeling seen and appreciated by keynote speaker Junlei Li, who gave us caring evidence that when ECEs show up to work with authenticity, we are enough.
  • The Windham Regional Career Center students enrolled in our youth apprenticeship program, so enthusiastic about their ECE preparation.

Left, top to bottom: Windham Regional Career Center youth apprentices with instructor Kim Freeman; Christina Goodwin and April Zajko.
Right, top to bottom: Bennington County Head Start/ Early Head Start group with Michelle Kang and awardees Tammy Gosley and Betsy Rathbun-Gunn; a winning trivia team; Michelle Kang on NBC5

#naeycAC Highlights:

  • 56 Vermonters in Nashville, including the preK team from Fisher Elementary School in Arlington, and three ECEs who have made attending #naeycAC a 15 year tradition
  • A day of sharing with fellow AEYC affiliate leaders and learning about embedding DEIB in our operations with Dr. Patricia Morgan.
  • Seeing Apple Tree Learning Center ECEs and children in Michelle Kang’s photo montage.
  • The inspiring, actionable presentation “From A Moment to Momentum” from Advancing as a Profession leaders Sherry Carlson, Christina Goodwin, Rachel Hunter, and Kaitie Northey before a standing-room-only crowd.

Left, top to bottom: Advancing as a Profession presenters Kaitie Northey, Rachel Hunter, Sherry Carlson, NAEYC’s Lauren Hogan, and Christina Goodwin; Sharron with 15-year #naeycAC attendees Holly Rheaume, Jen Tucker, and Apryl Blake.
Right, top to bottom: VTAEYC’s Heather Martin, Beth Wallace, Arianna Dayharsh, Abby Fish, Anne Simonds, Dacia Ostlund, Brenda Metzler; a slide from Michelle Kang’s welcome featuring photos from her visit to Apple Tree Learning Center (highlighter added).

Top of post: Vermonters at #naeycAC

Meet the Board Members Elected at Annual Meeting

VTAEYC members at the Annual Membership Meeting elected a slate of candidates to serve a two-year term on our Board of Directors:

Rebecca Bishop (re-elected)
Amber Bollman (new)
Christina Goodwin (re-elected)
Ella McCarthy (new)
Danny Sawtelle (new)
Kelley Todriff (new)
Johanna Vaczy (re-elected)
Read these Board members’ bios here.

Congratulations to Annual Awards Recipients!

2023 Early Childhood Educator of the Year: Tammy Gosley
Children’s Champion: Rep. Jessica Brumsted
Distinguished Service: Betsy Rathbun-Gunn
Outstanding Members: Kaitie Northey, April Zajko
Emerging Leader: Caitlin D’Onofrio
ECE Student of the Year: Matthew Moore

Heartfelt and well deserved congratulations to all recipients! Learn more about VTAEYC’s Annual Awards

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