Vermont’s 2021 Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award will be presented at the Vermont Early Childhood Education Fall Conference in October!

Vermont’s dedicated and skilled early childhood educators rose to the challenge during COVID-19 and applied their training and expertise to play an essential role in the lives of Vermont’s children, families, and communities. 

The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC), with support from Let’s Grow Kids (LGK), will honor an early childhood educator as Vermont’s 2021 Early Childhood Educator of the Year. The award will recognize an early childhood educator who demonstrates excellence in their field; this educator creates inclusive learning communities, has a commitment to professional standards and growth, and serves as a resource for the families they serve.

The review committee is comprised of Vermonters committed to high-quality early childhood education:

  • Julia Farr  |  Hunger Mountain Children’s Center
  • Kim Freeman  |  Windham Regional Career Center
  • Jarrell Watts  |  Sarah Holbrook Children’s Center
  • Heather Duhamel  |  Northern Vermont University
  • Christine Johnson  |  Otter Creek Academy, VTAEYC Board
  • Ruth Hardy  |  State Senator – Addison County
  • Dane Whitman  |  State Representative – Bennington 2-1
  • Aly Richards  |  Let’s Grow Kids
  • Meri Carpenter-Saladino  |  2019 Vermont Early Childhood Educator of the Year, My Second Home
  • Susan Rosato  |  2021 Vermont Teacher of the Year, Colchester High School
  • Johanna Vaczy  |  STARS, VTAEYC Board
  • Nicole Dubuque  |  Agency of Human Services Department of Children and Families – Child Development Division
  • Honi Barrett  |  Building Bright Futures Families and Communities Committee

The award will be announced at the VTAEYC conference in October 2021.  The winner will receive a cash prize of $2500, expenses paid for one NAEYC conference, and a professional photoshoot.

The following are important qualities and characteristics for early childhood educators to possess:

  • Commitment to professional, quality early childhood education programming, such as NAEYC standards for early childhood education programs.
  • Commitment to creating an inclusive community that meets the needs of families and children with a variety of backgrounds.
  • Leadership within the early childhood education field.
  • Application of their training and education in early childhood education and a commitment to continuing education, coursework, or training.
  • Willingness to serve as a resource for families served by the early childhood education program.

*Note: Employees of LGK and VTAEYC, as well as previous winners, are ineligible for the award.

Click here to learn more about the Early Childhood Educator of the Year award, including interviews with previous years’ winners.