2014 Honor an Early Childhood Educator Honorees
Chris Lamm was an inspirational educator and vital influence on her community. In 1993, she founded the Orange County Peace Camp. For 20 years she shared her love of peace, education, the environment and compassion for people with the campers and staff. She was a wonderful role model and practiced the values and methods she taught through her actions in her community. Chris’ involvement with the Fullerton Collaborative, Orange County AEYC, CEASE, NonViolence in the Lives of Children Project, the Fullerton College Lab School and Kinder Caminata, to name just a few of the causes to which she devoted her passion and expertise, shows that Chris was more than a teacher. She was an essential member of her community and the field of early childhood education.
With the skill and wisdom, Chris motivated every person she worked with to be a better leader, a better educator and a better human being. She had a way of getting people to want to help others, without them even realizing it. Early childhood education continues to be an area of tremendous need in this country and Chris was a staunch proponent of change and action to better the lives of young children not only in California, but throughout the country. Indeed, education for young children would not be the same without her support and fierce dedication. Her spirit will live on in her legacy and in the many, many people whose lives she touched deeply.
Nominated by Ana Page
Bev Bos has been an inspiring presence in the Early Childhood field for many years. Well known for the music she creates and her presentations at the CAEYC Conferences she wears many other hats as well. Among them she struts her stuff as a director of preschools, teacher of children, mentor to adults of all different roles in children’s lives, writer, connector to the natural world, lover of fun, but most especially for her advocacy for what is best for children. Her oft quoted admonition to all of us has taken on a life of its own and serves as a beacon of good practice. “If it hasn’t been in the Hand and the Body, it can’t be in the Brain!”
Bev, you inspire us, you are revered and loved by many. We salute you.
Nominated by Sharon Brown
Pat Burns is a respected executive-educator and a passionate, outspoken family advocate. Since 2009, she has held the position of Director of Communications and Investor Relations for SocialWhirled - an innovative digital platform company. Additionally, Pat has succeeded in working with several family focused companies including one that she cofounded.
Pat’s philanthropic and most passionate work is centered on children’s literacy and family reading. In that capacity, Pat is the cofounder and serves as the Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival which was founded in 2004. She oversees the enrollment of corporate sponsors and author/illustrator stage participation for the annual event. This Orange County Book Festival has grown in attendance from 5,000 to 35,000 and has brought in over $6,000,000 in corporate sponsorships to support children’s literacy.
In addition, Pat is a consultant for Tilly’s Life Center (TLC), in which she works directly with Tilly Levine to enhance the TLC program which serves the needs of underprivileged adolescents. The programs offer new avenues for self-growth, in the hopes of facilitating personal and social advancement in adolescents.
Thank you for all that you do Pat!
Nominated by Sharon McCubbin
Shannon Chen is committed to helping children. Since 2011, Shannon has been an overwhelmingly positive influence on the campers of Orange County Peace Camp. As a Youth Leader, Shannon helps to ensure that even our youngest campers are learning and thriving every year. Navigating complex concepts such as community activism, social justice and conflict resolution, she has shown deftness for tailoring instruction to fit the needs and skills of our campers. An outspoken proponent of children’s rights, Shannon has been an invaluable member of our team at Peace Camp. She has been instrumental in the success of the Youth Leader Program. Dedicated to teaching children the skills they need to be leaders, she works hard to provide a camp environment in which children have every opportunity to learn and grow. Shannon is an inspiration not only to our campers, but to every single staff member, parent and volunteer.
Nominated by Colin Page
One of the first things you’ll notice about Irene Cook is her peal of infectious laughter. With a twinkle in her eye, she’ll share stories from her life and invite you to do the same. She’ll encourage you to be the “best you” that you can be. A life-long learner herself, she values and validates that passion in others. Nurturing children and facilitating their healthy growth and development are second nature to Irene. She and her husband Wayne treasure their family of biological and foster children and grandchildren. Since her days as class valedictorian and children’s center Master Teacher at Taft College, she’s continued to grow in the Early Childhood Education field. After earning her M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, she returned there to teach, as well as at Bakersfield College and California State University Bakersfield. She’s also continued to work with the children and families initially as director of the first CDC licensed in a homeless shelter in California, followed by serving in the same capacity at a specialized children’s center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. If you’ve been lucky enough to have attended one of her PITC trainings, to have learned from her as your college instructor or child development club faculty advisor, to have worked with her in a center, to have had her as your child’s teacher or site director, or to have served with her on the Kern AEYC Board of Directors, then you’ve been lucky indeed…for you’ve benefited from Irene’s experience and expertise. And your life will forever be lightened by a Red Grammer melody, enlivened with a joke or two and sparked by that peal of infectious laughter.
Nominated by Alexandra (Shri) Knight-Stelzner
Greg & Steve
Greg Scelsa and Steve Millang started as rock and roll musicians during the 1960’s. They began their careers in Educational music, while working as teacher’s aides in Special Education programs in Los Angeles Unified School District. They took the guitar into the classroom with them and found an amazingly positive response from their students. So they began putting together effective material that was not only a hit in their classrooms but also received serious notice from teachers in other classrooms. Their first album, We All Live Together, Volume 1 in 1975 was in response to that notice and the many requests for the music.
They have gone on to produce 19 albums. They have spoken as Keynote speakers and workshop presenters to educational organizations all across our Country. They have won numerous awards, including Parent’s Choice, received accolades, keys to the cities and a Grammy nomination for Best Children’s Album of the Year in 2010.
Before we knew of the Greg & Steve style of music in the classroom; that get up out of your seat great combo of music and movement; there was an emphasis on the classic traditional and folk oriented genres. Greg & Steve are the ones that pioneered the concept of using pop music to educate, to encourage, to promote self-esteem and nurture both motor and brain development.
This November, they will celebrate their 40th consecutive NAEYC back in the city where they attended their first conference – Dallas, Texas.
Greg & Steve’s extraordinary contribution to the field of Early Care & Education can be witnessed every single day in every kind of program where children gather. What an amazing legacy!
Nominated by Heidi Thumlert
Beth Holladay is a dedicated educator who truly cares about the education of young children. She devotes many hours to her students in the Montessori Program at Springbrook Elementary School in Irvine. She strives to provide a solid foundation for each and every one of her students. By building a strong foundation for her students, she enables them to strengthen their skills and ensure their success in the future. She holds her students to high expectations in order to help them realize their full potential. Her students know that Mrs. Holladay would not accept careless work and they try their best to satisfy her expectations. She truly deserves recognition for being an amazing educator and changing many children’s lives.
Nominated by Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
When thinking about an amazing Early Childhood Educator, most people would think of someone who is at least 20 years old. Angela Lee may only be 17 years old, but she has shown herself to be a passionate and dedicated teacher for young children. As a member of OC Peace Camp’s Youth Leadership Program, Angela has taught children conflict resolution skills and social justice ideologies. In 2012, Angela took the ideas of social justice, environmental awareness, peace and conflict resolution to Taiwan, where she created a new branch of Peace Camp, at only 15 years old. She has helped many young people to build their confidence as members of society by empowering them to change the world one person at a time. She has been a friend, teacher and confidant for young children who want to make their community a better place to grow up. Most importantly, she is a model of how young people, and especially young women, can have an everlasting impact on the lives of others.
Nominated by Colin Page
On behalf of the Fresno County Family Child Care Association and Association de Provedores Latinas Unidas del Condado de Fresno we would like to nominate Martha Magnia.
Martha is one of the finest examples of what it means to be an Early Child Care Provider, Mentor, Colleague and friend. With her wit and perseverance she challenged herself by simultaneously running her Family Child Care Program while pursuing her degrees. After receiving her Masters she accepted the position as instructor at Fresno City College and through her trails, she did not forget the Family Child Care profession. Through her leadership and encouragement she inspires us to pursue higher learning in Child Development, as well as seeking a higher standard not just in our businesses but also in ourselves.
Even in her darkest days while her husband was battling cancer she continued to hold classes and attend meetings, to keep us providers motivated to reach the next level. Anything Martha does or learns about she reaches out to share with others both in English and Spanish. There are many of us who have benefited and continue to benefit, from Martha’s success. She has served and continues to serve in many capacities on various committees; all the while, making sure that there is a positive impact in the child care profession.
In closing, Martha sees the potential in us that we may not see in ourselves. She is like the “Little Engine that could”, making us believe, “I think I can, I think I can, I know I can.”
Nominated by Marialuisa (Alycia) Villasana
Eric Manchester is the coolest teacher in Santiago Hills Elementary School, Irvine. In the first day of class, his students walked into a wizarding classroom, awaiting for magic to unveil. Students were excited and picked their seats from a wizard’s hat with smoking dry ice. Mr. Manchester has a magic wand that makes students fall in love with learning; his students would try to hide their fever so that they can still come to school when they were sick. He holds high expectations for his students but scaffolds appropriately for student success. He is strict, fun and technology savvy. He teaches students how to use iPads to make iMovies, in addition to choosing and investing in their mock stock options. His students adore him and parents appreciate him as a partner in the journey of educating their children.
Nominated by Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
Sharon McCubbin is one of the best teachers in the world, and has taught different ages of students, from infants through middle school. She currently teaches primary-aged students at Springbrook Elementary School, Irvine. She is loving, caring, and inspiring. Sharon constantly challenges her students to reach their highest potentials, and to achieve their personal best. She is the only teacher who has earned four National Board Certifications for Teachers (NBCTs) in the USA! Students in her class witness how she documents and modifies her lesson plans and learning activities based on her formative assessments of ongoing student outcomes. Ms. McCubbin teaches by “doing” instead of “talking.” Students see her as a great role model working hard in a daily basis, and as a result they imitate her dedication to learn and to help others to learn. Sharon also engages students in community service and plants many seeds of civic engagement at an early, critical age. She truly deserves recognition as an outstanding and exemplary teacher.
Nominated by Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
Ana Page is a heroin for many young Orange County Peace Campers. Without Ana’s effort and courage, children would not be able to enjoy and learn from this fabulous annual activity. In 2013, Ana organized OC Peace Camp’s 20th anniversary reunion; she also created the incredible 2013 Peace Camp experience with more than 50 campers, youth leaders, staff, and volunteers. It was such a touching scene to watch this young woman drive a fully loaded minivan with peace camp boxes, containers, coolers, and much more. When OC Peace camp faced funding challenge and could not be continued, Ana “SAVED” OC Peace Camp by reaching out to people and taking leadership role to bring back the OC Peace Camp. She is to be commented for her courage and her dedication to OC Peace Camp. Anna is an incredible young person with the greatest potential to be a promising leader in the Early Childhood Education field. She is one of the emerging leaders who will continue to spread the news of peace and will change the world.
Nominated by Shu-Chen Jenny Yen
Colin has been a part of the Orange County Peace Camp since 2008. Recently out of college, Colin began taking part of the staff responsibilities and building a passion for raising youth. The campers at Peace Camp showed tremendous potential in becoming leaders to create change. Colin stepped up to help coordinate. In 2012, he restarted the Youth Leadership Program, which was no easy task.
Colin’s leadership and compassion were the driving forces to be able to provide an environment for teens to come together to learn about conflict resolution, social justice, peace and how to affect the community positively. The youth leader trainings occur once a month, and they all volunteer there time for this great cause. In addition to training, they have philosophical discussions about different kinds of situations and how they affect children. These youth show such enthusiasm, and Colin focuses that enthusiasm into action. These are teens creating change and becoming activists and can only be done through Colin’s efforts.
Since college, Colin has turned his focus to education. He is completing his teaching credential and Master’s in Special Education with a moderate-severe focus. Although he is not in early education, he holds a great respect and gratitude for the field. He participates in CAEYC Conferences and finds ways to create partnerships between the two. Everyone is excited to see Colin’s continued growth and how he will inspire so many more youth.
Nominated by Ana Page
Karen exemplifies excellence in ECE through her work directly with children as a teacher, director and in her college teaching and professional development. Well known for her innovation and skill at incorporating diverse experiences and cultures in meaningful ways, Karen represents the values that Chris Lamm sought to promote.
Nominated by Sharon Seidman