Early Childhood Educator Awards

May 07, 2018

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – It was a night of celebration as the winners of the 2018 Early Childhood Educators awards were announced on Friday.

The Lake County Child Care Planning Council, administered through the Lake County Office of Education, coordinates the annual awards. This year’s ceremony was held at the Mt. Konocti Winery in Kelseyville.

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Lake County Supervisor Tina Scott and Lake County Superintendent of Schools Brock Falkenberg were on hand in the packed house to acknowledge the good work of all 61 nominees.

"I am very grateful to all of the educators and advocates in Lake County that have dedicated their lives to our kids," said Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). "They are there for us at the very start of our children's and grandchildren's lives."

“I am excited to see our Early Childhood Educators being recognized for all the hard work they do supporting our youth,” said Scott. “The children they are serving are the future of Lake County.”

Scott and Falkenberg also serve as commissioners of Lake County’s First 5, which focuses on the well-being of Lake County children ages 0 to 5.

Falkenberg is a strong advocate for strong early childhood education in Lake County. “Research shows that quality early childhood education is associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Congratulation to all of the nominees who work so hard to provide that quality experience to the youngest members of Lake County.”

This year’s winners are:

Inspiring the Field Award: Rachel Cumpston, Lake County Office of Education Lower Lake Preschool.

Making A Difference Award: Cindi Kaup, California Preschool Instruction Network.

Preschool Teacher of the Year: Maria de la Luz Garcia, Lake County Office of Education Kelseyville Preschool.

Outstanding Program Support: Crystal Davis, North Coast Opportunities Pearl Head Start.

Advocate of the Year (award sponsored by Adventist Health Clear Lake): Martyna Blissky, Easter Seals Bay Area Lakeport.

Infant/Toddler Teacher of the Year: Erika Cacho, Early Head Start.

Inclusion Award (Award sponsored by First 5 Lake County): Alana Bowman, North Coast Opportunities Pearl Head Start.

Leading the Field Award – Katrina Hickey, Big Valley Rancheria Preschool.

Family Child Care Provider of the Year (award sponsored by First 5 Lake County) – Heather Wichlaz, Little People Daycare.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Connie Hodges, Alphabet Soup Children's Learning Center.

Angela Cuellar-Marroquin, Lake County Child Care Planning Council Coordinator, explained the importance of these awards. “Early education is the foundation of a successful academic career. It’s a time that we recognize the hard work that the early educators do each and every day.”

The Lake County Child Care Planning Council thanked those organizations and agencies who helped make this year’s event possible with their generous donations: Lake County Department of Social Services, First 5 of Lake County, Adventist Health Clear Lake, the Lake County Office of Education, and the hard work of the LPC members.

A complete list of all 2018 nominees can be found at www.lakecoe.org/news/details/2018_ece_nominations.

Back Row (L-R): Supervisor Tina Scott, Angela Cuellar-Marroquin, Katrina Hickey, Erika Cacho, Cindi Kaup, Connie Hodges, Rachel Cumpston, Assemblymember Cecelia Aguiar-Curry, Superintendent of Schools Brock Falkenberg.

Front Row (L-R): Crystal Davis, Heather Wichlaz, Alana Bowman, Martyna Blissky, Maria de la Luz Garcia.


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