Sherri Valdez, Executive Director of the SLVECC, recognized Adams State University Dr. David Svaldi, president; Dr. Linda Christian, professor of early childhood education, and Dr. Frank Novotny, vice president for academic affairs, for creating a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education at Adams State and James Trujillo, executive assistant to the president, for his continued assistance with the annual preschool kite flying event on campus.
Christian said the early childhood program would not be successful without key people including Novotny, Alamosa Head Start directors, the staff of SLVECC and the Teacher Education faculty. “Dr. Novotny was willing to find and allow others to find creative solutions to problems. As a result the degree plan that was agreed upon recognized the students’ prior coursework and allowed students to spread remaining courses over time.”
She said she appreciated the Head Start directors and SLVECC staff who were persistent and determined in their advocacy around professional development.
“As the only full time faculty I can’t teach all the classes,” Christian added. “I could not have done this without an amazing group of adjuncts. Students were able to learn from a variety of experts in the field of early childhood, rather than just getting one perspective with one faculty member.”
Donna Briones, Head Start director, received the Inspiration Award, presented by Patti Newman, professional development director, for her commitment to continued education in the early childhood field. She recently completed a Fellowship with the Buell Leadership Program. “Early childhood educators make the greatest impact on our greatest resource, our children.”
The first cohort to graduate with bachelor degrees in early childhood education includes Rachael Couoh, Wilma Duran, Rita Lujan, Denise Martinez, Lorraine Montoya, Valerie Serna, Geneva Torr, Barbara Ulibarri, Rocio Urbina, Amanda Vigil, and Rhonda Vigil. Unable to attend the ceremony were Jessica Cepeda, Janet Lopez, Annette Martinez and Miriam Romero. The group was also recognized at the ceremony along with many other early childhood professionals.
The event included entertainment by the Monte Vista Mellotones and the Adams State University Theatre Improv Group, The Lost and Found.
The SLVECC appreciated the support of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, Lakeshore Early Learning, SLV District Group of CAEYC, Treasure Alley, and Preston Steed.