In June of 1992 I took a position at St. John’s Hospital in Jackson, Wyoming, as the Director of their yet unopened “day care” center, a position for which I was unprepared other than I had taught kindergarten and had been the assistant manager of the Jackson Hole ski area seasonal child care center. I did have a K-8 teaching certificate, a BA in psychology and an enthusiasm for the work. During the next 20 years I developed and managed a highly regarded early childhood center through the school of hard knocks, gut instinct, and a whole lot of professional development. I also had a knack for hiring good people and had high expectations for their performance. My ability to develop strong relationships with each member of the staff created a safe environment where they could learn and grow. I treated everyone as a professional no matter where they were in their educational and professional journey, and in return they aspired to be professionals.
In about 2010, I began to feel antsy in my position at St. John’s. I had become involved with WYECA my state NAEYC affiliate and then the NAEYC Affiliate Council in various leadership roles. Through these experiences I was beginning to recognize I had strengths as a leader. I wanted to understand and use these strengths to contribute further to the field of early childhood care and education. It took two more years, but I decided I would leave my position at the St. John’s Child Care Center, I would go back to school so I could become more adept at articulating what I had learned during my tenure as a program administrator, and I would see where it would lead.
Today I find myself with a MS in Early Childhood Studies with a specialty in advocacy and public policy, a personal vision that all children and families will have access to affordable high quality early childhood programs, and a belief it is the field of early childhood care and education’s calling to lead the way. Currently, research shows the field of early childhood care and education lacks the leadership capacity to effectively meet this call. My mission for EC Consulting is to focus my career on building the leadership capacity of the field of early childhood care and education, at all levels, so we can lead the way to great things for all young children and families.