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MnAEYC Awards
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MnAEYC Awards

Nomination Forms:
Distinguished Service Award | Evelyn House Award | Kate Davidson Tanner Award

Annual State Conference Award Nomination FAQs

2017 Kate Davidson Tanner Award Recipient:
Ross Thompson, Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School

Ross received both his B.S. and M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from the University of Minnesota. He teaches at the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School located within the Institute of Child Development at the same university, which he has called home since 2005. At the Lab School, Ross leads a classroom of 3-5 year-olds, while also facilitating the student teaching experiences for the university students in the early childhood program. He is an instructor for two development courses in the early childhood program - one on cognitive and language development, and the other on motor development. 

Ross's reach has also stretched beyond children, families, and students of the Lab School. He has presented at local, regional, and national conferences, written for NAEYC publications and The Space magazine, led national and international professional development workshops. He is a board member for the Reggio Inspired Network of Minnesota - a group that explores the early childhood practices from the teachers in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and helps teachers and parents include these practices in their work and experiences with young children. If his schedule wasn't full enough, Ross is also one of the hosts for the "Teaching with the Body in Mind" podcast that discusses topics focusing on big-body & rough-and-tumble play.


MnAEYC Evelyn House Award 2017 Recipient:
Beth Menninga, CEED, University of Minnesota

Beth has worked in the early childhood field for over 30 years, starting as a teacher, and now teaching teachers as a professional development expert with CEED at the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a director, a trainer, a writer, and an advocate.

Beth was the statewide coordinator of the Minnesota Infant-Toddler Training Initiative in the 1990s. This initiative increased the quality of infant-toddler care by providing trainers with a high-quality curriculum. Since then, she has created many other innovative programs such as Words Work! and Numbers Work! She recently co-authored the book, The Thinking Teacher: A Framework for Intentional Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom (Griffin House, 2016). Beth is a longtime member of MnAEYC and has contributed much wisdom to MnAEYC and to the field as a past member of the board.

Most importantly, she sees her work with young children, families and early childhood educators as a commitment to social justice, and has been a tireless advocate, spreading her influence and advancing the field across the state.


MnAEYC Distinguished Service Award 2017 Recipient:
Greater Twin Cities United Way

Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTCUW) is committed to closing the literacy and education gap for all children in our community. Improving educational outcomes in the region is part of United Way's core work. The area of early learning is particularly important, as a strong foundation positions Minnesota's children for long-term success in school and in life.

From 2011-2016 GTCUW partnered with MnAEYC on the Childcare Accreditation Program (CAP) to improve the quality of childcare centers across the nine-county region, particularly for at-risk children, including those with special needs, English Language Learners, and those receiving childcare assistance. Programs were provided with professional development trainings, coaching, financial and technical assistance as they pursued accreditation. To date, over 300 programs have earned accreditation through CAP.

CAP helped to boost participation in Parent Aware, Minnesota's statewide system for improving early childhood program quality and educating parents about what quality looks like. GTCUW has been a steadfast contributor to the evolution of Parent Aware, helping ensure that the process and resources effectively and equitably advance the best outcomes for all children.

Countless Greater Twin Cities United Way partnerships improve the lives of young children in Minnesota. You'll find GTCUW at the center of coalitions and collective impact models such as Generation Next, the Start Early Funders Coalition, and MinneMinds, and behind campaigns such as Bright Futures Begin at Birth. They provide infrastructure, coordination, and discussion platforms to increase awareness of the importance of investing in quality early childhood. Greater Twin Cities United Way is a supporter and an ally to early childhood professionals and to the field, and most certainly a champion for the children we serve.

Evelyn House Awardees

2017: Beth Menninga 2001: Eileen Nelson  1985: Tutti Sherlock
2016: Kyra Ostendorf 2000: Helen Carlson 1984: Dan Gartrell
2015: Barbara Murphy 1999: Barbara O'Sullivan 1983: Rhoda Redleaf
2014: No award was given 1998: Dr. Pamm 1982: Margaret Roth
2013: Deborah Hewitt 1997: Jean Peterson 1981: Gary Winget
2012: Angèle Passe 1996: Lynn Galle 1980: Estelle Griffin
2011: Sandy Myers 1995: Ruby Hughes 1979: Erna Fishhaut
2010: Claire Chang 1994: Linda Sisson 1978: Shirley Moore
2009: Dr. Betty Cook 1993: Barb Wilkinson 1977: Constance Richardson
2008: Beth Mork/Judy Lindman 1992: Katie Williams 1976: Sophie Riedel
2007: Sandra Heidemann 1991: Dr. Willard Hartup 1975: Pearl Hall
2005: Christine Bentley 1990: Dr. Marjorie Oelerich 1974: Dr. Winifred Northcott
2004: Kathy Kolb 1989: Diane McLinn 1972: Helen Remley
2004: Lois Engstrom 1988: Frances Oson 1970: Evelyn House
2003: Beverly WilsonMinden 1987: Kate Tanner
2002: Sharon Henry-Blythe 1986: Eldora Recksiedler


Kate Davidson Tanner Awardees

2016: Karen Walburg
2015: Diane Sauer
2014: Joey (Joanne) Schoen
2013: Tom Bedard
2012: Mike Huber
2009: Rica Van
2007: Nancy Penn
2006: Pamella Willard
2005: Marilyn Doran


Distinguished Service Awardees

2017: Greater Twin Cities United Way
2016: Tina Keeler
2015: Southside Family Nurturing Center
2014: Dr. Karen Cadigan, Bloomington-Richfield Public Schools
2013: Kathy Lentz, Greater Twin Cities United Way
2012: The Science Museum of Minnesota
2009: Ann Kaner-Roth
2007: Congregations Concerned for Children
2006: Jean Taylor, Taylor Corp.
2005: Calvin Rice & Jason Daniel, Lakeshore Learning
2004: Bob Bullard, FR Bigelow Foundation & Arthur Rolnick, Federal Reserve
2003: Minh Ta, Children's Defense Fund
2002: Rep. Mary Jo McGuire
2001: Bush & McKnight Foundations
1992: McKnight Foundation
1991: Sen. Linda Berglin
1990: Glen Taylor, Taylor Corp.
1989: Sen. Allen Spear
1988: The Bush Foundation
1987: Sen. Jerome Hughes


MnAEYC Award Winners through the Years

Regional/District Service Awards

Northwest - Jill Kremer

Metro - Katie Sewell
Southern - Fairmont Early Childhood Family Education
Midwest - Kathleen Ofstedal
Northwest - Sarah Berg Olson
Northeast - Diane Langlee

Metro - Heidi Malloy, Instructor - Metro State University, St. Paul
Southern - Sarah Van Niewaal, Program Officer - First Steps/Rochester Area Foundation
Midwest - Cindy Hickok, Caring and Sharing Association
Northwest - Gayle Nelson
Northeast - Becky Gamache, DAEYC

Region 1: PICA Head Start, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Southern MN Valley Association for Early Childhood
Region 2E: Southern MN Initiative Fund, Owatonna
Region 3: Linda Wilson
Region 4: Tamie Finn
Region 5: Pat Jaekel

Region 1: Barb Murphy
Region 2E: Kate Zabertini
Region 3: Joan Thompson
Region 5: Bernie & Julie Walker

Region 1: Lasting Impressions Child Care, St. Paul & St. John's Child Care & Nursery, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Dr. Francene Evans
Region 2E: Judy Lindman
Region 3: Rondi Wussow
Region 4: Leah Pigatti
Region 5: Dorothy Wolden

Region 1: Marilyn Wolkerstorfer, Anoka-Hennepin School Readiness Program
Region 2W: Gail Goltz, CCR&R, Marshall
Region 3: Pam Walz, Bright Beginnings, Cold Springs
Region 4: Cherry Brouwer, Instructor - Bemidji State University
Region 5: Duluth YWCA

Region 2W: Linda Jagielo

Region 5: Nancy Thomas, Teacher - Duluth/DAEYC

Region 2E: Judy Lindman, Instructor - Riverland Technical College, Rochester
Region 3: West Central MN Child Care Center Directors Association
Region 5: Sharon Soderberg, YWCA Preschool and Toddler Center, Duluth

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Joan Gravett, Civic League Day Nursery, Rochester
Region 3: Sarla Agarwal, Country Day Nursery School, Morris
Region 5: Vicki Vavra, Happy Time Day Care, Duluth

Region 1: Linda Reusch, North Como Preschool, St. Paul
Region 2W: Abby Draper, ECFE, Mankato
Region 5: Maureen Litman, Instructor - Duluth Technical College/U of M, Duluth

Region 1: Kris Berry, Wilder Child Development, St. Paul
Region 2W: LaVonne O'Brien, Child Care Center, Mapleton
Region 5: Bobbi Hoyt, Instructor - Duluth Secondary Vocational School

Region 1: Payne Phalen Family Center, St. Paul
Region 2E: Shawna Kishel
Region 2W: Geri Felstul
Region 5: Diane Langlee

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Children's House
Region 3: Marcia Elg
Region 5: C. Diane Schusta

Region 1/Metro: Roz Anderson, Adventure Club, Robbinsdale
Region 2E: Eliane Schmidt, Director - Children Home Society Nursery School & Daycare, Rochester
Region 2W: Alice DeMeglio, Kindergarten Teacher, Minnesota Lake/Mankato
Region 3: Karen Koenen, Koenen's County Preschool, Miltona
Region 4: Mary Ann Hodge, Director - Discovery Place, Penningont Co./Theif River Falls
Region 5: Rita Lefevre, YWCA Child Care Center, Duluth

North: Delores Anderson, Director - Happy Time Day Care Center, Duluth
Central: Young People's Place, Alexandria
South: Rachel Seeback (posthumous), ECFA, Mankato

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