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Smart Start Rowan honors providers at child care conference

“Be Curious About Your Classroom” was the theme of Smart Start Rowan’s Annual Child Care Conference & Recognition Ceremony held at First Baptist Church of Salisbury on April 12. The conference drew more than 150 people who work with young children from Rowan, Davie and Stanly counties.
Certificates of recognition were presented to 11 people who had earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education during the past year. They were Kathryn Barnes, Jessica Campbell, Joanne Campbell, Christina Crump, Ashlee Hawkins, April Kennedy, Jenny Martin, Monica Tyson, Robin Walker, Keisha Watson and Johnette Wiles.
Certificates were also presented to five people who had earned a bachelor’s degree during the past year: Jennifer Kendall, Robin Kluttz-Ellison, Stephanie Peeler, Natasha Sherald and Janet Woodruff.
Pat Smyre and Shara Streater-Dearmon each earned a master’s degree during the past year.
The N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education issues star-rated licenses to childcare facilities throughout the state that meet set standards and criteria in childcare. Childcare centers and family childcare homes receive ratings ranging from one star to five stars. Facilities can increase their star ratings by raising the overall quality of their programs.
A total of eight centers and family care homes were recognized Saturday for their increases in quality based on these standards. Patty’s Home Daycare was recognized for receiving three stars. Three facilities received a four-star rating: the N.C. Pre-K programs at Granite Quarry and Woodleaf elementary schools and LAS Learning Playhouse. And four facilities received the highest licensing level of a five-star rating: the N.C. Pre-K programs at China Grove, Millbridge and Shive elementary schools and Learning Step by Step.
The highlight of the event was the recognition of three childcare professionals whose contributions in early childhood education distinguished them in the estimation of the parents and colleagues who nominated them for the awards.
The Director of the Year award, sponsored by First Bank, was presented to Christine Gray, director at WOT Fleming Head Start.
The Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Walser Technology Group and Martha Baker, was presented to Tammy Currie, the N.C. Pre-K teacher at Landis Elementary.
The Family Child Care Professional of the Year award, sponsored by Patterson Farms and Hoffner Organic Farms, was presented to Roshelle Sifford of Brighter Beginnings.

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