Illinois Subdivision of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children


Jeanette A. McCollum Award for Service to the Field
2001 Awardee

Sharon Andersen

In 2001, the Illinois DEC sought nominations for this prestigious award. After reviewing the nominations received, IDEC's Executive Board is pleased to announce that Sharon Andersen, Early Childhood Inclusive Teacher, is its first recipient. Ms. Andersen has been in the field of early childhood for 18 years. She currently is a teacher at Prairie Children's Preschool in Naperville, IL, an inclusive early childhood center in the Indian Prairie School Distrcit #204. Kim Philo, a speech and language pathologist, who is also a member of the transdisciplinary classroom team on which Sharon serves, nominated Sharon. Ms. Philo submitted an extensive portfolio of Sharon's stellar accomplishments, outlining her impact on young children, their families, and Sharon's colleagues.

Testimony from families, colleagues, and administrators strongly supported Sharon's leadership, dedication, and resourcefulness at the classroom, school, regional, and state levels. As noted by family members in their letters of support, "Sharon has all the skills and tools needed to help each child unlock their potential." Another stated, "I have been able to witness the dedication, commitment, and best of all the God given gift that Sharon possesses in educating our littlest blessings." And finally, "All I could do was cry (after seeing her son participate in everyday routines at school which he had not originally been able to do) knowing that at school he had such a cheerleader and someone that cared for him as much as his family. Sharon never once took all the credit, and instead made me feel that if we weren't working so hard with him at home he would not have made such improvements. What I know is without Sharon working so closely with us that Trevor would not be the awesome, confident, and hard-working boy he is today."

Sharon is on the Curriculum Committee at her school, coordinates the Extended School Year Program for Prairie Children Preschool, has been a trainer of trainers on the new Learning Standards issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, has in the past and is currently presenting at the Sharing A Vision conference, and is working on her master's degree in administration at Northern Illinois University. Please join IDEC in congratulating Sharon Andersen on her award winning service to the field!

Return to the McCollum Award page.

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