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


Jeanette A. McCollum Award for Service to the Field
2009 Awardee

Kay Henderson

Early in her career, Kay was one of the founders of the Illinois Support and Technical Assistance Regional Network (STAR NET) system for early childhood special education professionals.  She was the lead Preschool Resource Specialist for Region I and III in Macomb, and she was also involved in the development of the “Apple” magazine video conferencing.  After departing STAR NET, Kay became a consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and currently is the Senior Consultant of ISBE’s Early Childhood Division.  Throughout her tenure at ISBE, she has been a generous supporter of the Sharing a Vision statewide conference and the Illinois Resource Center, thus enabling hundreds of early childhood professionals to benefit from high quality professional development activities including presentations, workshops, and technical assistance.

Kay also has made an impact on the Illinois early childhood community through her continuous work in state-funded Pre-K and Birth-to-Three programs.  Currently, she works closely with the Governor’s office through her participation on the Early Learning Council where she advocates strongly about the importance of early learning.  She was instrumental in coordinating the development of Illinois’ Early Learning Standards and was committed to the development of the kindergarten standards.  Donna Nylander, principal of Valley View District 365U Early Childhood Center, wrote the following in her nomination letter:  “Through her work at ISBE, Kay continues to be a tireless voice for young children….Illinois is a respected state and is continually ranked as one of the top three states for quality preschool programming in the country due to her vision and contribution for our youngest learners.” 

IDEC congratulates Kay Henderson for her work and advocacy on behalf of all young children and their families!

Return to the McCollum Award page.

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