Camp Fire Recognizes North Texas’ Top Child Care Professionals, Names 2014 Excellence in Child Care Winners

Posted on: 04/11/2014   |   Category: Announcements

Fort Worth, Texas (April 11, 2014) - Camp Fire First Texas Council honored more than 350 child care professionals at a dinner and awards ceremony on March 28 at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. For the first time, the awards were opened to early childhood professionals beyond Tarrant County and encompassed all of North Texas. With the help of media sponsor, Dallas Fort Worth Child magazines, a record number of nominations were submitted.


An annual highlight of the early childhood professional's calendar, Celebration of Child Care Champions awards dinner recognizes early childhood professionals who play a vital role in the development of thousands of area children age birth to five while providing an opportunity to focus public attention on the importance of child care providers.


This year's event was centered on the value and importance of using use S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts in the early education classroom. Eric Fox, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lockheed Martin, presenting sponsor of the event, served as Master of Ceremonies. The evening keynote was delivered by Dr. Bob Williams and Dr. Mary Hobbs sharing the results of "Building Base Line Objectives for Children's Knowledge and Skills in Science (BLOCKS)" program, an early childhood focused program model that focuses on use of earth sciences with preschool age children.


The evening culminated by announcing this year's recipients of the 2014 Excellence in Child Care awards*. They are as follows:


Teacher of the Year
Ashley Pardue, Virginia Gallian Child Development Center

Family Child Care Center of the Year
Brandi Nelson, A Mother's Love Child Care


Administrator of the Year

Kathy Wymer, Camp Fire Child Development Center and demonstration school


Young Professional of the Year
Lauren Leger, First United Methodist Preschool – Burleson

Phyllis Jack Moore Professional Development Award **
Rhonda Crabbs, Shade Tree Learning Training and Consulting


*Nominees are submitted through an online process from the community including: parents, teachers, community members and employers. Once submitted, to be considered for the award a nominee must submit a portfolio of work to demonstrate accomplishments in the area in which they were nominated. These portfolios are then reviewed by a committee of professionals who score and ultimate select the winners in each category.

Camp Fire

Camp Fire is one of the nation's leading nonprofit youth development organizations, serving youth, teens and families in communities across the United States. Camp Fire programs are research-based, delivered where youth and families are via out-of-school time, environmental and camp, and teen service and leadership programs. Because youth want to shape the world, Camp Fire's focus is giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their sparks, lift their voice and discover who they are. Camp Fire programs are proven to develop young peoples' skills now so they can reach their full potential. Learn more about the history of how this vital organization has continued to serve children and those that teach them throughout the last century by visiting




**The Phyllis Jack Moore Award honors individuals who have impacted professional development in the Tarrant County community and who exemplify Phyllis' passion, dedication and hard work.
The award is named for Phyllis Jack Moore. Her forty year career spans a wide variety of settings from helping to develop the first Work/Family Program at Camp Fire, serving as the initial state staff development coordinator to North Carolina's first public school kindergartens, owning a retail educational materials and teaching center, to establishing an Austin outreach to parents of newborns program through the University of North Texas.

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