2009 Award Winners
- Views: 472 Shea Cunningham-Darabie
Shea’s Bowling Green home is a delightful setting for what she calls her passion—teaching young children. She was raised in Grove City, Ohio, and worked for five years in the early childhood field. For her, family childcare provides the connection to the family that is often harder to maintain in a large center. Shea loves being able to have the freedom to teach the way children learn best and to welcome them into her family, which includes a 15 year old son and a seven year old daughter.
- Views: 391 Kjelli Holmes
Kjelli is a California girl, coming to live in Toledo in 2005 and caring for children in her home for the last four years. Kjelli assures each child that the sky is the limit, and works on self-esteem along side the formal and informal learning opportunities. Kjelli is a preschool teacher, social worker and special friend to her families and delights in the flexibility and value her unique home environment provides. She is also Mom to two sons, 17 and 8, and a 14 year old daughter.
- Views: 324 Corrine Bressler
Corrine is a native of Maine, but has lived in northwest Ohio for over 20 years, 15 of those working with young children. As a family provider, Corrine likes the atmosphere and the individualized environment when caring for children. She strives to know the style of each child and responds in ways that honors the child’s pace. Her “short” commute has allowed her to be at home with her own children, an 18 year old daughter and a nine year old son.
- Views: 359 Crystal Neal
Crystal Neal was born in Springfield, Ohio, but came to Toledo as a very young child. She is the mother of six grown children and cares for three younger children from her own family. Eleven years ago, she participated in a small business class through LMHA that launched her childcare business. She likes being “home” for all her children—and appreciates that each one knows she will be there for them.
- Views: 333 Julie Phillips
Julie was born in Benton Ridge, Ohio, but has lived in Findlay for 19 years. She became a childcare provider when she was a young mother herself and found that her own childcare needs weren’t met. She began the process to become certified and now provides care for both first and second shift parents. She quickly realized how much she loved the children in her care and the ability to be home with her own kids, a 15 year old son, and two daughters, ages 12 and 10. Julie especially likes meeting grown children in Findlay whom she cared
for years ago. “They still get a big smile on their face when they see me,” she said.
- Views: 357 The Best Thing
During the interviewing process, Kathy Smith, WGTE ‘s Director of Outreach, interviewed all the winners in their homes. She asked each of them the following question: “What’s the best thing a child has ever said to you?” Surprisingly, all five of our winners gave the same answer…I Love You!