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PenAEYC's VOICE for Children Award Archive 

Congratulations to all of PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Award Winners and Nominees

PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Award Winners and Nominees

2016 Winner
:  Sharon Easterling, Executive Director of Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children; read 
Sharon's biography

2015 Winner:  Donna Shriver, founder and president SmartKids Child Care and Learning Centers located in Washington County; read Donna's bio

2014 Winner:  Khadijah Sabir, program director of Lovie Lee's Stars of Tomorrow in Philadelphia; read Khadijah's bio

2014 finalists:
Sister Barbara Boss of Elizabeth Seton Center, Inc. in Pittsburgh
Jan Gebicki, Director of Education at the United Way of Westmoreland Conunty
Stacy Lewis, Executive Director of Child Care at Luthercare

2013 Winner
:  William GrantFounder and CEO, Hildebrandt Learning Centers; read Bill's bio

2013 Finalists:
Beth Hoden, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Westmoreland Community College
Mary Mahoney-Ferster, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension Union County

2012 Winner:  Michelle Fina, Associate Child Care Director, Lower Bucks Family YMCA 
Read Michelle's bio

2012 Finalists:
Rebecca Groton, Director of Center for Early Childhood Education at Northampton Community College
Wendy Whitesell, Director of Bennett Center at Penn State University Park

2011 Winner
:  Martha Isler, Public Policy Director, Pittsburgh Area Association for the Education of Young Children
Read Marti's bio

PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award Honorees
 2016 Honoree
Marge Petruska
Senior Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program for The Heinz Endowments 

Margaret M. Petruska recently retired as senior Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program for The Heinz Endowments based in Pittsburgh. The CY&F program seeks to improve the lives of parents, children and youth by building a statewide early learning system that prepares children for kindergarten and future school success; increasing learning opportunities in the non-school hours to nurture the development of adolescents both as individuals and as members of larger communities, and supporting families and caregivers to improve the emotional, economic and social well-being of children. The program has provided leadership in efforts to put Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania at the national forefront in helping its children become strong, capable learners, its families build on their strengths as nurturers and its youth evolve into successful, productive citizens. 

Read Marge's biography here

 2015 Honoree
Mary Graham, executive director of Children's Village in Philadelphia

Mary started her professional career at Children's Village as an assistant human services coordinator in 1976 and, since 1988, has served as executive director. A passionate early learning advocate, Mary works to professionalize the early childhood field and ensure all children have access to high-quality early learning education. Mary serves on several boards and advisory committees, including PACCA and the Deleware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC); the School District of Philadelphia's Pre-K Counts Advisory Committee; the Nonprofit Facilities Fund; and is involved with the National Woman's Law Center Quality Rating Improvement System for High Quality Early Education Programs. 

Click here for Mary's full biography
 2014 Honoree
Phyllis Mundy, 120th Pennsylvania District Representative

The Honorable Phyllis Mundy is honored for her dedication to serving families and children. Representative Mundy served 12 terms as state representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. She served as Democratic chair of the House Finance Committee and co-chair of the House and Senate Early Childhood Education Caucus. 

Prior to her 1990 election to the House, she was a business manager of a multimillion dollar manufacturing facility. Her volunteer service to the community has included wok with the League of Women Voters, the Junior League, the Domestic Violence Services Center and Volunteers for Literacy. A longtime member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Ms. Mundy serves her parish as a lector.
 2013 Honoree
Ronnie Bloom, former director of the Children Youth and Families Investment Strategies at the William Penn Foundation 

Ronnie conducted grantmaking in the area of early childhood education and oversaw the public education and youth development work at the foundation. She was responsible for several major early childhood initiatives in the southwest PA region and statewide, including the Pre-K Counts partnership with other funders that led to substantial new investment in quality pre-kindergargen programs in Pennsylvania. 

Ronnie's promotion of the objective to build early learning systems led to participation in national collaborative efforts, such as the BUILD Initiative. In addition to several board affiliations and appointed positions, Ronnie has both a B.A. and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Vision Award Honorees

 2016 Honoree

Robert P. Casey

United States Senator from Pennsylvania

Senator Robert P. Casey is Pennsylvania’s senior senator and a nationally recognized advocate for children.

Read Senator Casey's biography here

 In 2015, we honored two gentleman with PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Vision Award. These special awards acknowledged the impressive work these gentleman have done on behalf of children in the Pre-K for PA Campaign.

2015 Honoree
Ron DiNicola
Erie-based Attorney
Read Ron's biography 

2015 Honoree
Nick Scott Jr.
Erie Business Leader

Read Nick's biography