SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Several prominent Westchester County educators will be celebrated by the Child Care Council of Westchester in Scarsdale for their achievements in helping students in the lower Hudson Valley.
Former Mount Vernon Superintendent of Schools Judith Johnson, Monroe College and the Westchester Library System are among the honorees that will be recognized at the Child Care Council of Westchester annual awards breakfast this summer at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown.
Since 2003, the Child Care Council has presented the Champions for Children Awards to individuals and organizations that “demonstrate an unwavering commitment to bright future’s for children by creating or funding life-changing programs and initiatives.”
Johnson, who is serving her second year of a five-year term as a member of the State Education Department’s Board of Regents, was happy in retirement before coming out in 2012 to help turn around a struggling Mount Vernon School District.
The former interim superintendent will be honored by the Child Care Council for her lifelong commitment in education.
Before helping Mount Vernon transition to permanent Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton, she served at the helm of the Peekskill School District for a decade, with her schools earning “most improved” accolades from the State Education Department.
In 2008, Johnson was celebrated by the state Council of School Superintendents as Superintendent of the Year, and she spent time as an education official under the Clinton Administration.
Under Johnson’s guidance, graduation rates rose in every district she took over as superintendent.
“It is my honor to have the opportunity to thank the Child Care Council for all the work that is done to care for our youngest citizens’ future,” she stated. “We all know that positive early childhood experiences are essential to school and life success.”
In a statement, Anne Lillis, the dean of the School of Education at Monroe College - which offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in Early Childhood Education - noted that it was important that all of the Champions for Children honorees work together to continue helping the youth of the county.
“We are thrilled to be selected as one of the Champions for Children, and appreciate the recognition of the work we are doing every day to help make a positive impact on the lives of local children and their families,” she said. “The success of our program is not possible without the strong partnership and support of the Child Care Council of Westchester and other agencies that recognize and value high-quality programs for children.”
According to the Child Care Council, the Westchester Library System was recognized “for its role in promoting early literacy and the development of early language skills, helping children be better prepared for the school learning environment and fostering a love of reading for children and families.”
“The Westchester Library System is thrilled to be recognized,” Executive Director Terry Kirchner said. “Westchester public libraries are gateways for learning and inspiration. Nothing is more important than giving children a positive first library experience and igniting the joy of reading.”
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