June 24, 2013

Jadranka Gubic named Early Childhood Educator of the Year

Posted in Awards, Employees, Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP) tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:35 pm by Lund

“The biggest reward is seeing a baby’s face light up,” said Jadranka Gubic of Lund’s Early Childhood Education Program at the Building Bright Futures of Chittenden County award ceremony where she was celebrated as Center Based Early Childhood Educator of the Year.  To an audience of colleagues, friends, and of course some of her young charges, Jadranka smiled and was visibly moved as Judy Harvey, Childcare Coordinator at Lund, spoke to her skill, patience and true dedication as a care giver to young children.

Jadranka with one of her young friends at LECP

“Sometimes when I walk in the infant room and see her sitting on the floor, quite literally covered with children – some crying, some laughing, some eating – my hair stands on end. In the middle of it all, no matter what, Jadranka will say “Isn’t she wonderful?” or “Look how he’s developing”. And I think to myself, what greater security can a caregiver provide a parent who leaves their child during the day, and what greater gift can someone give a child as they develop attachments and a sense of worthiness?” Said Judy.

Both Judy and Jadranka were holding back tears as she continued, “Every baby and parent she works with knows that she truly loves and respects everyone around her. Every baby and every parent also feels they are her “favorite”, her most beloved charge.  I know it time to recognize this outstanding woman for her invaluable contributions to colleagues, children and families in Chittenden County. A woman known as the ‘baby-whisperer’ though I argue that she’s really a ‘people-whisperer’. We’re truly blessed to be in the presence of her unassuming greatness.”

Also honored at the ceremony was Penny Blanchette of Hinesburg as Family Care Provider of the Year and Laurie Redel of the Essex School District as EEE Provider of the Year.    Blanchette was commended for her commitment to her own constant education in order to improve her practices and provide the best possible experience for the children in her care.  Redel was celebrated as having worked extremely hard to serve the youngest children with the highest needs in the Essex public school system and making the EEE program there, according to written testimony by Tom Bochanski of Hiawatha Elementary, “one of the best in the state.”  A special lifelong achievement award was given to Nancy Savoy, who, though now retired, worked with Headstart for 43 years serving countless numbers of children and families in the Champlain Valley.

Jadranka and Lund colleagues at the Awards Presentation

Julianne Nickerson of Building Bright Futures was keen to also promote the council’s latest project to write a new strategic plan based, in part, on the granting of Project Launch funds by the SAMHSA to Vermont.  The goal of Project Launch is for all children to reach social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive milestones.  Healthy growth in each of these areas builds the foundation for children to thrive in school and beyond. (Project Launch Briefing Sheet,  projectlaunch.promoteprevent.org.  Retrieved June 21st 2013 from projectlaunch.promoteprevent.org)

The awards ceremony was a celebration of professionals who make a difference in the lives of children every single day.  It was obvious that the statement made by Judy Harvey in her nomination of Gubic, could be applied to all in the room.  “By example, she has taught us all the difference between ‘taking care of a child’ and ‘caring for a child’.”

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