Success in Stone Mountain, Georgia! 2019 Early Educators Leadership Conference (EELC)

October 25, 2019

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Thank you for making the 2019 EELC a huge success!

This year’s conference was held October 8-11 in scenic Stone Mountain, Georgia and focused on Accelerating Your Leadership. Based on the buzz that filled the conference halls, attendees definitely returned home accelerated, charged up, and armed with tools, knowledge and connections to forge ahead and take the next steps in their careers.

The conference provided relevant, thought-provoking topics to attendees for discussion, reflection and action. Over 200 attendees had an abundance of opportunities to model and practice wellness exercises for both body and mind while preparing for the crucial work to come.

Conference attendees also learned from and interacted with nationally and internationally renowned leaders and advocates in the early childhood field. In a wide range of exciting sessions, these industry stars showed their commitment to young learners and keen desire to make a difference in children’s lives. For example, Judy Jablon, Executive Director of Leading Children, struck a chord in the crowd as she spoke about nurturing relationships —listen to an excerpt of her message.

Dr. Valora Washington, CEO of the Council also discussed a powerful lesson about where leadership happens in her presentation, “Ready or Not 12 Years Later.” Her conversation about leadership and change left the attendees encouraged and ready to take this meaningful message back to their communities.

As many of you know, each year at the conference we recognize and honor those who embrace the Council’s mission and constantly lift their communities up through their stellar work. This year’s 2019 CDA Advocate Awardee is Milton J. Little, Jr. president and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Mr. Little. became the first African American president of United Way of Greater Atlanta, the second largest in the national system, in July 2007. Altogether, he has helped raise more than half a billion dollars for local community needs and priorities. Before joining United Way, he served as chief operating officer and interim president and CEO of the National Urban League. He graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in sociology and earned an M.A. in urban sociology and social policy from Columbia University.

He is a member of many boards and advisory committees. Notable among them are the Center for Assessment and Policy Development, chair of the Southern Education Foundation, and as vice chair of the board of directors for Ways to Work. He is a member of the Atlanta Mayoral Board of Service, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, TechBridge Advisory Board, Siemer Institute for Family Stability Advisory Council, Atlanta Choice Neighborhoods Governing Body, Junior League of Atlanta Community Advisory Board, University of Georgia Advisory Board for the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Atlanta Speech School Board of Advisors, Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees, Central Atlanta Progress, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia’s Older Adults Cabinet, the Atlanta Early Education Leadership Council, Hope Atlanta Advisory Council, Get Georgia Ready Reading Cabinet, and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta. In January 2018, he was selected to serve on Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Transition Team.

Little is a native New Yorker and has two sons: Milton and Taylor, and three grandchildren: Joi, Miles and Langston. The Council congratulates and thanks Mr. Little’s for his continued commitment to his community and his tireless outreach to young people.

The EELC also welcomed Georgia’s Pre-K Teacher of the Year, Johnathon Hines. In a very inspirational interview, he shared his journey to winning this award as well as his love for his students. Congratulations and job well done!

In her keynote message, Dr. Washington provided insight and asked everyone to think about change and our responsibility as early childhood leaders.

Each of you are doing vital work and EELC offers you the opportunity to think about the status of your chosen profession in a new way and how you can effect change in our field.

If you couldn’t attend this year’s conference, stay tuned for news about next year’s event! Plans are already underway for the 2020 EELC October 13-16, 2020 in Leesburg, Virginia (the Washington DC area), on Oct. 13-16, 2020 — so save the date. Registration is starting now with early bird pricing for a limited time. We encourage early registration because we have sold out the past, leaving many disappointed that they could not attend.

Thank you to all our attendees CDAs, PD SpecialistsTM, presenters, thought leaders, Council experts, hotel staff — and a special thanks to our sponsors. Each of you played a remarkable part in making the conference a success! Finally take a moment to listen to Keisha McClendon. Ms. McClendon attended the 2019 EELC and shared her journey to becoming a CDA and her pathway to her next steps in becoming an early education leader.

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