Karen Cash has served in the district as interim director for the Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) program during the 2019-2020 school year. When asked to think about a moment she really enjoyed during the past year, Ms. Cash says one of her favorite times was watching children during the Build-a-Bear Workshop in December as part of the Winter Wonderland motor activities in the Hillside gymnasium. She explains, “A few years ago, the program received a generous donation of small stuffed bears and members of the Early Childhood staff came up with this idea to distribute some of them. Each child in a School Readiness and ECFE (parent/child) class was able to choose two clothing items to add to their bear and then take them home. The children were absolutely delighted with this and it was so fun to watch their faces and hear their comments about the precious bears they had created.”
Ms. Cash says her position as interim director has firmly reminded her of the importance of early childhood education. She says she was able to observe the connections and relationships between kids and their parents and families within the early childhood programs at Hillside, Rice Elementary and during home visiting and outreach for children from birth through kindergarten entrance. “It is amazing to see the impact that the ECFE staff has on families each and every day,” she says.
Ms. Cash’s tenure as director is coming to a close as new ECFE director, Jill Tye, begins work in the position. This summer, Ms. Cash looks forward to enjoying activities like reading, pontoon rides, kayaking and spending time with family before she returns to her previous position and duties within the district as an elementary level speech-language clinician in the fall.
Thank you for your service, Ms. Cash! We truly appreciate all you have done for the district’s ECFE program.