We are excited to welcome our new staff member, Michelle Dowdy! She is our new Step Up to Wage$ Counselor. You can find out more about our Step Up to Wage$ Program here. Here is more info about Michelle, you can contact her at michelle@arkansasearlychildhood.org.

Michelle began her career in early childhood when she was nineteen. She then married her high school sweetheart and became a stay-at-home mom for five years. After deciding to go back to work, Michelle started a career in banking for the next seven years and then went back to early childhood with Western Arkansas Child Development in 2009 as a secretary. Over the next ten years, Michelle expanded her career from secretary to become the Director and ending as the Program Specialist overseeing all five WACD centers. During that time she became involved with the CALL, her local community, and earned her Arkansas Children’s Program Administrator Certificate with much more administrative training to better serve the programs she served. In 2021 Michelle made a switch from early childhood to working in the Crawford County courts as a Deputy Court Clerk.

Michelle is married to her husband, Jason, of 26 years, has 5 children and one grandchild. She enjoys reading, traveling, attending her kids various activities and spending time with her new granddaughter.

As someone who has been in the early education field for over 10 years and have seen the need for higher pay for all educators, I look forward to working with AECA to provide the opportunity for educators to earn this monetary supplement. I believe by offering this supplement it will encourage educators to continue in their field and provide the best care possible to all children.

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