Happy Women’s History Month! 🥳️

The theme for AECA this year is Linking Hearts and Minds: Early Childhood Connections

This month we will be celebrating stories from our past presidents about women who who helped shape their experience as early childhood professionals. They were able to help grow our early childhood field here in Arkansas and I hope that continues to happen today with the women in YOUR life.

Today’s share comes from Deniece Honeycutt, Director at Early Care and Education Projects.

A Tribute to Diamonds: Past, Present, and Future

“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead, who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way” – Michelle Obama.

As I reflect on this Michelle Obama quote and look at the list of past presidents of AECA, I am amazed at how it could have been written, especially for this group of incredible women (and men). Among the list, I saw those women who came before us and showed us the way forward – whose footsteps we emulated while making our path. Then I saw those faces we walked with and who helped and cheered us on during fun and challenging times. I feel lucky to see those bright, shiny faces whom we have helped and who are providing the light for us as AECA moves forward – each member of AECA is blessed to be part of this strong, influential, and impactful group of ladies (and gentlemen). We are fortunate this organization is changing, growing, and moving in the right direction with this next generation – by linking hearts and minds with early childhood connections.

AECA Past Presidents: Diamonds 
Shaneil PJ Yarbrough Barbara Gilkey  Joanna Grymes  Sue Martin Lloyd Schuh  
Gregg Cooper Traci Johnston  Jacqualine Dedman  Beverly Boals Gilbert  Mildred Vance  
Debbie Mays  Vicky Shelby  Diana Cunningham  C. Morell Jones  James T. Wright  
Dawn Jeffrey  Janet Perkins  Diane Lawler  Linda Reasoner  Jo Ann Braddy Williams  
Elizabeth Scudder  Trude Puckett  Wanda Mullino  Michele French Virginia Manor 
Janice Carter Diana Courson Sharen Crockett Marietta Jerome Floy Lafferty 
Jamie Morrison Ward  Vicki Stearns  Carolyn Bowers  JoAnn Nalley  Gay Gattis  
Elaine Davis Vicky Shelby  Carol Snelson  Judy Franks Doebler  Betty Pagan 
Deniece Honeycutt  Clara Caroll  Kathy Stegall  Eva Lee Graves  Genevieve Kelly  
Robin Jones Nonnie Vance Nancy Bacot Dot Brown Virginia Wilmoth 
Tina Ross Sue Ann Walker Dot Beck Ruth Steinsiek Sue Adams 

Who are the women in your circles who have inspired you to become a better early childhood professional? Email president@arkansasearlychildhood.org with your stories.

Be sure to keep coming back to our socials to find more stories throughout this month and I look forward to reading yours.

Looking forward to connecting!

Natasha Kile
AECA President

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