Northwest Arkansas Early Childhood Association (NWAECA)
Stay in touch with fellow early childhood educators across Northwest Arkansas over in our Facebook group!
All attendees will earn 1 hour of professional development credit for attending. All meetings will be held virtually on Zoom from 6:30-7:30pm. Search the PDR for NWAECA or the course number listed below to register, then you will receive a Zoom link via email. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register if the PDR is closed. If you would like a pdf flyer of the meeting dates to share with your staff, you can download one here.
September 14th 38203 AECA & What’s in it for YOU! PJ Yarbrough Agenda
October 12th 38204 Meet the Division Agenda
November 9th 38205 Exploring the Arkansas CDELS with Infants and Toddlers Jenny Dura Agenda
December 14th 38206 The Family Child Care Network & Exploring the CDELS with Mixed Age Groups Elizabeth Scudder Agenda
February 8th 38207 Exploring the Arkansas CDELS with Preschoolers Rebecca Evans Agenda
March 8th 38209 Arkansas Children’s Week Marcy White Agenda
April 12th 38208 Wellness, Self-Care, and You Michelle Pounds Agenda
May 10th 38210 Sharing Stories and Celebrating Your Wins! Agenda
Below you will find minutes from our past meetings.
Meet the Board
Rebecca Dunahoo is a Project Program Specialist for A-State Childhood Services. She facilitates online and face to face trainings for the classroom teacher. Before working for Childhood Services she was a Director and Pre-School teacher for a private school.
When Rebecca is not working she is spending time with her family and friends and enjoys watching movies.
Emmarose Gupton is a first-time early Head Start teacher. She loves to serve in her church, be surrounded by people, and give back to others. Emmarose loves her class and playing with kids. On the weekends, Emmarose is normally babysitting or hanging with other kids. She also loves to cook!
My name is Natasha Crosby Kile. My husband Adam and I have two daughters: Lizzy (21) and Crosby (15 months). We also have 2 dogs, Brody and Garin who make our house a home. I work full-time as the Early Childhood Education Coordinator at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, and part-time as an Early Childhood Trainer with Early Childhood Education Projects at the University of Arkansas. I have served on the NWAECA board for the past 12 years as President, Vice President, Secretary and now Treasurer. I also served on the AECA board as Conference Chair for 5 years.
VP of Communications
Hello! My name is Emma Tempest and I’m from England. I moved to Northwest Arkansas with my husband and cat family in 2016. I have been working in early childhood for the past 15 years and currently work as a coach for educators looking to create wonder, joy and play in their settings. My favourite thing about the early years is how every single day is different – especially if you are a play-based setting that knows how to have fun! I love everything and anything to do with play and write about it on my blog, The Play Coach. My favourite quote is from Maya Angelou; “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud”. I think it perfectly encapsulates what it’s like to be around children, they always manage to see the rainbows even on their most cloudy days. Play is children’s work and I think it should be adult’s work too – if we are looking after our own well-being by using the power of play, the children will also feel the impact! Talk to me about play whenever you see me!
Member-at-Large Benton County
Alicia Mooney is the CEO of Trucks and Tiaras Learning Center. Alicia has been in early education programs for over 15 years. Alicia has developed a successful childcare center that teaches children in the form of play. Alicia is a wife and a mom to 3 beautiful children.
Member-at-Large Benton County
I have worked as a classroom educator of children birth through 3rd grade in many settings (faith-based, private, public school, and for-profit). I have been a director of programs, EC Coordinator at NWACC, EC Specialist working with Head Start & Early Head Start providing training/technical assistance to educators and leadership teams. I currently provide trainings to EC professionals throughout the state. I love making a difference in the lives of children & families and EC professionals.
Member-at-Large Washington County
I am a Center Director for EOA Children’s Services of Washington County. I have held this position for the last eight years. Prior to stepping into this role I was a Head Start Pre-K teacher for EOA. I have worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for 20+ years. I am also a trainer for ECEP. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and I am currently working on my Masters in Public Administration through ASU. In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband, three children and two grandchildren. We enjoy horseback riding, hiking, swimming and kayaking. I am excited to be a part of NWAECA and all that it offers.
Ex-Officio (Past President)
Jennifer is a Training Advisor for the University of Arkansas Early Care and Education Projects, where she oversees professional development courses and trainers throughout the state of Arkansas. Jennifer decided to serve on the NWAECA board because she is passionate about the impact NWAECA had on her as a professional and as an educator and she hopes to continue to instill that support to early educators in NWA.
Jennifer is a mom of three children, ages 21, 19, and 16. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 25 years and in her spare time, loves to spend time with her family including her black lab and brindle chihuahua, binge-watch Netflix and be outdoors in nature, especially if there is an ocean or lake nearby!
Terri Teters has been dedicated to the early childhood profession and proactive in advocating for children, adolescents and families for 33 years. She worked in a therapeutic child development and crisis intervention center for over 25 years providing a therapeutic environment to assist children in overcoming the devastating effects of abuse and neglect. Terri has been a Project Specialist with A-State Childhood Services for 5 years providing technical assistance, coaching and mentoring to other early childhood professionals. Terri is a certified PAS and BAS assessor and finds great joy in being a part of a program’s Better Beginnings journey. Terri has been an active member of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association. She recently completed a two-year term as the AECA Secretary. Locally, she served as the NWAECA Secretary for two years and three years as the NWAECA President. Terri is currently serving as the NWAECA Ex-Officio President. Terri lives in Springdale with her husband of 36 years. She is the proud mother of 4 children and 6 grandchildren who are the light of her life, and she is looking forward to future expansion!
Elizabeth has served in a number of capacities in the early childhood field from Infant Teacher to Preschool Master Teacher. Her roles in administration span from Site Director to Executive Director of a multi-site non-profit organization serving children Birth-5. Elizabeth is currently a Training Advisor for the Early Care and Education Projects overseeing various projects that are disseminated across the state of Arkansas to those in the field of early childhood education Birth-8. Elizabeth is involved in many professional organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), the Arkansas Early Childhood Association (AECA) and the Northwest Arkansas Early Childhood Association (NWAECA).
I am an in-home educator that specializes in family engagement and the strong social and emotional development of preschoolers in Northwest Arkansas. I have over 30 years experience and the past 10 have been in an Arkansas Better Chance funded program in my home. I believe the easiest way to change our world is through our children. They are our future. I am married to Randy and we have two adult children, two children by marriage and 4 grandchildren. Networking with other providers as a trainer and sharing my passion for “doing what is right “ with children is important to me. In my spare time, I love to read, travel and watch Hallmark.
I am a Pre- K Teacher at Helen Walton Children Enrichment Center. I have been there for 14 1/2 years. I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education for 24 years now. I was on the NWAECA board as the Member at Large for Benton County for 4 years. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I look forward as being advisor to the NWAECA board. I look forward working with everyone in the field of early childhood education.