Northwest Arkansas Early Childhood Association (NWAECA)
Get 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. Register on the PDR by searching for NWAECA or the course number listed below, then you will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the training. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register if the PDR is closed.
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.
“During my first year as an Early Childhood Educator, I joined NWAECA. As I went to the meetings, I felt a sense of community and connection to others in my field. The more I attended the meetings I had a better understanding of why we met and how effective it is to share ideas and learn from one another. After a few years, I had the opportunity to join the NWAECA board. This opportunity is my chance to connect and support new members in our journey as Early Childhood Professionals.”
Currently, Amy is passionate about working with fellow administrators, early educators, and caregivers on their path to quality. She “fills her cup” by spending time with family, friends, her dogs, or drinking coffee.
“I began my first early childhood role as an infant teacher when I was just nineteen years old. They say that when you find a job you love, that you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, twenty years later, I remain devoted to serving, supporting, and growing within the industry I love. I will always be determined to do my part in order to be the voice for my fellow early childhood educators.”
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.
“I’ve been on the NWAECA Board in some capacity for more than 10 years. I choose to serve on the Board because we have the opportunity to meet and support so many early childhood professionals from all types of programs that are doing amazing things for young children. I learn so much from our members and my Board colleagues that I couldn’t imagine a better use of my time!”
VP of Communications
I’m a Northwest Arkansas Native. I’ve worked in the early childhood education field for over 20 years. I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and from Harding University with a Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education. I have worked at Sunshine School & Development Center for a total of 14 years and am currently the Children’s Services Director. I serve as the chairperson on the DDPA (Developmental Disabilities Provide Association) EIDT (Early Intervention Day Treatment) work committee to help facilitate change and improve services for EIDT centers in Arkansas. I have 3 children 20, 17, and 7 that keep me quite busy. In my spare time I enjoy mountain biking, swimming, lifting weights and competing in endurance events such as triathlons.
“I chose to serve on the NWAECA board because of my role as a director of an early childhood program and because I have a passion for early childhood education and educators. I want to stay in the loop about all things early education and have the opportunity to drive change in how early childhood education and our educators are viewed. I also would like to contribute to the topic of early intervention and access to resources to help families of children who may have a developmental delay or disability.”
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.
“I serve on the NWAECA board to make a difference in the field of early childhood. I believe it takes all of our voices to make positive change. I have been involved over the years with various early childhood organizations and collectively we can be seen and heard to create conversations, vision and positive change for children and families.
My position on the NWAECA board offers me a place to engage with other educators to have those conversations, find ways to share with our communities, state and nation the importance of the work we do with children , and encourage and support educators as they provide quality care for children & families. Thank you for allowing me this space to share, collaborate and make a difference for educators, children and families.”
Member-at-Large Washington County
I am the Instructional Coach at Sam’s Club Kid’s Club in Bentonville. My education includes a Bachelor of Science in Education with coursework in Human Development and Family Science-Child Development and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. I have over 13 years of experience in the early childhood field, working in a broad array of environments such as Montessori, early intervention day treatment/special needs, clinical/behavioral, private, and in-home. I am a dog mom of a 10-year-old King Charles/Docker named Snickers, and I love to travel.
“I chose to serve on the NWAECA board because it provides me with the opportunity to share and learn with like minded individuals on a broader scale, while also playing a role in planning and implementation of events that benefit educators and parents within our community!”
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!
“My journey with NWAECA began by me attending a meeting in 2015 and was nominated to run for Secretary. Although it wasn’t something that I personal sought out, it has forever changed my perspective about the importance of taking an active approach in serving in an early childhood professional organization. This is where I made forever connections with a multitude of passionate providers seeking ways to make a difference for children. My involvement on the local level soon expanded as I served on the AECA Board as Secretary. I continued to seek ways to stay connected with my affiliate and with each year my enthusiasm and commitment grew. I had the honor and privilege of transitioning into the role of the NWAECA President in August of 2018 and now serve on the Advisory Board.
As I was wrapping up my term it would have been easy to assume that others will take up the torch and fade into the background. I have chosen to stay connected because I want to support future leaders of our affiliate, offer them encouragement, and provide the boost of energy they need to ensure that our affiliate remains active and strong. My hope is that I can encourage others to take a leap into a leadership role, that extends beyond their daily responsibilities, and discover the joy they can bring that will have a lasting impact on our early childhood community in Northwest Arkansas!”
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.