Northwest Arkansas Early Childhood Association (NWAECA)
MEET THE BOARD
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!
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.
My name is Natasha Crosby Kile. My husband Adam and I have an 18-year-old daughter, Lizzy, and 3 dogs, Scamp, Brody and Garin. I work full time for Bentonville Schools and part-time as an Adjunct Instructor and Early Childhood Trainer for Northwest Arkansas Community College and as a CDA Instructor and trainer for Arkansas State University. I have served on the NWAECA board for the past 9 years as President, Vice President, Secretary and now Treasurer. I also served on the AECA board as Conference Chair for 5 years.
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 part-time as a nanny and part-time 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!
Vice President Membership/Communications
As is everyone in the early childhood profession, I am busy!! I am a full-time momma to a 1-year-old little girl and a 13-year-old boy, go to grad school full-time AND work full-time. I am currently the Database Manager with the University of Arkansas’s Early Care and Education Projects, where I have been for over four years. I was previously at A-State Childhood Services for over eight years, where I worked in the TAPP Registry (now PDR) and also assisted with the out-of-school time project. In my spare time (HA!), I sleep.
Member-at-Large Benton County
Nicole Bedard has worked with Sunshine School & Development Center for almost 8 years and currently serves as the Director of Children’s Services overseeing the early intervention day treatment preschool, therapies, social work, nursing, first connections and preschool enrichment programs. She has over 10 years of professional experience working with children and families and holds a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. In addition to specialty training in her field and in early childhood education, Nicole was a trainee in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities (LEND) through the University of Kansas. She has also completed leadership training through Milestone Leadership (formally Soderquist Center for Leadership) including the Leadership Academy and Milestone Leadership training. She is from San Diego but loves calling Northwest Arkansas her home with her husband and two boys!
Member-at-Large Washington County
Hi I am Harmony Benedict I am the co director at Kirsty’s Place Early Learning Center. Working with children is my passion and I have been able to fulfill that passion for 17 years now with Kirsty’s Place.
During my off time I enjoy spending time with My husband and 10 year old daughter. We love to go camping and taking weekend trips to Tulsa.
Ex-Officio (Past President)
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.