Northwest Arkansas Early Childhood Association (NWAECA)

Benton and Washington County
President: Amy Eddy
nwaeca@gmail.com


Get in touch with fellow early childhood educators across Northwest Arkansas over in our Facebook group! 

Meetings

Register for all our meetings via the PDR. Zoom links will be shared in our Facebook group and emailed out to all those who register.

Meeting Minutes

Below you will find minutes from our past meetings. 

Meet the Board

Amy Eddy

Amy Eddy

President
Amy is a Better Beginnings Project Specialist for Arkansas State University Childhood Services. She earned her Bachelors in Business Management in 2011 and Masters in Business Administration in 2012. Amy has 19 years of experience in a variety of roles pertaining to early childhood education. Among these roles are teacher, supervisor, director, and owner. She takes a great deal of pride in the relationships she’s built during her early childhood journey with children, families, and staff.

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.”

Amy McCann

Amy McCann

President-Elect
Amy is the Director of Black Street Childcare and Learning Center, formally the Mother’s Day Out Plus Program at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Rogers. She holds a Bachelor’s in Human and Environmental Sciences with a Child Development emphasis and she has worked with children for over 20 years. Amy has a National Director’s Credential through National Louis University, she is a member of NAEYC, and a certified PDR and ECEP trainer. She has been the Director at Brick Street for 14 years. She is currently getting her technical certificate in Child Advocacy Studies for NWACC. Amy has been married to her husband, Michael, for 16 years and they live in Springdale with their 13 year old chocolate labrador named Nitro.
Natasha Kile

Natasha Kile

Treasurer

Natasha has been in the early childhood field for over 25 years, with positions in public schools, higher education, and the non-profit sector. Natasha holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Environmental Science with an emphasis in Child Development from the University of Arkansas, and a Master’s of Science in Childhood Services from Arkansas State University. She is married and has two daughters, Lizzy, 23, and Crosby, 3. She is also the current President of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association.

Karyn Walker

Karyn Walker

VP of Communications

Karen is a Northwest Arkansas Native. She’s worked in the early childhood education field for over 20 years. She 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. She has worked at Sunshine School & Development Center for a total of 15 years and is currently the Children’s Services Director. Karyn serves 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. Karyn has 3 children 21, 18, and 9 that keep her quite busy. In her spare time she enjoys mountain and gravel biking, lifting weights and competing in local gravel and mountain bike races.

ShaRonda Sandidge

ShaRonda Sandidge

Secretary

ShaRonda has worked in the early childhood sector for many years. She is currently the Head of Early Childhood Education for The New School in Fayetteville. She is passionate about serving children and families within NWA and is looking forward to serving on the NWAECA board.

Melanie Kelly

Melanie Kelly

Member-at-Large Benton County

Melanie is a PreK teacher at DOCK Preschool in Bentonville where she has been for 18 years. She has four children and has just welcomed her second grandaughter. Melanie is also a T.E.A.C.H. student, finishing her last class at NWACC and starting at UAFS in the Spring of 2024. She has had the privilege to meet some amazing educators, advocates and leaders in the early childhood field over the last few years which has inspired her to do more. Melanie is excited to become more involved in the NWAECA community and network with local programs, learning with others to help bring quality care to all children. She believes that we are all lifetime learners who build knowledge and skills together. Melanie is also the current Vice President of Communications for the Arkansas Early Childhood Association.

Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans

Member-at-Large Benton County

Rebecca has worked as a classroom educator of children birth through 3rd grade in many settings (faith-based, private, public school, and for-profit). She has 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. Rebecca currently provides trainings to EC professionals throughout the state. She loves to make a difference in the lives of children & families and EC professionals.

Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

Member-at-Large Washington County

Susan has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 26 years. She teaches Pre-K at Helen Walton Children Enrichment and she has been with the organization for over 18 years. She looks forward to working with NWAECA.

Terri Teters

Terri Teters

Advisory Board

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 Scudder

Elizabeth Scudder

Advisory Board

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).

Debbie Mays

Debbie Mays

Advisory Board

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.

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