Southeast Arkansas Early Childhood Association (SEAECA)

President: Faith Hurd
hurdfi@uamont.edu

Please get in touch via this email if you have any questions: SEARaeca@gmail.com

If you would like to join SEAECA, please follow the information in this flyer.

Meetings

On Saturday, November 6 we met at the University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology for our first ever meeting! We had a great time and can’t wait to meet again!

MEET THE BOARD

Faith Hurd

Faith Hurd

President

Faith Hurd is currently the Department Chair for Early Childhood (EC) Education at the University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology McGehee. She has been involved in education for 10+ years now. Faith does professional development training for ECEP and UAFS and advises on several committees. Her great passion is bringing encouragement, and information to professionals and students within the EC field. She believes in advocating for children, families, and the EC community. Being a part of the Southeast, Arkansas AECA (SE AECA) affiliation Faith plans to work with the Southeast area in providing material, professional development, and by being a resource through which connections are built throughout Arkansas with all EC professionals and organizations.

Elaine Hargraves

Elaine Hargraves

Vice President

Elaine attended University of Arkansas at Monticello, College of Technology-McGehee (Great Rivers Vocational Technical School), where she received a Child Development Certificate (Child Development Associate). She continued her education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) where she completed the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement. In 2007, she completed her Master of Education with dual concentration in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. Thirty-one years ago, her teaching career began at the Wolfe-Kelly Day Care Center, where she was Assistant Director/Lead Teacher. While at Wolfe-Kelly, she wrote a grant that helped to start the Arkansas Better Chance Program (ABC), making Wolfe-Kelly one of the first Child Care facilities to receive this grant in 1991. After an unfortunate fire at Wolfe-Kelly in 2004, she began teaching in the Dumas Public School District, where she was a Kindergarten and Preschool Teacher, until June 2014. In 2006, she also became a Facilitator/Trainer for the U of A-Early Care and Education Projects in Fayetteville. In 2008, she became an Adjunct Early Childhood Instructor at the UAMCTM and eventually the Department Chair of the Early Childhood Department. On October 1, 2018, she was appointed Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor and on January 1, 2019, she was named the Assistant Vice Chancellor at UAMCTM.

Emily Groves

Emily Groves

Secretary/Treasurer

My name is Emily Groves, I am a wife and mother of 3 boys who loves working with and teaching about children. I am currently employed by The University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology McGehee as an Instructor of Early Childhood Education. I love my job because I get to teach future teachers best practices and prepare them for what’s to come in the classroom. I look forward to having a local AECA chapter and being involved in advocating for children!

Gaynell Jamison

Gaynell Jamison

Founding Member

Gaynell R. Jamison, is an Early Childhood Trainer, Reading Specialist and Children’s Author. She has 40+ years of experience in education. She has done extensive study in the field of literacy with over 20 years of experience, teaching reading and administering reading programs in Southeast Arkansas. She has presented at conferences and workshops on the local, state, and national level. Most recently, she has conducted several virtual early childhood trainings for early childhood staff and administrators statewide.

Lora Medina

Lora Medina

Founding Member

I have been in ECE for 34+ years. I began as a Public-School Kindergarten teacher in the school district where I had gone as an elementary student. Later I moved to another school district as a Kindergarten Teacher. When the district decided to start a preschool program, the principal asked me to start the program with 2 preschool classrooms and about 30 children. I was the director and one of the classroom teachers. Next, I was recruited by Rivers Technical Institute to be the new ECE instructor. I left UAM in 2015 and went to C. B. King Memorial School to be their Director of Programs working in the Early Intervention Day Treatment Centers serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays, and in the Adult Day Treatment program with adults with developmental disabilities as well as training and mentoring the teachers and directors. Currently I am also an ECEP trainer for University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and I occasionally adjunct for Ms. Hurd at UAM CTM. I have one daughter, Victoria. I have a dog named Leo and Victoria has a dog named Fritz.

Elizabeth Coakley

Elizabeth Coakley

Founding Member

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Coakley and I have worked in the field of Early Childhood for twenty-eight years.  I have two amazing children and one granddaughter. I received my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2015.  In the field of Early Childhood, I have held numerous positions…. for example, Lead Teacher in a Head Start preschool classroom, Toddler Lead Teacher, Program Coordinator, Assistant Director, Director, Adjunct Instructor, Trainer, and my current role as Better Beginnings Coordinator.  Early Childhood has given me such enjoyment in my different roles, and I am honored to be a part of the Southeast Arkansas Early Childhood Association.

Cortez Smith

Cortez Smith

Founding Member

My name is Cortez C. Smith a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas who completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a degree in the in Human Development Family Studies in the Spring of 2009. After successfully earning my bachelor’s degree, one was accepted into the graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the College of Education/ Higher Education with Specialization Student Affairs Administration. Having completed this program in the Fall of 2012. Recently in the Fall of 2021, I was accepted into the doctoral program at the Southern Arkansas University majoring in Rural and Diverse Educational Leadership/ Higher Education Administration Community Development. After working as the Project Coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for many years one was given the opportunity to join the staff of the University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology at McGehee as the Program Director for Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative, this chance has presented one many opportunities to advance within the areas of Higher Education. Such as, interim Director for Student Services/Dean of Students. Also, being placed on several university committees.

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