Sandra Plescia, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Department at Kishwaukee College, is the 2017 recipient of the Marian Baker Child Care Professional Award, presented by 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care.
In 1999, 4-C established the award in memory of Marian Baker, longtime friend and 4-C board member. This award recognizes individuals who possess the distinction and passion that Baker exemplified in her role as teacher, board member and child advocate. The award was presented at the 4-C annual meeting on April 11.
Susan Petersen, 4-C executive director, cited Plescia as a perfect example of all that Baker stood for. She has extensive education in the early childhood field with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. from NIU and was instrumental in the coordination of the Early Childhood Education Department at Kishwaukee College 18 years ago. Plescia also was honored with the Award of Excellence from Kishwaukee College in 2012.
The Early Childhood Program at Kishwaukee College is a two-year program that prepares students to work as professionals with children from birth to age 8. Plescia emphasizes hands-on experiences to illustrate the theories covered in the classroom. “I want the students who come through the program to gain a good understanding of child development as well as to think outside of the box,” she explained. “I love working with little children because they are eager to learn. I want my students to understand that young children learn best through play. Young children are the future and ECE professionals need to guide them to develop to their fullest potential.”
Another of Plescia’s attributes is her dedication and advocacy for children’s emotional well-being and their right to access quality affordable child care. Her nominator wrote “she has an amazing love for Early Care and Education and shares this passion with the adult students she teaches at Kishwaukee College. When she talks about best practices for young children her face lights up, it is truly her passion.”
Another nominator stated, “When Sandy was my instructor she helped me understand how to see the world through the eyes of a child. This wisdom has stayed with me and has reminded me that children are constantly exploring their world and learning how everything works.”
Plescia has worked for Kishwaukee College for nearly 20 years, serving as Coordinator of the ECE Program for the past 18 years. Plescia is also an Au Pair instructor and mentor and has been a volunteer for the CASA program in Kane County.
Steve Kimmel, Director of the Kishwaukee College Early Child Center at Kishwaukee College, was the 2016 recipient of the Marian Baker Child Care Professional Award.
For more information on 4C: Community Coordinated Child Care, visit www.four-c.org. For more information on the Early Childhood Education department at Kishwaukee College, contact Sandee Plescia at 815-825-9455 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.