2012 Illinois AEYC Election of Officers – Candidate Information

Candidate for President Elect- LAURIE RHODES

Laurie is seeking election to a second term of President, Illinois AEYC. She has served in various capacities on the board including Conference Co-chair in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. She also served as VP Central East region and Professional Development Committee chair. In addition she remains active with her local affiliate, Capitol Area AEYC in Springfield, IL where in the past she has filled a variety of roles including President.
Laurie Rhodes has been in the early education field for 32 years. She is a graduate of LLCC with an AAS in Child Development and Kendall College with her BA in Early Childhood Education. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at University of North Dakota. Laurie earned her Illinois Director Credential in 2003. She is employed as the director of Lincoln Land Community College Child Development Center in Springfield, IL where she has led the program through NAEYC accreditation and a QRS Star Level 4 rating. She has previously served as a cohort facilitator/mentor for the ILAEYC SAM Project.
Laurie and her husband farm near Elkhart, IL. They are parents of three children and grandparents of three, soon to be four. Laurie is unopposed for this position.  Laurie is unopposed for this position.

Candidate for State Secretary: LINDA LACY

I am a proud mother of 2 children. I have a daughter and a son, both happily married, and they have given me 6 grandsons that are the light of my life. I have lived on a farm all my life in rural Illinois. I was a stay at home mom and ran a day care for 10 years out of my home. While running the day care I also helped my husband with a trucking business and did all the finances and dispatching for that business. After my children were in school and finding myself a single parent, I worked as a circulation manager for a magazine of a national fishing organization. I worked for this organization for about 5 years when the opportunity opened up for me to work in a Head Start program as a teacher aide. I really missed working with children and I took the position. I have been with Head Start now for 32 years. I held various positions besides teacher’s aide; I was also a sub bus driver, Home visitor for 15 years ( my best job ever), then I took the position of Assistant Education Coordinator, Education Manager, and final position of Assistant Director for the past 12 years. I was a 4-H leader for many years, Jr. High Sunday School teacher for 20 years, Sunday School Superintendant for 10 years, held many committees, and on Administrative Board at my Church. I am also Chair on the Board of Trustees for a local Cemetery for past 20 years. I have been a member of SIAEYC for over 20 years and worked on several committees and am now the chair of that organization. The committee that I most proud to work on is the Festival for the Week of the Young Child. This Festival is held in our local Mall and there are over 35 early childhood vendors with hands on activities for young children on a Saturday during Week of the Young Child every year. The participation is one of the most attended at the mall. We have over 3000 people attend. I also am a delegate to the State of Illinois AEYC.  Linda is unopposed for this position.

Candidate for Central East Region Vice President: RHONDA COSTA

I “accidentally” became involved in the early childhood field. While in college, studying to become a high school English teacher, I worked as a substitute teacher in a child care center. After college, I volunteered in a Head Start Center and then decided that I loved young children even more than the idea of teaching high school English. So, I furthered my education in child development. Thirty-seven years later, I am still here. I was first hired at Head Start and have since worked in a few other settings both as a teacher and in administration. My experiences include a corporate chain center, a small locally owned center, a small center that service entirely subsidized children, and currently am the assistant director at The Caring Place, which is Carle Hospital’s Child Care Center.
I have been involved with East Central Illinois AEYC for many years and served in a variety of capacities including committee chairs, Secretary, President-elect, Co-President, and President. I was involved in planning events locally such as The Young Learners Conference, Friend of the Young Child Awards Ceremony, and an Early Childhood Expo. I also do many workshops through the Child Care Resource Service at the University of Illinois.  Rhonda is unopposed for this position.

Candidate for Southern Region Vice President: DENISE KNUPP

My name is Denise Gail Knupp. I live in Ullin, Illinois with my husband, David. I have a son, a daughter, and 3 grandchildren. I work at Sunrise Preschool and Child Care in Anna, Illinois. I have been there since November, 1993. I have done many jobs at Sunrise and am now the cook for the center. I do anything that makes the center run smoothly. I really enjoy being an AEYC member and working for the good of all children in llinois. If elected I will work hard to continue to make Illinois AEYC the quality organization that it has always been. Top priority will be given to quality care and professional development.  Denise is unopposed for this position.