Illinois AEYC Governing Board Candidates 2015

Illinois AEYC Election of Officers – Candidate Information


Barbara has been in the field of education since 1970 working in the public schools, as well as a not for profit child care program from 1978 – current where she is the Executive Director. Between 1975 and 1978 she worked with the local regional office of DCFS as a Child Advocate. Over the length of her career she has served on several advisory committees, served as adjunct faculty at Eastern Illinois University, has been an active member of the Spirit of Illinois AEYC for over twenty years, having served two terms as treasurer, and has held several offices on the Governing Board of Illinois AEYC (Secretary and Central East Vice President).

In addition, Barbara has been active in her church serving on its board as well as, Secretary of the board for approximately 15 years. She is also active in Epsilon Sigma Alpha, an international service organization, and served as Treasurer both for the state chapter as well as the multi-state regional organization.


Jan has been a member of NAEYC since late 1970’s. She was a founding member of the Heart of Illinois AEYC in 1980. She has held most offices locally and served many years on the Illinois AEYC Board, twice as President. She also chaired the Midwest AEYC Conference twice, Illinois AEYC Conference twice and retired after 40 years from Early Childhood Department at Illinois Central College. She served as the first director of The Child Care Connection in Peoria, completing 20+ years, retiring in 2010. She is married, with three children and nine grandchildren. She looks forward to once again being involved at the State level.

Southern Region Vice President- LEE EKLUND

My Name is Lee Eklund. I have worked at Malone’s Early Learning Center for the last 20 years. I have a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. In my 20 my years as an Early childhood educator, I have obtained a Level 2 Directors Credential. I currently serve on the Southern Illinois AEYC Board of Directors as the Treasurer. I am also on the Board of Directors for the Carbondale Science Center and the Carterville Chamber of Commerce. In addition, I have served on the Illinois AEYC Board of Directors as the Southern Illinois AEYC Board Delegate and am an active member of the Illinois AEYC Public Policy Committee.

Central West Region Vice President- MELISSA HARRADEN

My name is Melissa Harraden. I have been teaching in early childhood for close to thirty years. I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Illinois State University. I have taught in a variety of early childhood settings from centers, to private schools and lab schools.

Northern Region Vice President- VACANT

Chicago Region Vice President-VACANT