Stephanie Herling, NAEYC member for over 10 years, is a Resource Specialist for STAR NET Region IV, Prior to STAR NET Stephanie spent time as a preschool teacher in North Carolina and a later became a trainer with Children’s Home + Aid here in Illinois. Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies and a minor in Sociology. Stephanie is currently involved as a Regional Delegate for Illinois AEYC and the active Secretary/Treasurer for the Metro East Chapter of Illinois AYEC. Stephanie is also member of many state driven initiatives and continually holds a professional membership in CEC, DEC, NAEYC, and TASH. Stephanie currently resides with her husband, two children and pets in Millstadt, Illinois.
My name is Lee Eklund. I am the Executive Director of Malones Early Learning Center in Carterville, Illinois, where I have worked for the last 22 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and hold a Level II Director’s Credential, Level V Early Childhood Credential and a Level V Infant Toddler Credential. I currently serve on the on the Carbondale Science Center’s Board of Directors and as the Treasurer of the Southern Illinois Chapter of Illinois AEYC. Past positions that I have held are treasurer of the Carterville Rotary Club and board member of Carterville’s Chamber of Commerce. I am currently active in Illinois AEYC serving on the Executive Committee and as Treasurer.
Region 2 Delegate
Marie Kielty is a retired public school teacher having taught preschool, kindergarten, and all of the primary grades. Since her retirement she has been a consultant, trainer, and tutor. She has presented at local, state and national conferences. She has been active in Early Childhood organizations for more than thirty years. In the 1980’s she was a member of the Chicago affiliates’ Kindergarten Commission. Marie was the only member who was not a college or university faculty member. The other members wrote the document Kindergarten: What Should Be. This developed into the document Developmentally Appropriate Practice by NAEYC. Marie served as secretary of the board of the Chicago affiliate in the late 1980’s. The Kindergarten Commission became the Kindergarten and Primary Commission on which Marie served as the co-chair until 2006. Currently Marie is active in the South Suburban chapter. She serves on the South Suburban Board and is their delegate to the Illinois AEYC Board. Nationally Marie is one of the Kindergarten Interest Forum facilitators for NAEYC.
I have been an educator for over 20 years. I received my bachelor’s degree from Kendall College in Chicago. I also have an Illinois Director’s Credential from Gateways. I recently retired from Metropolitan Family Services after 22 years of services. While being employed there, I held many positions. Since retiring I have become an active member of ILAEYC as a member of the Public Policy Committee. I attended the 2018 NAEYC Public Policy Forum in March. My passion is not only educating children, but also educating their parents about the importance of advocating for their children.
Region 6 Delegate
I have been in the field of Early Care and Education for the past 24 years. First as a student pursuing an Associate degree in Child Development, then worked my way from a substitute teacher, to a part time teacher, and then to a full time teacher at Illinois Central College Children’s Center. Eventually, I became the full time Assistant Manager of the program about 12 years ago. I have fully experienced every aspect of working in Early Care and Education, with the exception of being the Director. I will be graduating from National Louis with my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a focus in Small Business Management.
I have been a member of NAEYC for most of my career and for the past several years I have been on the Board of the Heart of Illinois Chapter of Illinois AEYC in various positions – member at-large, technology committee (website, Facebook, communications), VP of Programming and am currently the President Elect for 2019. I have attended a few Illinois AEYC State Board Meetings in the past and look forward to working together for the continued best interest of all members of the Affiliate and Chapters I would represent.
My name is Reyna Munoz. I have three sons Brendan (17), Stephen (15), and Roman (4). I have worked at Tazewell Woodford Head Start for 17 years, 14 years as a teacher, and currently as an Early Learning Coordinator. I graduated with an Early Childhood Bachelor’s Degree with an endorsement in Special Education and a concentration in English from Bradley University. I was awarded a Director Level II Credential and ECE Level 5 Credential from Gateways. I have been a Certified Class Observer for 6 years. I have also trained with Dr. Judy Helm in Project Approach and am a certified Young Investigators Trainer; I also train in other areas such as Social/Emotional and Mathematics.
Region 8 Delegate
Kadi has been working in the field of early childhood education for the last 13 years as an assistant director and director of Cadence Academy Preschool in Normal. She has also been a substitute teacher for children ages 5-10 in a special education setting providing individual support and learning modifications. Kadi participates in the parent advisory council, curriculum council and oversite committees at her program working on collective values to provide structure at the program and, in turn, develops goals and action plans. She has helped her program acquire NAC (National Accreditation Commission) accreditation and participates in an annual director’s panel at ISU speaking with students who are launching their careers in early childhood. Kadi holds a BA in early childhood education and a MS in Teaching and Learning, both from ISU.
Serving as a Regional Delegate would be a platform to allow Kadi to serve the field of ECE, further her own professional growth, inspire and support the professional growth of other early educators in the region. Kadi is most enthusiastic to pursue more connections within the region to strengthen the network of practitioners and see greater outcomes for young children and their families!
Region 10 Delegate
Barbara lives in Charleston with her husband, William. She has just completed her 40th year as Executive Director of the Charleston Community Early Learning Center, previously known as the Charleston Community Day Care Center.
Her past teaching experiences have included five years in the public school system and adjunct work at EIU. She spent 3 years working as a child welfare advocate with Department of Children and Family Services before becoming Exec. Director at CCELC.
Barbara has been involved with Illinois AEYC for many years having served as East Central VP, Secretary, and recently as Treasurer. She has served on several committees including Public Policy and Finance.
Region 12 Delegate
Molly Dunn-Steinke has worked in many environments that involve children during the last 31 years. Experiences include: residential placement center for children with emotional and behavioral needs, caseworker for DCFS, therapist and child welfare supervisor for United Way and school counselor at Quincy Public Schools and Quincy Universisty. After acquiring her master’s degree in community counseling, Molly began her current work with Caregiver Connections, supporting early childhood programs as a mental health consultant. She has also been the mental health consultant for PACT Head Start.
Molly finds her professional work in early childhood to be fascinating and fulfilling and constantly learning something new in her work and is never bored. Molly holds a Master’s Degree (M.S.Ed.) in both school and community counseling and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology. Molly is licensed in the state of Illinois.