Board Treasurer- VACANT

Region 2 Delegate:

Michelle Zurita-Sharpe: I am a blended pre-kindergarten special education teacher at Blair Early Childhood Center, a Chicago Public School. I work in Chicago but reside in the neighboring south suburb Worth. I have been looking forward to applying for the Illinois AEYC Governing Board Region 2 Delegate position. I am currently the contact/chairperson for Region 2’s Chicago Southland Chapter. I have been active in the chapter for over one year now. Since joining the chapter, I have taken an active leadership role in facilitating our meetings, recruiting new members, and organizing chapter events. I’ve also expanded my involvement in Illinois AEYC by joining the Public Policy Committee, attending Illinois AEYC events (e.g., Public Policy Forum, Growing Futures Conference, etc), and by attending the quarterly Governing Board Meetings. I am eager to use my strong communication skills, organization skills, and education advocacy experiences to advance the mission of Illinois AEYC. I am passionate about educational equity and am interested in a future career in education policy. I am interested in joining the board because I wish to work with other members across the state who are equally passionate about our young learners and the quality of education across Illinois. I will try to best represent Illinois as an educator who has taught not only in CPS but also in community-based Head Start programs and as a private home-based tutor. I myself am born and raised on the southside of Chicago. I am a multi-racial woman who comes from a low-income family, who was the child of a parent with a disability, who was the first in their family to attend college, and who is the product of Chicago public schooling. I also have experience working with others as a unit that represents Illinois such as through my involvement with TeachPlus Illinois as an Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellow and through my involvement with Illinois Action for Children as a Maria Whelan Institute Early Childhood Emerging Leaders Fellow. Since graduating from Loyola University Chicago where I studied Early Childhood Special Education (a NAEYC accredited program) and Education Policy, I have been torn about whether to follow my interest in teaching or education policy and leadership. This opportunity would allow me to further follow my interest without leaving the classroom. I am confident that with my background in the field of education and my personal interests, I am a good fit for the Region 2 Delegate position. Please review my resume for a detailed description of my qualifications, skills, and achievements. Please contact me with any additional questions as I greatly appreciate the opportunity at hand. 

Qiana Dukes: I am a Kindergarten Teacher at Calvin Christian School. Qiana has 9 years of experience in public schools, Preschool for All, and Early Head Start settings. She has studied Early Childhood Education at Governors State University and holds an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Erikson Institute. I hold an Illinois Director Credential – Level 1, Early Childhood Education Credential – Level 5, and Infant Toddler Credential – Level 4. In December 2021, I joined NAEYC/ILAEYC because I wanted to be a part of a networking group that would allow me to connect with other early childhood educators as well as learn and improve as a teacher of young children. My goal as a “teacher of teachers” is to instill in my students a love of learning that will benefit our children, families, and teachers and inspire change. I am a lifelong learner and love learning. It’s hard for me to decide which I like better, being a student or a teacher. I try to model my own love of learning to my students.  “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.” In Illinois, it is my duty as a teacher advocate to speak up for kids, students, parents, and families by highlighting their needs, wants, and legal rights. I think everyone deserves access to a top-notch education, regardless of race, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities, or difficulties. I can speak to, for, and support everyone using my knowledge and abilities.

Robert Bryant: I hold an MSEd in Early Childhood with an ESL endorsement and a type 04 license. Moreover, I hold Gateways ECE level 5 and INT level 5. Additionally, I am enrolled in the Erikson Institutes INT level 6 program and will complete the diverse learner endorsement this year. As a preschool teacher, education coordinator, and now studio coordinator in the Reggio Emilia approach, I feel that advocacy is the best way to convince key stakeholders of the values of Early Learning and also, on the critical support of centers and schools. It is time to positively market our field to potential pre-service teachers of all ages and provide professional development for those in the field.

Region 4 Delegate: Vacant 

Region 6 Delegate:

Kim Hahn: As an active member (Past President and now President-Elect) in my local Chapter (Heart of Illinois Chapter of Illinois AEYC) Board, I feel I have a good understanding of the needs and desires of the region. I have also been the Region 6 Delegate for the previous 2 years so am aware of the duties and responsibilities. If not elected I will fully support another Delegate.

Region 8 Delegate:

Gabrielle Howard: I have been working in childcare since 2016 in a center, but worked with children in church and sports. I started as an assistant and then decided to get my degree in ECE. I got my degree in 2019 and took a teaching position at the center. I later was a night director at the same center. Since 2016 I have worked at 4 centers, working with children 6 weeks to 12 years old. I taught preschool at the center for 3 years and I really loved it. I started getting my bachelor’s degree in ECE from Olivet Nazarene University and will graduate in May of 2023. While going to school this last semester I have been teaching preschool and have really enjoyed it. Doing the extra training with gateways and working with veteran teachers has been a joy and has given me ideas to put in my tool belt.

Region 10 Delegate: Vacant

Region 12 Delegate: Vacant 

Region 14 Delegate:

Sadie Ruholl: I am dedicated to advocating for young children and their families. Because I value diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, I understand the systemic changes that need to be implemented through smart and sustainable policy. I am a strong believer in professional development in our field and in implementing evidence-based child development curricula into child care centers and early childhood schools and programs. My goal as an IL NAEYC board member and Region 14 Delegate would be to connect early childhood educator’s in the region to each other and to the work that is being done by advocates and representatives so they feel they have the support, representation, and knowledge to stay empowered in the essential work they do every day for our youngest citizens. As the current Region 14 Delegate, I have learned so much from my peers at IL AEYC and have become passionate about public policy and advocacy. After a year of being in the role, I feel I am just getting started with all the amazing work that needs to be done. I am very excited about the opportunity to continue in this role!


Please Contact Christy Horn at if you are interested in filling a vacant position.