For Immediate Release - June 05, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Early Education and Care Exceptional Educator and Instructional Leader Awards

Thirteen recipients across the state honored for their contributions to the field

Exceptional Early Educator Awarded to Ms. Doris Spoor
Department of Early Education and Care Commissioner Sherri Killins presents the Exceptional Early Educator Award to Ms. Doris Spoor, a Family Child Care provider.


BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has honored 13 exceptional educators and instructional leaders across the state who have excelled in their contributions to the field of early childhood education and out of school time in the Commonwealth.  The Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to building a high-quality, seamless system of education from birth to adulthood that helps all learners achieve success and supports the long-term prosperity of Massachusetts and its citizens, and the individuals announced today have contributed greatly to that goal.

“I congratulate these award winners for their hard work and dedication that has helped to build and advance a high quality child development system in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Paul Reville. “These early educators and instructional leaders possess the competencies and qualities that are so essential to providing a strong foundation for our children to learn, grow, and thrive as healthy, successful, and contributing citizens.”

This Exceptional Early Educators and Instructional Leaders award program recognizes early educators’ and instructional leaders’ efforts to improve their practice in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.  Applicants were reviewed by a panel that included representatives from the Department of Early Education and Care, the United Way, Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children, Inc., Early Education for All, and the Department of Public Health.  Fifteen individuals applied and thirteen were selected for this recognition: 7 instructional leaders and 6 educators.  The awardees represent various programs from across the state including family child care, center-based, and afterschool/out-of-school time program settings. 

Applicants had to demonstrate the qualities they posses across several domains, which for both award types included promotion and completion of professional development, engaging families and communities in providing positive learning environments for children, and program quality improvement efforts.  Applicants for the Exceptional Instructional Leader award additionally had to demonstrate qualifications in connecting research to program planning, providing reflective supervision, and understanding how assessments inform curriculum, instruction and program planning, and applicants for the Exceptional Educator award had to also demonstrate qualifications in creating research-based opportunities for children’s positive learning, promoting an environment that supports diverse learners, using assessment data to align curriculum and instruction with children’s needs, and developing advocacy skills for program improvement.

“Individual relationships with adults and other children are key to providing a strong foundation for children as they develop,” said Department of Early Education and Care Commissioner Sherri Killins.  “The recipients of the exceptional early educator and instructional leader award have taken steps to ensure their relationships with children include intentional actions that support the individual development of each child while sharing these practices with other adults.”

Ten of the awardees participated in a recognition ceremony at EEC’s Brain Building and Early Literacy and Early Numeracy Conference in Worcester on May31, 2012, where they had their photo taken with Commissioner Killins providing them with a plaque.  The awardees also received a congratulatory letter, certificate, and free book donated by Scholastic.  The award recipients will have an opportunity to attend free professional development from Life is Good Playmakers, an organization that trains educators to cultivate joyful, loving, empowering relationships and learning environments with and for the children in their care. 

Read more information on the 13 awardees pdf format of EEC Educator and Instructional Leader Awards


The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care partners with educators, families, and communities to build a seamless system to support child development and help give the next generation the strong foundation they need to thrive and succeed.  Science shows that early experiences influence the architecture of the developing brain.  Positive interactions and enriching environments support healthy brain building.  A strong foundation in a child’s early years is vitally important because it increases their chance of long-term positive outcomes.  “Brain building” is vital to the future social and economic wellbeing of the Commonwealth - as today's children will become tomorrow's citizens, workers and parents.  For more information about the Department of Early Education and Care’s Brain Building in Progress initiative, please visit