Fall 2008 Message from the President

Presidents Message:


This year has been busy for your KDEC leadership team as I am sure it has been for you!

KDEC leadership has worked hard to assure your voice is heard at the Federal, State and local level.

KDEC officer members serve on many state and national committees. This year KDEC joined with five other organizations (KACCRRA, KAIMH, KCSL, KHSA, KPATA) to advocate for enhanced services for Kansas children and inclusion of all children. We will keep you updated as to the status of KDEC's activates as part of the Kansas Early Learning Collaborative.

We look forward to increasing our visibility and ability to advocate on your behalf for the needs of the children we serve and their families. We are able to do this through your input and stories of what is occurring in the field. Please continue to keep us informed about your needs. We love to receive success stories we can share with others!

I would like to draw your attention to this year's conference! Our conference chair, Cindy Kongs, has put together an exciting program designed to motivate, inspire and give you ideas to put into practice in your daily work. Please find a description of the conference later in this newsletter and as always, check www.kdec.org for conference updates.

On the national level, your DEC leadership has been hard at work as well. DEC has put focus on upgrading the products available to you. The latest example is the webinar for members, early childhood practitioners, and family members interested in learning more about linking curriculum to child and family outcomes. The transcripts and audio file of the webinar is on the DEC website. The next year will see a renewed focus on DEC Recommended Practice. Please check out the web site often for information that will be useful to you! www.dec-sped.org/

We look forward to seeing you at the conference! Please know that we are always open to your ideas/feedback!

Peggy Miksch, KDEC President, pmiksch@ku.edu

Positive Outcomes for All!

Summary of the 2008 KDEC Conference

Early childhood professionals from across the state gathered in Wichita for an opportunity for collaboration, professional development and networking. Winnie Dunn from the University of Kansas helped us all to understand ourselves and others from a “sensory perspective”. Virginia Buysse, from the University of North Carolina helped enlighten us about Evidence Based Practice, and what it means for early childhood. Many other breakout sessions were available which included topics covering curriculum, positive behavior, parent involvement , mental health, autism and school readiness. As always, the conference provided us with an opportunity for a break from our routine and a chance to reconnect with colleagues. Everyone left with something to take back to enhance their work with children and families.

A Message for KDEC Membership KDEC 2009 Conference

Join us at the 2009 KDEC Conference: Doing What Works...Evidence Based Practice in Action

February 26-27, 2009 Wichita Hilton Wichita, Kansas

We are very excited about this year's conference.

One of our featured speakers will be Camille Catlett from the FPG Child Development Institute - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Camille is involved in the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion and is the editor of the Natural Resources Weekly List Serve. Camille will bring a wealth of resources to assist us in putting EBP into action in the classrooms and homes we visit.

Dr. Ann Turnbull, of the Beach Center on Disability will join us as a Keynote on February 27. Dr. Turnbull will share her information on wisdom-based action and communities of practice.

Recognized by National Historic Preservation Trust on Mental Retardation as one of 36 individuals who made the most significant contributions to changing the course of history in mental retardation during the 20th Century, Dr. Ann Turnbull has been a professor, teacher, researcher, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, their families, and service providers for more than 35 years.

Dr. Turnbull has devoted her career to bridging the gap between academic studies and the real-world, 24/7 needs of families and individuals. She is the Co-Director of the Beach Center on Disability, an organization dedicated to making a significant and sustainable difference in the quality of life of families and individuals affected by disability. She has authored 14 books, including 3 leading textbooks in the field of special education, and over 200 articles, chapters, and monographs. In addition to her professional credentials, she is the parent of three children, one of whom, Jay, is an adult son with multiple disabilities.

We hope to see you there!

We Welcome Membership Involvement at the 2009 Conference!

Are you friendly, outgoing and willing to make a difference by assisting your fellow KDEC members? If you answered “YES”, then we need you to join the ranks of other KDEC members who volunteer their time to ensure that the Kansas Division of Early Childhood continues to be the most informative, educational and inspiring event year after year.

Volunteering is a great way to meet and get to know other early childhood professionals, plus you will be doing something to help your member organization. Various tasks that are available include: help at the registration desk, assistance with hosting sessions, and other adventures! For more information and to apply for a volunteer position, contact us at conferencechair@kdec.org. We hope you will attend the exciting events planned this year and look forward to seeing each of you at the conference.

Thank you for your time on the KDEC Board!

We would like to take the time to say thank you to our 2008 outgoing board members. Your time, energy and dedication are greatly appreciated.

Outgoing Presidents Dale Walker
Outgoing Secretary Teri Varuska (2 years served)
Outgoing Student Representative – Sara Gould
Outgoing Memberhip Committee Chair – Ginny Butts

Kansas Division For Early Childhood- Board Nominations

The Nominations and Elections Committee of KDEC is soliciting recommendations from the membership for the offices of Presidential Rotation and Treasurer beginning July 2009. Self-nomination is encouraged. The Presidential Rotation Position requires a commitment of 4 years with a rotation of 1 year each in the positions of Vice-President, President-Elect, President, and Past-President. The Treasurer position requires a two-year commitment. All nominees must be current KDEC members at the time of nomination and throughout the commitment and nominations must be received by December 20, 2008. Please email or send your nominations (name, position, address, phone, e-mail, and your name) to: KDEC nominations Committee, c/o Gayle Stuber ,Kansas State Department of Education 120 SE 10th Avenue Topeka, KS 66612-1182 gstuber@ksde.org.

Meet our Vice President

My name is Kathy Easterly and I am very much looking forward to beginning my rotation on the KDEC board. I am currently a Special Education Coordinator with the Olathe District Schools. I have been an early childhood educator, working with children 0-5 and a member of KDEC for over 15 years. I have been grateful for the opportunities provided through KDEC for professional growth and networking with colleagues across the state. During my time on the board, I hope to continue the excellence and professional of the organization and help to encourage new membership across the state.

Meet our Secretary

Carla Heintz is the Director of Early Childhood for Haysville USD 261 Public Schools. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in teaching Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Children with a handicapped emphasis from Iowa State University, a Master’s degree in Special Education with a gifted emphasis from Wichita State University, and she has completed the building level administrative certificate program through Newman University. Prior to becoming the Director of Early Childhood in Haysville, Carla was a teacher in the Wichita Public School system for 16 years. She has experience teaching Pre-K, Early Childhood Special Education for 3, 4 and 5 year olds, Kindergarten, and First Grade.

Meet our Student Representative

My name is Natalie Mark and I’m excited to begin a new role as student representative for KDEC. I am currently in my final semester in the Unified Early Childhood Masters Program at the University of Kansas. I am currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant on an Early Childhood Language and Literacy Grant. I have also worked as a behavior therapy home teacher for almost 4 years. Every day I experience how wonderful and rewarding working with children is. The decisions we make as teachers will help lay the foundations for who those children will grow to become. I look forward to serving on this board to increase the participation of students in KDEC so that we continue to make an impact on the field.

2008-2009 KDEC Mini Grant Awards

Congratulations to the following applicants for the Mini Grant Awards. These individuals and agencies were awarded $500 from KDEC

Families Together- “The Families Together Literacy Project” Targeting children (birth to 5) who have disabilities and will consist of 12 monthly reading sessions of 90 minutes over nine months. Sessions will include 12 children and parents. Results include a model to share across Kansas.

White Elementary – Building Blocks of Early Literacy Provide hands on materials that are designed to teach specific phonological awareness skills that have been identified as key building blocks on the road to reading.

Basehor Elementary, USD 458 – Using video models/prompts with preschool children to acquire new skills. Improve the acquisition of skills in the areas of motor, communication, self-help, and social skills. Videos will be used to teach children new skills.

Northeast Kansas I/T Services- Video Coaching in EI: Using Tech to Enhance Services Using video coaching to provide families with more access to and support from their EI Team.

2008 Awards from KDEC Congratulations to this group of dedicated individuals!

2008 Award of Excellence - Misty Goosen

2008 Distinguished Service Provider Award– Paula Diver

2008 Outstanding Contributor Award –Alice Womack

2008 Outstanding Student DEC Member-Sarah Gould

2008 Outgoing Kansas Division for Early Childhood President—Dale Walker

2008 Outgoing Kansas Division for Early Childhood Secretary—Teri Varuska

A very special award was presented to Peggy Miksch for her service to KDEC. This award was in recognition of Peggy’s remarkable and significant contributions to KDEC through two Presidential rotations and many years of work on behalf of children, families, and early interventionists in Kansas. Peggy has contributed sound advice, strong advocacy, skilled leadership, a calming influence and a passion for the organization. Congratulations Peggy!

2009 KDEC Award Information is Included Below. There are so many talented individuals in this field! Take the time today to formally recognize a colleague that makes a difference.

KDEC Award Nominations

The KDEC Awards Committee NEEDS nominations from the field for five special awards to recognize individuals who have made important contributions to the field of early childhood special education/early intervention. Now is the time to give recognition to those who deserve it within our field. The five categories of awards include:

Outstanding Contributor Award

This award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to early intervention in Kansas. This award is open to members as well as nonmembers. Persons who might be considered could include family members, legislators, physicians, educators, and any individuals providing services to young children and their families.

Direct Service Provider Award

This award is presented to a current DEC/KDEC member who has made significant contributions to young children with exceptionalities and their families. The candidate for this award should have less than ten years of direct service in the field. This award honors those who are beginning their career and have made exemplary contributions in their local area.

Award of Excellence

This award honors an individual who has made significant contributions in the following areas of early intervention: publications, research, development of new concepts, approaches or programs, new techniques for diagnosis or rehabilitation, improved psychological or education evaluation procedures, improved administrative procedures, practical application of improved teaching devices, and dynamic leadership.

Distinguished Service Provider Award

This award is presented to a current DEC/KDEC member who has demonstrated exemplary performance over a period of at least ten years as a direct service provider and is recognized by members of the profession as someone who demonstrates innovativeness, imagination, creativity, and the ability to inspire. This person must be a member in good standing both currently and for at least the previous five years.

Outstanding Student DEC Member Award

This award is presented to a current full time student member of DEC/KDEC who has contributed a great deal of time, energy, or support to early childhood special education. This can include activities within their Student CEC Chapter and/or to children who are exceptional and their families.

Please take a few minutes of your time to nominate a candidate for one or more of these awards. Awards will be presented at annual KDEC conference February 26-27 2009 in Wichita. Nominating an individual simply involves filling out a nomination form. This form can be found on the following page or at www.kdec.org. Contact Gayle Stuber with any questions, gstuber@ksde.org or 785-296-5352 Topeka, KS 66612-1182.

KDEC Awards Nomination Form

All nominations must be in writing and must include the nominee’s vita/resume, a cover letter describing the individual’s worthiness for receiving the award, and a minimum of one letter of recommendation (outside of the nominator).

Category individual is being nominated for:

____ Outstanding Student ____ Direct Service Provider ____ Distinguished Service Provider ____ Award of Excellence ____ Outstanding Contributor

Name of Nominee:______________________________________________________

KDEC ID Number:______________________________________________________

Home Address:________________________________________________________

Home Phone:_________________________________________________________

Name and Address of Nominee’s school or agency (if employed):______________________________________________________________

Nominee’s Current Position:______________________________________________

Number of years of experience: Current position_____________ Total years_______

Nominator completing this form:



Phone: _________________________ Fax:________________________________


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