Spring 2012 Message from the President

Dear KDEC Members:

The 2012 KDEC Conference "Evidence-Based Practice: Real Life Applications" was a resounding success. This year's conference chair, Carolyn Nelson, did a tremendous job of overseeing planning for the conference and succeeded in assembling a wide variety of quality presentations. I would like to offer a special thank you to Carolyn for her hard work and to thank everyone who took time from their busy schedules to support KDEC by attending the conference.

KDEC continues to be an active partner in the Kansas Early Learning Collaborative (KELC) Early Childhood Block Grant. Desired KELC outcomes include: more children served, improved relationships among partners, increased awareness of services, increased relevance of mental health services, improved service delivery, improved quality in child care, high rate of parent satisfaction, increased community screenings, and shared resources. KDEC is proud to be one of the six statewide early learning organizations engaged in this endeavor.

If you would like to become more involved in KDEC please contact me regarding future opportunities to serve in one of the following positions: Treasurer, Secretary, Historian, Presidential Rotation and CEC Representative. Serving as an officer of KDEC is a wonderful professional opportunity. We need your involvement!

As always if there is anything the KDEC board can do to assist you in your professional activities please contact us.

Deanna Berry
KDEC President

Evidence-Based Practice: Real Life Applications KDEC Conference 2012

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

To those who assisted in planning the 2012 KDEC Conference, to the outstanding session presenters and keynote speakers and especially, to all who registered and attended the conference, thank you for helping make the 30th annual conference a success. The conference would not have been possible without the inclusion your specific expertise.

During the two-day conference, our excellent speakers piloted us through a variety of "real life applications" that included how to use digital video in our daily practices, building partnerships, documenting for Medicaid audits, incorporating literacy strategies in an auditory and visual environment for deaf/hard of hearing children, and cultural reciprocity. One speaker reminded us to always ask, "Is it good for the children?" Throughout the conference, exhibitors provided product information, useful items for purchase and gifts for door prizes. They are an important part of our conference and we appreciate their annual participation.

There were over 260 people registered for the conference with 48% completing the online conference evaluation. These evaluations have been reviewed and all comments and suggestions will be taken into consideration during planning for the 2013 conference. We value your input. "Together" does make a difference.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 conference in Wichita. Carolyn Nelson, 2012 Conference Chair and KDEC President-Elect

Welcome to the New Officers whose term will begin June 2012

Vice President:

Claudia Shannon is a Special Education Coordinator in Kansas City Kansas. She works with Early Childhood Special Education , Speech Language Pathology, Assistive Technology and Elementary Student Learning Center. Claudia began her career in 1976 as a Speech Language Pathologist serving students in Kansas City Kansas and Topeka. In addition to her work in education, Claudia has worked in hospital, long term care and home health settings. In 2002, she served as President of the Kansas Speech and Hearing Association. In 2005, she received the Honors of the Kansas Speech and Hearing Association. Claudia is married to Dr. Lew Shannon, School Psychologist for KCKPS. They have two adult children, Tiffany (husband, Mike) and Tyler.


Dana Pfanentiel is an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher in Scott City. Over the past 27 years, she has taught preschool and kindergarten age children both typically developing and children with delays. Dana has served as a facilitator tor the Early Childhood group through High Plains Educational Cooperative for 7 years. While serving as a facilitator, she has assisted ECSE teachers in moving towards the Primary Coach philosophy for service delivery to families, teachers and children. Dana found this experience to be "a major undertaking but a rewarding experience to see how this philosophy can work". Dana has attended and presented at KDEC and has been an active member for more than 5 years. She is interested in serving on the KDEC board because she wants to continue to provide leadership in the field of Early Childhood in Kansas and keep current on the happenings in the field of Early Childhood.

KDEC Awards for 2012

Outstanding Contributor – Nancy Keel, has been in the field of Early Childhood for over 30 years. She currently serves as the Olathe PAT Coordinator and the Executive Director of Kansas Parents as Teachers. She continually advocates for the needs of young children with and without disabilities in the legislative realm. Currently, Nancy is working to provide training to bi-lingual child care providers in order to help them provide high quality early learning opportunities to the children they serve.

Direct Service Provider- Cristina Hargitt, is a speech pathologist for the Pottawatomie/Wabaunsee Infant Toddler Services. Christina has made outstanding contributions to the network and has been a vital part of the program's implementation and adherence to evidence based practices. She takes a leadership role in the program and supports and coaches her colleagues to ensure fidelity to the model. Christina is a strong advocate for families and is highly respected and appreciated by the families that she serves.

Award of Excellence Part C – Anna Nippert is the Program Coordinator for the Pottawatomie/Wabaunsee County Infant Toddler Services. Her dynamic leadership guided her program in a switch from a Direct Service Provider to a Primary Provider/Coaching Service Delivery model. Anna works effectively with several communities to improve transition, secure resources, and increase effectiveness. She has shown determination in trying to not only get her own program together, but in assisting those in many different communities to work together to serve the Early Childhood Field as a whole.

Award of Excellence Part B – Katie Cook is an Early Childhood Autism Specialist, serving the Olathe Public Schools. She brings a wealth of expertise to the field. She has taught at the University Level and has done numerous presentations across the country including at KDEC. Katie has been instrumental in developing programs for young children with autism and assuring that students receive intensive instruction in the least restrictive environment.

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