November 6, 2008

Five Exceptional Teachers Selected From 40,000 to Receive Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Awards

Tonight, Knowledge Universe, the nation's leading provider of early childhood education and care, will honor its 2008 Early Childhood Educator Award winners during a special reception at the 2008 annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) international conference. Five exemplary teachers, chosen from more than 40,000 Knowledge Universe educators, were presented with this prestigious award at surprise ceremonies at their centers earlier this fall, each receiving $10,000 and a trip for two to the NAEYC international conference, where they will receive recognition for their outstanding teaching and commitment to early childhood education.

"We recognize that our vision to 'Create A World of Learners' would not be possible without our teachers. We are proud of the incredible and positive impact that our teachers have on the children and families we serve each day," said Felicia Thornton, CEO, Knowledge Universe -- U.S. "These awards recognize excellence in the spectrum of teaching -- from building relationships with students and families to successfully delivering age-appropriate curriculum to the learning moments that happen each day -- to create a lifetime love of learning. We are deeply honored to have this opportunity to recognize our teachers for their passion, commitment and love of teaching that has such a profound impact on their students."

Cecilia Etchegoimberry, Jill Generazzo, Julie Henry, Renata Holod, and Deborah Simmons were nominated and selected for this award by demonstrating outstanding skills and practices in their work with children. During the comprehensive evaluation process, each teacher was observed in her classroom in order to assess her abilities in the following areas; curriculum implementation, interactions and teaching methods, family communication, health and safety practices, environment and customer service.

The 2008 Early Childhood Educator Awards winners include:

-- Cecilia Etchegoimberry is a teacher in the infant room at the World Bank Children's Center, a CCLC center in Washington, DC. Cecilia has been at the center since 2000. Cecilia's children come from all over the world. She tunes into each child's personality and needs. She takes time each day to speak with parents about their child's day and celebrates each milestone with them. She has served as a mentor teacher in the program and continues to take early childhood education courses to enhance her knowledge of the field. Her patience, gentle touch and kind words make her perfectly suited for work with this exciting but challenging age group.

-- Jill Generazzo teaches kindergarten at the Burlington, Massachusetts KinderCare. Jill has been with KinderCare Learning Centers (KLC) for five years and has her master's of education degree. She supplements KLC curriculum with her own she developed around the Massachusetts state standards. Jill is always engaged with the children in her classroom and has been described as very warm and welcoming, providing a sense of safety and belonging. Every August Jill hosts a transition program to help children become oriented with the kindergarten classroom and to get to know her before the school year begins. Jill also maintains positive relationships with the families in her classroom.

-- Julie Henry teaches the Learning Adventures program at the KinderCare Learning Center in Arvada, Colorado. Julie's Center Director Diane Case describes her as "'a hard working, passionate and outstanding teacher. The children in her classroom adore her." Julie has been with the company for 23 years and has created a strong sense of community with the children in her classroom. She routinely enlists the children to help make featured activities from the Learning Adventures program into permanent enrichment programs to be explored and used over and over.

-- Renata Holod is the pre-kindergarten teacher at the Mukilteo, Washington KinderCare Learning Center. Renata's passion for her job is evident each day as she works with the children. She takes time to discover each child's abilities and talents and finds ways to help them develop those gifts. Renata has been with KLC for eight years. She is a mentor and role model for other teachers and her classroom environment is exemplary, inviting the children to learn and explore.

-- Deborah Simmons is the assistant director and a two's teacher at the KinderCare Learning Center in Belleville, Illinois. With a calm and gentle tone, Deborah leads her two-years-olds in engaging activities throughout the day. The children in her care have opportunity for independent, self-directed activities and group activities such as singing and dancing. Deborah's classroom is inviting and incorporates the learning needs of each child. Deborah has been with the company for 20 years and is a mentor to many of the staff throughout her district.

About The Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Awards

The Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Awards honor early childhood education (ECE) teachers dedicated to excellence in education, while celebrating the important contribution of educators in the development of young children. Sponsored by Knowledge Universe, the parent company for a number of companies in the field of education, five award winners are selected from the Company's more than 40,000 teachers within its three U.S.-based ECE brands -- KinderCare Learning Centers, Knowledge Beginnings and CCLC. Each year, the five winners are notified through a surprise, on-site celebration, culminating with the presentation of a check for $10,000 and local media coverage. Each award winner and a guest are flown to the annual NAEYC international convention where they receive national recognition at a reception in their honor.

About Knowledge Universe

Knowledge Universe Education (KUE) is a leading global education company serving a wide range of students, from infants and toddlers to primary and secondary students. Knowledge Universe Education employs proven teaching methods, rigorous curricula and sophisticated technology to serve more than 3,000 physical locations and a large online learning environment. For more information visit For more information about early childhood education community or employer-sponsored centers, visit,, or