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MnAEYC Awards
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MnAEYC Awards

Nomination Forms:
Distinguished Service Award | Evelyn House Award | Kate Davidson Tanner Award

Annual State Conference Award Nomination FAQs

2020 MnAEYC Evelyn House Award Recipient:
Cory Woosley, Director of Workforce Development,
Child Care Aware of MN

Cory has played an integral role in Minnesota’s field of early childhood education since she started her career as a family childcare provider, and has held many roles such as toddler teacher, director, trainer, mentor,
technical college professor, and more. In her 17 years with Child Care Aware of MN, Cory has transformed the world of professional development for educators in our state, spearheading the creation of the award
winning online learning platform Eager-to-Learn, supporting curriculum coordination, and building a professional development system across the state that supports every early childhood professional in

Cory has been a member of NAEYC/MnAEYC since 1980. As she says, “That is 38 years, longer than almost anything else I have done in my life. What keeps me coming back is passion – a huge passion – not just for children and their families, but for the people that care for the children, that sit on committees, and that make the decisions that shape our field.” She has also contributed much energy and passion to MnAEYC as a board member and past president. All that with personal flair and a unique sense of fashion.

Cory is the ultimate lifelong learner and her passion for the work is contagious. Minnesota is a better place because of the work she has done, and all she has
advocated for throughout her career.

2020 MnAEYC Distinguished Service Award Recipient:
Cindy Croft, Founder of the Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC)

Cindy is the founder and was the executive director of the Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC) from its beginning in 1995 as “Project Exceptional” until her retirement in 2019. The CICC promotes inclusion of children with special needs in community settings through technical assistance, resources, and professional development opportunities.

Cindy holds an MA degree in Education with an Early Childhood emphasis from Concordia University. She received a BA degree in Psychology and Sociology from Lubbock Christian University in Texas. She has been on the faculty at several universities and colleges, written numerous publications, and authored several books
including “Caring for Young Children with Special Needs,” “Children and Challenging Behavior: Making Inclusion Work,” and “The Six Keys: Strategies for
Promoting Children’s Mental Health in Early Childhood Programs.”

Cindy brought (and continues to bring) a vision and statewide leadership in the field of professional development and disabilities. Cindy leaves both a legacy of inclusion of children with special needs in quality settings, and the positive social emotional development of all children.

2020 Kate Davidson Tanner Award Recipient:
Ann Ossanna, Infant Teacher at Hopkins Early Learning Center

Ann's nomination stated, "From our first conversation, I knew Ann was special. Ann models what it takes to have longevity in this field. She has presented at MnAEYC to share her ideas. She has attended multiple NAEYC conferences to continue to be inspired. Children, families and staff love her! She rides tricycles, creates 'tiny worlds' and can re-purpose almost anything into a 'loose part' to help children make sense of the world in their own way. We should all be so lucky to work with someone who understands the importance of the work we do while spreading joy throughout classrooms and the halls as she does it. Through her years of service, Ann has impacted the lives of thousands of children and families."

Ann graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Elementary Education but knew early on that she wanted to work with children before they entered elementary school. Ann has dedicated her career to HELC, where she has been for 33 years, working both with infants and preschoolers. Ann loves music, singing, storytelling and drawing. She says, "I love music and play the piano, guitar, and flute. My instruments stay at school, because even the tiniest babies love to hear music." She lives in Hopkins with her husband of 35 years, two adult daughters (both attended HELC, and her oldest worked there with Ann for six summers), their cockatiel, Cuddles, and their dog, Indiana.

Evelyn House Awardees

2020: Cory Woosley
2003: Beverly WilsonMinden1986: Eldora Recksiedler
2019: Dean Wright
2002: Sharon Henry-Blythe
1985: Tutti Sherlock
2018: Mike Huber 2001: Eileen Nelson
1984: Dan Gartrell
2017: Beth Menninga 2000: Helen Carlson
1983: Rhoda Redleaf
2016: Kyra Ostendorf 1999: Barbara O'Sullivan
1982: Margaret Roth
2015: Barbara Murphy 1998: Dr. Pamm
1981: Gary Winget
2014: No award was given 1997: Jean Peterson
1980: Estelle Griffin
2013: Deborah Hewitt 1996: Lynn Galle
1979: Erna Fishhaut
2012: Angèle Passe 1995: Ruby Hughes
1978: Shirley Moore
2011: Sandy Myers 1994: Linda Sisson
1977: Constance Richardson
2010: Claire Chang 1993: Barb Wilkinson
1976: Sophie Riedel
2009: Dr. Betty Cook 1992: Katie Williams
1975: Pearl Hall
2008: Beth Mork/Judy Lindman 1991: Dr. Willard Hartup
1974: Dr. Winifred Northcott
2007: Sandra Heidemann 1990: Dr. Marjorie Oelerich
1972: Helen Remley
2005: Christine Bentley 1989: Diane McLinn
1970: Evelyn House
2004: Kathy Kolb  1988: Frances Oson

2004: Lois Engstrom 1987: Kate Tanner


Kate Davidson Tanner Awardees

2020: Ann Ossanna
2019: Laura Reuter
2018: Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
2017: Ross Thompson
2016: Karen Walburg
2015: Diane Sauer
2014: Joey (Joanne) Schoen
2013: Tom Bedard
2012: Mike Huber
2009: Rica Van
2007: Nancy Penn
2006: Pamella Willard
2005: Marilyn Doran


Distinguished Service Awardees

2020: Cindy Croft, Founder of the Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC)
2019: Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota
2018: Jeremiah Program
2017: Greater Twin Cities United Way
2016: Tina Keeler
2015: Southside Family Nurturing Center
2014: Dr. Karen Cadigan, Bloomington-Richfield Public Schools
2013: Kathy Lentz, Greater Twin Cities United Way
2012: The Science Museum of Minnesota
2009: Ann Kaner-Roth
2007: Congregations Concerned for Children
2006: Jean Taylor, Taylor Corp.
2005: Calvin Rice & Jason Daniel, Lakeshore Learning
2004: Bob Bullard, FR Bigelow Foundation & Arthur Rolnick, Federal Reserve
2003: Minh Ta, Children's Defense Fund
2002: Rep. Mary Jo McGuire
2001: Bush & McKnight Foundations
1992: McKnight Foundation
1991: Sen. Linda Berglin
1990: Glen Taylor, Taylor Corp.
1989: Sen. Allen Spear
1988: The Bush Foundation
1987: Sen. Jerome Hughes


MnAEYC Award Winners through the Years

Regional/District Service Awards

Northwest - Jill Kremer

Metro - Katie Sewell
Southern - Fairmont Early Childhood Family Education
Midwest - Kathleen Ofstedal
Northwest - Sarah Berg Olson
Northeast - Diane Langlee

Metro - Heidi Malloy, Instructor - Metro State University, St. Paul
Southern - Sarah Van Niewaal, Program Officer - First Steps/Rochester Area Foundation
Midwest - Cindy Hickok, Caring and Sharing Association
Northwest - Gayle Nelson
Northeast - Becky Gamache, DAEYC

Region 1: PICA Head Start, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Southern MN Valley Association for Early Childhood
Region 2E: Southern MN Initiative Fund, Owatonna
Region 3: Linda Wilson
Region 4: Tamie Finn
Region 5: Pat Jaekel

Region 1: Barb Murphy
Region 2E: Kate Zabertini
Region 3: Joan Thompson
Region 5: Bernie & Julie Walker

Region 1: Lasting Impressions Child Care, St. Paul & St. John's Child Care & Nursery, Minneapolis
Region 2W: Dr. Francene Evans
Region 2E: Judy Lindman
Region 3: Rondi Wussow
Region 4: Leah Pigatti
Region 5: Dorothy Wolden

Region 1: Marilyn Wolkerstorfer, Anoka-Hennepin School Readiness Program
Region 2W: Gail Goltz, CCR&R, Marshall
Region 3: Pam Walz, Bright Beginnings, Cold Springs
Region 4: Cherry Brouwer, Instructor - Bemidji State University
Region 5: Duluth YWCA

Region 2W: Linda Jagielo

Region 5: Nancy Thomas, Teacher - Duluth/DAEYC

Region 2E: Judy Lindman, Instructor - Riverland Technical College, Rochester
Region 3: West Central MN Child Care Center Directors Association
Region 5: Sharon Soderberg, YWCA Preschool and Toddler Center, Duluth

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Joan Gravett, Civic League Day Nursery, Rochester
Region 3: Sarla Agarwal, Country Day Nursery School, Morris
Region 5: Vicki Vavra, Happy Time Day Care, Duluth

Region 1: Linda Reusch, North Como Preschool, St. Paul
Region 2W: Abby Draper, ECFE, Mankato
Region 5: Maureen Litman, Instructor - Duluth Technical College/U of M, Duluth

Region 1: Kris Berry, Wilder Child Development, St. Paul
Region 2W: LaVonne O'Brien, Child Care Center, Mapleton
Region 5: Bobbi Hoyt, Instructor - Duluth Secondary Vocational School

Region 1: Payne Phalen Family Center, St. Paul
Region 2E: Shawna Kishel
Region 2W: Geri Felstul
Region 5: Diane Langlee

Region 1: Ardis Kysar, St. David's School, Minnetonka
Region 2E: Children's House
Region 3: Marcia Elg
Region 5: C. Diane Schusta

Region 1/Metro: Roz Anderson, Adventure Club, Robbinsdale
Region 2E: Eliane Schmidt, Director - Children Home Society Nursery School & Daycare, Rochester
Region 2W: Alice DeMeglio, Kindergarten Teacher, Minnesota Lake/Mankato
Region 3: Karen Koenen, Koenen's County Preschool, Miltona
Region 4: Mary Ann Hodge, Director - Discovery Place, Penningont Co./Theif River Falls
Region 5: Rita Lefevre, YWCA Child Care Center, Duluth

North: Delores Anderson, Director - Happy Time Day Care Center, Duluth
Central: Young People's Place, Alexandria
South: Rachel Seeback (posthumous), ECFA, Mankato

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