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Nomination Forms:
Award of Excellence | Yvonne Schneider Distinguished Member Award

Annual State Conference Award Nomination FAQs

2019 Award of Excellence Recipient:
Betsy Schmitt, Coordinator, The Connection Program & Teacher, Canby Public Schools

Betsy commits her entire life to children. During the school day she works as a para in the preschool room at the Canby Elementary School. In her spare time, she helps with both the speech and theatre programs in the Canby High School, and after school every day she runs a faith-based program for grades K-6 called "The Connection."

Betsy has taken a program that was suffering and in danger of shutting down, and turned it into a successful, safe environment for school-age children in the Canby community.

Betsy takes care of everything, from programming, to fundraising, to staffing and even grocery shopping. The children love her and the community loves her. She truly is a gift to the entire community.

In a community where childcare is limited, having a safe place for children to go before and after school, where they can receive homework help, receive a snack or meal, and get love and encouragement is a blessing.


2019 Yvonne Schneider Distinguished Member Award Recipient:
Heather Roman, Certification Licensor, MN Department of Human Services

Heather has been in the afterschool field for nearly 20  years, in multiple roles including School-Age Specialist for MnAEYC-MnSACA and most recently as School-Age Program Assistant for Minneapolis Kids. In all of these positions, she maintained a passion for and vision toward continuous improvement for school-age programs.

As the MnAEYC-MnSACA School-Age Specialist, she was a key player in making quality improvements to MAAP (Minnesota Afterschool Accreditation Program) tools and processes. She coached multiple programs successfully through the accreditation process, ran trainings, and advocated for the organization. Heather is an excellent team player, with the perfect balance of playfulness & humor, and getting down to business.

Even after leaving MnAEYC-MnSACA as a staff member, she continues to embody the organization's mission. She coached her own Minneapolis sites through MAAP, and has stayed very involved with the organization through her volunteer work. She has been a MAAP Validator and Review Panelist, Chair of the MAAP Advisory Group, and a member of the Annual State Conference Committee & Professional Development Strategies Advisory Group.

In the larger afterschool community, Heather stays very involved with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) and Minnesota Community Education Association (MCEA). She stays up-to-date on the most current happenings in the field in order to best serve programs, children and families.

Award of Excellence Awardees

2019: Betsy Schmitt
2018: PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center
2017: Ignite Afterschool
2016: Kari Shannon-Anderson
2015: D'Lisa Campbell
2014: Sen. Melissa Wiklund
2013: Dale Blyth
2012: Brian Siverson-Hall
2011: Emily Holder
2010: Mary Judd
2009: Tiffany Weeks
2005: B. Olson
2005: Dawn Guenther
2004: Jon Smart
2004: Stephanie Stendal
2002: John Smart
2002: Catherine Denison
2002: Becky Knickerbocker
2002: Catherine Cuddeback
2002: Annette Sallman
2001: Andrea Crocker
2001: Muhammed Okoya-Lawal
2001: Andrea Skogen
2001: Stacy Paulson
2001: Jill Westburg
2001: Kristin Turner

Yvonne Schneider Distinguished Member Awardees

(previously the MnSACA Distinguished Member Award)

2019: Heather Roman
2018: Yvonne Schneider
2017: Delroy Tuorila
2015: Rob Lindberg
2014: Melissa Fredin
2012: Carrie Cabe
2011: Deb Skogheim
2009: Lisa Walker
2004: Pat Linden
2004: Pat Reibau
2001: Deb Peterson
2000: Dahlstrom
1996: Stacy Paulson
1994: Alison Jamar Doty
1993: Meg Martin

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