Valora Washington Honored with Gwen Morgan Leadership Award

March 27, 2017

Valora Washington Receives Gwen Morgan Leadership Award from Ellie FriedlandDr. Valora Washington,  was honored with the prestigious Gwen Morgan Leadership Award by the Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children at the organization's 13th annual spring conference.

Dr. Washington—who will receive an honorary degree at Wheelock's Commencement Ceremony on May 19, 2017—is the president and CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition, which credentials entry-level early childhood educators who work in preschool, infant/toddler, family child care, and home visitor settings. Through her work with the Council, she leads the largest credentialing program for early educators in the United States.

"This award is particularly meaningful to me because Gwen Morgan was a mentor and friend, always supporting the strategic vision of our collective work even as she was well into her retirement years," said Dr. Washington. "Her deep impact on Massachusetts and the nation endures. She inspired me and many others to elevate the importance of early childhood education."

Throughout her career, Dr. Washington has co-created high-impact institutions targeting policy change in higher education and local, state, and federal government, including Michigan's Children, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, and The CAYL Institute.

Frequently tapped for senior-level service, Dr. Washington served as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Governor's School Readiness Commission, Board Chair for Voices for America's Children, Co-Chair of the National Head Start Association Commission, and as a member of numerous task forces and boards, including those of Wheelock College and the Boston Children's Museum. She was formerly a vice president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, vice president at Antioch College, associate dean at American University, and a tenured faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Pictured: Dr. Valora Washington (left) received the Gwen Morgan Leadership Award from Ellie Friedland, Wheelock Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education.

About the Gwen Morgan Award

The Gwen Morgan award is given on a yearly basis, when merited, to an individual who has taken advantage of a leadership opportunity to improve the quality of care for children and families, or to advance workforce and professional development opportunities for early education and care professionals. This is an individual who has been able to look down the road, as Gwen  Morgan did throughout her career, and impact the future based on vision and determination.

Morgan, who died in September 2015, was influential in many different areas of the field of early education and care. She provided vision for policy development for over 35 years. She was a leading national authority on child care regulations. She wrote on a wide range of other issues and the list of her publications is extensive. She founded the Center for Career Development in Early Care and Education at Wheelock College, which helped countless states create professional development systems. She also co-founded Work/Family Directions, WFD now, and she founded Wheelock College Advanced Seminars in Child Care. Besides that, she guided the development of countless students as they learned to be teachers.

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