For the first time in the history of the California Kindergarten Association, the Presidency of the CKA Board of Directors will be served by two very able and well qualified Co-Presidents: Debra Weller and Ada Hand. Both have served full terms as CKA President, and they will combine to bring to CKA their talents and experience as Co-Presidents for the next two years. They will strive to make our organization the finest for those involved in the education of young children.
Ada Hand has been CKA President for the past two years. She is a former kindergarten teacher in the Old Adobe Union SD inPetalumaand has retired from the California Department of Education, where she served in the Child Development Division and the Elementary Education Office. She presented many years at CKA conferences and updated us on issues that affected early childhood education; she has also represented CKA on state-wide committees. She was selected as CKA’s Educator of the Year in 1993; in 2001 she was selected as Educator of the Year for Early Interventions for School Success.
Ada co-authored a CDE book about developmentally appropriate practice: First Class: A Guide for Early Primary Education. She also wrote Continuity for Young Children: Positive Transitions of Early Primary Education; a Transition to School Toolkit for UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities; and portions of the CDE elementary school reform document Elementary Makes the Grade. Since her retirement in 2003, she has formed an early literacy network and assists pediatricians in Orange & LA Counties with their Reach Out and Read Program, a pediatric literacy intervention.
Debra Weller, a TK teacher in Capistrano Unified SD, has served CKA as President-Elect, President, and Past President. Debra presents workshops and videos for CKA and other organizations as well as County Offices in California. Her areas of expertise are classroom organization, parenting classes, storytelling, and oral language development. She has published articles for CKA on Kindergarten Boot Camp and Storytelling. She performs as a Professional Storyteller and leads an after school Storytelling Club at Bathgate Elementary inMission Viejo,California, where she currently teaches a Transitional Kindergarten classroom.
Debra has taught Kindergarten for 19 years with a desire to ensure and protect developmentally appropriate practice in Capistrano Unified School District early childhood classrooms. Her training as an art teacher inspires her to develop an art rich curriculum. Currently, she is producing for CKA monthly power points of photo visits to her classroom that are titled “TK Power.”
Educators who are members of the California Kindergarten Association are doubly blessed to have such fine individuals to guide them through these challenging years of Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade education.