2024 Nomination Application

Previous Recipients

2023: Becky Garske

2022: Reneé DeMars-Johnson

2020: Dr. Karen Paciorek

2019: Marcia Rysztak

2018: JaneAnn Benson

2017: Dr. Joan Lessen-Firestone

2016: Jim Sinnamon

2015: Dr. Lindy Buch

2014: Sharon Claytor Peters

2013: Dr. Mary Trepanier-Street

2012: Mark Sullivan

2011: Dr. Larry Schweinhart

2010: Harold Gazan

2009: Jackie Wood

2008: Dr. Sharon Elliott

2006: Dr. Leah Adams

2005: Laura Stein

2000: Drs. Rosalyn & Eli Saltz

1999: Dr. David P. Weikart

1998: Kay Koulouras

1996: Mary Frew

1995: Ben Hamilton

1994: Ginny McCaig

1993: Betty Garlick

Betty Garlick Lifetime Achievement Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize and honor the life-long commitment of Betty Garlick, the first Michigan AEYC president, to children and families.  Betty Garlick was a pioneer in the field of early childhood education.  She was a teacher of children, an advocate on behalf of children and families, an author and editor, an environmentalist, a consultant, an innovative programmer and an evaluator.  The breadth and depth of these contributions should serve as a guide in selecting future recipients.

Recipients of this award should have devoted a large part of their lives to working on behalf of Michigan’s children and families, and be near or at the end of their career.  Further, individuals considered for this award shall have made exceptional contributions to the early childhood profession, locally and statewide.  They will also have been involved in professional activities beyond their paid position.  These may include (but are not limited to): legislation, research, publication, and leadership in professional organizations.

Committee Expectations:

  • Nomination forms will be online and consist of:
    • a letter which provides detailed information about why the nominee deserves this award by:
      • describing the nominee’s career in early childhood/family services in Michigan
      • explaining the exceptional contributions made to the field as an employee and as a volunteer
      • describing the professional activities beyond a paid position in which the nominee engaged
    • a minimum of three additional supporting documents such as letters, publications, newspaper clippings, etc. that enhance the descriptions in the letter
  • The award will be given only when a truly outstanding person is nominated; this will not necessarily occur every year.
  • Current employees or contractors of Michigan AEYC are not eligible.
  • Solicitation and initial screening of nominations will be done by a standing committee on awards.
  • Final decisions will be voted upon by the Michigan AEYC Governing Board if recommended by both the committee and the Executive Committee
  • Honorees will be recognized by having their names inscribed on a plaque permanently displayed at the Michigan AEYC office, by having their names added to the list on the Michigan AEYC website, and by receiving a personal memento in recognition of their achievements.
  • Specific money will be set aside in the annual budget to cover the recipient’s expenses (travel, lodging, meals for the Michigan AEYC conference) as appropriate and to also cover the cost of the award memento.

2023 Award Recipient: Becky Garske

Becky devoted her entire professional career to advocating for high quality education for all children. Her career spanned from an ECE classroom teacher, Director of an early learning center, working at community agencies, and part-time college instructor until finding a home as the ECE Program Coordinator and full-time faculty at Mott Community College from where she recently retired. Becky is revered for the strong relationships she developed with future early childhood educators and the collaborations she cultivated within the communities where students and children live. She is an encouraging and supportive mentor who always took students’ well-being into consideration when making decisions.

Becky’s involvement within the ECE field extends beyond her professional activities including serving as a Past President and Treasurer for Michigan AEYC, presenter for local, state, national and international conferences, Michigan ACCESS officer, and a member on statewide committees.