- Reporters Desk
San Pedro & Peninsula and Wilmington YMCA Board Member
Receives Top Recognition
SAN PEDRO – YMCA of San Pedro & Peninsula and Wilmington announced, May 22, that long-time board member and Palos Verdes resident, Arthur McAllister, received the Distinguished Golden Book of Service Award from the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles Association.
The award is the highest honor a volunteer can receive in the YMCA of Los Angeles. It’s given to those who have at least 10 years of service, have given a high priority to the YMCA.
McAllister has served on the Metropolitan of Los Angeles Board of Directors and for more than 30 years on the San Pedro & Peninsula and Wilmington Board of Managers. He and his wife, Cheri, have been active volunteers, running camp programs and serving in the Adventure Guides/Princesses program for more than 20 years. Both his children, Chris and Karen, participated in the San Pedro & Peninsula branch’s swimming program. He has been chair of the board, leading the Capital Campaign that helped open the Wilmington Program Center and remodel the San Pedro & Peninsula facility. He is also a member of the President’s Club.
Pedro Educator Selected as Preschool Teacher of the Year
SAN PEDRO – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles Universal Preschool named Connie Smith, who teaches preschool to the children of homeless families at Harbor Interfaith Services as a recipient of LAUP’s 2014 Preschool Teacher of the Year Award on May 27.
Smith, who is entering her 3rd decade of teaching, has been a volunteer teacher at Harbor Interfaith Service preschool for five years.
Smith is one of six teachers who will be acknowledged by the LA County Board of Supervisors and LAUP, a 10-year-old nonprofit that created the award and coaches, funds and advocates for quality preschool in Los Angeles County.
With a background of teaching in three different states and previously working as an administrator in special education, Smith serves her most unique segment yet, volunteering to teach homeless children in an LAUP-funded preschool classroom at Harbor Interfaith Services in San Pedro.
Having experience as a special education administrator and a parent of a child with Tourette’s syndrome, Smith has a unique ability to identify and support her students and families, according to their particular needs.
LAUP’s 2014 Preschool Teacher of the Year Awards were given to six outstanding educators from each of Los Angeles County’s five supervisorial districts. The winners were recognized at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, May 27, during for a luncheon and awards ceremony hosted by LAUP and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The recognition includes a $2,000 cash stipend through the Elizabeth Lowe/Bob Weekley Award for Excellence in Preschool Teaching, plus $500 in classroom supplies.
Long Beach Educator Selected as Preschool Teacher of the Year
LONG BEACH – On May 27, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles Universal Preschool named Debra Watts as a recipient of LAUP’s 2014 Preschool Teacher of the Year Award.
Decorated with numerous accolades, such as being certified twice as mentor teacher through the California Early Childhood Mentor Program, Watts is the lead and mentor teacher in the preschool and toddler programs at Long Beach City College Child Development Center and Learning Lab, in Long Beach.
Watts is one of six teachers who will be acknowledged by the board of supervisors and LAUP, a 10-year-old nonprofit that created the award and coaches, funds and advocates for quality preschool in Los Angeles County.
Watts, who is celebrating her 22nd year in the field of early childhood education, is lauded for her dedication to lead and mentor preschool children, staff and college students in the lab. A unique characteristic of the center is that it serves as a lab school for Long Beach City College students, many of whom graduate and start their career at the onsite child development center. This environment provides the opportunity for veterans like Watts to invest in both young and old students.