Jean Hill-Miller retires after 49 years in early learning
At the end of July, the staff at Child Care Action Council wished Jean Hill-Miller a happy retirement for her dedication to our mission for the past 10 years, and over 49 years working in early learning/childhood education! She will be greatly missed! We thank her for everything she has done to support children, families and their caregivers, and teachers over the years and we wish her the best in retirement.
Jean recalls CCAC when she started as a contract trainer in 2008, “The organization has grown tremendously,” said Jean. “We were in a little building downtown with minimal employees. Then the Race to the Top grant (2011, Early Achievers) was secured; making the Infant/Toddler Project more sophisticated.”
In 2013, Jean took on the position as an Infant/Toddler Coach, Early Learning Consultant, and STARS Trainer. Over her 10 years at CCAC, one of her focuses was to make sure teachers know how important they are. Often early educators only hear complaints but they don’t hear any positives.
Through the Infant/Toddler Coaching program, Jean was able to use the program tools such as filming the educators in the classroom to make early educators see their value in the classroom. “You can see their face light up when they see on the screen that they are doing a good job and making a difference,” recounts Jean. “It’s this inner knowledge that you are doing a good job and how important you are with the kids that contributes to teacher satisfaction.”
Jean is confident that CCAC has a bright future, saying “They keep in touch with the pulse of early learning and respond to the needs of children, providers, and families.” However, she notes that advocacy will continue to be a huge effort of the organization, to help secure the support for teachers/providers to earn a living that reflects how much value they are in young children’s lives.
With her retirement, she is passing the torch to Susan Burnham to join the team of Infant/Toddler Coaches and MERIT approved trainers. “Susan is letting me retire with a clear conscious,” remarked Jean at her retirement potluck with CCAC staff members. “It’s been such a pleasure to work with such excellent people.”
With all her new found time in retirement, Jean is looking forward to volunteering in her eight-year old granddaughter’s classroom and being able to watch all the grandkids in their activities. She also hopes to put her Bachelor’s degree in Art to use and explore how much the techniques have changed since she graduated in 1969. Additionally, Jean looks forward to assisting CCAC in the future if they are in need any training support!
"Jean is a tremendous asset to our early learning community," remarked Gary Burris, CCAC Executive Director. "We will all miss her very much!" From the Board and Staff of CCAC, we wish Jean a wonderful retirement and thank her for her many years of commitment to early education!