Sonoma State University Children's School Director Lia Thompson-Clark received the Champions for Children award from the Community Child Care Council (4C's) of Sonoma County last week for her work in the field of early childhood education.
"Lia Thompson-Clark has been a gracious and consistent leader in our early education community," says Melissa Nelson, a Master Teacher who has worked in the Children's School since 2007. "She leads the faculty and staff of the Children's School to be innovative and reflective, and to strive to continuously achieve high standards in their teaching."
Thompson-Clark, a double alumna of Sonoma State, has been director of the Children's School since 1997. She supports SSU students by providing a high quality early education program for children ages 1-5, and mentors the 30-40 student assistant employees and the six Children's School faculty.
"Lia was instrumental in combining many years of practice and exploration of how young children learn to create the school's Living Systems Curriculum," says Lynne Lyle, master teacher and lecturer in the Early Childhood Studies program. As a result of this curriculum framework, the Children's School earned the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation in spring 2016.
Thompson-Clark has served as a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1983. She is co-president of the Sonoma County Association for the Education of Young Children and currently serves as Accreditation Chair.
About the Children's School
The Children's School is a program of SSU's Associated Students providing high quality early childhood education services to children of SSU students, staff and faculty families.
Its NAEYC accredited developmental program for ages 1-5 years is steeped in active sensory experiences and grounded in environmental ethics.
The school operates as the Child Development Laboratory on campus and welcomes students from many different disciplines to observe and learn from and about children. Its model school is staffed with Master Teachers who train the SSU student staff in best practices and theory of early education.