Exceptional Educator Award


MIPA is honored to recognize a teacher, director, assistant, or administrator who has made exceptional  contributions to our preschool community through their dedication to early childhood education. We  welcome nominations from parents, peers, colleagues, directors, and past students.  


Submission deadline for the 17th Annual Exceptional Educator Award is May 7, 2021! 

Please recommend a teacher, assistant, or administrator from a local preschool to be considered for the 2021 MIPA Exceptional Educator Award. In this recommendation, please write a brief letter sharing the qualities  that make this person and their preschool program special and/or reasons for this nomination. The  Exceptional Educator Award Team will review every submission. For each nominee, the number of  recommendations will be considered, though the most importance will be given to the quality of the  candidate as demonstrated by their meaningful and impressive contributions to their program. Each  nomination submission should be unique; please do not submit identical letters for a nominee.  

Please email your nomination to: Natasha Garcia - natashadgarcia@gmail.com and Jennifer Almond - jen.almond@gmail.com 



Past Winners:

2020 Winner -  Aui Patta of the Creative Learning Center Montessori

2019 Winner - Elaine Soeun of the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood School

2018 Winner – Michele Saunders of Sunnybeam School

2017 Winner – Kathy Morey of Creative Learning Center

2016 Winner – Laura Selby of Stroum Jewish Community Center

2015 Winner – Jen Headrick of Pixie Hill Preschool

2014 Winner – Talina Birashk of St. Monica’s Parish School

2013 Winner – Alex Cruz of Patti’s Play Center

2012 Winner – David Weston of Sunnybeam School

2011 Winner – Lynn Ahringer of Early World Montessori

2010 Winner – Molly van der Burch of Pebble Preschool

2009 Winner – Lisa Given of Lisa’s Little School

2008 Winner – Rita Macomber of Emmanuel Day School

2007 Winner – Mary Ann Haney of Sunnybeam School

2006 Winner – Ann Connolly of Pixie Hill Preschool

2005 Winner – Judy Witmer of Mercer Island Learning Lab


MIPA is grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

JP Morgan

Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

Carrie K. York, DDS


Lewis & Gibson Dentistry