Iowa AEYC has grant and scholarship opportunities for members and others in the Iowa early care and education workforce. If you are interested in a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Iowa Scholarship, go to the T.E.A.C.H. page for more information.

Tony Lacy Memorial Membership Scholarships
The Tony Lacy Memorial Membership Scholarship pays for individual Iowa AEYC membership, including her/his membership into the local chapter of Iowa AEYC and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

The funds for the Tony Lacy Memorial Scholarship are raised during the Early Care and Education Fall Institute each year through raffle baskets donated by the local chapters, the Iowa AEYC Governing Board, and the Iowa AEYC staff.

Tony Lacy was the ultimate early childhood professional. As a long-time early childhood teacher at Iowa Health Systems Child Development Center, he was a role model for hundreds of us. He walked the talk in the classroom following best practices. He taught hundreds of children to follow his own learning guidelines: do your personal best, no put-downs, be trustworthy, use active listening, and be truthful. Tony was a trainer for CCR&R and also had his own training company. He was not afraid to challenge practitioners to move outside their own boxes and follow Developmentally Appropriate Practices. He advocated for support and resources for early childhood professionals. Tony's biggest commitment was to the goal of moving our profession forward. As a long-time member of the Iowa AEYC Governing Board, he was a strong advocate for NAEYC membership. He recruited and endowed dozens of individuals to not only become AEYC members, but to get involved and truly make a difference in the lives of early childhood professionals, children, and families.

Tony Lacy Scholarship Recipients
The Tony Lacy Raffle Basket funds provided for 16 Standard Level memberships. Thanks to additional funding from the East Central Chapter of Iowa AEYC we were able to give scholarships to all 28 applicants.
Majda Abobakir Teaching Associate Iowa City
Jihan Adam
Jiwayriya Ahmed Teaching Associate Iowa City
Eman Ali Teaching Associate Iowa City
Colleen Baldrige Teacher Coralville
Sarah Beavers
Child Development Home Provider
Nahia Bukhari Teaching Associate Iowa City
Noel Buster
Early Childhood Student
Des Moines
Karen Cota
Child Development Home Provider
Dawlat Elhag Teaching Associate Iowa City
Tagrid Elhag Teaching Associate Iowa City
Keri Farris Lead Teacher Iowa City
Amy Floren Teacher Iowa City
Malesh Frezar Teaching Associate Iowa City
Karen Frick
Head Teacher
Angela Gardner
Child Development Home Provider
Des Moines
Estella Hawthorne Lead Teacher Coralville
Cori Hundt
Nagwa Ibrahim Teaching Associate Iowa City
Zouhal Jadmoun
Teaching Associate
Iowa City
Lori Jenks
Kelly Monson Wiese
Para Educator
Christine Sherrod
Heather Sims
Assistant Director/Lead Teacher
Whitney Slattery
PreK Teacher
Ramia Soliman
Lead Teacher
Iowa City
Alice Terbrak
Sandy VanNostrand
Preschool Teacher
Early Childhood Leader Awards
Iowa AEYC presents three awards every year at the Annual Early Care and Education Fall Institute to honor leaders in our field. This year's recipients are:
Children's Champion
The Children’s Champion Award is presented to a person who has made significant contributions on a statewide level to improving the quality of care and education of young children.
The criteria used in selecting the candidate for this award include  contributions in advocacy or legislation or public awareness, at the state level and service or achievement that impacts policy and/or develop public awareness of the need to invest in quality care and education for all of Iowa’s children.
Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson is a strong supporter of numerous early childhood initiatives and a loyal advocate of the field. Jeff has spent most of his professional life serving young children and has had a number of notable accomplishments that distinguished his career. After a stint running a non-profit that served children in foster care, Jeff began work at the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). Within the Community Empowerment structure, Jeff served on the DHS technical assistance team to contribute to the DHS system, and in that role, championed the use of results-based accountability to make decisions that positively affect all children in Iowa. He later served as the state child care administrator and most recently, worked at the Early Childhood Iowa (ECI) state office at the Department of Management (DOM). His work with ECI meant providing the primary administrative suppport for the ECI Stakeholder Alliance, the ECI State Board, and the ECI local boards representing every child in all 99 counties.
Jeff enabled and supported system work with his collaborative nature through a wide variety of partnerships. Jeff could quite easily describe complicated situations and circumstances in a way in which everyone could understand so that the work could be done in order to move forward. Jeff was quick to find common ground, to easily navigate potential barriers or possible conflicts, and to openly promote decisions through consensus building. He showed great leadership for bringing a diverse group of early childhood providers together to work for a common cause. Jeff enabled and fostered partnerships by being true to the vision of supporting the well-being of young children, doing what he could within state government to support that vision, and to encourage partners to do their part, through coordination and collaboration of resources and people. Jeff's passion is not only what is the best for children, but his work reflected his passion on a daily basis to ensure that early childhood professionals had the tools they need to do what was best for children.
Jeff has been the quintessential partner, and Iowa AEYC is grateful to him for his service anf for his commitment to young children. Jeff had a comprehensive and successful career working to develop state-wide capacity to improve the quality of life in Iowa for young chidren and their families and he is truly a Children's Champion.
Educator of the Year
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to an Iowa AEYC Member who has made a significant contribution to improving the quality of care and education of young children in his/her role as a teacher, teaching assistant, or child development home provider, working directly with young children, ages birth to age 8.
The criteria used in selecting the candidate for this award include contributions and dedication to early care and education, effective teaching practices and positive impacts on children, and contributions in early care and education program and/or volunteer efforts that make a positive difference in meeting the needs of young children and/or their families.
Angela DeVore
Angie has been a teacher at Collins Aerospace Day Academy for many years. She has been a teacher in the toddler classroom teaching two- and three-year-olds for the past five years. Angi is a caring and responsive teacher who has built incredible relationships with ont only the children in her classroom, but with the families as well. She is continuously looking to improve her practice, researching new teaching methods, and looking at ways to meet the needs of families. Angi incorporates many opportunities for parent involvement, including them in literacy activities and special events. Ange makes a point of sharing strategies with parents to carry over to the home.
Angi is part of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Leadership Team. She helped to introduce PBIS to the school and carried over the instruction to parents. She is a teacher inside and outside of the classsroom; she is always looking for ways to bring new learning into the classroom and believes in hands on learning. Angi has worked with her director to present for the East Central Chapter of Iowa AEYC on infant and toddler STEM, sharing her knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices with others.
Angi works with students on academic skills and also helps to build their confidence and self-esteem, while also working with children to develop their fine and gross motor skills to give them the best possible start in life. For Angi, teaching is not only a job, but it is evident that it is her career. With Angi's dedication to the early childhood field, her willingness to learn and bring new ideas to the classroom, and her ability to mentor others, she is an upcoming leader in early childhood and she is truly a professional educator fitting for the Educator of the Year award.
Friend of Young Children
The Friend of Young Children Award is granted to an Iowa AEYC member who has made a significant contribution to improving the quality of care and education of young children and/or to the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children.

The criteria used in selecting the candidate for this award includes contributions in the field of early care and  education in Iowa, support of Iowa AEYC, or other volunteer efforts that make a positive difference in  meeting the needs of young children and/or their  families and service or achievement with children birth to age eight years, or for outstanding support of the workforce caring for these children.
Nancy Merryman
Nancy spent her career supporting the development of early educators in her role as a facility instructor at Mount Mercy University. Nancy served as an Associate Professor of Education at Mount Mercy University for 41 years (1978-2019). She taught early education classes on child development, assessment, language development, early mathematics, play, beginning reading and writing, and more.
Nancy was committed to providing the highest quality experience for those teachers (and teachers-to-be), working tirelessly one-on-one with those who needed special care and an extra nudge. She placed an emphasis on relationship building with her students, cooperating teachers, and administrators. She is a very genuine individual. Nancy loves young children and is equally passionate about educating pre-service early childhood students.
She was a strong advocate within the university system for developmentally appropriate practices, teaching her colleagues and the administation about what teachers of young children must know and be able to do, and she worked at systems level to promote strategies to overcome barriers for articulation of college courses.
Nancy is a long-term NAEYC and Iowa AEYC member. She served on the Iowa AEYC Governing Board for five years. She was the Chapter Representative for the Cedar Rapids Area chapter of Iowa AEYC for one year. She served four years as the Iowa AEYC Chairperson of the Early Childhood Workforce Advisory Committee. She worked with the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Iowa Advisory Committee for many years, addressing the issues of the working adult college student/early educator, including accessibility, and affordability, and quality of higher education.
Nancy is a recent faculty retiree from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids. The number of teachers whose lives Nancy influenced, and the number of children those teachers impacted, year after year are countless. Nancy's impact will be endless and she is truly a Friend of Iowa's Young Children!