Member Spotlight

Do you love your job, have you benefited from a membership in Iowa AEYC, or are you a new member wanting to introduce yourself? Iowa AEYC started a new feature in our Weekly to spotlight members. Simply go to our Member Spotlight Questionnaire, enter your name and email,  and answer a few questions you select. Members will also be spotlighted here on our website so that both members and non-members can see the importance of our members and our association to the early childhood field.

For previous articles check out the archives

Angela Lensch

Angela is the Education and Disabilities Coordinator at New Opportunities, Inc. in Carrol. She began in Head Start 16 years ago, ventured into other areas of education, and returned to early childhood. Angela joined NAEYC two years ago. Her experience provides another perspective to our field and to our association.

Angela joined Iowa AEYC to help her grow in the field and has found it an excellent place to network. She serves as chapter representative of the West Central Chapter to Iowa AEYC and is hoping to help the chapter and other members to grow in their professions as well. Angela finds the printed subscriptions to Young Children and/or Teaching Young Children as one of the benefits with the most value. Angela attended the 2017 Fall Institute and found it filled with so many passionate people learning and growing in their early childhood professions.

Angela has two master degrees: professional school counseling and curriculum and instruction in effective teaching, instructional leadership. Angela serves eight counties in her work at New Opportunities. Angela previously served as a Master Education Specialist for Pearson, and as an adjunct professor of psychology at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Angela also developed curriculum and consulted for Franchise Capacitybuilder LLC, Cairo, Egypt. in STEM. Angela also served as a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education for Race to the Top Educational grants. Education is her passion! And she wants to pass knowledge on to others.


How did you get started in your current position?
In an effort to do less traveling I accepted the Education and Disabilities Coordinator position where I assist teachers in the educational and disability domains for Head Start classrooms and on Early Head Start home visits. This has been one of my most rewarding steps in my career yet.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in early childhood education?
If you want a rewarding career and want to contribute in the educational field you need to realize the most critical time to do this is the first 2000 days of a child’s life. If you want to make a huge and most important impact - early education is where it’s at.
What are some accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
Coming back to Head Start as this is where it all began for my education profession. What an amazing place for children in such critical need.
My two Masters of Education degrees. I’ve committed my life to education and one should never quit growing their own!
Tell us something fun about yourself.
My husband and I have created a Brady Bunch of our own, only larger, with 10 children between the two of us, four girls and six boys. I love my family! With five granddaughters now we are working on a tribe.
What is your favorite children’s book, and why?
Goodnight Moon… My children loved me reading this to them before bed when they were small and it will always bring me warm, fuzzy feelings every time I see or read it now.
What are you reading right now?
Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson – a story about the first child historically recorded that was ever rescued out of a child abuse situation, heart wrenching to say the least.


Shannon Wilson

Shannon is a Program Coordinator in Ames at ISU Human Sciences Extension and Outreach with Early Childhood Education as her area of expertise.

She tells us that when she started in the field of early childhood education her focus was on the children, but what she has come to realize is that her impact is so much greater. She broadened her focus to include the families and communities surrounding the children. She may work with a child for a few years, but that child is with its family for its entire life.

She considers herself a child at heart and believes this quality has helped her connect with the children and see things from their perspective.


How did you get started in your profession?
I enjoyed babysitting before college and when I needed a part-time job while getting my bachelors I applied for an assistant teacher position at the Sonoma State University campus Lab School.
Why did you decide to enter the early childhood education field?
I love children; I love how they engage with the world around them. Every moment they are learning and discovering something new.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in early childhood education?
Find a mentor teacher. I learned so much by observing seasoned teachers in their daily interactions with children. They loved their work and it showed. It helped me take the information I learned in class and see it in action.
Why did you become a member of Iowa AEYC?
I wanted to be a member because I see myself as a professional in the field of Early Childhood Education.
What is your favorite part of being an Iowa AEYC member?
The information I receive about my field of work.
Why do you continue your membership each year?
It is important to be part of an organization.
What NAEYC or Iowa AEYC benefit do you MOST value?
Iowa AEYC event discounts to the Iowa Annual Early Care and Education Institute and/or the Spring Leadership Institute.
What is your favorite children’s book, and why?
The Tall Book of Make-Believe. I used to read it with my mom. She had kept the book from her childhood and then passed it on to me. Now I share it with my children.


Jill Uhlenberg 2017.11.7
Cherie Kennedy 2017.11.14
Mary Airy 2017.11.21
Kari Williams 2017.12.06
Tracy Ehlert 2017.12.13
Leann Andre 2018.01.09
Shannon Wilson 2018.01.30
Angela Lensch 2018.02.07