Each year Educational First Steps honors one Teacher and one director with a ‘Teacher of the Year’ and ‘Director of the Year’ award.
They are nominated from over 1,500+ educators in our partnership program of more than 100 child development centers and 50+ home-based providers located throughout North Texas.
These candidates were selected for their commitment to EFS’s quality building program, displaying exceptional leadership and team spirit with their staff, accessibility, and responsiveness to all needs, involvement in the community, and the overall demonstration of love and commitment to the children and families in their program.
They go above and beyond to provide exceptional learning environments for our youngest generation. Through incredible superhero educators like these, children are better prepared for success in school and beyond.
Yolie Mesa always goes above and beyond to provide her students, team members, and families with the best experience. When school-aged students were required to transition to virtual learning, Ms. Yolie stepped up to serve and help fill in the gaps for virtual students and working families. She set up systems and check-ins and communicated with families and the student’s ISD teachers daily to ensure that the child’s learning did not falter.
Her EFS Early Learning Specialist Michelle Watts-Paul had this to share, “During COVID, Mrs. Mesa has truly stepped up and become a leader. She takes the time to mentor her peers because she knows what it takes to provide the best for the children and take care of themselves. She’s consistently checking on her peers and their emotional and mental health in this difficult time, and helping them plan activities and demonstrating ways to encourage positive classroom behaviors.”
Because of her unwavering dedication and commitment, Yolie was recently promoted to Assistant Director. She can now provide an even deeper level of support for the children, families, teachers, school, and community in her sphere of influence.
A childcare director often wears many hats. A typical week can include attending a professional development seminar, assisting a teacher in the classroom, enrolling new families, consoling a child, teacher, or parent, balancing finances, marketing the school, attending community and policy events, and so much more that sometimes goes unnoticed.
Congratulations to Carolyn Boros of St. Pius X Early Care and Education Center as this year’s Director of the Year award by Educational First Steps.
Mrs. Boros has been serving children and families through the school for over 18 years.
This year has been challenging, especially for childcare providers. Through Mrs. Boros’ leadership, St. Pius remained open and served families throughout the pandemic.
She leads by example, spending time in each classroom daily, interacting with the children, and modeling best practices for the teachers.
Her love for children extends beyond the classroom and school. When families face extended needs, she supports them with financial adjustments, donations of clothing, supplies, and food.
Mrs. Boros is an active member of the Mesquite community. She is currently pursuing national accreditation for St. Pius X with the support of EFS’s quality-building programs and has achieved a 4 star TRS ranking.
Evern is always looking for innovative ways to bring new creativity into the childhood environment. The team knows they can count on her cheerful face in the weekly Director Connection calls and training sessions. She has been a vast resource of collaborating support to EFS partnering home-based providers, especially during the pandemic, in finding financial aid, relief programs, and supplies to help her colleagues.
She is a member of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Duncanville Professional Childcare Group, the Texas Association of Family Child Care (TAFCC), First 3 Years, and an active member of the Educational First Steps quality building program.
Thank you, Evern, for all you do and how you serve and share that deeply impacts so many. EFS is grateful for you and this partnership as we work together to elevate early learning opportunities for children of our communities.
Director of the Year
Linda Johnson at Destiny Learning Center
Gretchen Weaver at The Open Door Preschool
Teacher of the Year
Brandon Bonner at Story Time Overnight Child Care
Luvon Price at Pace and Ross Learning Center
Angela Van at Keisha’s Kare Learning Academy