Letter from the Executive Director
My experience with Northland Early Education Center (NEEC) has certainly been a full circle. I started as a parent of a child with special needs that thrived at NEEC. As a parent, I became an advocate and volunteer for the school and its mission, later I became the Executive Director in hopes of offering other children the same opportunities my daughter had and now as I continue my career with the school, I am once again a proud parent of a child who flourishes within the fully inclusive environment provided by NEEC.
My beautiful daughter, Chase Elizabeth, was born on Saturday, March 7, 1998. To our astonishment the doctor’s informed us that she had Down Syndrome. Along with that shocking news, they told us that she was born with an AV canal, which is a very serious heart defect and she would have to be immediately transported via helicopter to Children’s Mercy Hospital. As new parents, of a child with special needs facing open heart surgery, we had no idea where to turn. The Northland Early Education Center was a savior for us. The teachers and staff not only took exceptional care of our sick child, but they also provided Chase with the services she needed. The early intervention Chase received from the therapists and teachers at NEEC has allowed her to grow and develop into an independent, bright young girl. Chase has been fully mainstreamed into the public school district. She is a witty, smart and loving child who was given the opportunity to succeed because the people in her life believed in her and encouraged her reach her full potential.
This experience with the school inspired me to become the Executive Director. I wanted to see the school succeed and offer more children in the community the same services and opportunities that Chase received. I am proud to be associated with the school as it continues to prosper because of exceptional teachers, therapists, staff and community support. Each year we are reaching more families of children with special needs while maintaining the fully inclusive environment which benefits all children in the Northland community.
I have since become a parent of a second child who also attended. Our amazing son, Parker Joe, was born on August 9, 2006. I have been given the opportunity to personally experience what the fully inclusive environment can and has done for a child who is typically developing.
The circle of my involvement with NEEC has been inspirational for me and my family, and as I continue this journey, I look forward to working with the wonderful staff, families and children along with the Northland community to further NEEC’s mission of shaping the future of children through quality early education and therapeutic intervention while teaching compassion for diversity.