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2003 Breathwaite Student Awards announced.

Members Jennifer Christ, Diana Coverdell, and Tunde Szecsi have been honored as the 2003 recipients of ACEI's Elizabeth Breathwaite Student Leadership Award. This award recognizes outstanding student members who have shown achievement in academics, leadership, school and community involvement, and service to the Association. In addition to a $300 scholarship to help defray the cost of attending ACEI's 2003 Annual Conference, each student received a complimentary conference registration.

Jennifer Christ attends Eastern Illinois University. She is a special education and elementary education major, with a concentration in English. She is a member of Sigma Rho Epsilon and Phi Sigma Pi and volunteers with Special Olympics, Natural Ties Program, and Vacation Bible School. In the fall of 2001, she served as Chair of Charleston's Pumpkin Party in the Park.

Christ is a member of her university's ACEI Student Branch. She previously served as treasurer, and is now serving as vice president. Last fall, she helped to plan and present the Branch's Make'n Take workshop.

When asked about her interest in teaching, Christ replied, "I decided in the 3rd grade that I wanted to become a teacher. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I decided to major in special education. When I graduate I want to fight for these children and be sure that they are receiving the best they can get."

Diana Coverdell is an early childhood education major at Northeastern State University at Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and is active in her church.

Since becoming a member of the NSU-BA Student ACEI Branch in February 2002, Coverdell has served as member-at-large and publicist, and she is currently president. Her involvement in ACEI also includes hosting a Make'n Take Workshop, helping a school supply drive for local schools, and volunteering in the children's tent at the Gateway Balloon Festival and Oktoberfest.

"I have always wanted to be a teacher," says Coverdell. "Following parents, I believe that teachers make the most important lasting impressions on children. I also believe that the responsibility for excellence is the teachers, as they must work hard to stay current on best practices and the latest research in order to provide the best education for their students."

Tunde Szecsi received her Ph.D. in early childhood education from State University of New York at Buffalo in May 2003. She has been a member of the Association since September 2000 and is active in the Western New York ACEI Branch. Her involvement with ACEI has included presenting papers at ACEI's Annual Conferences, serving on the International/Intercultural Committee, and writing articles for ACEI's Student Connection newsletter and the 2002 International Focus Issue of Childhood Education.

In addition to her work with ACEI, Szecsi has volunteered at Cheektowaga Elementary School, teaching Hungarian and reading intervention. She was also active on campus with international camp and the literature club. In 2002, she was honored with the Mark Diamond Research Scholarship.
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Title Annotation:ACEI Awards
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Biography
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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