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Nancy Bartlett hitch scholarship fund created.

Longtime ACEI member Nancy Bartlett has donated approximately $41,000 to benefit college students who are ACEI members. The donation will assist students who wish to attend the Annual Conference, and also will be used to fund student-related activities at the Conference, namely the Student Make 'n Take sessions and a student hospitality room.

An enthusiastic advocate, Nancy joined ACEI in 1963 at the encouragement of her Student Branch adviser, Wilma Shafer. "At the time, I was an education major at Evansville College (now known as the University of Evansville), and that was what you did. You joined ACEL" Nancy says. During her junior and senior years, Nancy served as Branch President and became well-versed in the benefits and goals of ACEI. "With Dr. Shafer, I attended my first International Study Conference, conducted recruitment trips, and presented to various educational departments. I've always loved ACEI's interest in and concern for the whole child," she says. Moreover, the commitment level and the involvement of others from different professions, cultures, and organizations have always impressed Nancy.

Nancy's love for teaching was influenced by her aunt's dedication and love for children. "I always knew that I was going to teach 3rd grade," she says. "My aunt taught 3rd- and 4th-graders and it was gratifying to see the influence she made in their lives."

A dedicated and caring educator for 30 years, with a "great interest in nature," Nancy remains true to her passion for teaching after retirement. On any given day, you may find her gathering tiny Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars off her parsley in the backyard, carefully boxing them up, driving to a local child care center, and showing a room full of 2-year-olds beautiful pictures of the butterflies that the caterpillars will one day become. Sometimes, she helps the preschoolers release the butterflies. It is, for Nancy, a way to excite preschoolers about "the beauty of nature."

Nancy is also active in her church, and enjoys traveling with her husband, Ted. Shutterbugs, the couple enjoys bird and wildlife photography. To date, they have photographed over 700 species of birds. "We love the travel, and coupled with the photography, it's a wonderful hobby," she states.

When asked why she chose to concentrate on the student members of ACEI, Nancy replied, "It was as a student that I developed my professional goals through ACEI. I want to give more students an opportunity to be able to attend the Conference," she says. "I want the enthusiasm I had as a student and young teacher to continue." Nancy firmly believes that if she passes on her love for ACEI, the students will follow in her footsteps. "Who knows," she says. "My hope is that they will continue as active members, and that their involvement would mean as much to them professionally as it meant to me. There are a number of students who can benefit from financial assistance to the Conference. If we increase their participation, then hopefully the students will go back and inform others about ACEI."

Of course, those students willing to follow Nancy's lead should start now. Nancy's involvement with ACEI is extensive. She served as Secretary of the ACEI Indiana Branch from 1976 to 1978; she was Vice-President of Later Childhood/ Early Adolescence Committee, 19791980; she served as President of the ACEI Indiana Branch, 1982-84; she served on the Nominating Committee, 1985-86; she helped make up the International Hospitality Committee for the 1989 Annual Conference; served on the Membership Committee, 1990-92, 1994-95; and was ACEI Historian, 1999-2000. In addition, Nancy has attended five State President Council meetings and 17 Annual Conferences. "It's great to see my wonderful extended family," she notes.

"Nancy's enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. She loves to share and genuinely cares about others. Her dedication and commitment to ACEI is beyond impressive," says Jerry Odland, Executive Director.

Indeed, Nancy Bartlett Hitch is a remarkable person. We cannot wait to see her in April, camera in hand. She plans to attend the Annual Conference in San Antonio, making it Conference number 18, but who's counting?

Jana Pauldin, ACEI Public Relations Manager
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Author:Pauldin, Jana
Publication:Childhood Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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