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Education Students Attend Annual Conference

In November 2019, five Saint Louis University School of Education students attended the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Nashville, TN, along with SLU early childhood and early childhood special education faculty.

The students — Gwen Cataldo, Madeline Cook, Maya Gross, Dana Meinecke, and Katie Schuller — are all earning their B.A. with either an early childhood or early childhood/early childhood special education concentration. The NAEYC is a nonprofit organization that supports early childhood educators, program administrators, students, and researchers.

Cook, Schuller, and Cataldo at the NAEYC conference expo hall, holding shirts that say, "Early Childhood Educators Rock!" 

The NAEYC conference is the largest early childhood education conference in the world, offering hundreds of presentations and exhibits for attendees. The students each volunteered at the conference and attended sessions featuring the latest information and research in early childhood education. They had the opportunity to select a session track: Teaching with Purpose, Leading with Excellence, Preparing and Engaging Professional Learners, Creating Conditions for Success, or specialized tracks presented in Mandarin or Spanish.

The students were exposed to networking opportunities and able to connect with both their peers and some of the most prominent leaders in the field. Cataldo explained why she appreciated the opportunity to attend the annual NAEYC conference, “I found that much of what I am learning here in the early childhood program at Saint Louis University is preparing me to connect and work with other early childhood educators across the country. While I learned a lot at the conference, I think that my biggest takeaway is that SLU's education program is filled with fantastic faculty and staff who are teaching us things that many educators travel hundreds of miles to learn.”

For information on the early childhood and early childhood special education concentrations through the Saint Louis University School of Education, visit the School of Education website.