For more information and media inquiries, contact Rachael Stoffel via

The Angle, June 2018: Early Educator of the Year Awards

Child360 Announces Five Early Educators of the Year

This year marks the 11th annual Child360 Early Educator of the Year Awards! The countywide teacher recognition acknowledges the quality, creativity and hard work of those who teach children ages 0-5 – the most critical window for children when the architecture of the brain is being developed.
We’re excited to introduce to you this years’ winners. Please join us to celebrate them:

Martha Hernandez

St. Joseph Center, Venice, CA 
Martha is described as a natural nurturer, an energetic educator and lifelong learner. When she isn’t teaching she attends professional development and coaching opportunities, joins workshops in her community, and creates hand-made, open–ended sensorial materials to enhance the early learning experiences of her infants and toddlers.

Mark Marano

Long Beach City College Child Development Center and Learning Lab,  Long Beach, CA
Inspired by the unmet needs of his kid-sister as a child, Marano is committed to making every child feel seen, and equal to their peers, no matter their culture or economic background. He takes this philosophy beyond his classroom and spearheads a school-wide teacher training initiative focused on anti-bias education and creating inclusive classroom environments.

Veronica Murphy

Marvin Avenue Early Education Center, Los Angeles, CA
A State Mentor Teacher with the California Early Childhood Mentoring Program, Murphy works closely with several universities to coordinate and present instructional workshops on early education best practices, including UCLA, Trade-Tech college, and many others.

Martha Tapia

Tapia Family Child Care, Glendale, CA 
Having served families for over 20 years, Tapia describes being an early educator as a dream come true, creating a center that is attributed as a home away from home for the children she serves, and a place they can grow, learn and discover in the freedom of themselves.

Sheila Twaddell

Madison Child Development, Pomona, CA
With most of her students and families from diverse backgrounds, Twadell created a multi-generational program, pairing adult English Language Learning students with her preschoolers—not only helping these adults further their language skills, but exposing children to various cultural backgrounds, and validating their cultural identities.

Child360 received over 100 applications for this award, with heartfelt nominations submitted from parents, fellow teachers, and administrators. The award was open to preschool teachers and infant/toddler teachers ranging from family child care centers, school districts, and private and public facilities.
Each winner will be recognized at a special celebratory event this June. In addition to the Dr. Celia C. Ayala Early Educator of the Year Award, each winner will be awarded a cash stipend through the Elizabeth Lowe / Bob Weekley Award for Excellence in Preschool Teaching endowment.
All of the award winners will receive an official LA County Proclamation from the Supervisors to commemorate their work and accomplishments.
Child360 would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our sponsors, who have made this event possible: