Working Together
PAST PRESIDENT Amanda Quesenberry PhD
PAST PRESIDENT Amanda Quesenberry PhD

Associate Professor, Illinois State University

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PRESIDENT Darla Gundler
PRESIDENT Darla Gundler

Associate Director of the Early Childhood Personnel Center at the Federation for Children with Special Needs

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PRESIDENT Elect Megan Purcell, PhD
PRESIDENT Elect Megan Purcell, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor, Purdue University

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VICE PRESIDENT Jenna Weglarz-Ward, PhD
VICE PRESIDENT Jenna Weglarz-Ward, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Nevada Las Vegas

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SECRETARY LaShorage Shaffer, PhD
SECRETARY LaShorage Shaffer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Michigan-Dearborn

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TREASURER Jessica K. Hardy, PhD
TREASURER Jessica K. Hardy, PhD

Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville

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Senior Director for Child Care Health Policy at Child Care Aware of America

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Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

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MEMBER-AT-LARGE Victor James Young, PhD, BCBA-D
MEMBER-AT-LARGE Victor James Young, PhD, BCBA-D

SSS Program Coordinator for Early Childhood Special Education, Richardson ISD in Dallas, Texas

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The DEC Mission:

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.


The DEC Executive Board

The DEC Executive Board utilizes a structure of Policy Governance. The DEC Executive Board focuses their time and effort on ensuring accountability of the organization to fulfill its organizational purposes. The Board's primary jobs are:

  1. Ownership Linkage: Connecting with owners (DEC members and community stakeholders) to learn their values about what outcomes they desire for the organization and what means of reaching these outcomes would be unacceptable to them.

  2. Policy Development: Translating into policy what the owners tell the Board they want as DEC outcomes, assigning responsibility for meeting the DEC outcomes and setting the ethical and practical limitations necessary to protect the organization.

  3. Assurance of Organizational Performance: Monitoring the Executive Office and board behavior to ensure that DEC demonstrates reasonable progress toward desired DEC’s outcomes and reasonable compliance with the policies guiding the means to reach the outcomes.


DEC Executive Board Policies:
The Executive Board of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) uses a model of governance known as Policy Governance. The Board recognizes its role in providing vision and leadership for the organization. Policy Governance enables the Board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to rigorously evaluate accomplishments, and to truly lead its organization.

     Current policies approved by DEC's Executive Board

      Board Policies - April 15, 2021

    Archived policies








DEC'S Ends:
The Policy Governance structure provides a way for a nonprofit board to develop a vision and future. DEC's Ends Statements have been developed by the DEC Executive Board and serve as the strategic outcomes for DEC. Ends are often described as "your organization's destination, its bottom line, the difference your organization exists to make in the world or what your organization is for." (Oliver, 2009, p. 90). Read DEC's Ends Statements


The Division for Early Childhood was started in 1973 by a group of volunteers who cared deeply about the development of young children with special needs. DEC is one of 17 divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.


Past Presidents: 

Thank you to these individuals that have served as Past Presidents on the Executive Board of DEC:


1973 Rose Engel
1974 Howard Spricker
1975 K. Eileen Allen
1976 Nicholas Anatasiow
1977 Jenni W. Klein
1978 Michael Guralnick
1979 April Beavers
1980 Merle B. Karnes
1981 Anne R. Sanford
1982 Talbot L. Black
1983 Bea Gold
1984 Warren Umansky
1985 Amy L. Toole
1986 Lisbeth Vincent

1987 Corinne Garland

1988 Carl Dunst

1989 Crystal Kaiser
1990 George Jesien
1991 Susan A. Fowler
1992 Christine Salisbury
1993 Philippa Campbell
1994 Deborah A. Ziegler
1995 Tess Bennett
1996 Ann Hains
1997 Mary McLean
1998 Mary Louise Hemmeter
1999 David Sexton
2000 Jerry Christensen

2001 Vicki Stayton

2002 Jennifer Kilgo 

2003 Laurie Dinnebeil 

2004 Beth Rous

2005 Lynette Chandler
2006 Tweety Yates
2007 Mark Innocenti
2008 Susan Maude
2009 Virginia Buysse
2010 Rosa Milagros Santos
2011 Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
2012 Bonnie Keilty
2013 Carol Trivette

2014 Juliann Woods

2015 Erin. E. Barton

2016 Diana LaRocco

2017 Eva Horn 

2018 Ted Burke

2019 Megan Vinh

2020 Amanda Quesenberry