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CDHS Announces 2014 Employee of the Year

CDHS Employee of the Year
Back row (L-R): Dee Martinez, Lilia Esparza, Joseph Fiorini, Barb Bryant, Margaret Nteza, Mary Whalen , Kacey Yeager, Kathy Windler, Cathy Kohl, Kari Chapman, Sarah Solanyk, Jim Kantor, Viki Manley, Reggie Bicha. Front row (L-R): Joelle Brouner, Pablo Sandoval, Krista Dann, Stacy Evans, Rebecca Seiden, Chris Ford, Nikki Hatch

The Colorado Department of Human Services today named Stacy Evans as its 2014 Employee of the Year.

Evans is the Supervisor of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) office in Northglenn. She serves Coloradans with disabilities seeking employment, job retention or career advancement. She has worked for DVR since 2005.

"I believe in DVR’s mission and vision," Evans said. "We are working every day to empower individuals to find meaningful jobs and to advance their careers, so they can boost their self-esteem and ensure economic sustainability. It’s amazing to watch the power of a mission statement become real for the people our office is serving."

"We are so pleased to recognize Stacy’s hard work and dedication in service for Coloradans," said Reggie Bicha, executive director, CDHS. "Stacy is helping to ensure that new efficiencies are in practice, along with an elegant engagement with her staff and clients, so that the end results are effective outcomes for people with disabilities to achieve their employment goals."

Under Evans’s leadership, the Northglenn DVR office was the first to complete an in-depth case review to find and correct any problems with DVR cases. Evans and her team have helped the Northglenn office improve its ability to determine clients’ eligibility faster. The DVR office team are also meeting with all customers and clients every month.

Evans earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Education from Kent State University.

New Scholarships for Future Teachers in Early Childhood Education

Scholarship Logos

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) announced today the availability of up to $400,000 in scholarships for students in Colorado’s community colleges who want to teach young children.

Through a combined effort from CDHS and CDE, Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant is contributing $200,000. Colorado’s Community College foundations are matching those funds with an additional $200,000. The scholarships will be awarded to students who intend to work in early childhood education and are studying at one of the state’s 16 community colleges.

"This partnership is a strong example of innovative programs being supported through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant efforts," said Stacey Kennedy, director, Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, CDHS Office of Early Childhood. "We are especially happy to partner with our sister agency, the Department of Education, and the state’s community college system to help educate the state’s next generation of child care providers."

"Colorado’s community colleges are key leaders in early childhood teacher preparation," said Nancie Linville, program director, Early Childhood Professional Development Systems, CDE. "With 97 percent of community college students remaining here in Colorado after graduation, this investment immediately impacts our youngest children."

"We are tremendously grateful for the departments’ vision in supporting the Campaign for Colorado Community Colleges," said Dr. Nancy McCallin, president, Colorado Community College System. "The need has never been greater. Our students require scholarships to enroll and continue in their studies, and these funds will assure that those wanting to pursue early childhood education as a career will have that opportunity."

More than 3,000 students attending Colorado community colleges are studying early childhood education. The scholarship program will specifically support students earning certificates and associate’s degrees in early childhood education, with a particular focus on students who will work in high-need regions of the state.