The Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award

The Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award is an annual award given to an individual who is currently working in the field of early childhood education in the state of Alaska. Cindy Harrington was one of the founding mothers of early childhood work in Alaska, as well as a member of thread’s Board of Directors until her untimely passing in May of 2014. We honor Cindy’s passion, strength, and professionalism by awarding an individual in early childhood education who exemplifies these characteristics. One of Cindy Harrington’s strengths was recognizing individual achievement, especially when it involved overcoming barriers. The recipient of this award demonstrates the qualities Cindy herself would want to honor.

"Cindy had an incredible capacity to love and share her energy and positivity with others. She is one of the founding mothers of early childhood work in Alaska and has been part of making a great change and progress in the field. She will be dearly missed but will be honored through her legacy and advocacy for quality early care and education." Stephanie Berglund, CEO, thread


AnneMarie Mattacchione

2020 Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award Recipient: AnneMarie Mattacchione

AnneMarie began her career as a preschool teacher at the Play N Learn Child Care Center in Fairbanks with a desire to work with young children and a love for education. Over the years she held many roles from head teacher to center director to administrator in both Head Start and Early Head Start programs. In fact, she served as the Administrator of the first Early Head Start program in Fairbanks.

She has taught all ages from birth to adults and continues to share her love of teaching today as full time faculty at the University of Alaska Community and Technical College. As her contributions to the field grew so did her personal achievements -- attaining an AAS Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies, and a Master’s Degree in Education and Learning. She didn’t stop there, continuing on with professional certifications and national memberships, being a CDA adviser, and co-authoring a textbook “Child Development a Practical Guide to the First Years of Life.”

Pictured, left to right, are AEYC-SEA Executive Director Joy Lyon, thread COO Melinda Myers, thread Board President Sen Tan, 2020 award winner AnneMarie Mattacchione, and thread Northern/Interior Assistant Director Stacie Dublin.

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