April Hartjes Early Childhood Education Program Faculty, Mid-State Technical College My career started in Special Education. I was a teacher, service coordinator, and director for an Early Intervention Program for 17 years. I have also worked in child care and taught preschool in my career. Currently, I am an educator at Mid-State Technical College and have been teaching ECE professionals since 2009. I transitioned into higher education because I was ready for a change, but I wanted to stay in the ECE field. While I miss working with early childhood special education families, I love teaching professionals who are just as passionate about early childhood education as I am. In addition to teaching, I also provide supervision to ECE Practicum students who are in ECE centers learning about teaching, child development, the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, guidance strategies, and assessment. My favorite part of this teaching position is coaching new ECE professionals. Every one of the them has a story to tell and an obstacle that they may have overcome to complete their degree. It is exciting to get to be part of their experience and I am so proud of the ECE graduates as they accomplish their goals. I am also passionate about community involvement and continuing education. I had the honor to be appointed by Governor Doyle to the Wisconsin Birth to Three State Advisory Board and served as a council member. Currently, I sit on the Board of Directors as Vice President of Wood County Head Start program. I am also lifelong learner and I am excited to start working towards earning the Capstone Certificate in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health through the Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program at UW-Madison this fall. There are two areas which I would like to see changed in the ECE field: respect and compensation. ECE professionals take pride in their classrooms, spending enormous amounts of time on planning their classrooms, developing lesson plans, teaching, and learning through continuing education. Therefore, they should be appreciated and compensated fairly for these efforts.