Champion for Children Award Recipient Announced!

The Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award is in honor of Anne’s distinguished Smart Start leadership and her long career dedicated to the service of young children and families in Cabarrus County. The award is given annually to an exceptional individual at the local level who is devoted to public service and whose leadership qualities have resulted in significant change for the betterment of young children, families, and communities.

Congratulations to our Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award recipient for 2022:

2022 - Waynett Taylor

Inclusion Specialist - Endless Opportunities
Executive Director, Lockhart Child Development Center

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“Waynett is a knowledgeable, wise and passionate person who leads, listens and advocates for the young child, their families as well as for the child care industry and early education in our County. She is a super woman when it comes to advocacy for early childhood: she promotes and assists all centers in our County in being high-quality learning environments for children and staff, she facilitates high standards in teacher preparation and advocates for a living wage for all who enter this field. She consults with and provides support for all child care directors and assist in their budget development as stabilization grants from the COVID-era begin to disappear. Waynett knows that Cabarrus County is a great place to work, live and play, and part of that equation is quality child care for all.”

- Jackie Whitfield

PAST Award Recipients

2021 - Karen Calhoun, Cabarrus Co. DHS

2020 - Dr. russell suda

 2019 - Paula Yost, Cabarrus Co. Child Protection Team

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Ashlie Shanley presented the award to Paula Yost Schupp, calling her a trademark attorney who is devoted to the welfare of our children. Paula volunteers countless hours heading the Cabarrus County Child Protection Team and facilitates meetings and the sharing of resources between our local child protection agencies so that they can serve our children better. Paula is also a loving mom, a wife, an attorney, and the owner of the Country Law Shack in Mount Pleasant.

Paula's extraordinary passion for helping children in our community is the reason why she was named the Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award recipient for 2019.

2018 - Starla Hatley, ABCD/Reach Out and Read

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Download the Nomination Form

award winners 2009-2020

2009 Debbie Biggerstaff
2010 Felicia Wilson
2011 Pam Smith
2012 Norman Franklin
2013 Andrea Palo
2014 Rev. Donald Anthony & Angela Ward
2015 Jackie Whitfield
2016 Ashlie Shanley
2017 Andrea King & Wilma Means
2018 Starla Hatley
2019 Paula Yost
2020 Dr. Russell Suda

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