MCLA Alumna Receives First Educator Alumni Recognition Award


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that Eloise Burdick Stevens '78, M.Ed. '84 was selected to receive the first Massachusetts State University System Outstanding Educator Award.

Stevens, along with seven other honorees from the eight education programs within the state's university system, will be recognized for outstanding professional and community service on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at a ceremony to be held at the Massachusetts State House.

According to MCLA President Mary K. Grant, Stevens established critical and successful collaborative partnerships with agencies, institutions of higher education, school departments, programs, politicians and other Early Childhood Programs in Berkshire County, and at the state and federal level.

"Eloise always put children and families first, and her contributions have improved the lives of many in our community," Grant said. "Throughout her career, she worked tirelessly to support educators. This includes her work with MCLA and the Berkshire Readiness Center to help plan a degree completion pathway to assist early educators in completing their bachelor's degrees. We are proud of the terrific work she has done, and congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition."

Vincent A. Pedone, of the executive office of the Massachusetts State Universities Council of Presidents, said Stevens represented the best and brightest that the Massachusetts State University System has to offer in the critically important field of education.

According to Pedone, the 2013-2014 academic year marks a historical milestone for the state universities and all formalized teacher preparation programs, as 175 years ago Massachusetts became the first to recognize the importance of teacher preparation programs by the establishment of three normal schools created with the intention to educate teachers. 

"This bold step by Massachusetts lead to the establishment of additional Normal Schools in Massachusetts, throughout the nation, and the world," Pedone said. "Today, these institutions designed specifically for educators have grown to become comprehensive state universities educating students in multiple disciplines beyond education.  However, the Massachusetts State Universities continue to educate over one-third of all public educators in Massachusetts."

Earlier this year, in acknowledgement of her outstanding professional and community service, MCLA's Alumni Association recognized Stevens' work with its inaugural Outstanding Educator Award Alumni Award.

Stevens began her education career at Child Care of the Berkshires in 1969, where she held roles from lead teacher to childcare director, and finally acting executive director until 1991. It was during this time that she pursued her bachelor's of science degree in education at MCLA as an adult learner, graduating in 1978. She went on to receive her master's in education from MCLA in 1984.                                      

After 22 years at Childcare of the Berkshires, Stevens moved to Berkshire County Head Start Child Development Program, Inc. as its executive director from 1991 until 2013, when she retired.

For more information, go to .