Head Start Teacher’s Aide Alisha Hosford received the April Employee of the Month during the Always Creating Excellence (ACE) awards luncheon May 31 in the Gathering Room.
Staff members joined together at the Community Center for an award ceremony and taco fiesta provided by Administration, Office of Tribal Attorney and Court departments.
As staff members indulged in various types of tacos, Assistant GM Jesse Gleason announced the candidates and read their nomination letters. Head Start Education Coordinator Tabitha Dennison nominated Hosford.
Hosford is acknowledged as a caring, helpful teacher and co-worker. She works specifically with preschool students who are 3 and 4 years old. Dennison said her warm and pleasant personality shines in the classroom.
“She brings sunshine, love and hope to her work and radiates it to those around her,” Dennison said. The kindness that she possesses helps students feel secure, loved and cared for.
Dennison explained that, through seeing Hosford interact and play with the children, it’s evident that her niche is working with and teaching youth.
Hosford said her interest in child care started when she welcomed her own children. She has a daughter and a son, both in their teens now.
She began her career in child care working at the Taholah Head Start, and heard about an opening with the Early Learning program on the Chehalis Reservation while at a conference at Great Wolf Lodge.
Key to success
Hosford has been with the tribe for more than three years now and said it is one of the best jobs she’s ever had. “It’s just such a welcoming and helpful community to work in,” Hosford said.
She explained that her co-workers help make every day a successful one. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with,” she said.
Staff at Early Learning know that it takes a collaborative effort to ensure the most success for children in the program. Hosford and Dennison talked about how the youth in their program are the future leaders of the tribe.
“It’s really fun to watch the kids in this community grow up,” Hosford said.
Hosford said working day to day with children is the “coolest.” She loves how they are honest and creative. She is always astounded when she witnesses the moment when something clicks in the child’s head and they start to get a true understanding of certain topics or concepts.
Hosford finds comfort in the fact that children are such open books. They will talk to her about what they did over the weekend or just bring up random topics. She works hard to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment because she knows she is responsible for people’s children.
She said the key to being successful in her field is for staff and children to do it as “team and be team players.”