In 2004, AEYC-MO established the Dr. Kathy R. Thornburg Leadership Fund to recognize Dr. Thornburg’s contribution to the early childhood field, AEYC-MO, and specifically her dedication to supporting and developing new leaders. Since 1970, Dr. Thornburg has served in various leadership roles in early childhood education at the state and national levels.
She served as professor of the Human Development and Family Studies Department at the University of Missouri and directed the Child Development Laboratory. She also served as the Public Policy Co-Chair for AEYC-MO and President for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In 1997 she established the Center for Family Policy & Research at the University of Missouri. Kathy currently works very part-time at the Center for Family Policy & Research and “almost” full-time at AEM Corporation in Herndon, VA. She works with other states on early childhood systems and with the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning.
The intent of the Kathy R. Thornburg Leadership Fund is to support AEYC-MO’s new and emerging leaders’ attendance at conferences to further develop their leadership skills. Additionally, recipients are required to work with a mentor to support their professional development.