Early childhood education professor receives Distinguished Service Award

University’s Teresa Byington recognized for leadership, program efforts and professional development

Teresa Byington with her award

Teresa Byington was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award for her work in early childhood education. Photo by Jill Baker-Tingey.

Early childhood education professor receives Distinguished Service Award

University’s Teresa Byington recognized for leadership, program efforts and professional development

Teresa Byington was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award for her work in early childhood education. Photo by Jill Baker-Tingey.

Teresa Byington with her award

Teresa Byington was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award for her work in early childhood education. Photo by Jill Baker-Tingey.

Teresa Byington, early childhood education professor and Extension specialist with University of Nevada, Reno Extension, received the Distinguished Service Award for her research, activities and engagement in Nevada communities. The award is the highest award presented by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and recognizes leadership, educational program efforts and professional development.

“This award is a testament to Teresa’s hard work and dedication to the children of Nevada,” said Ivory W. Lyles, Extension director. “Her engagement with Clark County and southern Nevada teaching early childhood professionals has helped lay the groundwork for a bright future for Nevada’s youth.”

Byington has spent many years working to improve the workforce preparedness of early childhood professionals. In 2018, she became a certified trainer for the Zero to Three Critical Competencies for Infant and Toddler Educators Program. She is the author of the recently published book, “Lose the Lecture: Engaging Approaches to Early Childhood Professional Learning.”

In 2017, Byington, with Extension Parenting Education and Family Literacy Specialist YaeBin Kim, was recognized for her early childhood training program, “Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom,” which helps preschool teachers in urban, economically disadvantaged areas improve their ability to teach literacy skills. Since 2013, 357 early childhood teachers in Clark County have participated in the training, and these teachers have taught approximately 3,000 young children.

Also in 2017, Byington and Kim received the association’s Human Development/Family Relationships Award for their early literacy programming. Since 2013, Byington has received at least eight additional awards for her research and programming.

“It is wonderful to see the positive difference we are having in the lives of early childhood teachers, children and families in southern Nevada,” said Byington. 

She currently serves as the president for the Nevada affiliate of the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Zero to Three, and Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

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