Andrea Anderson, current director for the Lucy Brock Child Development Lab Program and doctoral student, is our May Alumni Spotlight. Andrea has an undergraduate degree in Child Development and a master’s degree in Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Education from Reich College of Education. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Lucy Brock Child Development Lab Program, which has been helping the community for over 75 years, has a great rapport for moving the field of early education forward. In this role, Andrea is responsible for ensuring that everyone’s needs are met including the college students who work in the center and the children and their families who are enrolled at Lucy Brock. Since Andrea began, Lucy Brock has doubled in size and has added an offsite classroom at Parkway Elementary. Each year Lucy Brock serves 60 children and their families and has provided lab experience for over 500 students.
Balancing work and school is difficult and everyone can relate with the struggle to do both well. Andrea lets her desire to help others be the driving force for her each day. “At Appalachian, I learned the importance of service and how it enriches my life. As a teacher, I learned that the relationships with the children and families I served provided the most joy and satisfaction.” Andrea understands that the work she is doing has an impact on others that far exceeds the stress that may arise when trying to accomplish both her education and job, both of which she is passionate about.
Why Appalachian? App State is where Andrea felt the most challenged as a student. After applying and being accepted to other programs, she wanted to remain at Appalachian because of the rigor of the graduate programs that the Reich College of Education has to offer. She offers the following advice to current and future RCOE students, “Your contributions and passion for education are of great value to the students you will serve. Your voice matters and you can advocate for those who are powerless to do so for themselves. Children will be impacted by the work you do. For some children, you will be the teacher they remember most fondly and they will recognize how much you cared for them.” Working with a core group of teachers that have that same sentiment is one of the reasons Lucy Brock has continued to flourish.
Denise Brewer, Associate Professor in Family and Child Studies, describes Andrea’s contribution to Lucy Brock:
“Andrea listens to and nurtures her staff. She plans staff development and curriculum meetings each week for the staff at Lucy Brock. She makes sure her staff has enough support to be the best they can be when working with children and families. You can tell she was meant to work with children and families. Andrea has turned Lucy Brock into a cutting edge center that professionals from across the state come to learn from.”
At Appalachian State, we strive to be the best we can be and to serve our community. Andrea is a great model for students who wish to emulate what she has done. It begins with a passion and desire to help others. After all, “Education is the beginning, the root of everything that is good.”—Dr. Lois Arlene Weisner Reich