Staff Spotlight – June 2017 – Stacey French-Lee
Who are you? My name is Stacey French-Lee. I am the Director of the College of Education and Human Development’s Child Development Program. As Director, I will provide leadership and direction for both the Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center and the Capitol Hill Child Enrichment Center. I am responsible for the overall programmatic operations, evaluation, and program improvement.
Would you like to share populations of people at GSU & their families you serve? We provide early care and education for the children of GSU faculty, staff, and students. At our Capitol Hill Center we also enroll children whose families are not affiliated with Georgia State University.
Tell us a little about your group’s purpose/mission.
Provide a high quality environment and experiences for young children and families, so that parents may pursue their studies or careers without concern for their child’s welfare.
The Child Development Program is an interdisciplinary research Program. We support educational inquiry and research related to young children. Teams of faculty and students from various departments, including education, psychology, nursing and sociology contribute different perspectives to the research.
Support the preparation of educators and other school-based clinicians, scholars, and professional leaders for their work in early education
We serve as a demonstration and training site for Georgia’s Early Care and education community. In the centers, we demonstrate how theory and research are implemented into educational practices in a high quality environment. The program offers educators in the community, students and faculty from other University departments the opportunity to observe master teachers working with children while using developmentally appropriate lessons and materials. Making facilities available for observation promotes the improvement of other child-care facilities in the area. I and other program staff members serve as consultants to groups establishing child-care facilities and offer assistance in topics such as creating appropriate classroom environments, planning appropriate lessons, gaining accreditation, and becoming Quality Rated centers so that they may improve existing programs.
How long have you been working at Georgia State University? It will be 19 years on June 1st.
What do you do on a typical day? What I really enjoy about my work is that there are no typical days! I manage daily operations of the centers. I also teach classes in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
Some of the things I do are: observe in classrooms; consult with parents; establish and implement short-and long-range program goals, objectives, polices, and operating procedures; monitor and evaluate program effectiveness; serve on committees in ECEE; and teach in the Birth through Five degree program.
How do you think your job supports the university’s mission?
This is a very important question. There is a quote in my office which reads: “Lab schools need to be continually reinvented and reconstructed to meet continual changing societal and institutional demands. As models from the Early Childhood community, lab schools should be on the cutting edge of what theory and research informs us are best practices in early childhood education and child development.” (Mellisa A. Clawson). I am committed to this idea and it guides me in my decision making and daily work as I ensure that our program is in alignment with the University’s mission.
Our program supports the university’s mission by providing a site for faculty, staff, and students from all disciplines to complete course related work and to conduct and ultimately disseminate research. Further, the program advances the overall mission of the university by providing leadership in the area of Birth through Five research and program evaluation, helping to prepare qualified career-change professionals for positions in urban schools; providing continuing professional development for novice and experienced teachers and developing child development and instructional leaders and facilitators of school change.
What is your background? I have almost 30 years of experience in military, corporate, hospital, and university based early care and education programs in the United States and Europe.
B.S. Communicative Disorders – Spalding University, Louisville, KY
M.Ed. Early Childhood and Elementary Education – Georgia State University
Ed.S. Early Childhood and Elementary Education – Georgia State University
Ph.D. candidate (expected completion December 2017) Early Childhood and Elementary – Georgia State University
What do you do when you are not at work?
Work on my dissertation and spend time with my family
What is your favorite thing in your office?
A very large bulletin board where I hang photos of children, cards from families and staff, and artwork created by the children that they have gifted me with. I have pictures of children on that board who are now in college and beyond.
What don’t people know about you (or the Centers)?
I think it’s very cool that over the last several years (and currently) we have had children enrolled whose parents attended the center as children. We even have staff members who still work in the program who were here when the parents attended, so they have now worked with two generations from the same family!
If you weren’t working at Georgia State, what would your ideal job be?
Interior Decorator or Professional Shopper
What is your title/group name? The Child Development Program comprised of the Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center and the Capitol Hill Child Enrichment Center is a unique child development program within the context of the University.
How long has the group been formed/working together?
From 1971-2006, the Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center was the only campus early learning and care center. In 2004, Georgia State University entered in to an agreement with the State of Georgia to manage the state’s child care center, Capitol Hill Child Enrichment Center.
Highlight some of your accomplishments?
Both centers are nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and both have a 3 star rating (the highest) through Georgia’s Quality Rated program. Participation in both NAEYC and Quality Rated are voluntarily and programs participate as a part of their commitment to providing high quality early care and education.