Ella Ames named NYSAEYC 2017 Champions for Children Member of the Year

Ella Ames

Ella Ames is the NYSAEYC Member of the Year. This award is given to an individual who has dedicated time, energy, and support to her local AEYC chapter, local projects, and NYSAEYC in addition to actively promoting best practices for children and families in the local community.

Ames has enjoyed observing children learn and grow for over 40 years. Her very first job was working with children at a Boys and Girls Club when she was 14 and she still carries wonderful memories with her from her time providing childcare at Fredonia Migrant Childcare Center. Ames received her bachelor of science and master’s degree in early childhood education from Fredonia State University. Immediately following her college graduation, she began teaching in a kindergarten classroom. After years of this first classroom experience, she developed a successful proposal to start the first pre-kindergarten program in the school. She then taught pre-kindergarten for a number of years while also teaching first-grade reading in the summers. During this time, she returned to school to earn her administration degree and has been a principal for the last 12 years.

Over the years, Ames has worn many hats and dedicated her time to children in different capacities. She has been a summer recreation leader, a coach, a camp counselor, and a class advisor.

Ames is currently the principal and director of Special Education at Chautauqua Lake Central School, a position that includes writing the CSE, CPSE, and UPK grants. She is also an adjunct professor at SUNY Jamestown. She serves as a member of the CCAEYC board in addition to the Board of Directors for the Chautauqua Lake Childcare Center.

Ames resides in Chautauqua County with her loving husband and spends all the time she can with her children; two sons and one daughter, son-in-law and daughter-in-law. She adores being a huge part of her two grandsons’ and granddaughter’s lives. She loves to go on vacations with her family, preferably somewhere where she can enjoy a good book and the ocean. Each and every day, Ames feels it is an honor to serve as principal of such a unique learning community. She looks forward to her daily involvement in her students’ lives and is constantly amazed by how these wonderful children develop into thoughtful young children who are well-prepared for future challenges.