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Please email Kathy Ennis at to submit all nominations for 2023. Deadline for 2023 Award nominations is August 1, 2023.

TACEE Service Award

The TACEE Service Award is available to anyone from the community recognized by Regions within the state, TACEE board members, or any TACEE member for his/her advocacy and contributions to the development, education and quality care of children.

The TACEE Service Award is given upon merit. No more than one is to be given annually and it does not have to be given every year. The purpose of the award is to recognize proven advocates for children in the community while enlightening the community about the purposes and functions of TACEE. To nominate someone, please provide a statement of why you feel this person is deserving of the award.  Include specific advocacy efforts, years of service and contributions to the early childhood community.

The 2022 Service award was presented to


Outstanding TACEE Member Award

The TACEE Outstanding Member Award is given to a current TACEE member who helps promote and advocate for the general welfare of children and early childhood professionals and who takes an active and leadership role in our professional organization.

The TACEE Outstanding Member Award is given each year. The immediate Past President of TACEE is ineligible for this award. Any TACEE member can nominate a person for the award by submitting a letter of recommendation which should include a description of contributions that this person has made to the association and how they have enhanced the association.

The 2022 Outstanding member award was presented to .

Janet Camp Award

The Janet Camp Award is given each year. This award is given to an individual who has been in the Early Care and Education field for 20 years or more and is a member in good standing in TACEE. This individual will exude those qualities associated with any great mentor – they will have impacted the lives of early care and education professionals by their contributions to the field. They will have “led by example” such as, but not inclusive of, creating and leading strong early care and education programs, teaching in a higher educational system with a focus in early care and education, being a strong advocate for early care and education, serving on governing boards that support early care and education. Any TACEE member can nominate a person for the award by submitting a letter of recommendation which should include a description of contributions that this person has made to the field of early care and education.

The 2022 Janet Camp award was presented to


Family Childcare Scholarship

One award will be given in each of Tennessee’s geographic areas (East, Middle, West). Recipient receives a certificate.


  1. Applicant must attend TACEE Conference on  Saturday to receive this award.

  2. Applicant must be a registered or licensed home for at least 12 months and in good standing with DHS.

  3. Applicant can be awarded only once every 3 years.

  4. Applicant must submit a written statement of at least one paragraph stating why they would like to attend.

  5. Applicant must be involved with a region within the state or Support Group.

Documentation must be submitted showing proof. Example:  membership card or letter from their local group.


Applicant must report back to the local Regional Group or Support Group within 3 months stating the benefits of attending the TACEE Conference on October 22, 2022, held in Clarksville, TN.

             There were not any nominations for this award in 2022.

Higher Education Awards

George Etheridge Graduate Student Conference Scholarship

George W. Etheridge was a professor at the University of Memphis in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He was an 'outstanding professor and educator,' who believed in the importance of an early childhood education for young children. This scholarship was created to honor his desire to recognize graduate students who demonstrated service and leadership to the early childhood community by providing attendance to the state TACEE conference.

Ruth Highberger Undergraduate Conference Scholarship

Ruth Highberger was a long time Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She was an early advocate for Early Childhood Education and was always very supportive of TACEE since inception. For example, when one of the state conferences lost money and the association was at risk, she made a personal financial contribution to keep the association going. Because of her dedication to the field of early childhood we honor her name with this scholarship.


Enrolled as a full time student at an accredited Tennessee college or university

Currently majoring in Early Childhood Education, Child and Family Studies, or Elementary Education (K-4 emphasis)

In good academic standing at his/her university or college

Student must not have won the award in the previous three years


The recipient of the scholarship awards will receive an annual student membership in SECA, coverage of conference registration fees to the TACEE Conference in Clarksville, TN, October 22, 2022.


To nominate a student, please provide a statement of why you feel this student is deserving of the scholarship award. Include specific academic success, special awards or recognitions; describe their leadership skills, work experience, participation in organizations or activities for young children, and their involvement with their local or state Regional Group.

The 2021 Ruth Highberger Undergraduate Scholarship was awarded to

Kari Nicholson.

Please email Kathy Ennis at to submit all nominations. Deadline for 2022 Award nominations is August 15, 2023.

Awards: Service
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