The NCTE Early Childhood Education Assembly is proud to announce the recipient of the 2016 “Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award,” Mrs. Kathy Epps. Mrs. Epps has been a kindergarten teacher at Lake City Early Childhood Center for six years. She has worked in early childhood education in Florence, South Carolina since 1994. The Early Childhood Assembly is thrilled to honor an educator such as Mrs. Epps, who leads through her teaching. Mrs. Epps considers the full experience of the young child, shaping classroom culture around those needs. As illustrated in her nomination, her classroom is a reflection of the children who inhabit the space, from the physical places where children work, to the curriculum, which is developed around the needs and ideas of the children. In her nomination, Mrs. Epps is described as “caring about and caring for” her students, a practice evidenced by their rich project work, their presence in the body of the curriculum, and the engagement of their families in the classroom. Mrs. Epps is described as a teacher who expects her students to thrive, and the celebration of those individual students is clear in every element of her pedagogy. Her practice is one that celebrates the richness of children’s lives and expects the most from each individual. We are pleased to honor such a powerful educator with this award.