Tammy Gosley ’21 Named 2023 Vermont Early Childhood Educator of the Year

A woman sits at a desk over cutouts of various blue paper that form the word "Teach."

Tammy Gosley, a 2021 graduate of Vermont State’s Online Early Childhood Education degree program and a lead teacher at Bennington County Head Start/Early Head Start, was named the 2023 Vermont Early Childhood Educator of the Year!

The award honors exceptional early childhood educators and spotlights the importance of high-quality early childhood education for Vermont’s children, families, and communities. It is presented annually by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) and sponsored by Let’s Grow Kids.

Tammy was recognized for creating a sense of belonging for everyone in her classroom community. “I want them to know this place is for them, because I want them to have a love for learning.”

Tammy’s work with Bennington Head Start began more than 25 years ago when, as a young parent of three, she enrolled her oldest son in the program. Taking to heart the organization’s encouragement of family engagement, Tammy got involved.

A cooking class she took on site led to her role as a cook there. Then, after seeing her interact with the children, an educator told her she was in the wrong role and encouraged her to become a teacher. Tammy started assisting in classrooms, learned from teachers, earned her Child Development Associate credential from the Community College of Vermont, and took many courses. She took part in the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program, and then completed her associate degree at CCV the same year her oldest son graduated from the University of Vermont. In 2021, Tammy graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Vermont State.

“The personal and professional path that I have been on for the last twenty-five years has been incredible. I have raised three independent and confident young men and have created a career that I am very proud of,” she said. “Recently, a colleague told me that I am the one she gives credit to when she is praised by others for her classroom management skills and work with children. That by working together, she has learned so much and set off on her own career in early childhood. What more can I ask for, then to give back to a profession that has given me so much.”

Tammy is Vermont’s ninth Early Childhood Educator of the Year and the first to be nominated in southern Vermont. Congratulations, Tammy!