Here at The Child Care Success Company, we are honored to have a tribe that is continuously striving to reach for the stars. Our annual Awards Night at the Child Care Success Summit is our way of giving the amazing rockstars in our tribe a chance to be recognized and honored for all that they do to better the lives of children and their communities through their work in the early childhood education industry. This year, we were thrilled to be back live and in-person to have the opportunity to present four different awards from stage; including Child Care Rockstar, Owner of the Year, Director of the Year, and a recipient of the Change the World award.
We would like to introduce and give the honor to our four outstanding recipients who believed in our strategies, implemented our lessons, and achieved remarkable results. We are so proud of these individuals and hope their stories continue to inspire your efforts so you may always reach for the stars and land upon the moon!
Our Winners Announced from the Child Care Success Summit 2021
Child Care Rockstar 2021 - Jamarrion Tabor
The Child Care Rockstar award is the most prestigious and long-standing award presented at the Child Care Success Summit each year. This year, three finalists were selected to share their stories of inspiration and triumph on stage with the entire audience, and after the audience cast their votes on who they believed should be crowned the next child Care Rockstar. This year it was won by child care business owner and Child Care Success Academy member Jamarrion Tabor, a business owner doing amazing and exciting things in Atlanta, Georgia that is committed to offering quality child care for inner-city children. It was so incredible to be in the room during Jamarrion’s presentation and feel the energy in the audience as they identified with her story. Her journey is truly one of endurance, hard work, and determination.
She fell into child care accidentally after moving to Atlanta from Chicago with her family and started her first center in 2016 with only $5,000 and a dream. In Jamarrion’s words she had “no credit, no money, and no experience,” but she believed early childhood education was something she was uniquely gifted and suited for.
The first two years were difficult. Jamarrion admits that at the time her staff turnover was high and she had no idea how to communicate with the parents who brought their children to her center. She didn’t know how to treat people or lead positively. While enrollment and revenue were always high, the leadership structure and culture in her center were struggling, which had a toxic influence on her business as a whole. After a couple of years of this, Jamarrion found Kris Murray on YouTube and began looking into the Child Care Success Academy. She became a Growth member of the Academy in July 2019 and attended her first Child Care Success Summit that same year.
At the time, one of Jamarrion’s biggest issues was her mindset. She says that she came at her business from the standpoint of believing she was in charge and her opinion was the only one that mattered. This created a revolving door of employees. She joined the Academy in hopes of changing this but barely participated in calls or meetings until she attended the Summit in 2019 and met other business owners like her with similar struggles who’d found success through Kris Murray’s method. After reigniting her fire and being inspired by the stories of fellow Academy members that she met while attending the Summit, Jamarrion decided it was time to start putting in the effort and apply the resources in the Academy and turning her business around.
In Jamarrion’s words, “I think sometimes as owners of child care centers, we’re always blaming everybody else. We blame our staff, we blame the parents, but it really takes a lot to look in the mirror and take a hard look at yourself and realize that you need to change in order for your business to grow.” She did just that. In July of 2020 Jamarrion upgraded to the Freedom level in the Academy and in December of 2020, she upgraded again to Empire.
She credits the Academy for helping her transform her business and leadership style. While her centers are currently going through the same staffing shortages as everyone else, the staff she has are true, trusted team members who’ve been with her for a long time. Her centers were able to stay open throughout the entire pandemic without enrollment ever dropping below 70%. As of last year, her company is a million-dollar business. Looking forward, Jamarrion says she is “excited about what’s to come because the Academy has gotten me to this level with the leadership, and the resources, and the coaches.”
Owner of the Year - Dawn Uribe
Each year from we select an Owner of the Year that has been nominated by their staff. This year, from an unprecedented sea of nominations, Dawn Uribe, owner of Mis Amigos Preschool in St. Paul, Minnesota, was chosen!
Dawn is doing amazing things in her program. The heart-centered quality she provides in her school is absolutely unmatched, but it hasn’t always been that way. When Dawn attended her first Summit, she was ready to give up on her program. But her executive director at the time, now COO, who had attended the Summit by herself before, convinced Dawn to attend. It was the best decision she ever made. Together with her amazing team, she’s turned her business around by delegating and encouraging everyone to work within their unique brilliance.
Read for yourself some of the reasons Dawn’s staff submitted and believed regarding why she should be awarded Owner of the Year…
“I truly believe the love and loyalty she has built into our culture makes us the best place to work in the Twin Cities.”
“Dawn has always shown her core values in every action she takes. She is very professional and follows her dreams and helps others do so as well. She is the best boss I have ever met! She is amazing!”
“She was so calm and courageous during the pandemic. All the staff feel loved and safe working with her; no matter what she always has our back and our paycheck every time.”
“This year, despite everything that is happening in the world, she has managed to get Mis Amigos ahead and stronger in every way.”
Director of the Year - Sharita Curtis
Our Director of the Year awards also had an unprecedented number of nominations this year. Among all the very deserving directors who were nominated by their owners and staff, Sharita Curtis was chosen for the incredible work she’s doing at Inheritance Academy and Child Development Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Sharita has served as the director of Inheritance Academy for eleven years. In the last year as a member of the Child Care Success Academy alongside the owner of her school, she’s shown an unbelievable level of professional growth, commitment, and productivity which has driven the success of her program. Sharita fully owns her role as a leader, which has allowed her CEO to work on the business rather than in it because she knows the day-to-day is being handled creatively and professionally.
She’s transformed the culture of Inheritance Academy into one that’s vibrant and full of enthusiasm. Even during the pandemic she grew the school from four classrooms to eleven and doubled enrollment. She pushed for the school to remain open and took charge of COVID-19 precautions to make it a safe and joyful place for everyone even during one of the most difficult times in our country. During a time when many companies are facing staffing shortages, Inheritance Academy is fully staffed due to Sharita’s creative hiring methods and incredible training process.
In the words of her CEO: “She deserves it not only because she stood tall, not only because she persevered for the past two years, but because she brings an amazing energy, passion, nurturing care, and just all-out excellence to Inheritance academy. She is one of the top reasons that we’re still standing.”
Read for yourself some of the reasons Sharita’s staff submitted and believed regarding why she should be awarded Director of the Year…
“Sharita Curtis works hard every single day. She makes sure that she supports her staff and her team. She is amazing”
“She loves everybody. Her energy is just amazing. She knows how to work with everybody and everybody’s different personalities.”
“Working under her has shown me a lot and I have seen the great elevation she’s brought to the entire center.”
“Over the past year, she’s pushed the mission of our agency, making sure that the center had everything that it needed regardless of what was going on with the pandemic. She was very supportive of our staff, she ensured the program still ran smoothly and made sure all of our parents knew that this was a great, safe place to send their children throughout the pandemic.”
Change the World Award Winner - Joan Dillion
The Change the World award is still a relatively new award that debuted in 2020. The winner of this award is selected from a pool of submissions from those that participated in our Leadership Mastery Course for Early Educators within the past year that believe the course has helped them to transform their leadership style and school culture.
This year’s winner was Joan Dillon, an incredible leader with a fantastic story about persistence, diligence, and never giving up. Joan’s program is called Glassboro Child Development Centers in Glassboro, New Jersey. In 2018 at her second Summit, she was in the midst of a struggle. While her schools had finally started to hire good people, Joan was still struggling to keep her staff and families happy and typically worked 50-60 hour weeks, including nights and weekends.
After realizing she wasn’t taking care of herself at all, Joan began to change her habits and watched her business shift positively as a result. However, when she started Leadership Mastery in 2021, she was still stuck in a cycle of people-pleasing rather than people-growing and directing rather than leading. She realized she had no idea why she was leading or how to ask people to make a difference instead of just asking them to follow her. Through Leadership Mastery, Joan learned to prioritize being intentional and began one-on-one weekly meetings with her leadership team. This allowed her to empower her staff to work within their own unique brilliance, which raised the quality of everyone’s work as a whole.
Joan’s work in the course helped her recognize a gap in her school’s communication process which she remedied by taking feedback from everyone through anonymous surveys. She now empowers her staff members to pursue further education and has been able to delegate areas of her business that don’t fit into her unique brilliance, such as social media. This has allowed other team members to shine as they step into jobs that they are uniquely suited for.
Throughout the pandemic when field trips were off-limits, Joan’s staff united to create a program that got parents and kids outside during a time when most people were stuck at home. Without any push from Joan at all, her staff started working gardens at each of her locations and taught the children to care for them as part of their daily routine.
Joan’s staff now live their core values every day while also taking more time for themselves. The kids at her centers are healthier socially and emotionally, which in turn makes happier parents. Through Joan’s improved culture, they’ve been able to change the world for three hundred people. In August of 2021, her schools nearly exceeded the revenue reported for the entire year of 2019. None of this would have been possible without the lessons she learned in our Leadership Mastery for Early Educators course.