Home Lifestyle Smart Start president visits Richmond County; early childhood professionals honored

Smart Start president visits Richmond County; early childhood professionals honored

Amy Cubbage, president of Smart Start, speaks duringthe Early Childhood Professional Appreciation Banquet at Cole Auditorium.

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Partnership for Children hosted Amy Cubbage, president, and Courtney Latta-Sosebee, program officer, from Smart Start-The North Carolina Partnership for Children in Richmond County Tuesday, May 17.

During their visit, Cubbage and Latta-Sosebee visited child care facilities, met with local officials and community members, and visited local attractions, like the Hamlet Depot and Museums. While meeting local officials — including Rockingham Mayor John Hutchinson and Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue — Cubbage shared the importance of advocating for early childhood education and the childcare workforce. She expressed her support for our local early childhood professionals and the needs of our community, wanting Richmond County’s voices to be heard. 

Cubbage and Latta-Sosebee finished their visit by attending the Early Childhood Professional Appreciation Banquet held at Cole Auditorium. The evening was a time of food, fun, and fellowship.

Dr. Sharon Little presented the keynote address, titled “Resilience: The Formula for Success.” Recognition of WAGE$ participants, child care facilities with 4- and 5-star ratings and individual educational accomplishments were celebrated.


Four awards were also presented. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges based on letters of support written by families, staff, and community members.

Cathy Wright of Washington Street Elementary won the “Bernice Ratliff Outstanding Teacher Award.” Jeanny Hardee of Mount Olive Christian Child Care won “Kathy Alexander Positive Attitude Award.” Crystal Gary of CLG Child Care won the inaugural “Family Child Care Home Professional of the Year Award” and Sandhills Children’s Center won the “Center of the Year Award.”

The evening concluded with every person in attendance winning a door prize from generous donors and event sponsors. 

Dr. Katrina Chance, Richmond County Partnership executive director, left, presents Jennifer Decker, director of Sandhills Children Center-Richmond the “Center of the Year” award. 


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