There were lots of hugs, laughter and even a few tears as the NLU and McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership communities celebrated Paula Jorde Bloom’s (Ph.D.) 30 years at NLU and her retirement.
“She’s an icon and a rock star,” said Chip Donahue, Ph.D., dean of distance learning and technology at Erikson Institute. “You just need to say ‘Paula’ and everyone in the field knows who you mean.”
Bloom has been a national leader in the effort to professionalize the field of Early Childhood Education, both through her own teaching and mentoring and her leadership at the McCormick Center, which trains and coaches early childhood administrators, evaluates early childhood centers, performs research and advocates for quality early childhood education.
Much of the work is in creating standards for quality early childhood programming, and supporting the teachers and administrators who deliver it to children and families.
Bloom, who has written many books on Early Childhood Education and served on boards of national associations in the field, is retiring, but will still be available for advisement, and will continue to serve on some association boards.
The celebration was held Sept. 12 at the University Club in Chicago.
Watch the NLU Alumni Magazine for an in-depth story on how she created her life’s work.