By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (July 20, 2016) – Heather Haile was born to be a teacher. She obtained her master’s degree in education from Tarleton State University in 1999. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with specializations in early childhood education and ESL, and spent more than a decade at two Stephenville ISD elementary campuses.
While circumstances – marriage, motherhood, business ownership – pulled her away from the education sector for a time, Haile is back. She was recently named the director of a new childcare program at Ranger College Erath County Center (RCECC).
“We are thrilled to welcome Heather to the Ranger College family,” President William J. Campion said.
He emphasized Haile’s education, skills and combination of personal and professional experiences made her the perfect fit to fill the leadership role.
In addition to teaching, she spent more than 20 years in private business in the Stephenville area. She is also the parent of three children: Holden, currently a junior at Stephenville High School; Hudson, an eighth grader at Henderson Junior High; and Halston, a third grader at Hook Elementary.
“We genuinely feel she is going to help make Ranger College a leader in childcare education, and we’re confident she will have a positive impact on the lives of many people in Erath and the surrounding counties,” Campion said.
The program will put Haile at the front of a much larger classroom than those of her past. She will oversee curriculum and instructors at the two-year college, directly impacting the future of RCECC students. She will also be at the helm of a child development center, which will offer private-pay childcare with lessons and activities for 75 area children. There even could be possibilities for the children and the staff to become part of the Cultural Care Au Pair community and share cultures and experiences.
Haile is enthusiastic about the pending opening of the facility and one-on-one interaction with students – post secondary and preschool.
“I’m very passionate about touching the lives of my kids,” she said.
Courses in child development begin in late August. Classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday. Little learners, 12 months old and walking up to preschool age, are expected begin September 6.
“We are currently seeking adjunct faculty to teach three courses in child development beginning August 26,” Haile said.
Applications, which can be picked up at the main office at the Stephenville campus, are also being accepted for child nutrition specialists, classroom teachers, aides and housekeeping.
Under Haile’s guidance, RCECC students and children will work together – one group furthering their education and another just beginning to learn. The facility offers hands-on education in living laboratory with everything you’d expect to find in a child development center.
The building was once home to a dingy old bowling alley, but the opening of the child development program in little more than a month will reveal a state-of-the-art learning facility with offices for the director and instructors; area of lecture and bookwork; four classrooms for the younger children who will divided by age group; a breast feeding area; a parent connection room with a library; full-service commercial kitchen; a gross motor skills lab, where RCECC students can observe essential developmental skills like running, skipping and jumping; and more.
The Erath County program is a first in early childhood education for Ranger College, but Haile, crediting Campion as the visionary, said the long-term goal is for her to use the local program as a blueprint for similar centers in Brown County.
“He is an educator at heart and hasn’t lost sight of where we all begin,” she said.
For RCECC students that beginning could be early coursework in counseling, social work, education or the foundation for opening their own childcare center. It will also offer high school students another dual credit opportunity.
For more information on Ranger College Erath County Center visit www.rangercollege.edu/erathcounty/ or call the local center at (254) 918-7232.