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Childcare Coordinator Honored for 20 Years of Service

By Ioana Patrigenaru | April 24, 2006

Photo
Trudy Campbell.

About 200 little voices cheered Friday as Trudy Campbell made her way onto a grassy area at UCSD’s Early Childhood Education Center for a surprise celebration. While the little ones applauded, Campbell’s fellow teachers unfurled banners congratulating her on her 20 years with the center.

But that wasn’t all. Campbell raised her eyebrows and covered her mouth in surprise as she recognized the mother of one of her former students, Pat Danylyshyn-Adams, who is the resident dean at Muir College. Her daughter, Kelly, who is now 24 and works at the Shiley Eye Center, stood at her side.

Campbell started working at the Early Childhood Education Center in December 1985 after staying home to raise her own children. Back then, three classrooms huddled together near the current location of the Cross-Cultural Center.

“I know that many UC employees make 20 years, but not everyone has had the impact on people's lives in their roles that she has,” Kathryn Owen, Campbell’s boss, wrote in an e-mail.

Campbell was a strict but friendly teacher, who wouldn’t let children get out of line, said Pat Danylyshyn-Adams.

“I think the children learned a lot from that,” she said.

Her daughter Kelly said she liked going to day care. She still keeps in touch with some of the friends she made at the center. She also said she learned Spanish.

“I was so well prepared coming out of here,” Kelly said.

In 1992, the center moved to its current location at the Mesa student housing complex and Campbell became a parent-teacher coordinator. In that role, she worked with many parents and children who came from overseas and spoke English as a foreign language, Owen wrote. Campbell also mentored a diverse staff, helping them learn life skills and boosting their confidence, Owen wrote. Celia Munoz, who was Campbell’s assistant when Kelly Danylyshyn-Adams was Campbell’s student, is now a teacher at the center.

Over the years, the center kept growing and Campbell said that’s what kept her there. The job always is interesting, she added.

“It’s nice to wake up every morning and say I’m happy to go to work,” she said.

And Friday certainly had been an interesting day. Campbell’s colleagues hugged her, congratulating her on her 20-year anniversary. Then she found out the center was going to hold a fire drill -- rather unusual for a Friday. Campbell’s job during a drill is to make sure no one gets left behind on campus, so she’s always the last one to arrive at the grassy area where children and staff members gather.  That’s how she found herself in the middle of her surprise celebration. Colleagues gave her flowers, cards and posters. Owen gave her praise.

“For 20 years, you’ve served us and supported us,” she told Campbell, handing her a bouquet.

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