2013-02-22 / Community

Local Honored For Education Work

Rockaway resident, Joan Gallagher was honored on January 31st at the 40th Anniversary of the Child Development Center at Kingsborough Community College for her contribution to the development of the first Children’s Center to serve the children of students of CUNY. Gallagher began her career at KCC in 1973.

The center opened in 1971 when schools all over the nation began to recognize the needs of young women to have professional care for their children while they attended college in order to better themselves by attaining a college education. It was a time of new and innovative thinking and Gallagher chose to be part of this trend. Gallagher taught at the school from 1973-1979, took some timeout to raise her two sons, Matthew and Sean, and then returned again from 1983-1987. With her Master’s degree in hand and nine years of experience, Gallagher opened A Childs Place, located in Neponsit, in 1987. Joan again was in the forefront, being one of the first to be granted a license to operate a UPK as a collaborator with the NYC Department of Education. As Director of A Childs Place, she nurtured countless students by creating a unique educational environment. As Laura Kates, Assistant Director of the Education Program at KCC stated in her presentation speech at the awards dinner, “Joan is that rare individual who stays true to her principles and beliefs, yet has the courage, patience and optimism to be an energetic participant in contemporary public discourse about early childhood curriculum, standards and policy.”

Although Gallagher closed the school in 2012, she continues this excellence by teaching Early Childhood courses as an Adjunct Professor at KCC. Gallagher’s legacy is the children of the community who were given their education foundation at A Childs Place. Greg Walsh, Joan’s partner for the past 4 years, marvels at the many times she is stopped on the streets and at shops in Rockaway by parents, small children and those children who are now teenager who approach her with a huge smile on their faces, thanking her for what she has done for their social development and strong educational foundation. The parents attribute their child’s success to her tutelage and both parent and child often say they will never forget their time spent with Joan.

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