Two Mary Johnson teachers receive national awards

Jackie Prime, left, and Brianna Heller of Mary Johnson Children’s Center recently won prestigious national awards.

MIDDLEBURY — Two Mary Johnson Children’s Center caregivers have received national awards for their work this year. Jackie Prime and Brainna Heller were recognized as teachers who continue to raise the bar for the early childhood field with the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Teacher Awards. In honor of a devoted childcare teacher, the award is designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of outstanding early care and education teachers and bring attention to the critical role they play in the lives of young children.

Heller, of MJCC’s Orwell Early Education Program, is in the top 10 of 50 recipients throughout the U.S. and in the running for National Child Care Teacher of the Year. In her own words, “I knew from my first day working as an early educator that teaching was my calling. My time at OEEP has allowed me to solidify my teaching philosophy and strengthen my leadership skills, and has provided me with a job I look forward to each morning. Being an early educator is not just a job, but a passion.” In addition to the Lokoff award, Heller was named the Helene Marks National Child Care Teacher of the Year.

Prime has been supporting the children and families in her community for over 20 years, and is receiving the Terri Lynne Lokoff Award for the second time in her career. As a mother of four children, she understands the importance of having trusting, respectful, and transparent relationships with the children and families that she serves. Jackie notes, “We are early educators because it feeds our souls to support, inspire, and advocate for others.”


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