Congratulations to the 2021 Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award Nominees!

April 16, 2021

thread is excited to announce that we received a record number of Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award nominations in 2021! This award, which honors the late Cindy Harrington, is presented each year to an early educator who exemplifies qualities such as professionalism, impassioned spirit, and individual achievement – especially when it involves overcoming barriers.

The past year has presented many new challenges for early childhood educators. Despite the health risks and ever-changing circumstances, Alaska’s early educators persevered. thread received more than 25 award nominations for this award. The nominations were a true testament to the resilience of these early educators and the work they did to ensure programs stayed open across Alaska.  

Join us in congratulating the 2021 Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award Nominees:


  • Anne Oliver, Kodiak
  • Ariana Lematta, Anchorage
  • Beth Snyder, Anchorage
  • De Cyril, Anchorage
  • Eunice Solorio, Anchorage
  • Jillian Jackson, Anchorage
  • Karissa Cassel, Valdez
  • Katherine Staples, Anchorage
  • Kim Saunders, Kodiak
  • Kimmer Ball, Anchorage
  • Leticia Vinales, Anchorage
  • Molly Hayes, Anchorage
  • Mona Hundrup, Anchorage
  • Olivia Jinkins, Anchorage
  • Ruth Sanchez, Wasilla
  • Sarah Powers, Kodiak
  • Sean Shawcross, Anchorage
  • Selina Ellis, Anchorage
  • Tammy Berdeaux, Wasilla
  • Xiomara Sims, Anchorage


  • Emma Nicholson, Thorne Bay
  • Kristin Dutson, Juneau
  • Michaelyn Coil, Petersburg

Northern Interior

  • Maria Vilchez, Fairbanks
  • Sarah Nichols, Fairbanks

Thank you to ALL of Alaska’s early educators for all that you do to support Alaska’s children and families, but especially for the work you did in 2020 to keep our youngest Alaskans safe and healthy.