Tikki Heublein, '85 & Denys Vigil Receive Hawkins' Lifetime Achievement Award

Tikki & Denys with Richard Garcia,Colorado Parent Coalition, who nominated them

CDSS alumna Elizabeth “Tikki” Heublein, PhD ’'85, and Denys Vigil, Co-Directors of the Center for Alternative and Responsible Education (CARE) received the Hawkins Lifetime Achievement Award at a banquet held by the Boulder County for the Education of Young Children (BCAEYC) on April 28, 2011. The award is in honor of David Hawkins (1913-2002) and his wife, Frances Pochman Hawkins (1913-2006), who founded the Mountain View Center for Environmental Education, a popular learning center and laboratory for educators located on the CU campus during the 70s and 80s. The Hawkins’ work influenced a wide range of professionals, including speech language pathologist who taught and studied at SLHS (CDSS). The Hawkins also worked with Head Start and Follow Through programs, the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Native American Reservations, and a variety of school across the U.S. Although the Hawkins have passed, their work is actively shared through The Hawkins Centers of Learning

Sharing the banquet theme from the African Proverb "It takes a village to raise a child", Matt Eldred, BCAEYC President, announced the award, "This years Hawkins Lifetime achievement award winners could not be more deserving. They exemplify the heart and soul of the award and have dedicated their lives to children and families, particularly those that don't have access to high-quality programs and services. Denys and Tikki are an amazing team and it is only fitting that they be recognized together. They make a great team and we are blessed to have them as a part of the Early Childhood community in Boulder County."

Denys and Tikki established the Center for Alternative and Responsible Education (CARE) in 1992. CARE is a private educational consulting firm committed to alternative and responsible education for children, youth, and adults. As the name suggests, CARE’s primary purpose is to provide learning support to adults, families, children, businesses and communities through educational interventions in the areas of bilingual and multicultural education, multiple intelligences, early childhood education, parent engagement, and program evaluation.

They also provide support to immigrant families with children who are U.S. citizens; and who are threatened with deportation. Their combined educational expertise and Denys' roots in South and Central America and his extensive travels in Mexico allow them to provide court evidence about the extreme and unusual hardship family deportation would have on the children who are legal citizens. Court judges in these cases tend to agree which results in fewer families being deported.

Tikki interacting with children in CLC

Tikki and Denys have a broad range of teaching and training experience which includes preschool, elementary, middle school and high school students, parents, community members, practicing teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students. Denys is bilingual and bi-literate in English and Spanish and composes bilingual children’s music, which as musicians, they perform together.

Denys interacting with child in CLC

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization. Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 80,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.