Over 100 guests gathered in Clayton Hall on May 30, 2012 to honor long time KIDS COUNT in Delaware Program Director Terry Schooley at a reception celebrating her retirement from the University of Delaware.
Among the many guests were her colleagues in the Center for Community Research and Service and the School of Public Policy and Administration. Also in attendance were College of Arts & Sciences Dean George Watson and Associate Dean Joe Pika, Delaware's Senior Senator Tom Carper, Governor Jack Markell, Delaware Speaker of the House Bob Gilligan, former state Representative Jane Maroney, and many nonprofit leaders, funders, and KIDS COUNT Advisory Board members who have worked with Terry throughout her career.
For fifteen years, Schooley has been vigilant in her leadership of KIDS COUNT, growing its network and expanding its publications to include not only the annual KIDS COUNT in Delaware Fact Book but also a series of "issue briefs," an annual "Legislative Wrap-Up" and a monthly newsletter.
Associate Dean Joe Pika told those assembled that "[Terry] grew the KIDS COUNT in Delaware program into THE authoritative source for data relating to children and families in the state."
Pika explained that the number of indicators of child health and well-grew from 10 to more than 100 under Schooley's leadership, and that the Kids Count data base is used extensively by a variety of nonprofit and public agencies to design new programs, develop funding proposals, and monitor progress in addressing the needs of children and their families.
Conversations around Clayton Hall on the evening of May 30th echoed the same warm sentiments regarding Terry's unbridled passion for Delaware's children and their families.
Remarks made by Governor Jack Markell captured the breadth of Terry's contribution to the state of Delaware's children.
"The full impact of Terry's Schooley's efforts to support children and families in Delaware is immeasurable," said Governor Markell. "Not only has she worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of our youngest citizens, she has also inspired and motivated countless others to follow suit." He went on to say that "for Delaware's economy to continue growing, we need our children to grow up healthy, safe and with the best foundation possible in order to reach their full potential. Achieving those goals has been a lifelong mission for Terry."
Schooley's retirement also means the start of a new era for the program. Janice Barlow has been named the new Director of KIDS COUNT in Delaware, which is housed in the Center for Community Research and Service in the School of Public Policy and Administration. Steven Peuquet, who directs the Center, states that Barlow has a long history with the Center, has been directly involved with the KIDS COUNT program for the last five years, and is well prepared to lead the programs into the future.
Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the State of Delaware, the University of Delaware and private contributions, KIDS COUNT in Delaware is one of fifty-three similar programs operating in every state of the nation.
Visit the KIDS COUNT in Delaware home page for more information and to access current and past Fact Books and other publications produced by the program.