Noris Daniel Fellows Selected

Clare Juico, Patty Coss-Maxwell and Jagtar Minhas

Earlier this year, the Noris Daniel Fellowship was established to support racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse members of the workforce to complete masters’s degree programs and enter the statewide Early Childhood Education (ECE) faculty pool.

Three fellows were selected: Patty Coss-Maxwell, Clare Juico, and Jagtar Minhas.

“We are thrilled to have selected Clare, Jagtar and Patty for this fellowship,” said Samantha Dolan, North Seattle College (NSC) ECE Associate Director of Early Childhood Initiatives.  “These brilliant educators embody everything the fellowship and its namesake, Ms. Daniel, know to be essential in those that teach young children.”

Coss-Maxwell is an Early Achievers Coach with Child Care Resources, and is also a point of contact for the ECE Spanish cohorts at NSC. She attended NSC summer 2018 through summer 2020 and obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in ECE. “For me being selected to be part of the Noris E. Daniel Fellowship has been an honor. It will allow me to promote values and principles and become a better person,” said Coss-Maxwell. She chose the field of ECE to conserve and transmit knowledge, culture, and values to the next generations. Coss-Maxwell hopes to contribute to the field of ECE by creating an anti-bias community, speaking out against discrimination and racism, and promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity. She also hopes to serve the community – specifically the Latin community.

Juico is the higher education program coordinator at EarlyEdU Alliance and previously worked in her family’s home child care program. She started attending ECE classes at NSC in winter 2010 and completed her Associate of Applied Science degree in ECE in spring 2015. She continued and received her BAS in ECE in June 2020. “I see this fellowship as a bridge towards the many systems that strive to make ECE an equitable field for early learning professionals. I earned the fellowship because there were players in multiple systems who believed that our field needs a diverse workforce — from higher ed institutions to ECE classrooms — and decided to invest in people like me. Being selected as a fellow will help me be part of the lasting and positive change in the systems we already have in place,” said Juico. She chose the field of ECE to help out with their family’s child care center and to learn more about the positive difference she can make in children and how to best support families. Juico wants to contribute to the field of ECE by inspiring the next generation of ECE educators the same way that her NSC instructors did for her.

Minhas is a lead teacher in an Early Head Start program at Educare and also works as a mentor with NSC’s emerging leaders in the ECE program. She has also volunteered teaching Punjabi. She started at NSC in 2016 and completed her BAS degree in ECE in 2019. “I feel very honored to be selected as a fellow. I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for me to grow as a person, a teacher, and a leader. The fellowship has created an initiation point for me to reach my dreams, learn, and develop my knowledge and skills,” said Minhas. She chose the field of ECE to effectively serve diverse children and families and because of her passion for learning with young children. She hopes to contribute to the field of ECE by advocating for children and families so they can have access to good lives and education.

Each of the fellows will be awarded a scholarship of $25,000 per year for two years upon beginning a master’s degree program in ECE with a certificate in Adult Education College Instruction from Eastern Washington University. The scholarship is funded by a $719,900 grant from the Early Educator Investment Collaborative, which was awarded to NSC. NSC is one of six higher education institutions nationwide to be awarded funds.

As a part of their fellowship, the fellows will work with NSC ECE faculty to deliver and revise course materials in their home language.

The fellows will work with NSC ECE faculty to support their entry into higher education and navigate college systems. The experience is intended to prepare the fellows for success when they enter the higher education workforce.

“By supporting them in their journey to become higher education faculty, the fellowship is working towards a higher education faculty pool that more closely represents the ECE workforce,” said Dolan.

Noris E. Daniel Fellows will also receive mentoring from master’s degree graduates who have similar racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds to support them through the program.

“Clare, Patty and Jagtar are incredibly dedicated and brilliant women of color, with combined decades of experience in the field, and fluency in three non-English languages between them,” said Dolan. “Their experience, expertise, dedication and love of ECE will have a lasting impact on the next generation of early care and education professionals.”