New Director of Baby Gator
Paula Varnes Fussell, Vice President for Human Resource Services
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Stacy Ellis has been appointed the director of Baby Gator Child Development Centers, effective June 17. Stacy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development; a master’s degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences; and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction — all at the University of Florida.
Stacy joined Baby Gator in 2004 as a teacher in the two-year-olds class. In 2008, she was promoted to assistant director of educational programming, where she provided training and mentoring to 50 Baby Gator teachers. In this role, she was instrumental in the development of the Baby Gator curriculum, ensuring research-based best practices were employed in all Baby Gator classrooms. She also took on the task of reviewing, approving and supervising all research projects conducted in Baby Gator centers.
In 2012, Stacy became the associate director for organizational operations with the responsibility of supervising special programs and enrollment. She also took the lead in building and playground projects, overseeing construction of the Diamond Village center, the renovation of the Newell Drive center, and extensive repairs and playground development at the Lake Alice center. She has also worked closely with the centers’ current director, Pam Pallas, to develop budgets, manage spending and seek additional income sources.
Stacy is a strong advocate for Baby Gator staff and has worked tirelessly on plans for salary increases for Baby Gator teachers. In her spare time, she presented workshops at local, state and national conferences, sharing Baby Gator’s policies and practices and providing valuable training to early childhood professionals. Stacy has immersed herself in the business and culture of Baby Gator and has consistently demonstrated her dedication to both Baby Gator and the early childhood profession.
I am confident Stacy will continue Baby Gator’s fine work. Please join me in congratulating her.