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LEA Early Childhood Educators
Network (ECEnet)   

ECEnet members include educators working with children from birth through age eight in a variety of settings:

  • infant and toddler programs
  • child care
  • preschool
  • kindergarten through second grade

ECEnet exists to link, equip, and affirm educators as well as develop a greater understanding of the multifaceted roles of early childhood ministries in both school and congregational settings. ECEnet will provide support, resources, and growth opportunities for carrying out these missions and ministries.

Network Leadership Team:

Lisa Schmidt, Chair, Giddings, TX

Laura Busse, Springfield, IL

Drew Gerdes, Springfield, MO

Julie Klopke, Arlington Heights, IL

Jennifer Welch, Fort Myers, FL


     Laura              Julie       Drew       Jennifer        Lisa


ECEnet’s Book Connection archives

ECEnet’s Bulletin Board archives


LEA Early Childhood Leadership Institute information

ECEnet-supported events and resources include:

  • Internet listserv (request subscription from

  • Articles in Shaping the Future magazine for LEA members

  • Video lending library – available to all LEA members free of charge for a period of one week per video. All videos have been selected to represent a broad range of topics and interests related to the field of early childhood education and do not necessarily reflect the views of LEA-ECEnet. Click here to download a video catalog and loan request form in PDF format. (You may also call LEA at 708-209.3343 to request a print copy by mail or fax.

  • Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher and Outstanding New Early Childhood Teacher Awards.


LEA Awards from ECEnet

Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher honorees:

2010  Becky Hohenstein

2009  Amy Neumann

2008  Carol Koenig

2007  Corey Nelson

2006  Drew Gerdes

2005  Donna Koehneke

2004  Kirk Bolt



Outstanding New Early Childhood Teacher honorees:

2009  Leah Schmidt

2005  Gayle Gerth


Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Administrator:

2010  Julie Klopke

Publications Archive

Issues of several publications distributed in 2002 to 2004 are available for viewing or download from the links below.


ECEnet News Flash Fall 2002  (leadership, computers, activities for God Chose Me)

ECEnet News Flash Winter 2003  (reception areas, listserv, introduction to Networks, gifts of God, video library)

ECEnet News Flash Insert Winter 2003  (chapel based on Psalm 127:3)

ECEnet Early Childhood Place Summer 2003 (professional growth, getting ready for new school year, outdoor activities)

Faith Grows Devotion (2003)  (take-home devotionals under the theme "Faith Grows in the Home" for ages 2-3, 4-5, and 6-7)

ECEnet Special Edition 2004  (stress, chapel talk based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)