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Sunny Holmes, Former Principal

"A child speaks, and we listen"- Sonia Holmes.

Sonia Holmes, former VCLC principal from 1985- 2007 contributed to the world of preschool special education for over 38 years. As the principal (preschool through second grade special education programs), Mrs. Holmes, known as "Sunny" to all, oversaw special education teachers; occupational, physical and speech therapists; psychologists; social workers; the school nurses and teacher aides who worked with over 400 young children with developmental disabilities, including autism, each year. Ms. Holmes was well known for her innovation and administrative skills. She dedicated her life to providing the best possible education and care for young children with developmental disabilities and their families. A hands-on principal, Sunny often worked one on one with the children, teachers and parents.

Sunny was well known for her leadership role in special education professional associations and for developing a wide-ranging series of presentations for parents, professionals and other early childhood professionals. She presented at many local, state, and national conferences. Her teaching skills were featured in two educational/child advocacy films, “A Time for Georgia” which documents child with autism, in VCLC's therapeutic nursery (this film was presented at the White House Conference on Children and Youth and the 1970 winner of an Educational Film Library Association Award) and “Teaching Children Self-Control” a film that illustrates problem solving techniques for dealing with defiant and assaultive classroom behavior.

Mrs. Holmes was presented with the “Margo O’Connor Advocate of the Year Award 2007” by the Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc on June 1, 2007. She was also honored by VCLC parents on May 10, 2007 at VCLC’s “All that Glitters Fashion Show” at Crest Hollow Country Club for her major contribution over 38 years to the world of preschool special education.

Since Mrs. Holmes first came to Variety Child Learning Center (VCLC) in 1969 as an assistant teacher, her exceptional compassion and skill in dealing with young children who were difficult to manage, and their families was evident. As School Principal of Variety Child Learning Center from 1985 - 2007, her grace, skill, warmth and compassion with all, Sunny was much beloved by VCLC children, staff and families.



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