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Austin ISD Board of Trustees Name New Facility the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center

Austin, TX—The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the new Early Childhood Center in honor of Anita Uphaus, a former teacher and early childhood coordinator.

The Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center, located at 5200 Freidrich Lane in East Austin, is scheduled to open in the fall. The center was built utilizing funds from a bond approved by voters in 2008.

"The new Early Childhood Center will serve as a demonstration school for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers across the district," Mark Williams, board president, said. "It is most fitting to name the center in honor of someone who has dedicated a career to early childhood education and who can serve as an inspiring role model for others who will follow in Ms. Uphaus's footsteps."

Anita Uphaus retired from AISD in 2006 after 32 years of service, which began when she was a kindergarten teacher at both Graham and Cook elementary schools. She also served as a curriculum coordinator, early childhood administrator and facilities administrative supervisor. As the supervisor of Early Childhood Programs between 1981 and 2006, she managed the development and growth of the district's pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs.

Uphaus was a key administrator in fostering collaboration between AISD and local and state agencies. During the mid-1980s, she worked with leaders from Head Start and the Capital Area Workforce to develop a model program of combined services to serve children and their families. The success of the initiative was a prominent influence in forming the legislation that created the state-funded, pre-kindergarten program. Later, Austin was chosen to be one of 10 cities across the state to pilot the Texas Early Education Model, a forerunner of the current Texas School Ready project.

"The new Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center will serve to relieve some of the over-crowding conditions at Linder Elementary School," Sam Guzman, board trustee, said. "It also will provide a first-class education, starting at an early age, to our children in East Austin."