November 10, 2020

  1. Could you share a little about your experience as an early childhood educator and what has lead you to pursue this career?

“I always wanted to be a teacher.  My mom was a teacher for 30 years.  I visited her classroom when I was young, and that’s where the interest began.  She was an inspiration of mine.  I saw the hard work she put in—the love she had for her ‘children’ and the fun she had with them.  During my experiences, I have worked with all ages of children, as well as adults in higher education.”

  1. What have you enjoy most about working with children, families, and early childhood educators?

“The connection and relationships I have built along the way is what I love about this work.  Building that community with the children and their families, as well as my colleagues, is the most rewarding and fulfilling part for me.   I truly have had the greatest people on my journey to guide, inspire and educate me and to touch my heart.”

  1. What inspired you to join the QUALITYstarsNY team as a Quality Improvement Specialist and what are you most looking forward to?

“I had a wonderful experience with QUALITYstarsNY in my former position.  I am looking forward to working with a variety of programs and educators in Chautauqua County. There is a great deal that QUALITYstarsNY can provide for programs and the children they serve.  I am very excited to be a part of it and to continue to learn and grow in this new role.”

  1. As a Quality Improvement Specialist for Chautauqua County New York, could you tell us about Chautauqua and what the early childhood community looks like there?

“Chautauqua County is a small community.  We have diverse schools and early childhood programs, with very dedicated educators and advocates for young children.  The agencies and businesses try really hard to collaborate and work together in order to better the lives of children and families in this county.”

  1. Starting as a Quality Improvement Specialist during COVID-19 must be a unique and challenging experience. Is the pandemic impacting the way you’re thinking about your new role and how to support programs during this difficult time?

“I am grateful for technology during COVID-19!  There are different ways to meet with our programs during this time.  For now, virtual meetings have been very effective to connect with the programs and to understand what they are experiencing during this challenging time.  We will take every precaution to keep the children safe and at same time support the great work our providers are doing.”

  1. What are some things you like to do for fun?

“I do enjoy spending time with my family and friends, including my cats!   When we get together there is a lot of laughter, good food and hugs.  I am missing that during this COVID time.  But we are learning to be creative.  I also enjoy reading, listening to music and watching a good movie.”

Kathy Siragusa has been involved in the early childhood field for 30 years. Before joining QUALITYstarsNY, Kathy taught in a variety of Chautauqua County schools and child care centers, as a toddler teacher, a UPK teacher and public school teacher. Kathy has supported children, families and teachers as a school age coordinator and child care center program director. Additionally, she has worked with the teacher education programs at Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia as an adjunct instructor and cooperating teacher. Kathy holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction and Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Fredonia, and earned an Associate of Arts in Social Sciences from Jamestown Community College. She has also served as a board member for the Chautauqua County Chapter of New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC).

About our QI Specialists

With vast expertise in early childhood education, QUALITYstarsNY’s Quality Improvement Specialists provide individualized guidance and support to our participating programs throughout every aspect of their work. Meet our team of nearly 30 QI Specialist working with early childhood programs on continuous quality improvement across the state.