Karen Stephens, IAS Board Vice President (she/her)
Karen Stephens is a graduate of Illinois State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and an M.S. in education, specializing in early childhood education.
Karen has lived in McLean County since 1972 and began her professional career as a teacher in a preschool classroom in 1975. From 1980 to May 2013, she served as Director of Illinois State University’s Child Care Center and taught child development and early childhood program administration courses for ISU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. In 2017, she was inducted into the Illinois State University College of Applied Science and Technology‘s Hall of Fame.
Karen served for two years as President of the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children and served on accreditation committees for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In addition to serving on the IAS board, Karen is a member of the advisory board of the Pratt Music Foundation, which raises scholarship funds to support classical music lessons reserved for talented children with financial need.
Karen has contributed to various educational and professional trade publications since 1985 to the present. For a decade, she published a weekly parenting column for Bloomington-Normal’s local newspaper, The Pantagraph. Her parenting columns were later published as “Parenting Exchange on CD” by Exchange Press.
She has delivered early childhood professional development trainings since 1975 at local, regional, national, and international venues. International presentations have included visits to New Zealand, Scotland, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, and Northern Ireland. Her keynotes and training topics range widely, from nurturing children’s creativity to supporting children’s resilience nature education.
Karen is author of the high school textbook Child Care Today: Becoming an Early Childhood Professional, and Block Adventures.