Framingham State University’s Director of the FSU Centers for Early Childhood Education Valerie Hytholt was recently honored at the Massachusetts State House with an Educator Alumni Award by members of the House and Senate.

Hytholt completed her M.Ed. in Literacy and Language and her Post Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Program in Early Childhood Education at Framingham State University. She supports the preparation of future teachers through her close involvement with teacher candidates during their pre-practicum experiences in our preschool classrooms.

In 1839, Massachusetts became the first state to recognize the importance of teacher preparation programs with the establishment of normal schools – the first of which was Framingham State University – that were free of charge to students who committed to teaching in the Commonwealth’s schools. These institutions that were designed specifically to educate school teachers have grown to become comprehensive state universities. Today, the Massachusetts State Universities educate over one-third of public school teachers in the Commonwealth, in addition to preparing much of the workforce across numerous other disciplines.

The Alumni Educator award was established to honor a teacher from each of the nine state universities each year.

“Valerie is a passionate and dedicated member of the FSU community who plays a key role in helping prepare the aspiring teachers at Framingham State,” says FSU President Dr. Nancy Niemi. “It was an honor to join her for this well-deserved recognition.”

Hytholt oversees several community initiatives in her role, including the the Partnerships for Early Learning (PEL) with the Framingham Public Schools, which provides local children with a full-time preschool experience at no cost on our campus. She has also extended her own professional development in racial equity through the Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) in recent years and brought meaningful changes to FSU classrooms.