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Cirilo McLaine II, past president of Children’s Harbor, presents the Anchor Award to TCC’s Carole Whitener.

SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (April 30, 2009) – A Tidewater Community College professor has been recognized with this year’s Anchor Award for significant contributions to the care and education of young children.

Selected for her long-time involvement and commitment to the healthy development of children in Hampton Roads, Carole Whitener, a professor in TCC’s Early Childhood Development program, received the Anchor Award from Children’s Harbor Early Care and Education Centers.

“Carole has been an amazing influence in the field of early childhood education, giving over 30 years of volunteer service to our agency and many others,” says Toni Cacace-Beshears, chief executive officer, Children’s Harbor.

Whitener, recipient of the VAECE Outstanding Service to the Children of Virginia Award in 2004, worked with the state’s Smart Beginnings initiative to increase educational levels and compensation rates for childcare teachers and improve the quality of care for children. To cite a few of her many efforts, she served on the Governor’s Preschool Alignment Task Force, is one of 50 raters for the Virginia Quality Initiative (QRIS) Project, and has been secretary and president of the Board of Directors for the Tidewater Child Care Association and president of the Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children. She was also the Virginia representative and public policy chair on the Board of Directors for the Southern Association for Early Childhood Education (SECA). The position statement she wrote on the Importance of the Arts in Children’s Development is on the SECA website. 

The award was presented during Children’s Harbor’s ninth annual Safe Harbor luncheon, held April 15, at the Murray Center in downtown Norfolk. Children’s Harbor operates four child daycare centers and a training department for caregivers. The agency also administers a USDA-food program, providing 200 family daycare providers and the children in their care with meals.


Laurie White
Media Relations

Celebrating its 40th year, Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls nearly 40,000 students and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 23rd highest producer of associate degrees in the nation, and the 35th largest community college, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit