Linda Sutherby has been making a positive impact on children her entire adult life. She operated a child care centre in St. John's, Newfoundland for several years. It was there that she first began her involvement with the Canadian Association for Young Children. When her family moved to Calgary, she joined the local CAYC and was soon serving as Director of the AB/NWT chapter where she helped revise the CAYC Statements on Play.

Linda has been teaching at Mount Royal College in the Early Learning and Child Care program for over 10 years. In that role, she has been able to multiply her impact on children by inspiring her students to promote developmentally appropriate pro­grams for young children. She has been involved in numerous curriculum projects for the development of online courses, particularly in the area of child development.

She continually reminds students to follow the children's lead and to plan based on what they need; they must become child development experts and strong advocates for play. Practicum coordination not only establishes Linda as a leader in the childcare community but also helps her stay connected to children who continue to breathe life into her practice.

Linda has been a mentor to many students, both those arriving fresh out of high school and those returning to college after many years away from post-secondary education. As one mature student so aptly stated, "Linda brought Early Learning to light with her enthusiasm and showed me the importance of in­-depth study towards the goal of becoming a professional. I gained an amazing pride for my newly-chosen profession and a confidence in my practices!" Another said, "Linda brought life experiences to the class; she gave us guidance on how to observe the 'inner child' in us and how to relate that to our studies." Many of her former students are now leaders in the field and have also become involved in CAYC.

Through CAYC and Mount Royal College, Linda has been involved in planning numerous conferences professional development events. She has led workshops on topics such as early literacy, child observation, play environments, diversity,and children's rights. Serving Child Care board at the college Linda in tune with issues facing families of young children . In all these venues, she communicates her passion for child well-being. demonstrating the difference that optimal child care and education brings to society.

Colleagues, students, and associates admire Linda for her humble and gracious spirit; everyone inevitably leaves a conversation with Linda feeling affirmed and cared for. She is collaborative and inclusive, always willing to share her ideas and support others. Through Linda, countless people have been motivated to take seriously, their roles in the lives children. Just think of how many children those people have touched!

Linda will be presented with the "Friend of Children" at the CAYC National Conference held in Calgary this Spring, 2010.