Awards & Recognition

NAA and our partners are doing some great things to elevate the field of afterschool!

The Flame of Inspiration Awards

Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00

The Flame of Inspiration Award was established in 2010 and first awarded to honor Judy Nee for her years of commitment to NAA and recognition of service as president and CEO. Awardees must be recognized leaders in the profession and have an extensive repertoire of intellectual contributions to the profession such as research work, published works, and service with educational institutions and professional associations.

Flame of Inspiration Award Winners

Ellen Clippinger 2013
Ellen-2009She is the founder, president, and CEO of AYS, Inc. Since its creation in 1980, the organization has developed out-of-school time programs at thirty-three sites in Indiana counties. But Ellen got into the education field long before that. As a teacher in Indianapolis and then on a military base in Paris, Ellen acquired a perspective of afterschool programs saturated with knowledge of student coaching and problem-solving skills essential to educational development. She believes out-of-school time programs are not an extension of the school day, but rather a complementary enhancement of what goes on inside the classroom. Ellen was recognized at the 2013 NAA National Convention for her leadership in out-of-school time programs at the local, state, and national levels.


Mary M. Shea 2012

A pioneer in the area of inclusion of children with special needs in afterschool programs. She was the co-founder and first executive director of Kids Included Together (KIT), now a nationally recognized non-profit working on children’s issues in San Diego. She began her career as an occupational therapist (OT) and direct service provider in hospitals and clinics. She was a consultant for federal and state agencies, as well as an OT consultant for several large school districts. She has developed curriculum and taught at community colleges as well as being adjunct faculty at two universities. Over the years, Dr. Shea has become a strong advocate for inclusion and committed herself professionally to systems change and building capacity in organizations and communities to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality programs and that inclusive, caring communities become the norm and not the exception. Dr. Shea has supported NAA and the afterschool field in outstanding, significant ways. She has presented at numerous NAA conventions and state affiliate conferences, contributed to the first NAA Platform by providing inspiration for the Association’s belief statement on the importance of inclusion, and continues to train afterschool providers across the country and throughout the world.

Judy Nee 2010

Judy NeeJudy Nee served as a NAA board member, board chair, and was president and CEO from October 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009. Judy has also served as Professional Development Consultant for the Florida Afterschool Network and a faculty member at Palm Beach State College. In these role, Judy has worked to create a comprehensive statewide system of professional development for afterschool practitioners, including college courses, certificates, and degrees. She has worked at the local, state, and national level to improve the quality and availability of afterschool programs. She serves on numerous national afterschool committees and advisory boards.