Early Childhood Education workers feted for exceptional service

This article appeared in the July 2021 edition of the Chickasaw Times

Staffers took on new duties during pandemic’s height

Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood Education staff earned recognition from Governor Bill Anoatubby for willingness to serve in new roles to help combat COVID-19.

Gov. Anoatubby spoke during “welcome back” ceremonies in Ada and Ardmore May 21, as the facilities were preparing to resume services.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of many service-orientated facilities in 2020. Staff members were reassigned to work in testing and vaccination facilities, the COVID-19 call center and other locations to help combat the virus.

“Employees across the Chickasaw Nation embraced the challenges and new protocols and adapted to new jobs and new roles,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “Protecting our employees and protecting our community has been job one when it comes to the pandemic. Because of your dedication and willingness to serve in new roles, we have remained at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in Oklahoma and surrounding areas. I appreciate all of you and all you did to help.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Chickasaw Nation has administered more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests and 50,000 vaccine doses.

Because of these efforts, the child care facilities will resume services while taking steps to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all children, families and staff.

“With the reopening of our facilities, we will continue to provide the highest quality of care and educational environment for the growth and development of our children, preparing them for a lifetime of learning,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “This is really an important day. It’s a day we can celebrate. It’s a big milestone in our efforts to overcome the effects of the pandemic.”