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A Manner of Speaking Mar/Apr '10

by Bonnie Neugebauer
March/April 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5019204/

Docia Humphrey Clisbee Zavitkovsky
1913 – 2009

Docia Zavitkovsky mentored us with her stories. She saw the powerful messages about life in tiny moments, and she taught us how to be our best selves by including us in the creating and the telling of her stories.

My first Docia story happened about 33 years ago — I baked a pie that Docia remembered for the rest of her life. On one of our last occasions together, she smiled that sparking smile of hers and talked about that pie — her way of seeing me created a high bar, for baking and for living.

"What are you going to do about it?" She recently posed this question as we talked about many big challenges for children and families and for our profession. When I balked, she responded, "It seems like you can handle it." She expected our best and we'll be spending the rest of our lives trying to live up to her expectations. Setting high standards for our profession is something at which Docia excelled.

Many, many years ago I sat down next to Docia at a plenary session at our Directors' Network conference in Philadelphia. Docia was getting out a notebook and pen. "You're going ...

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