Celebrating Long-Time Staff at CAFS
Cheryl Trant has served families and children for 37 years, and became CAFS' assistant vice president in 2007, when the affiliate became part of the Seven Hills family. Cheryl is well-known and highly respected in the arena of children and family services throughout the state. Her tremendous sense of responsibility and moral compass have made CAFS the premier children’s support agency focusing specifically on families in need. Sylvia Monteverde is also retiring from CAFS after an unprecedented 45 years of nurturing children and their families.
In honoring Cheryl’s extraordinary career, Dr. David Jordan, president of Seven Hills, noted that “Cheryl has been instrumental in every aspect of our work at CAFS, from our Child Enrichment Center in Fitchburg, to the expansion of our Child Care Resources network.” He then announced the naming of the Fitchburg CAFS site as the Cheryl Trant Child Enrichment Center.
“Sylvia played many vital roles in her years at CAFS—teacher, program director, billing and nutrition specialist,” said Dr. Jordan. “Seven Hills is honored to have had Sylvia share her many talents with us, providing immense compassion and professionalism for the children in her care.”
Speaking before more than 40 colleagues and friends gathered to honor Cheryl and Sylvia, Dr. Jordan recalled, among Cheryl’s countless contributions, her impassioned role in advocating for construction of the present CAFS facility to replace its run-down predecessor located in a rough neighborhood of Fitchburg. “Responding to Cheryl’s boundless compassion and deep understanding of the needs of the underprivileged families CAFS serves,” he said, “I decided that the least wealthy families should be served at the best possible facility.” The new, state-of-the-art CAFS/CCR (Child Care Resources) facility opened its doors in 2009. Dr. Kathleen Jordan, executive vice president and CEO of Seven Hills; and Dr. Holly Jarek, vice president of CAFS and the Seven Hills Pediatric Center, also offered praise for Cheryl’s long and dedicated service.
Joining Drs. Jordan and Jarek in honoring the retirees were State Senator Dean Tran, Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale, and Fitchburg City Council President Michael Kushmerek. Mayor DiNatale noted that, as he prepared his remarks for the event, he read that CAFS has been serving needy children since 1876. “I thought, this must be a typo. It has to be 1976. But it was 1876. How incredible!”
A remarkable, yet modest woman who prefers to shine the light on her staff rather than herself, Cheryl’s remarks were reflective and gracious. “It’s the quality of the people I’ve worked with that has made my career so rewarding,” she said. “We all deeply appreciate the great need for the services CAFS provides, and it has truly been my honor to work alongside our incredible staff and caregivers these many years. I will miss the people and our mission, but it’s time for me to step away. I leave knowing, without doubt, that the children and families we serve remain in the best hands possible.”
Children’s Aid & Family Service’s mission is to provide the highest quality day care, social, and wrap-a-round services designed to strengthen families and individuals, build healthy relationships, and promote self-sufficiency throughout Central Massachusetts. This mission is supported through a variety of options: CAFS’ award-winning Child Enrichment Center provides year-round, group-based child care for children, aged 15 months to five years, and accepts both private pay and subsidized childcare vouchers. The Center can accommodate 76 children daily and is accredited by the National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which sets professional standards for early-childhood education programs. CAFS also coordinates Family Day Care, providing year-round, home-based child-care options in small group settings for children, aged six weeks to 10 years.
As one of the state's largest providers of Child Care Resources and Referral, CAFS is a single point of access for child care voucher management services and child care provider information and referrals. CCR oversees more than 300 child care providers, serving some 4,000 children every month from nearly 120 towns across Central Massachusetts.
As Cheryl and Sylvia embark on their new adventures, the Seven Hills Foundation family thanks them profoundly and bids them a very fond bon voyage!
Photos: Top left, Cheryl Trant; top right, Dr. David Jordan and Sylvia Monteverde; bottom, Seven Hills staff members, families, and friends who gathered to celebrate these remarkable women.