July 8, 2021
When thinking about an ideal team leader, many qualities come to mind: respectful, motivating, insightful, reinforces confidence in the team. Annette Filler has all of these qualities and more.
Filler has worked for Lehigh Valley Children's Centers since 2015. For the first five years, she was the center director for LVCC on Union Boulevard in Allentown, a large center with anywhere from 75 to 100 children in an average year. Because she is well-organized and can think quickly on her toes, Filler made the job look effortless. Her staff valued her support and enthusiasm; she brought out the best in her team. Families appreciated her warmth and approachability. Last year LVCC recognized her hard work and promoted her to the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts family, community and education coordinator position.
In her new position, Filler listens to the needs of families during family/parent meetings and recommends resources to help them improve educational outcomes for their children. She provides support and guidance to the teachers and families. This involves evaluations and observations of LVCC’s classroom staff to help them grow.
“I love meeting the staff,” Filler said. “During the COVID pandemic, most support had been virtual. When I visit in person, the teachers are excited to see someone else that they can bounce ideas off of or get some guidance, especially at smaller centers where the teachers don’t always have the opportunity to see other staff, which can feel isolating.”
As a center director, Filler worked at one location with the same group of teachers. As a coordinator, she has the opportunity to see 16 different Pre-K Counts centers and meet staff throughout the organization.
“I think we have a very solid group of staff in our Pre-K Counts program,” Filler said.
Filler spent most of her career in education. After receiving an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Kutztown University, she earned a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and the Graduate Certificate for Principalship, K-12—both from Penn State University. She began teaching preschool through fifth grade for the Diocese of Allentown before going into administration as principal.
What qualities make you a good leader?
“Communication skills, experience, being able to adapt and go with the flow. I don’t get frazzled when things change.”
What qualities do you work on to be a better leader?
“I work on patience and making sure I understand the entire situation that's happening by asking questions and collecting information to make an informed decision. I don’t like to jump to conclusions about things.”
What advice would you give to recent new hires?
“Take your time learning. The best way to learn is by asking a lot of questions and doing tasks directly, through hands-on learning. Be a team player.”
When Filler isn’t working, she loves to garden, read and vacation at the beach.
She was a three-sport athlete (tennis, basketball and softball) and still enjoys watching sports (NFL, college football, college basketball, and her granddaughter's t-ball and soccer games).
Her favorite teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Penn State football.
Music has always played an important role in her life. She started out as a music major at Lebanon Valley. She plays trumpet, saxophone, and French horn. On special occasions, she brings her instruments into the classroom to play live music for the children.
As a senior in high school, she was one of two students in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to travel across Europe as a musical ambassador of the United States with the American Music Abroad exchange program.