By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)November 7, 2016
WIESBADEN, Germany - When garrison commanders from around the globe gathered in San Antonio, Texas, in late November, they honored the best of the best in the Installation Management Command Directorate. Among those recognized was Wiesbaden's own Cecilia Kandler, coordinator of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Child, Youth and School Services.
Kandler, along with USAG Stuttgart's Dr. Balasubramaniam Fischer, represented IMCOM Directorate-Europe among the worldwide recipients of the 2015 IMCOM Stalwart Awards.
"In Germany there's that Sprichwort (saying) that you truly see the caliber of somebody by their actions, not their words," said Gregory Holzinger, Wiesbaden's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director. "That's what a Stalwart is -- someone who demonstrates true leadership by example."
Kandler, who started working for the U.S. military in Schweinfurt in 1973 as a host nation teacher and began her service with military child care programs in 1983, oversees the gamut of programs that serve youth in the Wiesbaden military community, including everything from child care centers to the teen program, Family Child Care to youth sports programs.
"I guess it's a great honor and a great surprise," said Kandler, passing on the credit to her staff who "always give 150 percent."
"They never go home until the job is done," Kandler said about her staff. "They really do care for the children. That dedication has been shown with Wiesbaden's CYSS programs being ranked top of the Army for the past two years. This year we had three accreditations of our facilities."
"Receiving this award is a testimony to Celia's leadership ability," said Joan Thomas, IMCOM Directorate-Europe CYSS program manager. "Celia has developed a high performing Child and Youth Services team that provides outstanding, quality programs to Wiesbaden children and families."
Wiesbaden's Family and MWR director, recognized in 2015 as a 2014 IMCOM-E Stalwart while serving in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, said Kandler is a true professional. "She lives and breathes CYSS. That's reflected in how well CYSS does on inspections and getting their accreditations in an era of limited resources.
"Her work ethic is -- you don't have to tell her what to do. She does whatever is needed to take care of the youth of this community and her staff," said Holzinger. "She's truly a leader who doesn't just sit at the desk but goes out and engages with the workforce. She's a very caring individual who brings that caring to her job and to all of the kids and employees in her programs. … It's from the heart. … She loves to do it."
"For me, CYSS has been my life," said Kandler. "I think it's very exciting to see the young ones -- and then all of the sudden they are getting on the bus and going to school.
"Whenever I get bogged down with paperwork, I spend time in the centers with the children and it rejuvenates me," Kandler explained.
"For her to be recognized is so well-deserved," Holzinger added.