Ana is the Chair of the Disabilities & Mental Health Committee and represents the City of Phoenix Head Start Birth to Five Program; she is the preschool Inclusion Specialist. Her duties include ensuring programming meets the 10 percent enrollment requirement, providing education on the Child Find process, developmental delays, and disabilities to staff and parents, as well as supporting staff with individualization and additional supports in the classroom. Before this position, Ana was an Elementary Special Education Teacher in central Phoenix for five years, an AzEIP Service Coordinator and Program Supervisor, and a Program Director for an early childhood home visitation program. Ana's career is centered around empowering parents to see themselves as their child's first teacher and strongest advocate. Ana's purpose with the AZHSA Disabilities & Mental Health Committee is to unify specialists across the state, promote awareness of Head Start for all children, including those with identified delays and disabilities, and to promote effective and appropriate inclusionary practices, to close the learning gap between typically developing children and children with identified special needs
Cindy English has over 20 years of experience working with children, families, and educators in a variety of capacities at Child Crisis Arizona, where she is currently the Director of Early Education Services, overseeing both Early Head Start and preschool programs in Mesa and central Phoenix. Cindy is dedicated to ensuring access to high quality early education programming for high risk children and families. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a Master's degree in Education.
Diana Howsden is the Director of Head Start PLUS with the Washington Elementary School District, where she oversees the Head Start and Early Childhood Education Expansion programs. In her role, she administers the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Head Start department. She conducts research to determine the best source of funding to meet various needs. She also oversees, writes, and edits grant proposals, and annual reports for the Head Start department.
She has served children and families for over 30 years in various roles, having been in Washington Elementary School District for the past 18 plus years. Diana earned her degree in Early Childhood in 1991, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is an advocate for early childhood education programs that support high quality services and is committed to excellence for children and families.
I have been with CPLC for 6.5 years, but for the first 5 years I obtained the position of Family Service Engagement Worker. In February of 2022 I was promoted to the Central Region's Health Coordinator. A little about me and my life's endeavors; I am a mother, wife, nana and a hard-working female who is eager to take on new roles to learn new tasks and continue to enhance my knowledge in the field of Early Childhood Development. I love spending time with my family, I enjoy fitness and all aspects of a healthy lifestyle which leads to prioritizing my well-being.
I began my journey with Head Start in 2002 as a parent volunteer, soon after I was offered the position of floater, then TA, lead teacher and in 2015 I experienced the role of Home Visitor. Within that time frame I enrolled in college and began my journey still tackling my fulltime job as a mommy and educator. I worked my way up to an Associate's degree and completed my Master's degree in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics in 2019.
Head Start will always have my heart, will be the foundation and 1st teacher to what I know and promote now. Many hats have been worn throughout my journey, these experiences have taught me so much and push me to guide others professionally and personally. I am excited to work with you all and lead everyone as the new Committee Chair for IHSC.
Erin Lyons currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Child-Parent Centers, Inc., the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for southeastern Arizona. Child-Parent Centers provides Head Start and related services to more than 2,600 children and families in five counties in the state. Erin joined CPC in 2014 after working with First Things First, Arizona's statewide early childhood initiative. She also has established a presence in the non-profit sector in the Tucson community and has work experience both as a direct service provider and senior administrator in the education and child welfare arenas, and has also served in a variety of community volunteer activities. Erin began her career as a teacher and kicked off her classroom experience with preschool students at Marva Collins' Westside Preparatory School on the west side of Chicago. She eventually taught at various grade levels ranging from first grade through high school. As an undergraduate, she attended Yale University and then Northwestern University where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is also a proud University of Arizona Wildcat and earned her Master of Public Administration at the Eller College. Erin lives with her husband in Tucson and has two adult sons in California and Texas. She relishes the warm desert weather and beautiful sunsets and enjoys traveling, reading, crafts, and quality family time.
Eve Del Real serves as the AZHSA President and the Assistant Director of the Early Education Division with Maricopa County. She possesses over 20 years of experience working with underserved populations and in early childhood education in various capacities. She holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Administration and is pursing her Doctoral studies in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.
Eve has been recognized numerous times by elected officials for the work she has done to improve the lives of children and communities, which included acknowledgment by the California State Assembly as Woman of Action for 2010. In 2014, Eve led the implementation of the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership for Maricopa County which garnered national recognition. She is an advocate for early education and social programs that support high quality services for all children and families.
I have worked in Early Childhood Education, in various roles, for the over 17 years. I am a Professional Development Coach with Maricopa County's Early Education Division. In my position I support teaching staff with the implementation of quality curriculum and quality teacher-child interactions. I also provide tailored professional development to the needs of our program, the teachers and the children we serve. I posses a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and am actively pursuing a Masters degree in Social Emotional Learning. Over the last 17 years, I have continued to pursue education within Early Childhood Education and Child Development. I have become fascinated with Social Emotional Learning and the brain science behind how we learn to communicate, express and manage emotions; and the impacts adverse socioeconomic and trauma experienced in early childhood can have on one's executive functioning. As we learn more about child development, social emotional learning and the science behind it, we in Early Childhood Education must adapt and shift to support the children in our care. I strive to learn more every day to ensure I am provide the best support possible to the teachers, children and families we support.” Gretchen has been the chair of the committee since 2022.
Janell Stringfellow is the Early Head Start Education Specialist with the City of Phoenix Birth to Five Program. In her role, she supports the Child Care Partnership and Home-Based options. Her duties include oversight of curriculum implementation, ongoing assessment, coaching, and serving as the School Readiness and Education Self-Assessment Committee chair. She is responsible for analyzing and aggregating the program's child outcomes data three times a year, determining program needs, and additional supports for home visitors and teachers.
She has served children and families for over 20 years in various roles. Janell earned her bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Northridge, in 2003 and her Master's degree in Human Relations from Northern Arizona University in 2014. As an advocate in the field of Early Childhood, she works to ensure that children and families are school ready. Janell believes in lifelong learning, supporting educators to see their full potential, and providing high-quality education services to all children and families. She aims to widen her lens and sharpen her interpersonal skills while serving as the AZHSA secretary.
Over the past 15 years, I have been deeply involved in my community, working to address issues related to homelessness, affordable housing, and nonprofit organizations. As a dedicated advocate for those in need, I have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the challenges facing our most vulnerable populations and to create meaningful solutions that make a difference.
During this time, I have also had the privilege of serving as the President-Elect for the National Speakers Association of Arizona, where I have honed my leadership skills and developed a deep understanding of what it takes to build successful organizations.
Now, as I seek additional board positions to better serve Arizona, I am excited to bring my wealth of experience and expertise to bear in new and meaningful ways. Whether it's working to increase access to affordable housing, advocating for the needs of the homeless, or helping to build strong and effective nonprofits, I am committed to making a positive impact in our community and beyond.
Jennifer Brown is the Director for the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. While covering the four northern AZ counties, Jennifer is responsible for the supervision of 350 staffs, 30 sites, a robust budget, and the overall quality services provided for 1,000+ children and families annually.
Jennifer holds dual degrees in Spanish and Early Childhood Education, attained through Northern Arizona University. She is also a Graduate of the Johnson & Johnson, UCLA School of Business, Head Start Fellows Program.
Jennifer's vision is to continue to develop & redesign a program that meets community needs, while building upon the strengths and resources already existing within the NACOG service area.
Her 30-year tenure in the Head Start Program speaks to the passion, expertise and advocacy she has for Early Childhood Education.
Ms. Ayon, a Phoenix native, has been with Booker T. Washington for 31 years. She started her career at Head Start as a parent volunteer in 1992 and very shortly thereafter was hired as a teacher assistant. She holds a Bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Northern Arizona University and a Master's degree in administrative leadership from Grand Canyon University. She takes great pride in the work she does to ensure children and families receive a high-quality early childhood education.
"My life has come full circle... from a young child raised in poverty to an executive director that aims to serve children and families by empowering them and providing resources and opportunity for growth and success; A true testament to the power of Head Start."
Larry Campbell has had a thirty-year career working in human services and most recently carries 17 years' experience serving in Senior Management, Executive Director roles and consulting. Prior to his career with Head Start Larry spent 10 years working abroad in Argentina, South America which provided him with the valuable opportunity to work cross-culturally and linguistically.
Larry's familiarity as a former Executive Director of Head Start uniquely positions himself having walked in the Directors "shoes." He was an early adopter of Continuous Quality Improvement where he emphasized the importance of developing a culture of CQI with his team in tandem with rolling out data visualization dashboards.
Lori Masseur was appointed the Arizona Director of Early Learning in July 2022. In this role, she guides and supports the work of Read On Arizona through its strategic focus on early learning and school readiness. As the breadth and scope of Read On Arizona's work has evolved and grown, so has the need to increase and expand its capacity relative to the intersection between access to quality early care and education and school readiness. Both of which are factors to accelerating early language and literacy outcomes. An increased attention and focus in these two areas are instrumental to closing achievement gaps and improving third grade reading for Arizona's students. Ms. Masseur is an education professional with over twenty years of experience in early childhood. She previously has worked in many different aspects of the ECE field, from classroom teacher to the State's Deputy Associate Superintendent of Early Childhood Education and Head Start Collaboration Office Director. Her experience includes overseeing the development of a continuum of early learning documents that includes AZ's infant toddler developmental guidelines, AZ's early learning standards for preschool, and AZ's early childhood funding manual. In addition, she provided oversight for the development of professional development modules to accompany these documents.
I have been with Chicanos Por Las Causa for 16 years, I am currently the Vice President of CPLC Early Childhood Development Az. I started as a Family Engagement Coordinator, I was able to support center staff in creating positive and goal-orientated relationships with families and children. The experience allowed me to collaborate with cross content Coordinators to provide holistic services to families and children. I also had the privilege of being a Center Service Manager, and be a contributing factor in providing services to Migrant and Seasonal families in rural areas. I hold a Master's Degree, and have been with Chicanos Por La Causa for 16 years and have held various positions, my current position as Vice President of our Early Childhood Development program in Arizona. I am dedicated to continue in providing quality services to children and families.
Patricia Kirkland is the Deputy Human Services Director for the Education Division, where she oversees the Head Start Birth to Five Program. In her role, she is responsible for providing programmatic and budgetary oversight for an annual $40 million budget, 150 City of Phoenix staff, and ten educational providers who offer educational services for 3,451 children. Patricia has 25 years of experience in early childhood, including a teacher for Head Start and Special Education Preschool, an Early Childhood Administrator for a local school district, a college professor, and eight years with the Head Start Birth to Five Program. Patricia has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida, a Master's degree in Education Leadership from the Northern Arizona University, and holds a current Principal's certification with the Arizona Department of Education. Currently, Patricia was seated as the Vice President of the Arizona Head Start Association in August 2021 and seated on the Region 9 Head Start Association Governing Board in October 2021. Through participation on these boards, Patricia hopes to learn more about Head Start through a state and regional lens and help impact positive change for state and regional grantees. Patricia is married with two grown children and four grandchildren.
Rosa Linda Durón is a proud AZHSA Board member and Director for the Alhambra Preschool Academy. She has over 20 years of experience working for Title I school districts that service underserved populations. She holds two Master's degrees, one in Special Education and one in Educational Administration. In her current role as the Preschool Director in the Alhambra School District, she oversees and manages numerous grants including: Head Start, Early Childhood Education Expansion, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, High Quality Early Learning, PDG-5 and Quality First. In addition, she oversees and manages over 100 employees that service almost 600 students across five sites.
Rosa Linda has a passion for supporting our most in need families, including students with exceptional abilities. She has been recognized through the Superintendent's Award of Excellence for her commitment to the Special Education population. She believes in providing exceptional educational experiences to our youngest learners, giving them a "Head Start" to their educational journey.
Hello! My name is Shandeen Gomez and I am the Director at Urban Strategies Early Head Start. I currently serve as the AZHSA Treasurer in my first year and prior to this role for AZHSA I served as the Chair/Vice Chair for the Early Childhood Subcommittee. I have over 20 years of experience working in the field of early childhood and working with the community's most vulnerable. I received my degree from Illinois State University in Human Development and Family Relationships with an emphasis on Child Development.
I feel my purpose as AZHSA Treasurer is to support the integrity of our fiscal appropriations and to work closely with our executive committee. I believe when our state program's come together, great things happen. I'm thankful for the opportunity and to work with amazing individuals.
Sonya Montoya is the Family & Community Engagement Manager for NACOG Head Start in Flagstaff, Arizona. Sonya has her Bachelor's of Social Work Degree from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of the UCLA Johnson & Johnson Fellowes program. Over the course of her 29 year career in Head Start she has had the opportunity to support families, to represent Head Start as a national & regional trainer, an advocate, a member of several local and state boards and committees, and to serve as President & Vice-President of the Az Head Start Association. As a former Head Start student, Sonya is passionate about the opportunities that Head Start programs provide everyday to parents, children and staff. She knows it's a program that changes lives and futures for the better everyday.
Yatin's journey with Westside Head Start began in 2017 when he joined as the Program Design and Management Administrator. Prior to this, he served as a Budget Analyst with the Telamon Corporation's Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Program in Macon, Ga., impacting over 5,500 children across six states.
Yatin brings with him a wealth of experience, expertise, and a profound understanding of the significance and impact of the Head Start program. His business acumen enriches our daily operations, enabling him to spot trends, craft solutions, and apply sharp critical thinking.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Yatin is an avid traveler and a passionate cricket enthusiast. He's also captivated by emerging technologies like AI and enjoys creating Apps to simplify business processes.