By now, you have heard the names of many different people associated with the program, and it is time for an explanation of who they are and what they do. Every preschool program is different in terms of what its exact staffing needs are. Job descriptions may vary from program to program, and so will the number of hours worked by individual employees. Staff members may work anywhere from one to forty hours per week, depending on their responsibilities. Many employees may serve in more than one area.

In general, office hours for UCHRA Van Buren County Head Start Service Area Specialist are 8a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you would like to speak to our Director or one of the Service Area Specialists, please call 423-881-5182.

Teacher's schedules vary. If you need to talk to your child's teacher or if you wish information concerning your child, please call 423-881-5182. Because teachers cannot leave their classroom during their busy schedule, a message will be taken and she/he will return your call as soon as time allows. Each employee listed below is responsible for the Service Areas listed below their name.

Karla Hillis
Karla HillisDirector: The Director is responsible for supervising all program operations, overseeing all personnel, authorizing purchases, preparing the budget, and drafting the annual grant application. The Director promotes good relations with the community and serves as a resource person to the Policy Council.

Education Specialist:The Education Specialist is responsible for the quality of the educational program provided by the Center. The Educational Specialist oversees all Educational Staff. 

MIS Specialist: The position is responsible for making sure all data from each service area is received and accurately entered into the computer filing system, which enables them to generate daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and /or yearly reports as well as to track children and families.

Transportation Specialist: This position is responsible for making sure all the regulations are implemented and followed by staff. The vehicles are serviced in a timely manner as well as keeping current of trip routing, bus route changes, etc. Staff is also kept updated with current changes to regulations.

Rita Mayfield
Asst. Mentor Coach/Education Supervisor: The Assistant Mentor Coach/Education Supervisor provides for a process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to fully develop themselves to be effective in their commitment to themselves, the program, and their work and Supervises all teaching staff and related services associated with teaching.

Lindsey Beach
Disabilities Specialist:The Disabilities Specialist oversees all services to disabled enrollees. This includes scheduling and conducting IEP meetings, setting up contracts for therapy and other specialized services, and helping children and families make the transition to public school.

Health Services Specialist: The Health Services Specialist supervises the dental, medical, and mental health aspects of the program. He/She serves as a liaison and advocate as well as assisting parents with any needs in these areas. Ensures the health and safety of the children and center.

Nutrition Specialist: The Nutritional Specialist insures that all nutritional needs of each child are met by making sure all meals and snacks served at Head Start meet the USDA regulations.

Ashley Burns
Family/Community Partnership Specialist: The Family Services Specialist at UCHRA Van Buren County Head Start is responsible for the areas of both Parent Involvement and Social Services. The Specialist provides guidance to individual parents, conducts parent needs surveys, supervises the parent areas and bulletin board, and works with the Policy Council. The Specialist recruits and enrolls children into the Program and helps conduct parent trainings. Aides staff in professional development activities, helps children and families with the transition to the school system. coordinates literacy related activities for the children, families and classrooms.

Carrie Swafford
Family Services Worker: The Family Services Worker at UCHRA Van Buren County Head Start is responsible for working closely with families in assisting them with obtaining services, screenings, follows up on services rendered home visits, and tracking services through the Galileo system.

Education Staff

Elsie Blaylock
Hilda Starkey
Gloria Scott
Jennifer Shannon

Class A - Teacher: Elsie Blaylock
                 Teacher Aide:  Gloria Scott

Class B - Teacher: Jennifer Shannon
                Teacher Aide: Hilda Starkey

Teachers:  The Teacher plans the classroom activities, supervises volunteers and family members/guardians in the classroom, supervises teacher's assistants, and conducts at least two home visits to each family during the year.  The Teacher assesses the child's developmental stages and, with the help of the parent/guardian, works with the child to achieve individualized educational goals.

Jennifer Johnson
Maintenance/ Bus Monitor:  The Maintenance and Bus Monitor position is a valued position. They maintain and keep the building clean and in working order.  They insure the safety and well being of the children riding our Head Start bus.

Emily Simmons
Literacy Aid/Sub-Teacher: The Literacy Aid/Sub Teacher assist and provides extended family literacy opportunities and floats between classroom aiding teaching and students during the classroom day.