LCCAA Staff Recognized for Credentials, Service

posted 9/15/16 -- LCCAA's staff members gathered to kick off the new Head Start school year, recognize milestones and inspire each other to Lead the Way.

President and CEO Jackie Boehnlein emphasized that the agency's 50 years of success in helping people and changing lives is based on strong staff who are dedicated to respectful interactions with people in need.

"When we talk about being a five-star agency, it has everything to do with every one of you in this room," Boehnlein said. "We can say in a very definitive way that Head Start does work."

All of the agency-run Head Start centers in Lorain County are now rated at Five Stars through Ohio’s Step Up To Quality Program.

Staff were recognized for years of service and earning degrees and credentials. Kimberly Allgood, pictured with Human Resources Director Don Thigpen, recently earned her Child Development Associate certificate. Allgood is a home visitor with LCCAA Head Start.

Rebecca Rodriguez, Health and Nutrition Services Supervisor, earned her bachelor's degree in Organizational Supervision from the University of Akron. Caprice Wright-Ybarra, Head Start teacher, earned her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. Jennifer Ketcham, also a Head Start teacher, earned her master's degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University.

Bernetta Folmar and Rhonda Ramsey also received their Child Development Associate certificate this summer. They are both Head Start teachers as well.

Maintenance Supervisor Tracy Hough was recognized for 30 years of service with LCCAA. Head Start Director Shauna Matelski was recognized for 25 years. Head Start teacher Maria Arriaga was recognized for 20 years while teachers Brooke Britton, Denise Ferrar and Alica Wilson were all recognized for 15 years.

The agency's fall staff conference featured Keynote Speaker Adam White, who grew up in poverty and encouraged all staff to feel empowered to make changes in their own lives, the lives of others and the community.

"LCCAA has entrusted you with respect and empowerment," White said. "Any organization that stops growing is dying. The moment we decide we're going to stay where we are, we're done."

Boehnlein also praised staff members for their compassion.

"My personal belief is that people in poverty get treated very shabbily in this country," she said. "There is such an undercurrent of shame and there is no reason for it. How we treat them has everything to do with the outcomes they achieve."

Learn more about Adam White by clicking here.

Learn more about how LCCAA helps and how you can help too, by clicking here.