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Mel Gravely

The White House Honors 11 “Champions of Change” of the Head Start Program

Head Start Champions of Change

Two weeks ago, The White House honored 11 exceptional individuals who have “demonstrated a commitment to delivering on the promise of Head Start in their local communities.” These “Champions of Change,” as The White House refers to them, consists of teachers, directors, pediatricians, and parents, each of which have contributed greatly to the Head Start program in their communities and throughout the country.

In its announcement of the honorees, the White House referred to the Head Start program as “a national laboratory for how we think about educating and caring for our youngest, most vulnerable children.” I like the idea of thinking about the Head Start program as a laboratory, which consists of so much more than education. Since its inception, the program was designed to be fluid – a dynamic program that could first recognize and report on changes at the smallest level of human institution, the family.

These 11 Champions of Change are the ones that are continuing to ensure that the Head Start program remains a vibrant and relevant mediator in the war on poverty. I’d like to personally congratulate them all. Your efforts are appreciated. Cheers!

Joy Vithespongse Trejo – Senior Director of Early Childhood and Family Service Programs for The Campagna Center.
Ginger West – Parent & Volunteer. Ginger is on state and local boards that support early childhood education and the role of parents.
Roxanne Hiller – Site Supervisor/Teacher of the Resource Connection Head Start program in West Point, CA.
Angelica Vilaverde – Teacher with Southwest Human Development Early Head Start and Head Start, Educare Arizona facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rosemary Grier – Preschool Head Start Teacher and Mentor-Coach for BHK Child Development Board, Michigan’s “Center of Excellence in Early Childhood.”
Renetta Goeson – Head Start Director at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Head Start on the Lake Traverse Reservation in Northeastern South Dakota.
T. Berry Brazelton, MD – Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and one of the foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development.
Lori Pittman – Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Head Start Parent, Policy Council & Family Engagement Specialist, Family Advocate, White Center Early Learning Planning Director and many other roles.
Lourdes Villanueva – Director of Farmworker Advocacy for Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA).
Dr. Rory Sipp – Currently serves as the new Executive Director of Nevada’s largest provider of Head Start services.
Caren Calhoun – Executive Director of Tulsa Educare, where she oversees three high-quality early childhood education centers.

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