Head Start banquet celebrates families, partners

Published 8:14 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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On Thursday, May 2, the Lowndes County Board of Education Head Start program held its 51st Annual Appreciation Banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Montgomery. The theme for the night was “Crossing the Finish Line Together.” 

According to Director Angela Calhoun, director Lowndes County Board of Education Head Start, the event was one of many ways Head Start celebrates community contributions.

“Any opportunity we have to celebrate some of the members of the community who have contributed and had an impact on our program, is a blessing,” Calhoun said. 

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Queen Gordon, an educator at Central Head Start, served as the Mistress of Order.  She was followed by Mrs. Margie Harrison, an educator at Ft. Deposit Head Start, who delivered the welcome. Rev. Ben Davis, a board member of the Lowndes County Public Schools system, provided the invocation. 

Following dinner, attendees were treated to a song by vocalist Bridget Davis, a Business Career educator at the Lowndes County Career Technical Center. Laura James Hunter, manager of the family and community partnerships service area, introduced the evening’s keynote speakers Dr. Kimberly Jordan Ray – owner of Delta Rehabilitation Services and Lowndes County Board of Education Head Start alumnus, with her sister Dr. Stephanie Jordan Maddox, director of adult education at Bevill State Community College. Both offered words of encouragement and determination. 

Next, awards were presented by Calhoun and Hunter. The following is a list of the recipients of the night’s awards:

Most Participation:

* Central Head Start: First Place, Shanice Williams; Second Place, Alliana Robinson Myles and Third Place, Angela Lawrence;

* Fort Deposit: First Place. Stacey Grant Smith; Second Place, Dr. Kimberly Jordan Ray and Third Place, Malaka Griffin; and

* Jackson-Steele: First Place, Chequita Surles Johnson; Second Place, Shunda Mitchell and Third Place, Jasmine Surles.

Parent of the Year: Tenease Lawrence 

Grandparent of the Year: Marilyn Turner at Central Head Start, Minnie Tolliver at Fort Deposit Head Start and Yolanda Peoples at Jackson-Steele Head Start 

Father of the Year: Will Clark, Jr. at Central Head Start; Ra’Sean Fountain at Ft. Deposit Head Start and Keary Rudolph at Jackson-Steele

Volunteer of the Year:  Evelyn Lambert, Retired Educator

L.D. Flowers Memorial Award: Derelle Ivory, owner of Choices Transportation and All Smiles Pressure Washing

Community Partners of the Year: Family Guidance Center of Alabama, Hayneville Associated Grocers and the Hayneville/Lowndes Public Library 

Head Start Employee of the Year: Mrs. Lashica Mason McCall

Members of the Lowndes County Board of Education School Board as well as parents who serve on the Policy Council were in attendance and presented with tokens of appreciation for their support. Also in attendance was Samita Jeter, superintendent of Lowndes County Public Schools.  who provided closing remarks.  

Head Start would also give special thanks to 1st Place Trophies, Alyx Harley, Sales and Events Services Manager at Embassy Suites, Bridgett and Renee’s Creations, as well as Renea’s Vision.