Vice president of programs at Children First elected to National Head Start Association board for the Southeastern U.S.

Sullivan to be among directors representing more than 170,000 children

Kathleen Sullivan, vice president of programs at the nonprofit Children First in Sarasota, has been elected to serve on the National Head Start Association’s (NHSA) Region IV Board of Directors, Children First has announced.

In her role, Sullivan will help oversee Head Start’s Region IV, the Southeastern United States, which represents more than 170,000 children, 40,000 staff members and 300 member programs, a news release explains.

Representatives of the Region IV Head Start Association (RIVHSA) Board of Directors are elected for a term of two years but for no more than four consecutive terms, the release notes. The board comprises two directors, two staff members, two parents, and two friends elected by their respective membership groups within the Association, the release adds.

As vice president of programs at Children First, Sullivan oversees the Head Start and Early Head Start Education programs each year at multiple locations in North Port, Sarasota and Venice, “which provide high-quality early childhood education to hundreds of children,” from birth to age 5, and their families, the release adds.

With more than 30 years of experience in early childhood education, Sullivan has put her focus on “practices that emphasize interpersonal relationships, cultural diversity, child-centered curriculum and the inclusion of children with diverse needs in all educational programs,” the release points out.

She holds a master’s degree in childhood development from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic studies from the University of Southern Maine, the release continues. Additionally, she is the author of three works on early childhood education and development, and she addresses groups on child development issues at the local, state and national levels, the release notes.

In addition to her new role on the RIVHSA board, Sullivan is a UCLA Anderson School of Management Head Start Fellow and has served on the Florida Office of Early Learning Racial Equity Task Force and the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County Board of Directors, the release adds.

“I feel deeply fortunate to be a part of such a dynamic organization, leading alongside a diverse and experienced board of directors with a passion and dedication to RIVHSA’s mission,” Sullivan said in the release. “Together, we strive to model an exceptional board-staff partnership and provide strategic leadership to advance the association as a whole.”

Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of more than 1,800 Head Start programs nationwide, “Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being,” the release explains. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, along with nutrition and health care assistance.

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