Despina McLaughlin, Public Information Officer, Orange County Government
Email: Despina.McLaughlin@ocfl.net
Phone: 407-836-5964

Orange County Head Start Wins Florida Regional Honors, up for National Awards

Orange County, Fla.The Florida Head Start Association (FHSA) recently announced seven of its 2020 FHSA Annual Award recipients have received region recognition from the Region IV Head Start Association. The FHSA Annual Awards promote excellence in the Head Start/Early Head Start community through recognition of employers, parents, alumni, volunteers, and partners who have made extraordinary contributions to their programs and exemplify the highest quality of standards in their communities.

Award winners embody the core values of serving children and families and being committed to Head Start. The state winners advanced as Region finalists in their categories. Four FHSA State award recipients will be recognized at the Region IV Head Start Association’s 2020 Awards gala on February 20, 2020, in Atlanta, GA.

Award winners from Head Start in Orange County include:

  • Parent of the Year – Maritza Vasquez from Orange County Head Start, Orlando
  • Corporate Award – Smart City, Orlando

The region also selected three of the FHSA National finalists:

  • Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award – Sonya L. Hill from Orange County Head Start, Orlando
  • Edward Zigler Innovation Award – Orange County Head Start, Orlando
  • Ron Herndon Head Start Parent Scholarship – Lara Urdaneta from Orange County Head Start, Orlando

“Through the leadership of Orange County Head Start Executive Director Sonya Hill, Orange County is thrilled to be selected as a national finalist by the Florida Head Start Association in multiple award categories,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “It is with much appreciation the County extends congratulations to Maritza Vasquez, an Orange County resident, for being chosen as the regional finalist by the Association for the Parent of the Year award. It is not often that public agencies are recognized in national-scale award categories. This is a testament of what we can accomplish together for the benefit of our children and families.”

FHSA President Kymberly Cook said, “FHSA is extremely honored to have so many talented Head Start leaders recognized at the region level. It’s a testament to the great staff, parents, alumni, volunteers, and community partners we have in the State of Florida who understand the importance of Head Start.”

About FHSA: The Florida Head Start Association is a non-profit organization working on behalf of the 43,000 children and families. Head Start Programs serve in Florida. FHSA has been the voice for Florida’s most vulnerable children and families since 1999 and is committed to enhancing and supporting the capability of local Head Start programs in the delivery of high-quality services for our children and families.

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages.

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