FHSA 2019 Annual Awards Winners

The Florida Head Start Association (FHSA) celebrated Head Start ROCKSTARS! on October 11, 2019, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, FL

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 exemplifies the highest quality of standards in their communities. This year we are proud to recognize seven state winners who will progress as Region finalists and four National finalists. 


To view photos from the awards luncheon, click here. 

2019 Honorees

To view press releases, click links below. 

FHSA State & RIVHSA Finalist and Winners 

RIVHSA winners are denoted with a * beside their name

Parent of the Year – Maritza Vasquez* from Orange County Head Start, Orlando

Beating the Odds – Sharlene Singleton* from Episcopal Children’s Services, Jacksonville

Teacher of the Year – Jennine Nolan from Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start, Tampa

Staff of the Year – Indra Font from Polk County Public Schools Head Start, Lakeland

Support Staff of the Year – Parameshwari “Rani” Panchanathan from Miami- Dade Community Action and Human Services Department, Head Start/Early Head Start, Miami

Corporate Award – Smart City*, Orlando

Scholarship for Head Start/Early Head Start Staff, Higher Education – Princess Ortiz from Orange County Head Start, Orlando

The National Head Start Award State Finalists:

Aubrey Puckett Memorial Award – Sonya L. Hill from Orange County Head Start, Orlando

Edward Zigler Innovation Award – Orange County Head Start*, Orlando

Vanessa Rich Leadership Award – Autumn Tomas from Episcopal Children’s Services, Jacksonville

Ron Herndon Head Start Parent Scholarship – Lara Urdaneta* from Orange County Head Start, Orlando

Click here to view past honorees.