The Florida Head Start Association Announces
Newly Elected Members to the Board of Directors

Tallahassee, FL., September 28, 2021 - The Florida Head Start Association (FHSA) is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the FHSA Board of Directors: Akia Davis, Nacole Guyton, and Maritza Vazquez. Elections were held this month to fill the one Directors' seat in the Southeast Region being vacated by Dr. Angela Iudica and the two open Director At Large board seats being vacated by Mrs. Janet Ranaldi and Mrs. Kymberly Cook. The selected candidates will serve on the board for a two-year term with the option of seeking an additional two more years.   FHSA still has one Director seat vacant in the Suncoast Region due to Dr. Jacquelyn Jenkins terming out.   The FHSA Nominating committee will be seeking direction from the Board of Directors on the best avenue to fill this vacant seat. 

The membership elects directors from a slate of self-nominations and is vetted by the Nominating Committee in advance of the election to ensure a fair representation of the association and skills.

We are happy to announce these new additions to the FHSA Board of Directors and are excited for the passion and expertise they will bring in helping to lead the association. 

Please help us welcome them to the board as they will take office on October 6, 2021, and will be inducted on October 7 during FHSA Annual Awards Luncheon at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, FL. 

Southeast Director, Akia Davis

Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc., Director of Early Head Start

Why do you want to serve on the FHSA Board of Directors?

Serving on the Board would provide me opportunities to be an advocate for other programs, staff, families, and the community to address issues and ideas that we could collaborate on to create an improved outcome for children and families. - be able to gain more organizational and leadership skills that will be helpful in my current role and for my professional growth.- be able to be part of a larger network of other professionals and community members to gain acknowledge and receive information. - contribute towards a greater mission and goals.

What skills and talents would you bring to the FHSA Board of Directors?

My skills and experience in the area of early childhood and a leadership role would benefit me as a member.  Additionally, my ability to work well with others. I have the ability to help develop and provide feedback on policies and be an advocate for other parents and children. 


Director-At-Large, Nacole Guyton- Friend Affiliate Group

Senior Vice-President of Operations, Children's Home Society

Why do you want to serve on the FHSA Board of Directors?

I have been connected to Head Start, and Early Head Start in several capacities over the past 15+ years. I am continuously interested in the health of the program on the local, state, and national level.  The HS/EHS program provides needed resources and supports to vulnerable families and children.  Participation in the HS/EHS program has a proven track record of giving families a boost from current situations and establishing a solid foundation for all children.  I would love to continue being a part of the program and supporting the FHSA in continuing this great work.

What skills and talents would you bring to the FHSA Board of Directors?

My extensive background in Head Start/Early Head Start settings would also be an asset. I have served as a Director, Education Director, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, and State Head Start Collaboration Director.  Each of these roles has given me a different perspective of Head Start, and I will apply the skills and knowledge gained as a member of the FHSA Board to support continued efforts in the state.  I am also accustomed to working in teams, collaboration, and trouble-shooting.  These skills are necessary when working in a group setting such as the FHSA Board because it allows you to be open to different ideas and perspectives.

Director-At-Large, Maritza Vazquez - Friend Affiliate Group

Emotional Support Specialist, Children’s Home Network

Why do you want to serve on the FHSA Board of Directors?

First and foremost, I love Head Start (local, State, Regional National level) and am passionate about serving (Children & Families).  I  enjoy being part of a Board whose members are creative and passionate as well.  This is a non-judgemental Board and always felt respected.  Love FHSA and believe in its Mission, Vision, and Purpose.

What skills and talents would you bring to the FHSA Board of Directors?

I provide Emotional Support to caregivers and have monthly "Virtual Support Groups" by inviting guest speakers such as  OCHS/EHS/CHS-EHS (home base), Step Up For Students, 504/IEP- Advocates, and Liaisons to name a few.   CHN serves a large scale of children from 0-5 years of age.  One of my goals is to enlighten FHSA on the Foster Families we serve on a local and State Level.  Would love to see the day when CHN/Embrace/ and other Foster agencies utilize Early Head Start/Head Start/CCP in the State of Florida.  OCHS and CHN are in the process of MOU with OCHS- and CHN.  So far our numbers of homeless and Foster children have increased since CHN/CHS-EHS/4C-EHS/HS and OCHS share referrals and meet with my Virtual Support Group on a quarterly basis.   My strengths are in homeless/foster children and sharing reliable resources on local and state levels.   I  love to learn and FHSA gives me the opportunity to be a part of a solution.  Also have years of experience serving as a board member at local, State, and National levels.