Head Start

Head Start Specialist
My name is Durell Spell and I am the education specialist for Head Start. My views on learning styles have been influenced by the work of Howard Gardner. He believes that we have multiple intelligences and that every child has the potential to be gifted, but that this can present itself in many different ways. Therefore, all children have their own preferred learning style, which best suits their intelligence. As a teacher, I feel I can best meet children’s learning needs if I am aware of the learning style suited to them. During all of my field experience I have taught kindergarten, 1st ,2nd ,3rd and 4th grade concepts and used it to enhance my lessons with interactive white boards, the internet, videos, voice and sound clips, digital cameras, interactive games and worksheets. I have worked with teachers to plan the curriculum, attended parents’ evenings, staff meetings and helped create and run after school clubs and contributed to the classroom environments through interactive displays. During my third year at university I studied a module called ‘Integrating the Curriculum’, looking at global issues such as sustainability and how these could be taught across the curriculum. This made me appreciate how this approach can be useful, particularly when addressing important social, ethical and global issues. I was able to implement these methods in my most recent experience working on the Navajo Nation. Using my students’ home language as well as culturally relevant stories has helped to increase student engagement and has increased student growth a great deal. My recent study on ‘Inclusion’ has also really affected the way I think about children and addressing their needs in the classroom. I now am focused on including all children, regardless of ability, learning needs, language, ethnic origin or any other factor. I have learned how to identify and find ways to effectively aid the learning of all students and meet their needs in ways which appeal to and best help them develop, gain a beneficial experience from their education and achieve their full potential As well as preparing me for school life, my university course has enabled me to take part in various experiences for my professional development. During my first year I was able to work with children in need of structure and stability at Wake forest Baptist behavioral health. My university course, especially my teaching practice, has confirmed my belief that teaching is one of the most challenging, demanding, exhausting but varied and exciting careers there are. I really look forward to working in a job that is so important, being privileged to be such a vital part of so many young lives and making a real difference.
ERSEA/Report Specialist
Annette Maestas
My name is Annette C. Maestas; I have been an educator for the past twenty-two (22) years in various capacities. Currently, I have been working with the West Las Vegas Head/Early Head Start Program, for the past twelve (12) years. I worked as a Head Start Lead Teacher for approximately two (2) years and then transitioned into an administrative position where I have been working for the past ten (10) years. I have worked in both the Head Start and Early Head Start options as an administrator under various titles. During my tenure as an Educator, I have obtained two (2) Associates of Arts Degrees in Early Childhood Education with one having the emphases on Family, Infant, and Toddler, and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a licensure. I am also a past Head Start parent of my two children and have been a member of various committees within the Head Start/Early Head Start realm.
Head Start Specialist
photo of Leticia Branch
Hello, my name is Leticia Branch. I am the family services and community engagement specialist for West Las Vegas Head Start. I am originally from Las Vegas, New Mexico. I have been working for the West Las Vegas Head Start for about a year now. I have a bachelors degree and master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. I enjoy serving the families of my community and ensuring they have the appropriate resources to maintain a healthy well-being. I enjoy working in early childhood education because we are building our future leaders right here in these classrooms
Practice Based Coach Specialist
Zecherrya White, Specialist (Practice Base Coach)
 
I started working with West Las Vegas Head Start / Early Head Start in August 2021.  My current role in this program is to assist teaching staff with school readiness goals by using researched based techniques and resources.  My educational background and qualifications are: Masters of Arts in Guidance & Counseling emphasis in Mental Health, Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science with a minor in Health, Certified CLASS Pre-K observer, Certificates for ECERS-S and ITERS, and currently working on getting a Practice Base Coach Certificate from the University of Washington.
 
My techniques as a Practice Base Coach is based on a support system through a collaborative coaching partnership where coach and teacher share goals, create action plans, schedule focused observations, and share supportive, instructional and reflective feedback sessions.  The partnership is an ongoing communication and support process that is focused on professional development.

Some interests and hobbies are travelling, spending time with family and friends, enjoy being outdoor, watching and playing sports.  I believe that every invigorating experience I had this far in my life has shaped me into the wonderful person I am today; a wife, a mother, a friend, and now a coach.