Luzerne County Head Start, Inc. held its 58th annual anniversary celebration and alumni scholarship luncheon on Monday, May 15th. Thirty-five individuals were recognized for milestone years of service at Head Start. Four community members also received the agency’s Outstanding Community Partner award for their exemplary dedication to the mission of Head Start.
Lynn Evans Biga, executive director at LCHS, was awarded the agency’s third annual ‘Bold Leadership Award’ and recognized for 45 years of service; for 34 of those years she has served as Luzerne County Head Start’s executive director.
Former Head Start student, Amber Growhowski, served as keynote speaker. Grohowski is a 2016 graduate from Greater Nanticoke Area. She received her degree in neuroscience from Wilkes University in 2020, and is currently employed as a surgical neurophysiologist at Procirca’s Center for Clinical Neurophysiology in Williamsport.
Additionally, 15 students who will graduate from high schools in Luzerne and Susquehanna Counties received more than $22,000 in scholarship awards that are funded by individuals and businesses in the community.
The event was sponsored by The Benco Family Foundation and was held at Mohegan Pennsylvania. Approximately 275 individuals from the community and agency were in attendance. This is the first time the event was held in person since 2019.
Celebrating 5 years of service at LCHS:
From left to right: Mackenzie Drago, teacher, Carson Street Center; Traci Kieser, family educator, Early Head Start, Edwardsville; Jessica Rittinger, teacher, Tunkhannock Center; Krista Moss, teacher, Beekman Street Center; Tarika Mateo Santiago, associate teacher, Beekman Street Center; Aliesha Martin, associate teacher, Plains Center; Maureen Flynn, payroll administrator, Central Office; Pam Stuart, regional nurse, COCU, Dodson, Fairview, Heights & Kistler Centers; Kati Autolitano, family engagement specialist, Central Office; Maria Price, family educator, Early Head Start, Wilkes-Barre
Missing from Photo: Amanda Brooks, regional nurse, LCCC/Nanticoke, Nanticoke, Plymouth New St. Centers
Celebrating 10 years of service at LCHS:
From Left to Right: Nilsa Arias, associate teacher, Dodson Center; Elaine Cussatt, family worker, Carson Street Center; Michelle Cantwell, teacher, Nanticoke Center; Jessica Schneider, family educator, Early Head Start, Edwardsville; Christine Fritz, lead family worker, Beekman Street Center
Celebrating 15 years of service at LCHS:
From Left to Right: Lisa Sarnak, associate teacher, LCCC/Nanticoke center; Jesse Simon, IT tech support, Central Office; Angela Hosey, fiscal manager, Central Office; Colleen Golden, associate teacher, Beekman St. Center; Carol Swithers, regional nurse, Beekman St. Center; Lynn Watters, assistant HR manager, Central Office; Mary Wolfram, ERSEA recruiter, Central Office
Missing from Photo: Rebecca Norton, family engagement specialist, Central Office & Juanita Rodriguez, family educator, Early Head Start, Hazleton
Celebrating 20 years of service at LCHS:
Cheryl Capece, teacher, Beekman St. Center
Missing from Photo: Renie Woodruff, associate teacher, Mehoopany Center
Celebrating 25 years of service at LCHS:
Bridget McGinely, teacher, Beekman St. Center
Celebrating 35 years of service at LCHS:
Kelly Lyons, family engagement specialist, Central Office
Celebrating 45 years of service at LCHS:
Lynn Evans Biga, executive director, Central Office
Recipient of the 2023 Bold Leadership Award
From Left to Right: Mainet Mejia-Arroyo, 10 years of service, LCHS Board of Directors; Carl Goeringer Jr., 30 years of service, LCHS Board of Directors; Mary Ellen Klimchok, 15 years of services, LCHS bus driver
Missing from Photo: Beverly Kuprionas, 10 years of service, foster grandparent
2023 Outstanding Community Partner Awards:
From left to right: Sandra Serhan & Marie Meade, Harveys Lake Community News
Award Presented by: Eva Kennedy, LCHS regional nurse, Back Mountain, Mehoopany and Tunkhannock Centers
Darcie Schaffer, Volunteers in Medicine
Award Presented by: Allyson Leskowsky, LCHS health specialist, Central Office
Beth Kratz, Greater Nanticoke Area Family Center and Pre-K Counts
Award Presented by: Brittany Murtha, LCHS family worker, Nanticoke Center
Trooper Anthony Petroski, Pennsylvania State Police, Hazleton barracks
Award Presented by: Mirian Lozano, LCHS family worker, Vine West Center
2023 Alumni Scholarship Recipients:
Front Row from left to right: Abigail Domoracki, Pittston Area; Evelyn Pourmonir, Pittston Area; Samantha Jimenez, Wilkes-Barre Area; Jonathan Cardona, Wyoming Valley West; Samera Buchanan, Greater Nanticoke Area; Annable Bauman, Elk Lake
Back Row from left to right: Abigail Backes, Pittston Area; Ryan Starr, Pittston Area; Emily Dessoye, Pittston Area; Courtney Dierolf, Wyoming Valley West; Yeidyveth Santana, Wilkes-Barre Area; Sophia Santana, Wilkes-Barre Area
Missing from photo: Eternity Aiken, Wilkes-Barre Area; Mary Popielarz, Dallas; Dylan Way, Elk Lake
Former Head Start student, Amber Grohowski, of Nanticoke, serves as keynote speaker at Head Start’s 58th annual luncheon and alumni scholarship celebration. Grohowski was the recipient of Head Start’s Fran Williams Memorial Scholarship in 2016.