Employee of the Month for March is Tieyonnia Brandon

Employee of the Month for March is Tieyonnia Brandon

Tieyonnia Brandon began working in our Head Start program in February 2018 as a Teacher Aide, then became a Teacher Assistant later that year and a Family Worker in 2022, obtaining her Child Development Associate Credential and Family Development Credential.

Tieyonnia has been an anchor at our Merrick site, continuing to provide a great deal of classroom coverage throughout the building as well as support to families beyond her standard caseload due to continued staffing shortages. Meanwhile, she is attending college classes at night, and is on track to earn her Associate’s Degree in Human Services by December 2024.

Our Head Start Family Workers help clients to prepare their children for success in school and beyond, by meeting families where they are while providing support and encouragement toward forward movement at their pace. Tieyonnia has demonstrated through her work that she realizes the key to success and positive progress for families is based on developing healthy partnerships and being a valuable and encouraging resource, whether it is by supporting them through the complex challenges of homelessness, or by assisting them with the initial steps of scheduling a child’s first medical exam.

Recognizing her dedication, commitment, and hard work, we are pleased to honor Tieyonnia Brandon as our Employee of the Month for March!

Photo: Employee of the Month Tieyonnia Brandon, with Merrick Head Start Site Supervisor Sharon Bean and Executive Director Carolyn Brown.

Employee of the Month for February is Erin Hess!

Employee of the Month for February is Erin Hess!

Erin Hess has been a lead teacher at our Head Start site in Lafayette since September 2021. She was chosen for this month’s award because of the dedication to excellence that she consistently demonstrates as a child development professional, and for always being positive and helpful toward her co-workers.

Congratulations to Erin Hess, our Employee of the Month for February!

Photo: Employee of the Month Erin Hess, with Lafayette Head Start Site Supervisor Kelly Tucciarone and Executive Director Carolyn Brown.

Teresa Piedmonte is our 2023 Employee of the Year!

Teresa Piedmonte is our 2023 Employee of the Year!

Teresa Piedmonte has been our Facilities Office Manager since October 2020, and she has made a huge impact on the department right from her first day on the job, channeling her can-do attitude and infectious positive energy to do great things. Her notable achievements include improving the purchase order process, finding and implementing a new and highly effective online work order system, and earning the title of “Queen of Inventory” by overseeing the clean-up, renovation, and reorganization of the warehouse into an efficient operation ensuring the documentation and loss-prevention of all agency supplies and maintenance equipment.

Thank you, Teresa, for everything you do, and congratulations for being named our Employee of the Year for 2023!

Photo: 2023 Employee of the Year Teresa Piedmonte, with (L to R) Recruiter Jamie Colucci, Facilities Director Jerry Barker, Executive Director Carolyn Brown, Custodian Shawn Rhines, Maintenance Supply Manager Ben Binyard, and Maintenance Manager Ned Owens.

Employee of the Month for January is Ryan Leach!

Employee of the Month for January is Ryan Leach!

Ryan Leach has been a nurse with our Head Start / Early Head Start program since 2005. She has worked throughout every part of the program, and currently covers several of our classroom sites as well as other daycare programs with whom we collaborate. In addition to her regular duties involving medical and dental screenings, addressing illnesses and injuries, and health education and advocacy, Ryan has been an American Red Cross CPR and First Aid instructor for over 10 years and has trained over 100 of our staff. She has also been instrumental in promoting the Cavity Free Kids and Stop the Bleed initiatives. We should also note that Ryan was previously honored for her exemplary work as Employee of the Month in December of 2010!

Congratulations to Ryan Leach for receiving our Employee of the Month award a second time, and for being our first honoree of 2024!

Photo: Employee of the Month Ryan Leach, with (clockwise) HS/EHS Health Coordinator Tammi Hatch, James Street Site Supervisor Laurie Whittico, HS/EHS Assistant Health Coordinator Toni Parkhurst, and Executive Director Carolyn Brown.

November 2023 – Employee of the Month: Ralph Lyke

November 2023 – Employee of the Month: Ralph Lyke

Ralph Lyke was hired as the seasonal coordinator of our free tax services program in the fall of 2014 after serving the program as a volunteer. He then became a full-time tax specialist in the program when it transitioned from a seasonal to a year-round operation in the fall of 2020. While everyone can imagine how hectic this work gets between January and April, what sets Ralph apart during what would normally be thought of as the “off-season” is his tireless pursuit of additional tax credits for our clients, which require a high degree of diligence and research and the kind of knowledge and expertise that have earned him the informal title of Tax Guru.

Through his hard work, Ralph Lyke takes advantage of every opportunity to give back to the community in a very literal and impactful way, and that is why he has been named our Employee of the Month!

Photo: Employee of the Month Ralph Lyke, with (left to right) VP of Operations & Strategy Todd Goehle, Free Tax Prep Program Manager Sharon Thompson, and Executive Director Carolyn Brown.

October 2023 – Employee of the Month: Karen Morano

October 2023 – Employee of the Month: Karen Morano

Karen Morano, RN worked for Head Start based at the Liverpool site from November 2014 until August 2016, then returned to the program at the St. Brigid’s site in August 2017. For most of this time she has been assigned to more than one location, and currently she covers the Genesee and Liverpool sites.

Karen is known for always demonstrating kindness, a positive attitude, a refreshingly off-beat sense of humor, and support for her co-workers and for the preschoolers she serves, in a role that frequently pivots from the dull routine of maintaining medical records to the urgency of an injured child. She is particularly adept at making the children laugh, or helping to keep them calm, and she even quits and crochets blankets to contribute to their families.

Thank you, Karen, for everything you do, and congratulations on being named as our Employee of the Month!

August 2023 – Employee of the Month: Shang-Ning (Shenny) Chien

August 2023 – Employee of the Month: Shang-Ning (Shenny) Chien

Shang-Ning (Shenny) Chien joined our Head Start / Early Head Start program as an Intake Worker in November 2021, and has earned her reputation for being very efficient and positive in performing her work, and for being very conscientious about helping the rest of the Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, & Attendance (ERSEA) team. An illustrative example provided by one of her co-workers occurred when a parent went to Shenny’s site by mistake, and instead of having that parent reschedule the appointment for a later date at the correct location, Shenny rearranged her busy schedule in order to perform that intake herself.

Thank you, Shenny, for everything you do, and congratulations on being named our Employee of the Month for August!

Photo: Employee of the Month Shenny Chien (center), with Executive Director Carolyn Brown (L) and HS/EHS ERSEA Coordinator Katy Hollins (R).

July 2023 – Employee of the Month: Hector Osorio

July 2023 – Employee of the Month: Hector Osorio

Hector Osorio has been a Custodian for our Sumner building since April 2021, and notably his nomination ballot for this award was signed by literally dozens of our co-workers at that site! Some of them have mentioned his consistently positive attitude, while others have complimented on aspects of Hector’s work ethic such as his perfect attendance or his willingness to be proactive in accomplishing additional tasks.

Congratulations to Hector Osorio for being named our Employee of the Month for July!

Photo: Employee of the Month Hector Osorio (center), flanked by Executive Director Carolyn Brown (L) and Site Supervisor Jeannine Gilona (R), with colleagues from the Sumner HS/EHS site and the Maintenance Department.

June 2023 – Employee of the Month: Carol Alexander

June 2023 – Employee of the Month: Carol Alexander

Carol Alexander joined Liverpool Head Start in August of 2017 as a floating center aide, a role in which she has enthusiastically contributed to the operations of her site in a variety of ways, such as providing assistance in the classrooms, or maintaining inventory of supplies, or serving meals. But during the past two school years the nutrition aide position has been chronically vacant, requiring Carol to spend almost all of her time in the kitchen, preparing breakfasts and lunches and snacks for the preschoolers while paying close attention to their many special dietary needs.

Thank you, Carol, for spending so much time in a very important role that you did not choose, and congratulations for being named our Employee of the Month for June!

Photo: Employee of the Month Carol Alexander with Executive Director Carolyn Brown (L) and Site Supervisor Kelly Jensen (R)

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