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L.B. Head Start Leader Named Best in State

Linda James-Perry, director of Long Beach Unified School District Head Start, has earned the Administrator of the Year Award from the California Head Start Association. The award is given to only one of the state’s 1,927 Head Start programs. "When I first found out that I had won, I was at a loss for words," said James-Perry. "Then I told our staff and parents that this is our award. I’m merely doing what I signed on to do, and to earn an award for that is humbling. It’s another great honor for the Long Beach Unified School District." The award goes to administrators for their unique contributions, outstanding qualities, ability to motivate and inspire their staff, and their positive impact on children and families. James-Perry accepted the award at the recent California Head Start Association Conference in Newport Beach. Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood program established nationally in 1965 to alleviate the effects of poverty on preschool children and their families. In the Long Beach area, Head Start assists children and their families with preschools, Early Head Start centers and home-based services. Assistance includes education, health, nutrition, social services and parental involvement activities for families with children five years old and younger. LBUSD Head Start earned high honors last year by meeting or exceeding more than 900 compliance items during an independent and exhaustive review. During a weeklong visit, a team of reviewers from throughout the nation perused 18 boxes of documents and interviewed parents, staff and others.