Weldon T. Beard Weldon T. Beard was recently selected by the Board of Directors of the Greater East Texas Community Action Program to become the new Director of the Head Start Child Development Centers. Mr. Beard replaces Charlotte Stokes, who retired after twenty- eight years of dedicated service. Born and raised in Sulphur Springs, TX, Weldon is the son of Brenda J. Beard, the second of four children. Growing up in a small rural northeast Texas town, his greatest influences were his mother and his grandmother. An honor student and outstanding athlete in high school, his desire for higher education brought him to Nacogdoches and to Stephen F. Austin State University. In December 1995, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in Management. While a student at SFA, Weldon became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., a community service organization that lives by the motto “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. He served as President from 1993 until 1995. He continues to lend guidance and support. During the summers, while attending SFA, Weldon became involved with Youth Opportunities Unlimited, a summer JTPA program for at-risk teenagers 14 & 15. He worked with employee and student payroll and assumed general bookkeeping duties. In December 1996, Charlotte Stokes hired Weldon Beard as the Financial Manager of the Head Start program. Prior to becoming Director he served as Program Human Resource/Financial Manager, a position he had held for six years. Weldon has stated that, “While working with GETCAP Head Start/Early Head Start for the past eight years, I have sharpened my management, administrative, supervisory, technical, communication, interpretive, and analytical skills. I also have gained extensive knowledge of social services, health, mental health, disabilities, food service, transportation, parent involvement, and education content areas of the program.” He feels strongly that his “hands on” involvement with all areas of the program has prepared him for his new role as Director of a program that employees approximately 150 people and serves 652 children and expectant mothers. While building on the established strength of the Head Start/Early Head Start program, “Providing comprehensive service to improve the quality of life of children and families”, Weldon brings new visions for its future.