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LCCAA's Drew Wins Haxton Award

Going above and beyond has become a daily habit for Stefanie Drew and that habit has been rewarded.

Drew, currently Acting Head Start Director for LCCAA, received the Barbara Haxton Leadership Award from the Ohio Head Start Association, Inc. (OHSAI) at its June Leadership and Professional Development Conference.

Drew has worked for LCCAA Head Start in various roles for 30 years. She became Acting Director late in 2023 after Shauna Matelski, Ed.D., became Acting CEO for the agency.

“I'm truly honored and humbled to receive the Barbara Haxton Leadership Award,” Drew said. “She has been a remarkable leader and inspiration to people throughout Ohio, the region, and across the states with her work related to Head Start and the field of early childhood.”

Barbara Haxton, who was on hand for the presentation, retired in 2021 after 35 years of service to OHSAI, standing up for Head Start across the state and around the country. Candidates for the award that bears her name display passion, vision, determination and tenacity in their work.

“She is the most caring, dedicated worker I know; always going over and beyond for the agency, and family services has always been her passion,” wrote one of Drew’s nominators.

Nominators highlight new and innovative practices under Drew’s leadership ranging from creative recruitment strategies to staff volunteer projects.

“These interactions help highlight the Head Start program & shine a positive light on our program,” another nominator wrote.

“I’ve known both Stefanie and Barbara for a long time and they couldn’t be more alike in the ways they value the importance of Head Start,” Matelski said. “Stefanie is generous with her time and energy guiding both staff and families to greater levels of success. I’m proud to work with her so closely.”

The award also includes a sizeable cash prize the recipient is encouraged to use to carry on Haxton’s legacy of lifelong learning.

“I am inspired to continue working hard and leading with integrity, passion and a commitment to making a positive impact,” Drew said. “I can only do this with the support of my team and colleagues near and far.”